by Jill Cline, PHD

Digestibility determines how much nutrition a food provides in a given volume, while palatability affects how appealing a food is to the dog. Both of these characteristics are important criteria when selecting the best food for your dog.

What Are Digestibility & Bioavailability and How Are They Measured?

A food’s digestibility is the collective proportion of all nutrients in a food that is available to the dog for absorption from the intestine into the bloodstream. Nutrient bioavailability is the proportion of the absorbed nutrients that are carried to target tissues and are available for use by the body. Because a highly digestible food provides a higher proportion of absorbed nutrients than a less digestible food, digestibility provides one measure of a food’s nutritional value and quality. In general, as the quality of ingredients in the food increases so will the food’s digestibility and nutrient bioavailability.

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