Ever wondered why your dog gulps their food down?
Well, put simply – that’s what they were designed to do. 🐶🐾😃
🔶 A dog’s digestive system is different to ours. We need to chew our food well. As we chew our food into smaller more digestible pieces, enzymes in our saliva begin the process of breaking down our food into a form our body can use and absorb. Our digestion begins in the mouth.
Dogs on the other hand do not need to chew their food so well as their saliva doesn’t contain those enzymes that begin the process of breaking down food. Their digestion begins in the stomach.
🔶 Most of our teeth are flat and our jaw flexible with the ability to move up and down and from side to side. This facilitates chewing, allowing us to grind our food with our molars and begin the digestion process.
A dog’s jaw is not flexible – it can’t move from side to side in a grinding motion – their jaw moves up and down. Their incisors and canine teeth allow them to grab, rip and tear their food while their molars allow them to crunch up their bones. These actions allow them to gulp their food down quickly, beginning digestion in the stomach.
🔶 As a species in the wild, dogs would need to kill and eat their prey before another animal came along and challenged them for it and/or stole it. Domestication has not changed this evolutionary programming.
So next time someone tells you your dog needs to eat slowly or they tell you to put your dog’s raw food into a slow feeder bowl or a lick mat – ask yourself – is it natural for them to eat so slowly – is it natural behaviour for them to eat this way?