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Digestive Enzymes

Author: Sally Bushwaller | Date: January 8, 2013

All dogs need digestive enzymes in order to break down their food. They produce these enzymes naturally in their pancreas. Dogs don’t need us to supplement them with enzymes normally, unless the dog has a disease which decreases or eliminates their ability to produce enzymes on
their own. Some older dogs or dogs with digestive issues like IBD may also require supplementation.

I would never be without digestive enzymes in my house.

I use them if my dogs eat something inappropriate, or simply ate too much of a good thing. I used to give them to my dogs each time they ate a rawhide. It was great because it prevented them from farting, and we all know how lethal dog farts can be! Now they no longer get rawhides. Instead they get raw bones. If I let them have the bones too long and they eat a lot of bone, I will give them an enzyme. One of my dogs, Cassie, is insane over food. She is a countersurfer. If I make the mistake of leaving anything on the counter, she will eat all of what she finds. In those instances, she gets enzymes.

Weimaraners, like other deep chested breeds are prone to pancreatitis and bloat, a horrible medical emergency in which the stomach fills with gas and may turn inside the abdomen, which can lead to a very painful death if not treated immediately. Because of this, I freely give enzymes
to my dogs when they overeat. I just don’t want to take a chance of them bloating. I’m convinced it has saved the life of my old guy Maverick (RIP) on the occasion he ate a stick of butter. Better safe than sorry.

All dog homes should have some type of digestive enzyme on hand. Enzymes are not a substitute for a trip to the vet if your dog eats something potentially dangerous. But they are perfect when your dog countersurfs and eats something they shouldn’t. There are many types of enzymes. Not all dogs tolerate all the different types of enzymes. If your dog has any side effects, try a different one.

I have tried many brands. I like to switch around and not use the same one all the time. I always choose one with Pancreatin in it. Pancreatin contains several enzymes, including lipase and amylase. When a dog gets pancreatitis, their lipase levels go sky high. Using a digestive enzyme
with pancreatin can help counteract that for some dogs.

Some brands I have used are:
Twinlab’s Super Enzyme Caps Maximum Strength (I always have these on hand)
Animal Essentials’s Plant Enzymes
NZYMES® Bac~Pak Plus
Fastrack products

If you have used an enzyme you like and it is not listed here, please share it with us in the comments section.


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