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So, it's said over and over that dogs don't need to chew their food entirely, just small enough to get down their throats, and into the stomach, because dogs, unlike humans, do not begin the digestion process in the mouth, but rather in the stomach. I am pretty sure I believe this, as I've seen it firsthand with my dogs... they swallow huge chunks of meat and bone and digest just fine.

Today, while preparing food, a thought came to my mind. If digestion DOES in fact begin in the stomach, and not the mouth... why do dogs salivate so much when in anticipation of food?? I know this response in humans is in preparation for digestion, as ours begins in the mouth, but... why in dogs if that's not the case??

Sorry I ask stupid questions. But I'm honestly curious. :redface:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They salivate to lubricate their throats/mouth to the impending meal :wink:

No harm in asking any question here!
Ugh, well in that case, I wish Annie would seriously realize that my kitchen floor, dining room chairs, and area rug need no lubrication for any upcoming meal... but her jowls seem to insist that the whole dang house is about to be fed!

"...and a little drool for the rug... oh, and the wall, yes, the wall looks hungry... ohh, and a nice drool glob for each tile on the kitchen floor. those hungry tiles!..."

:rolleyes:
 

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I've read that canine saliva also has an antiseptic property. If that's true, salivation in dogs isn't necessarily to carry digestive enzymes, but carry other compounds as well as provide lubrication.
 

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The idea that a dog's saliva contains antibacterial properties is on old wives tale. Dogs lick their wounds to soothe them not to clean them (actually licking can make wounds worse).
 

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The idea that a dog's saliva contains antibacterial properties is on old wives tale. Dogs lick their wounds to soothe them not to clean them (actually licking can make wounds worse).
I believe the old wives tale was about letting a dog lick your wound to facilitate healing, not about whether dog saliva has antibacterial properties. What I read was a study done by UC Davis in 1990 that stated that dog saliva does have some minor antiseptic properties against some bacteria, namely E. coli and a strain of staphylococcus. I can't find the original analysis of the paper I read, but here is the abstract.

ScienceDirect - Physiology & Behavior : Antibacterial properties of saliva: Role in maternal periparturient grooming and in licking wounds

I'm not suggesting that dog saliva is like hydrogen peroxide or betadine. Apparently the theory is that the antiseptic properties of saliva are used in maternal licking of the mammary and anogenital areas in protecting newborns from these diseases. I have no idea if the minor antiseptic properties in canine saliva play a role in the whole feeding process and I never said it did. But it may play some role in the feeding process that is yet to be discovered.
 
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