Teeth and Digestion:
- The digestive system is made up of all the organs
needed to consume food and convert it (mechanically and chemically)
- Besides the teeth, the dog's tongue also helps move food into the
- The dog chews its food by the movement of its lower jaw.
- The premolar and the carnassal teeth (the last upper premolar
and the first lower molar) tear the meat to pieces.
- The molars crush bone.
- A young dog has only 28 milk teeth -- incisors, canines, and
premolars, but no molars.
- Around 6 or 7 months (or earlier for some breeds) a puppy looses
its milk teeth and gets its full set of 42 adult teeth.
- After chewing, the saliva secreted in the mouth starts the
digestive process and helps the dog swallow the food.
- The food travels down the esophagus to the stomach.
- The stomach is a muscular pocket that holds from one quart in
smaller dogs up to two gallons in big dogs.
- Glands in the stomach wall secrete gastric juices.
- The juices and the stomach muscles convert the food into
a fluid mass ready for the small intestine.
- In the small intestine nutrients are passed into the blood stream
as the food mass makes its way to the large intestine --
and then out the dog.
Source: The Reader's Digest Illustrated Book of Dogs,
The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., Pleasantville, New York, 1993,