What Digestive Enzymes do Dogs Have?

I know that dogs and/or wolves have different and/or fewer digestive enzymes in their systems than humans.  I also know that they have no enzymes in their saliva and therefore no need for chewing.  What I want to know is what enzymes they do have.  I want to know what things they can get nutrients from.  Wolves in the wild eat the stomach contents of their prey, but do they absorb nutrients from it? Also is it their prey's enzymes that let them digest the stomach contents, or their own?

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Re-design6 years ago

I think your question would stump most small animal vets.  I think only a research vet would know for sure which enzymes are present.

But I don't see that having no enzymes in the saliva reduce the need for chewing.  I've always felt that that was a remainder of the survival instinct.  Eat fast on the run or don't eat at all.

A dog's meal stays in his stomach much longer than a human.  I've seen evidence of that when my dogs have thrown up whole undigested food 12 hours or more after eating.  I've always understood that chewing food aided in quicker and easier digestion.

If fed a natural diet the food does not take longer to digest. When you feed a processed diet of kibble then it stays in the dog's stomach longer, because kibble is around 40 - 50% carbohydrates, which dogs have no nutritional need for. When fed a raw diet the food is fully digested within a few hours. Kibble is not natural at all and should not be used in examples when speaking about how dog's would naturally digest their food. Kibble has also been highly processed and cooked, which kills all the living enzymes in the food. Raw, whole food is full of living enzymes which makes digestion faster.

tincanz (author)  Re-design6 years ago
Having no enzymes means that chewing to begin to chemically break down the food is unnecessary, and chewing exists only to physically break the pieces so that they may be swallowed successfully.

You are right that the food takes longer to digest. That occurs because the saliva has no enzymes, and because they usually swallow large chunks of food. The chunks in the stomach have a comparatively low surface area, and also only start decomposing once in the stomach, not in the mouth.

Thanks for your info!
So, since there are no enzymes in the saliva., chewing better would allow dogs and wolves etc. would give them more nutrients per meal. So your statement that no enzymes mean no need to chew is false. They would be better served if they chewed their food 21 times each bite since they have a reduced enzyme load. This way they would better utilize each meal and not waste so much as excrement of undigested food. Ofcourse that would reduce the available food for the next animal that wandered along and found the "waiting feast" left by the last animal.
tincanz (author)  Re-design6 years ago
You're right, increasing the surface area would help, but it is a trait that has not yet come into being in dogs. What I meant is that they do not chew because they have not evolved to do so because they physically do not require it. Remember, evolution only promotes survival, not perfection.
But I think they have evolved without the need to chew due to their pack nature and the necessity of eating in a hurry. In a pack one doesn't have the luxury of lazily chewing their meal. They have to gulp it down before another dog gets it away from them.

tincanz (author)  Re-design6 years ago
Oh, yes. Thats true.
lemonie6 years ago
tincanz (author)  lemonie6 years ago
Thank you. Am I to infer that because of said diversity there may be different enzyme production phenotypes within the species?
lemonie tincanz6 years ago
I would yes, but I didn't spend too long reading it.

tincanz (author)  lemonie6 years ago
Oh, okay.