Dog's Digestive System

A dog’s mouth

A dog’s jaws and teeth are designed differently than yours or mine. A humans jaw can move up, down and side to side. Our teeth have some pointed teeth for cutting and flat molars for grinding. In contest a dog’s jaw moves up and down and has pointed teeth for grabbing and pointed molars for crushing bone.

A humans saliva is full of enzymes to start the digestion process. Human saliva breaks down carbohydrates to sugars. A dog’s saliva functions primarily as a lubricant.

A dog’s stomach

A common concern when feeding raw meat is bacterial contamination that might make your dog sick. As stated early a dog’s stomach produces very strong acids with a ph of 1. This low ph prevents bacteria from becoming pathogenic. The low ph and a dog’s very short digestive tract make the perfect combination for digesting raw meat and bones, even if they are contaminated with bacteria. A meat and bones diet also passes through a dog’s digestive tract rapidly, in about 8 hours.

A dog’s intestines

A healthy dog’s intestines have naturally occurring populations of microbes. These microbes living inside your dog’s intestines are beneficial to your dog and function well when in balance. I like to think of them as an efficient little farm where everyone is working hard and none is causing trouble. However, there are times when the balance is disturbed by outside stress or viral infection. A microbe imbalance can also be promoted by feeding a dog improperly. An over growth of the yeast candida is brought about by improper feeding.

Candida yeast live inside a dog’s system in small populations. They are kept in check by other microbes and the overall environment inside your dog’s intestines be a little hostile the the yeast. A dramatic shift happens when dog’s are fed high carbohydrate content dog foods. The high carbohydrates supply the candida yeast with lots of food (sugar) so they multiply into huge colonies. The high carbohydrate content of dog food also changes the environment inside your dog’s system to one that is friendly to the candida yeast. The friendly environment allows the candida yeast to multiply even more. At this point the candida yeast turn pathogenic and start migrating through out your dog’s entire system and cause your dog to have a yeast infection.

Yeast infections in dogs

Chronic ear infections, paw licking, red skin and foul odor are some symptoms of a candida yeast infection. There are medications that can treat yeast infections but they are temporary fixes. To cure a yeast infection you must get to the root cause and that is diet. Dog’s fed raw meat and bones with added supplements will not have yeast infections. How is this possible? Yeast need sugars to feed and the sugars are supplied through the carbohydrates. Raw meat diets have low sugar content and in turn starve out the yeast. The raw meat dog food also creates an environment inside your dog’s system that is hostile to the candida yeast and this makes it hard for the candida yeast to live.


  1. I have an 8 month old Cavachon. She started having diarrhea here and there about 6 weeks ago. We had her poop tested at the vet but no parasites. She had been eating Diamond Puppy. A side note, she had been eating her poop if we didn’t get it away from her. We switched to chicken and rice and diarrhea got better. Interesting note, on chicken and rice, she no longer ate her poop. Whenever we tried to put her back on Diamond Puppy, diarrhea would come back. So, back to chicken and rice. During that time, she ate part of a yard ornament and was given meds to make her vomit. After that, she had diarrhea even staying on chicken and rice. The vet gave her antidiarrheal meds for 10 days and it finally went away. Meanwhile, she was still on only chicken and rice. After several days with nodiarrhea, I tried to give her a little Diamond Puppy again (mixed in with chicken and rice) and it started to come back again. I know I can’t keep her just on chicken and rice forever. I came across your cooked dog food recipe. I ordered Dinovite and Licochops. Before making the full recipe, I gave her a little Dinovite in her chicken and rice for the past 3 days. Her diarrhea is back. I also caught her trying to eat her poop again. (Not sure if there is something in the Dinovite that makes her want to eat her poop.) I am currently making your cooked dog food recipe, but want to know your opinion on how to proceed since she will be starting while she already has some intestinal upset. Other than the diarrhea , she is acting happy and healthy.

  2. I have a one yr old raggle(beagle/rat terrier) who has pica and is eating Harmony Farms dry and canned food. She loves sweets and breads. She constantly has stomach issues. I give her a puppy multivitamin and she eats grass daily. She gets treats that have no artificial flavors, colors or preserves. What I want to know is if there is anything else I can do to help her with the stomach issues. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  3. I have a MinPin, Grace, whom is 2 years old. She is absolutely our baby. Sometime in November, I was cutting the red ring off of our bologna. I laid the small ring of paper on my table, and Grace ate the red paper. I have not seen her poop out the paper. Can she actually digest this paper or should I take her to the vet? I certainly do not want her to go through surgery, yet, I cannot stand to lose her. I would appreciate any comment, as I am very concerned about my Grace.

  4. luana pecore says:

    Sorry, I forgot this question, is cooked beef hard on a dogs digestive system?

  5. My dog ate glass. hes pooing it out but wat can i feed a dog to clear everything out?

  6. Jeanine Baggett says:

    Hi – Thank you very much for your informative website. My husband and I own an 8.5 year old male boxer that has begun to suffer from mild pancreatitis in recent months. We were purchasing the “high grade” commercial dog foods; however he began to shun his food and drool before eating. He has always been very healthy. I changed him to a home cooked diet of cooked chicken breast; brown rice and sweet potato. He loves the food; but was losing a lot of weight.
    I found your website about 2 weeks ago and substituted the rice for white potato in addition to adding hard boiled eggs. He is currently on Omega supplements; however his Vet recommended to supplement safflower oil for fat – I see that you recommend extra virgin coconut oil. Although his weight is still in the healthy range; he has gone from 75 lbs to 65 lbs in the past 3 months since the diet change. His recent bloodwork is excellent and energy level is good – I just feel like he is very thin. I am concerned about giving him the right fats.

    Thank you again for this wonderful website – many blessings.

  7. MY MIN PIN says:

    Dear Ed
    what do you reccomend for a dog who has a high ph of 6 and is not producing enough acid on her own to keep from getting sturitve stones and is getting constant bladder infections she has gone through surgery to remove the stones and is a special deit of royal canin urinary so wet and dry and for six months was given a clean bill of health by her vet but now she has and infection again and crystals im being told by her vet that its time to possibles start her on a monthy antiboitic treat meant to hopefully get her system back on track which im really concerned about

  8. NicklesandDaisyMae says:

    I’m really considering starting my dogs on the raw diet. I have a 6-month-old puppy Daisy Mae (not quite sure of her breed since I adopted her from a shelter, but we think she’s maybe a shih tsu mix) who weighs about 6 lbs., and a 2-year-old German Pincher, Nico, who weighs about 25 lbs. Neither have any known health problems and no skin issues. From reading your site, I know I need to fast Nico, but do I need to fast Daisy Mae? I’ll be ordering the Dinovite and Lickochops as soon as possible to get them started. Daisy Mae is scheduled to be spayed on 8/12. Can I start her on the raw diet right after that?

    I’ve found the raw & cooked diet recipes, but can’t find the one for organ meat. Are there any others I’m missing. I’d like to give them some variety.

    Also, what about my cat. She’s about 8 yrs. old. Can she also eat a raw diet safely?

    Thanks SO much!

    • Dogs are gorgers and fasters by design it’s no sweat for them to do so and actually has some benefits. Yes, cats can eat a raw diet safely just eliminate all the carbs because they have no use for them at all.

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