Back to Articles

A dog's stomach acid

Did you know?

car battery

Stomach pH

".......The dog has a simple, very acidic gut, typical of a carnivore, designed to process large quantities of meat and bone. At it's most acidic (during digestion) the dog's gut can reach below pH1.0, equivalent to car battery acid, a level it can remain at for 5 hours (Itoh et al. 1980, Sagawa et al., 2009). Youngberg et al. (1985) found the average gastric pH of dogs ranges from pH1.5 ranging to pH2.1 a couple of hours after consuming a meal, when gastric juices would be in full flow. At this sort of acidity a meat and bone is rapidly broken down, often reduced to chyme within an hour (Lonsdale, 2001). Furthermore this acidic environment is inhospitable to all but the most specialized of microbiology, protecting healthy scavenging dogs from common meat-borne pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli. Great quantities of mucous protect the dog from doing itself damage. Post-digestion the stomach will abruptly change to neutral, presumably to neutralise the corrosive acid before it hits the duodenum and intestines that are less equipped to withstand the corrosive power of a pH1 acid broth. Data on dry-fed dogs cite the pH of food bolus to rise to a near neutral pH6-7 in the duodenum (Itoh et al., 1980; Sagawa et al., 2009) but as high as pH 8.3 by the time it reaches the colon. There is little data available for dogs fed a fresh meat meal. It is well established omnivores have less acidic digestive juices than carnivores due to their larger inclusion of alkaline-forming legumes and vegetables. Carnivores on the other hand spend their time eating protein and fat and the more protein in a meal, the lower the stomach pH (Carpentier et al. 1988). This is why so many kibble fed dogs have urinary tract issues, high carbs which are not a needed nutrient raise the pH.

And yes, absolutely the lower stomach acids of carnivores is enough to kill the hefty majority of ingested nasties. Hence even dry fed dogs can dig up a 3 month old bone and pick away to no great harm. on. 

More you may enjoy

January 10, 2012

liver in a dog
Liver Disease Diet
Diets for dogs with liver disease should be formulated for your dog based on the specific diagnosis provided by your veterinarian....

March 5, 2019

DoggDaycare
Thinking about Doggy Daycare?
So here’s some things to consider when choosing a doggy daycare that are above and beyond the basic location, convenience &...

June 4, 2012

more fresh vegies
Vegetables
Have you been told not to give your dog people food? But you've probably also been told (more than once) to "eat...