Best Dog Digestive Enzymes

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Your dog’s diet sets up a foundation for their overall health: if they are not getting the right nutrients, they can develop a myriad of health issues. Canine nutrition is a complex topic and there are many different options pet parents choose to go with, from raw food to dry food. What works for some pooches might not work for others, and it’s important to do your research and consult with your vet to come up with the best solution for your pet’s own needs. However, even when you succeed in figuring out the right type of diet for your pet, it’s not always a guarantee your pet will be getting the nutrients he needs. In some cases, like when a dog has digestive disorders or health conditions that influence his digestive health, he might not be able to properly absorb the nutrients he consumes without a supplement. That’s where dog digestive enzymes come into play.

Dog digestive enzymes are usually produced naturally in your pet’s body. There are three types of digestive enzymes: proteases, which digest proteins, amylases that do the same for carbs and lipases for digesting fat. A healthy, average dog will have no problem producing these enzymes–their production is triggered by chewing, which will release digestive enzymes into the intestines, stomach, and mouth. But what if your pet has a specific health issue that makes this impossible? For some dogs, digestive enzymes are not easy to produce, and in most cases, it’s the damaged pancreatic function to blame. As a result, all the food your pet eats just passes through his system and they don’t absorb any of the nutrients needed for healthy functioning. While it is not very common, this can be dangerous for pets–and it’s important to make sure your pet starts the treatment on time before any real damage has been done.

In the case your pet needs dog digestive enzymes, no need to worry–there are plenty of these supplements to choose from, and your pooch will get a much-needed boost in no time. However, it can be difficult figuring out which dog digestive enzymes really do what they promise and which are not worth your money. To help you find the right match for your dog’s needs and condition, we’ve selected the most popular dog digestive enzymes, recommended both by experts and pet parents alike. Yours is just to pick one from the list that suits your budget and matches your pet’s health issues!

Affordable, effective, and easy to administer- it’s easy to see why this digestive supplement is so popular with pet parents. The formula contains all the essential enzymes (alpha-amylase, protease, lipase) as well as cellulase to promote better digestion of fibers. Additionally, it makes sure your pooch gets a much-needed blend of both prebiotics and probiotics. The count is 100 million colony-forming units, more than enough for most dogs. And since this supplement comes in the form of powder, it’s ideal for dogs that are picky: just scoop their dose and mix it in their food–no need to worry if they’ll spit out the chewable or refuse to open up to swallow the tablet.

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The name ‘enzyme miracle’ is more than well-deserved: this formula includes 11 types of plant-based systemic and digestive enzymes for dogs. It’s truly a huge boost for a digestive system and will ensure your pet gets all the nutrients he needs from his food! The ingredient list includes three dog digestive enzymes and a myriad of other digestion-supporting substances, such as bromelain, cellulase, diastase, peptidase. There are also essential vitamins and minerals in the mix. Made in the USA at FDA and NASC approved facility, this digestive enzyme supplement is a flavorless powder so your pet won’t even know they’re taking it- just mix their dose in their daily meals.

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By combining digestive enzymes for dogs and probiotics into one formula, this supplement offers complete support for your pet’s digestive health. With a CFU count over one million and a potent combination of protease, lipase, amylase, and cellulase, it will help your pooch digest his food better and make sure upset tummies and nutritional deficiencies are a thing of the past. To boost the formula, the ingredient list also includes different superfoods such as papaya, basil, and sage. These soft chews are made in the USA and have a nice savory flavor that most dogs love. 

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If your pet needs something more potent to get his digestive health all sorted out, you can’t go wrong with this super strong formula. The blend of dog digestive enzymes and prebiotics with probiotics will balance out the gut flora and make sure that your pet has no problem absorbing important nutrients from his meals. The formula includes 6 digestive enzymes (protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase, lactase, and bromelain) as well as over 4 billion colony-forming units in its blend of 5 heavy-duty probiotics. Available in the form of chicken or pork flavored soft chews, this dog supplement will taste more like a treat than medicine.

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With a proven combo of beneficial dog digestive enzymes (and cellulase as an added bonus) and prebiotics, this dog supplement will make sure your pet’s digestive health is in top form. The prebiotics makes sure that the digestion goes smoothly and relieves symptoms of an upset stomach, whereas the enzymes work to break down the macronutrients into smaller building blocks and ensure your pet absorbs everything he needs to thrive. These beef-flavored soft chews are usually loved by dogs- just give them out as a treat.

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For picky pets, powder supplements are the way to go- and this palatable formula is one of the best out there. The ingredient list includes plant-based sources of amylase, lipase, cellulase, and protease and it’s just enzymes- no other ingredients added. Of course, this is ideal if you just need to boost nutrient absorption in case of a specific disease, but in case you want something to support overall digestive health, you might do better with a probiotic and enzyme mix. 

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With each serving, your pet will be consuming 100 million colony-forming units: more than enough to balance out the gut flora and improve their digestion dramatically. However, it’s not just probiotics in the formula that work to optimize your pet’s digestion, but enzymes as well. The formula includes all the key dog digestive enzymes- amylase, protease, lipase, and cellulase to boot. The easy to dose powdered supplement can be mixed in your pet’s food for easier administering–and a little goes a long way, so it’s budget-friendly as well. 

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When it comes to dog supplements, Zesty Paws is one of the most trusted brands, and with good reason- the quality and effectiveness of their products are lauded by pet parents all around the globe. With 3 billion colony forming units with each serving, the potent blend of probiotics and prebiotics in this supplement will eliminate all kinds of stomach discomfort and digestive issues. To boot, the formula also contains plant-based sources of important dog digestive enzymes–papaya and pumpkin. The supplement comes in the form of pumpkin-flavored soft chews.

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With human-grade ingredients used in its formula, this GI digestive enzyme supplement by Dr. Mercola is one of the best on the market. Suitable for dogs and cats alike, it contains an animal-based pancreatic enzyme that includes all three dog digestive enzymes (lipase, amylase, protease) as the foundation for the formula. Additionally, there are digestion-supporting enzymes such as papain, bromelain, and Betaine HCL that work together to make sure that digestion and nutrient-absorption go smoothly and flawlessly. It also contains herbs that have been used for years by both animals and humans to support a healthy digestive system. Easy to dose, this supplement powder is ideal for multi-pet households as it can be safely given to cats and dogs both.

Dr. Mercola’s GI Digestive Enzymes are safe for sensitive bellies, too. They are GMO, soy, and gluten-free. It has been formulated to help with occasional gastric distress and support the normal flow of bile for normal waste removal and bowel function. And if it doesn’t work for your pup, don’t worry. There is a 90-day money back guarantee.

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Don’t let the super affordable price tag fool you- these are some great quality supplements. Not only that it contains a potent blend of prebiotics and probiotics, but this formula also includes dog digestive enzymes from plant-based sources to support your pet’s digestive health fully. With each serving, your pet will be getting circa 95 million colony-forming units that will balance out their gut flora and relieve symptoms of indigestion in no time. The only downside is that it comes in the form of chewable tablets–and if your pet is finicky, ensuring they swallow their daily dose of supplement might prove to be a hassle.

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As we’ve mentioned, most dogs have no problem producing digestive enzymes on their own. It’s a natural process in the body that occurs when the digestion starts, which means your dog starts releasing digestive enzymes as soon as he begins to chew. Chewing sends a signal for the body to release the enzymes in mouth, stomach, and intestines to promote proper digestion and nutrient absorption, and if you feed nutritionally rich diet (as you should) your pet will have no trouble getting all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from his meals thanks to digestive enzymes.

Digestive enzymes break down nutrients into smaller blocks to promote their absorption by the dog’s body and there are different types for different nutrients. In dogs, there are three main enzymes- protease that breaks down proteins into smaller polypeptides or single amino acids, lipase that catalyzes the hydrolysis of fats, and amylase that catalyzes the hydrolysis of starch into sugars. Once your puppy is weaned off, he starts producing these crucial enzymes on his own throughout his life. Healthy dogs produce their own digestive enzyme AND get a boost through nutrition, as well. Some seeds, fruits, and veggies you can give to your pooch naturally contain digestive enzymes and can be beneficial for their digestion: the list includes favorites such as pumpkin, quinoa, flaxseed, papaya, chickpeas, and many others. Fermented veggies and kefir also contain a lot of digestive enzymes and can be a form of a natural probiotic.

So what are dog digestive enzymes in the form of supplements? Does your pet need them, considering that their body already produces it? In a nutshell, most adult healthy dogs don’t need to use digestive enzyme supplements. There are certain cases, though, where dog digestive enzymes are needed and it’s when your pet’s body fails to make them on its own. This means that the pancreas is not functioning properly, and it can happen for a number of reasons.

Canine pancreatitis, or inflamed pancreas in dogs, might be preventing this vital organ from producing digestive enzymes, and in addition to treatment, you might have to introduce supplements. Similarly, canines that suffer from exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), for example, can’t produce proteases, lipases, and amylases, so they require dog digestive enzymes in the form of supplements. This condition is fairly rare and it most commonly happens in German Shepherds, but all dog breeds (and even cats) can develop this condition.

So to sum it all up, most healthy dogs will produce enough digestive enzymes on their own and won’t require any additional supplements to properly digest food and absorb nutrients from it. In any case, you shouldn’t be introducing dog digestive enzymes into your pet’s diet without consulting with your pet’s veterinarian first. When it comes to diet and digestion, even small mistakes can make a lot of trouble, so it’s crucial to speak with an expert that is acquainted with your pet’s unique situation before making any drastic changes. And if you’re just looking for ways to improve your pet’s digestion, there are alternatives- take a look at dog probiotics if you need something to get your pet’s gut healthy and in optimal form.

Once you’ve figured out that your pooch needs dog digestive enzymes to get all the essential nutrients from his food, the question remains: which dog digestive enzymes should you get? Despite what you may think, not all dog supplements are made alike, and doing your research before you buy can save you money in the long run- and ensure your pet is really getting the right kind of enzymes and not just using a supplement that won’t do anything to help.

Here are some features to pay attention to when buying dog digestive enzymes:

  • Active ingredients

As we already mentioned, dogs produce three types of digestive enzymes: proteases, lipases, and amylases. However, supplements can also include cellulase, which is an enzyme that is not naturally found in the digestive systems of cats and dogs. This type of digestive enzyme breaks down fibers, and when combined with dog digestive enzymes, it can provide well-rounded digestive support to your pet. Of course, if you are looking for supplements because your pet’s body isn’t producing enzymes naturally, it goes without saying that all three of the crucial enzymes must be part of the ingredient list.

  • Formula

Most dog digestive enzyme supplements don’t limit themselves to “just” enzymes, but rather contain a multitude of ingredients that are beneficial for your pet’s gut. Their goal is to support proper digestion and these formulas contain a variety of ingredients that could make this happen. Of course, this also means that a lot of the formulas out there won’t be what you’re looking for and that you need to pay attention to the label to see if the ingredients are right for your pet’s requirements. Most blend probiotics with digestive enzymes which can be a great immediate help for upset tummies as well as help your pet build up his immune system and improve digestion in the long run.

  • Delivery method

If your pet is one of those dogs that eat first and ask questions later, you don’t have to worry about the flavor or the form of the supplements. However, if your pet is a smart cookie or a picky eater, you already know that they won’t eat just any old thing without first inspecting it. That’s why it’s important to adjust the delivery method to a dog’s individual preference — get your pooch the form of supplements you know that they won’t mind eating. Most pooches do just fine with flavored chewables that taste more like a treat than medicine, but if your pet flat out refuses to eat anything that resembles a tablet, a liquid or powder supplement that you can mix in their food is a better option. 

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