The Importance of Gut Health for Dogs

  • by Alana Scarce

GUT HEALTH FOR DOGS

The information on Gut health has been making waves in the health industry for some time now and for good reason. Our growing understanding of the connection between a healthy gut and a happy mind has become a known fact, so how do we achieve it and pass this onto our furry friends?

Let’s delve into the science that is backing these facts.

There are hundreds of microorganisms live inside our and your dog’s digestive tract. This collection of bacteria and microbes is known as the gut microbiome. Your dog’s microbiome affects weight, digestion, nutrient absorption and even their mental health. 

Simply put, an unbalanced microbiome can cause disorders like inflammatory bowel disease, weight gain and an unhappy pet. To prevent disorders, you need to improve your dog’s gut health and digestion and the first place to start is their diet.

There are some simple things we can apply that can be a game changer in your dog’s healthy lifestyle and how they feel daily.

#1 – RAW FOOD

Raw foods contain live, naturally occurring probiotics that can help your pet keep a nice healthy ratio of good to bad bacteria, which in turn can help support gut health, brain function and infections prevention. Therefore, healthy, live probiotics = healthy, lively pet.

#2 – PROBIOTICS

Probioics are healthy microbes that, when living in your dog’s gut, can covert fibre and plant-based sugars into vitamins and fatty acids that improve your dogs biochemistry. 

#3 – FERMENTED FOODS

Fermented foods improve the antioxidants in the food and build beneficial microorganisms in your dog’s gut. Fermented food supplements have high quantities of live microbes that can help with your dog’s digestion.

This can be added with kefir and fermented turmeric to name a few and this has known to have a positive effect on boosting the immune system to decrease disease as well as extend the life of your dog. These foods are also known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial effects.

All incredible ways to foster a healthy gut!

#4 – GRAIN FREE

More and more dog foods are moving toward being grain-free. While dog food with grain isn’t necessarily bad, it doesn’t contribute to better digestion. Some grains can cause dogs to have allergies or lack nutritional value that a higher protein dog food can provide.

#5 – REDUCE STRESS

Dogs who struggle with anxiety often feel stress and will manifest it by chewing on things, licking their paws or acting out in a destructive manner. Stress affects not only their behaviour but their gut health as well. An upset stomach can also cause pain and anxiety, which creates a vicious cycle for your dog.

As with humans, exercise can be a great stress reducer. Physical activities like walking or playing fetch help both you and your dog release tension. It is also good to provide your dog with a safe place in the home where he can escape anxious situations.

Everybody enjoys a calm place to retreat and a big cuddle!

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