Top of the Tums: Digestive Health in Dogs
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Top of the Tums: Digestive Health in Dogs

Read time: 5 mins

04 Jan 2023

Search No More: The Most Digestible Meals for Your Dog Are Here

Looking for the diet that will finally sort out your dog’s dodgy tum? You're not alone. Nearly a quarter of all health-related diet internet searches focus on hypoallergenic options or meals suited for sensitive stomachs.


At Butternut Box, we've been overwhelmed with heart-warming feedback from our customers about the visible improvements in their dogs' digestive health. Imagine seeing frequent diarrhoea disappear and replaced with fewer, healthier poos, and a big reduction in smelly wind. It’s what dreams are made of.


We understand that a sensitive stomach isn't a one-size-fits-all description; it can manifest differently in each dog. While some may experience diarrhoea, others may deal with regular vomiting, reflux, excessive wind, or anal gland issues. The good news is that we've been listening to our customers, and through extensive surveys, we found that 70% of owners saw an improvement in their dogs' digestive health after switching to our meals.


What sets us apart and contributes to this improvement is our unwavering commitment to quality. From carefully selecting ingredients to our gentle cooking process and perfectly portioned meals, these all contribute to one crucial factor: digestibility. Multiple independent studies have confirmed that freshly cooked diets like ours are more easily digestible than traditional extruded kibble (dry dog food).

Understanding Digestibility: The Unseen Hero of Your Dog's Diet

Digestibility - this simple term plays a massive role in your dog’s nutrition. It refers to the amount of nutrients that become bioavailable to your pet after digestion.


Pet food manufacturers often tout high digestibility as a sign of food quality, and for good reason. After all, it's what emerges from the rear end of your dog that often determines how you perceive the quality of their food. In essence, the 'rear end performance' of a pet food can be just as important as its price or nutritional profile.


Digestibility is primarily influenced by the quality of ingredients, the food processing methods used, and the amount of food your dog consumes. Low digestibility can result in larger, loose stools, while high digestibility often leads to smaller, firmer ones.


At Butternut Box, we're committed to ensuring our meals are not just tasty, but highly digestible too. To this end, we've conducted two thorough digestibility analyses:


In-Home Study We followed the FEDIAF kennel digestibility guidelines but included a larger population of dogs to ensure statistical significance. This real-world study involved pet dogs consuming one type of Butternut meal for a week at a time (for instance, 'Beef It Up' in week one, 'Chicken You Out' in week two). We then collected all their poos over a 48-hour period and sent it to an independent lab for testing. The results were clear:


  • Butternut Box's crude protein digestibility was exceptionally high at 90-96%, compared to 70-82% in traditional extruded diets.
  • Our crude fat digestibility also stood out at 95-98%, compared to 75-95% in traditional extruded diets.

Lab-Based Study We partnered with an independent research team, renowned as world leaders in protein digestibility, to conduct an in-vitro study comparing Butternut meals with three leading competitors. This was a pioneering study, as this test had never been performed on dog diets before - making Butternut Box a world first in this area. Our crude protein digestibility results were outstanding at 91-96%, rating higher than a popular premium canned brand, another fresh diet provider, and a commonly dispensed veterinary gastrointestinal diet.

What does this mean for your dog?

These studies underline our dedication to providing not just delicious meals, but meals that contribute significantly to your dog's overall health and wellbeing. If your dog is dealing with a sensitive tummy, the high digestibility of Butternut Box meals could be a game-changer.


References


  • Do S, Phungviwatnikul T, de Godoy MRC, Swanson KS. Nutrient digestibility and fecal characteristics, microbiota, and metabolites in dogs fed human-grade foods. J Anim Sci. 2021 Feb 1;99(2):skab028. doi: 10.1093/jas/skab028. PMID: 33511410; PMCID: PMC8611730.
  • Oba PM, Utterback PL, Parsons CM, Swanson KS. True nutrient and amino acid digestibility of dog foods made with human-grade ingredients using the precision-fed cecectomized rooster assay. Transl Anim Sci. 2019 Dec 6;4(1):442-451. doi: 10.1093/tas/txz175. PMID: 32705002; PMCID: PMC6994059.
  • Algya KM, Cross TL, Leuck KN, Kastner ME, Baba T, Lye L, de Godoy MRC, Swanson KS. Apparent total-tract macronutrient digestibility, serum chemistry, urinalysis, and fecal characteristics, metabolites and microbiota of adult dogs fed extruded, mildly cooked, and raw diets1. J Anim Sci. 2018 Sep 7;96(9):3670-3683. doi: 10.1093/jas/sky235. PMID: 29893876; PMCID: PMC6127788.
  • Do S, de Godoy MRC, Swanson KS. 86 Apparent Total Tract Nutrient Digestibility of Human-Grade Dog Foods and Their Effects on Stool Characteristics, Serum Metabolites, and Hematology of Dogs. J Anim Sci. 2020 Nov 30;98(Suppl 4):61. doi: 10.1093/jas/skaa278.110. PMCID: PMC7702506.
  • Jirayu Tanprasertsuk, LeeAnn M Perry, Devon E Tate, Ryan W Honaker, Justin Shmalberg, Apparent total tract nutrient digestibility and metabolizable energy estimation in commercial fresh and extruded dry kibble dog foods,Translational Animal Science, Volume 5, Issue 3, July 2021, txab07. doi.org/10.1093/tas/txab071
  • Daumas, C., Paragon, B., Thorin, C., Martin, L., Dumon, H., Ninet, S., & Nguyen, P. (2014). Evaluation of eight commercial dog diets.Journal of Nutritional Science, 3, E63. doi:10.1017/jns.2014.65
  • Brodkorb A, Egger L, Alminger M, Alvito P, Assunção R, Ballance S, Bohn T, Bourlieu-Lacanal C, Boutrou R, Carrière F, Clemente A, Corredig M, Dupont D, Dufour C, Edwards C, Golding M, Karakaya S, Kirkhus B, Le Feunteun S, Lesmes U, Macierzanka A, Mackie AR, Martins C, Marze S, McClements DJ, Ménard O, Minekus M, Portmann R, Santos CN, Souchon I, Singh RP, Vegarud GE, Wickham MSJ, Weitschies W, Recio I. INFOGEST static in vitro simulation of gastrointestinal food digestion. Nat Protoc. 2019 Apr;14(4):991-1014. doi: 10.1038/s41596-018-0119-1. Epub 2019 Mar 18. PMID: 30886367.