Enzymes in food help the digestion process by breaking down carbohydrates, fats and protein. Raw fresh food contain live enzymes. Food processed at high temperatures (such as kibble) are depleted of enzymes.
So what are the consequences of improper food digestion?
- Bad breath
- Improper food digestion
- Nutrient malabsorption
Do all dogs need digestive enzyme supplements?
Healthy dogs can also benefit from enzyme supplementation for optimal digestion and toxin elimination.
Enzymes supplementation are particularly beneficial for dogs who:
• are fed cooked or processed food
• are suffering from digestive disorders
• Senior dogs
Older dogs tend to produce lesser amounts of enzymes. Young bodies can compensate for a lack of enzymes in the food they eat, but enzyme production declines with age. Older dogs and cats benefit from enzyme supplements, which improve digestion, tissue repair, and inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
When should enzymes be fed to help with food digestion?
To help with food digestion and absorption, enzymes should be given with meals. Enzymes are easily damaged by heat so do not heat up.
For systemic enzyme therapy, give the enzymes one hour before meals or three hours after.
What are the benefits of enzymes for dogs?
Besides food digestion and nutrient absorption, enzymes for dogs are also beneficial for:
- Any dog who runs and plays hard may recover quicker from sprains and strain
- Strengthening the immune system
- Wound healing injuries
- Reduce pain and inflammation from degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis
- Toxin elimination
- Dogs with skin issues
- GI problems
If your dog is suffering from arthritis, autoimmune disease, cancer, recovering from injuries or has chronic skin issues, it is worth looking into systemic enzyme therapy.
Are enzymes safe for dogs?
Extensive research has been conducted with pets (and people as well!), and it has been found that enzymes for dogs are extremely safe. Enzymes given with food at recommended maintenance doses are safe for dogs because they interact with the body the same way that enzymes in raw food do.
However when given in between meals for systemic well being, precautions have to be taken. See systemic enzyme therapy for these precautions.
When adapting over-the-counter enzyme products for canine use, consider your dog’s weight. Label directions are usually for a 50 kg human, so adjust accordingly.
Follow label directions and, if in doubt, consult a holistic veterinarian.
These are the enzymes I use. They are available from www.iherb.com