Key Nutrients That Can Aid Healthy Digestion
FEATURING RUSS KELLEY, M.S., EUKANUBA & ROYAL CANIN PET HEALTH & NUTRITION CENTER
Digestion is important for sporting dogs to perform at high levels. Dogs with upset gastrointestinal (GI) systems can suffer from low energy, and their attention may be less sharply focused on the task at hand.
Strenuous exercise can challenge the digestive systems of hardworking sporting dogs. Their bodies endure mechanical stress from the vibrations caused by exercise, as well as physical stress associated with increased levels of cortisol. As a result, dogs can experience GI upset.
Fortunately, feeding your dog a diet that includes certain key nutrients can have a positive impact on their GI health. According to Russ Kelley at the Eukanuba™ Pet Health & Nutrition Center, “Nutrition that supports the GI system includes insoluble fibers, psyllium, prebiotics, and beet pulp. These ingredients help ensure that nutrients are absorbed by the dog’s body and can be used to help replace cells lost during activity.”
Fermentable fiber in the form of fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and beet pulp plays a prebiotic role by stimulating the production of short-chain fatty acids which nourish the intestinal cells. And FOS also provide a prebiotic effect by stimulating beneficial bacteria. The addition of psyllium aids in the passage of stool.
Some diets contain solid ingredients that are precision-ground to make digestion easier. Finely-ground carbohydrates from corn meal, barley, and grain sorghum (a cereal) can be more efficiently absorbed by the digestive system. Foods that are easily digested help dogs optimize nutrient absorption.
Kibble size is another aspect that plays a larger role in digestion than most owners and handlers realize. Kibble that is small and perfectly round is easy for dogs to swallow without chewing. Without being chewed, the kibble isn't ground by the teeth. Small kibble that is swallowed without being chewed allows many nutrients to pass through the small intestine without being absorbed. So, slightly larger kibble size formed in irregular shapes encourages chewing and aids digestion. That chewing also helps reduce tartar and plaque build-up on the teeth.
Digestion is important for sporting dogs to be able to perform at high levels. Dogs with upset GI systems can have low energy, and their attention may be less than sharp on the task at hand. Taking care of your dog’s digestive system through high-quality nutrition is a great first step. Consider feeding your sporting dog a performance diet such as Eukanuba™ Premium Performance 30/20 Sport with GI technology to support optimal nutrient delivery.
More on Sporting Dog Health & Nutrition
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Energy to Match Your Sporting Dog's Effort
How to Feed Your Sporting Dog
Why Dogs Need a Nutritional Formula Based on Their Type of Activity
The Role of Antioxidants in Post-Exercise Recovery
Transitioning Your Sporting Dog to an Off-Season Diet
How to Transition Your Sporting Dog to a New Food
Nutrition and Hypothermia
The Stages of Heat Related Illness in Sporting Dogs
The Benefits of Antioxidants in Dog Food
Critical Nutrients Sporting Dogs Need for Healthy Hair & Skin
How to Determine Your Dog's Caloric Needs
Tips for Traveling with Your Sporting Dog
Carbohydrates: They’re as Important as Protein and Fat
How to Support Joint Health in Your Hunting Dog
Key Nutrients that Support a Dog's Muscular System
Key Nutrients that Support the Skeletal System
Environmental Factors That Impact a Dog’s Nutritional Needs
How Much Water Should Sporting Dogs Drink?
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