When it comes to talking about gut health, it's important to note the microbiome. This is the collection of microbes that live in and on the body. In dogs, there are trillions of microbes in the gut microbiome alone - outnumbering cells in the dog's body by a factor of 10 to 1!
These microbes play an important role in several functions, including digestion, nutrient absorption, and immunity. The microbiota also produces neuroactive compounds that affect the development and function of the central nervous system. In other words, there's a strong connection between gut health and brain health - which is why gut health is so important for dogs (and their owners)!
Signs of Poor Gut Health in Dogs
Many signs can indicate poor gut health in dogs. These include:
* bad breath
* excessive licking/chewing
* recurrent ear infections
* dull coat/excessive shedding
* behavioral changes (anxiety, aggression, etc.)
If your dog is experiencing any of these problems, it's important to take them to see a veterinarian. They can help you determine if there is an underlying medical condition or if the problem is due to poor gut health. From there, they can recommend a course of treatment to help improve your dog's gut health.
Improving Gut Health in Dogs
There are many things you can do to improve gut health in dogs. One is to feed them probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to those found naturally in the gut. They can help restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, which can lead to improved gut health. You can find probiotics in some commercial dog foods, or give them to your dog in supplement form. In addition, you can use fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi. Just be sure to talk to your veterinarian before starting your dog on probiotics, as they will be able to recommend the best type and dosage for your pet.
You may also want to consider having a DoggieBiome Gut Health Test from AnimalBiome. This is an at-home test to detect bacterial imbalances in your dog's gut microbiome. You collect a stool sample and send it back to AnimalBiome, and they will assess the test and provide suggestions to improve your dog's gut health.
Another way to improve gut health is by feeding your dog prebiotic foods. Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that act as fuel for the gut bacteria. It is what they need to survive. Prebiotics help promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut while also helping with digestion. Some good sources of prebiotics for dogs include:
* endive, escarole, radicchio
* dandelion (make sure it isn't sprayed with chemicals)
* bananas (closer to green, since over-ripe bananas contain too much sugar)
* cruciferous veggies such as broccoli
Adding these items to your dog's diet is a great way to promote healthy gut bacteria and improve digestive function. As always, though, be sure to talk to your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's diet. They will be able to make specific recommendations based on your dog's individual needs. It is important to start slowly and not add too much all at once.
Whenever possible, it is best to provide probiotics and prebiotics derived from whole food sources, rather than relying on supplements. The diversity of bacteria is important. Diet is key to maintaining diversity.
To find out more information, consider reading The Forever Dog by Dr. Karen Becker and Rodney Habib.
Taking care of your dog's gut health is important for their overall well-being. There are several things you can do at home to promote healthy gut bacteria, such as feeding them probiotics and prebiotic-rich foods. If you think your dog may have poor gut health, be sure to take them to see a veterinarian so they can recommend a course of treatment. By taking care of your dog's microbiome, you'll be taking care of their whole self - mind, and body!
Thanks for stopping at DonnaLikes
Donna, Gibbs, and Lola
Affiliate Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. In no way does this affect the price you pay for products on Amazon.
This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, and advice of a qualified licensed veterinarian.