Now, no talk of stomachs can be complete without finding out how dogs can eat carrion and excrement. A dog’s stomach is like an accordion in that it folds to almost a thin intestine-like organ when it is empty, and when filled, it expands to full size, unfolding all the wrinkles. While a human stomach is simply a bag, not folding at all. The stomach has some very strong muscle in its lining, and it will constantly massage the food, thus making sure the digestive juices get into close contact with all the food. Accordingly, the dog’s stomach will take up some 70-75% of the total volume of the entire gastrointestinal system. It is huge. The human stomach will be only a small fraction of the system, taking up only about 20% of its total volume. In general, all this is geared towards the stomach handling big portions of food at a time -and being given the opportunity to finish a meal before being filled again. It is like a washing machine running through its program and then waiting for the next load. This is a huge difference compared to the human system that is much more like a septic tank where the food seeps through all the time. Another important aspect that is often ignored is that a dog’s stomach is not supposed to be working constantly. It is meant to do a lot of hard work for some time – and then rest for a long period of time. It makes sense that it needs rest, considering how much harder it has to work, compared to a human stomach. Yet, a human stomach generally gets some serious rest every night. Our meals typically take no more than about 3-4 hours for the stomach to finish and hand over to the intestine, so even if we get a “good night snack” just before bedtime, there will still be 4-6 hours rest available for the stomach before breakfast. For the dog, digestion of a full meal can easily take more than 24 hours. Conclusively, the dog’s stomach is a depot organ – the human stomach is merely a transit station. This is why a dog can ingest excrement. And as said before, humans cannot ingest excrement without painful consequences. So I would advise against eating anything rotten, or something that has already been digested, and anyway, who would want to?
To see what the inside of a dog stomach looks like and where it is in a dog’s body, click Here to watch the video