Dog Stomach

Inside that stomach it gets serious

As soon as food chunks enter the dog stomach it really gets serious. Acid is attacking the structures and digestive enzymes are starting to cut up the molecules. No escape! Trapped and only one way out… the intestines which we'll talk about later.

Well of course… if your dog would throw up there is a way out. Suppose he's eaten something bad and your dog's stomach is irritated. Throwing up is the best thing to do; a quick and handy mechanism to get rid of the culprit.

dog stomach Wall of the dog stomach - Photographed with a biological trinocular compound microscope [magnification 100X]

Functions of the canine stomach

Temporary storage of food

The proximal part of the stomach expands so a discrete meal can be stored. But of course this is only temporary. Just to portion control the release of food into the small intestines.

The speed at which food passes the stomach and continues on to the intestines varies and depends on several factors, including: type of dog food diet (dry kibble, canned diet, fresh food, liquid meal) and it's characteristics (acidity and fat content amongst others). On average, gastric half-emptying times for dogs range from 72 to 240 minutes.

Digestion of food

Hydrochloric acid and the enzyme pepsinogen partipate in the early stages of food digestion. Pepsin and lipase are the most important digestive enzymes present in Fido's stomach.

Circular muscle contractions make sure everything gets readily mixed and macerated. It is these same waves of peristaltic contractions that pass the food over to the distal section of the stomach and on to the intestines.

Gastric secretion and it's contents aren't constant. It depends on the amount of protein in a meal, the volume of a meal, hormones and the nervous system.

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