The Canine Alimentary Canal 101
by Vicky Von Busse

It's not the breed Standard being discussed nor is it the
four legs,the wagging tail, or alert ears either.  It's the 
deep recesses of our wonderful pets that starts with the 
sensational smile and lolling tongue they give us when 
they are happy.

We've all admired those impressive teeth.  But how 
often have we equated that sparkling white smile to their 
true function of grabbing, tearing and shredding?  How 
often have we considered that their molars are not flat to 
address grinding up plant matter, but, in fact, are pointed 
and overlapping like scissors to address meat, bones 
and hide?  How often have we acknowledged our dogs' 
carnassial teeth?  Hmmmmm. . . a pretty powerful and 
impressive mouth, wouldn't you agree? :)

Those effective teeth work together with powerful jaw 
and neck muscles;  A must for any sensible canine who
often dreams of pulling down its prey.  Ever wonder 
why the mouth is such a huge gaping contraption?  Ever 
wonder why the lower jaw is incapable of a side-to-side 
motion?  It was designed so that when their captured prey 
struggles, they can quickly be 'disposed' of. If our dogs 
were equipped with the flat molars other animals possess 
(i.e. humans, bears), their prey would meet a very
 torturous end. :(   

Now that the food is in their mouth, what happens?  
Well, seeing that our noble canine has managed to tear 
and chew on that piece of meat, thereby releasing the 
meat's enzymes to begin 'self-digestion', he does what 
any normal canine would do . . . . . he swallows.  Ohhhh!  
What a ride for that succulent piece of meat as it wends 
its way down to that deep, dark, cavernous pit we call 
the stomach....

And SPLASH!!  Right into a warm hydrochloric acid
environment.  Wonderful to feel that warmth as it begins 

it's cleansing work on any pathogenic bacteria that came
along for the ride.  But wait . . . . what's that happening?  
Wow!  A makeover!  That potent hydrochloric acid is 
beginning to break down that red blooded piece of meat.  
And it works very efficiently and quickly. 

And there is the pancreas smiling at this amazing dog 
as it has made life so simple for the pancreas.  Happily
the pancreas offers the enzymes needed to digest the 
proteins and fats it encounters with no demand to produce 
more for unnecessary carbohydrate luggage which would 
encourage a whole myraid of health problems.  
An uncomplicated life is what keeps this little organ 
running effectively. 

You're listening to:
 "Chicken Chowder" 
written by 
Irene Giblin 
As the partially transformed meat continues on its journey 
it is surprised how quickly it moves along the digestive tract.  
No one seems to have told it that the overall length of this 
tract is actually very short and because of its short length it 
is very adept in digesting a raw meal.  Stool analysis of a 
healthy raw meat fed dog shows that only a trace amount 
of protein is lost and less than four percent of its fat intake 
is unused.  Ninety five percent of a raw meat meal is 
effectively digested over a two to three hour period!

The end result: very compact, firm, small stool with relatively
little odor.

In contrast, a dig fed a commercially rendered animal 
product does not get to prepare it's body for the meal.  
The teeth are not exercised, the gums are not massaged, 
the dead food gives off no preparatory enzymes prior to 
entering the stomach, thereby placing an incredible burden 
on the pancreas which then has to deal with not only 
processed protein and fat, but also carbohydrates, cellulose
and starch found in commercially rendered animal products.  
The more carbohydrates, cellulose and starch found in a 
commercially rendered animal product, the more undigested 
grain protein will sit in the upper small intestine.  Sitting there 
signals the body that there is a foreign substance that needs 
to be addressed.  This overstimulates the immune system 
resulting in an host of health problems for our noble canine.  
Depending on the content of the commercially rendered 
animal product, digestion takes anywhere from 16 to 24 hours.

End result: voluminous, smelly stool