WHAT SHOULD WE FEED CATS & DOGS TO OPTIMISE DIGESTION & GOOD HEALTH?
Thus, one might expect the optimum pH for humans to change depending on changes in eating habits. Early studies of the human gut microbiome suggested that gut colonization was stochastic and transitory  and the microbiome at any particular moment was strongly influenced by recent colonists . This pattern, if general, would have suggested a modest role for the human stomach in modulating the composition of the intestines. However, recent research in gastric health suggests that the pH environment of simple-stomached vertebrates serves a more prominent function as an ecological filter, capable, through its acidity, of killing microbial taxa that would otherwise colonize the intestines . In this context, successful colonization would be infrequent.
And the body requires a healthy population of good bacteria to mount a strong immune response. Eating this rotted meat is one way of acquiring the good bacteria, even though most is destroyed by the low stomach acid pH. It is not the actual bacteria that make humans sick from rotten meat. It is the ingestion of toxins previously produced by the bacteria in the rotting meat and then absorbed into the blood stream causing vomiting and diarrhoea as well as fever and weakness.
When the dogâ€™s eat, this is when the differences come in, depending on what the dogâ€™s eat, A dog fed completely raw, a dog fed raw plus kibble, and a dog fed kibble only will all have a varying degree of effective digestion going on at the time of eating. The important bit of science here is â€œwhat is itâ€ that triggers the effective production of the changes in gastric acidity when eating, that then promotes the cascade of digestive enzymes that leads to the most effective digestion for the pet. There are many early studies (around the 1960â€™s) when the gastric pouch of a dog was used to study human digestion dynamics. Gastric pouches from dogs were isolated and used in studies quite frequently so we do have some amazing science available to understand the function of a dogâ€™s stomach.
Food may sit in the fundus of the stomach for a while before being mixed with the chyme. While the food is in the fundus, the digestive activities of salivary amylase continue until the food begins mixing with the acidic chyme. Ultimately, mixing waves incorporate this food with the chyme, the acidity of which inactivates salivary amylase and activates lingual lipase. Lingual lipase then begins breaking down triglycerides into free fatty acids, and mono- and diglycerides. Antacids help relieve symptoms of ulcers such as â€œburningâ€ pain and indigestion.
Dietary changes and other recommendations made by your veterinarian should be followed exactly to gain the best prognosis possible for your cat. The treatment goal of acid reflux in cats is to address the underlying cause and protect the esophagus from further damage. Your veterinarian will likely recommend a dietary change, focusing on low-protein sources and feeding small, frequent meals. By decreasing your catâ€™s dietary intake, the esophageal sphincter can strengthen while the acids residing in the stomach will be decreased.
Soft moist foods taste better and are convenient to serve. Canned foods taste the best but they need to be refrigerated once the cans are opened.
The primary hormone produced by stomach cells is gastrin, which controls acid secretion and stomach contractions. Gastrin stimulates the release of hydrochloric acid that, in turn, interacts with pepsinogen to activate pepsin and start the protein digesting process. The most numerous cells lining the inside of the stomach are mucous cells. These cells produce an alkaline, bicarbonate-rich mucus that coats, lubricates and protects the stomach lining.
The information in this blog has been developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents. If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or nutrition, please talk with your veterinarian. In the lower stomach, wave-like contractions (aka peristalsis) occur. The muscle contractions become stronger as they move toward the sphincter between the stomach and small intestine.
- And the body requires a healthy population of good bacteria to mount a strong immune response.
- The result can be a sudden â€œrejectionâ€ of the bone or meat, in the form of vomiting, or it can take the form of a bout of acute gastroenteritis, from an overgrowth of bacteria, or it may result in a bone obstruction in the stomach.
- Sometimes the cause of vomiting is as simple as the pet eating too fast.
- PU-PD may be present for months to years before the kidney failure is severe enough to lead to waste product accumulation and vomiting.
- Some researchers suggest there are about 120 thousand types of good bacteria and only about 4 thousand bad ones.
It doesnâ€™t take much research to uncover the fact that dogs and cats are designed by nature to eat living foods – unprocessed, raw, nourishing foods. Feeding a commercial formula is a bit like deciding your child can be healthy on an exclusive diet of meal replacement bars.
When feeding homemade food, this is rarely the result of eating too quickly, which is often suggested as the cause. Bacterial flora concurrent with Helicobacter pylori in the stomach of patients with upper gastrointestinal diseases . We demonstrate that stomach acidity increases with the risk of food-borne pathogen exposure and propose that the stomach plays a significant role as an ecological filter and thus a strong selection factor in gut microbial community structure and primate evolution in particular. In light of modern lifestyle changes in diet, hygiene and medical interventions that alter stomach pH, we suggest that stomach acidity in humans is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the high acidity of the human stomach prevents pathogen exposure but it also decreases the likelihood of recolonization by beneficial microbes if and when they go missing.
In episodes of sudden onset of vomiting, food is withheld for 24 – 48 hours and water for 24 hours. Water should never be withheld from an animal with known or suspected kidney disease without replacing fluids intravenously or subcutaneously (under the skin). If vomiting stops, small amounts of a bland low-fat food are fed 3 to 6 times daily for a few days, with a gradual increase in the amount fed and a gradual transition to the pet’s normal diet. Water is also reintroduced in small amounts on the second day.
So the natural â€˜wildâ€ diet of dogs an cats has evolved a gastric environment that favours the breakdown of raw meats, raw bones, and a PH that kills potentially harmful bacteria – consistent with the requirements of carnivores, and in particular, the scavenging nature of dogs. The gastric acidity (gastric pH) of the stomach of a dog or cat eating a diet predominantly made up of raw meat is very low (very acidic), with a pH of 2 or lower. Note that pH is measured on a logarithmic scale ie a pH of 1 is ten times as acidic as a pH of 2. This highly acidic environment favours the breakdown of raw meats, and raw bones, into soft digestible material. The low pH also is highly effective at killing bacteria, particularly potentially pathogenic bacteria like salmonella, campylobacter and E Coli.
Chloride – Nutrition
Pepsin is solely responsible for protein digestion, and lipase, which is only found in the stomach of carnivores (dogs and cats), begins digesting fats. Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux disease is a chronic irritation of the lining of a person’s esophagus by stomach acid.
When ulcers are caused by NSAID use, switching to other classes of pain relievers allows healing. When caused by H. pylori infection, antibiotics are effective.