Dog Gut HealthDog Gut Health

Dog Gut Health

Dog gut health plays a vital role in good digestion. But it’s much bigger than that. A healthy gut means balancing the microorganisms in your dog’s digestive system, known as the microbiome. This microbial environmental system, with its bacteria, viruses, and fungi, can affect your dog’s physical health, mental health protection, appearance, immune strength, and much more. 

While we often see bacteria and viruses as threats to health, when it comes to dog gut health, these microorganisms can play an effective role. At this position, they contribute to digestion, immune function, vitamin production, and even mood and behaviour regulation. 

Basically, a dog gut health microbiome is extremely diverse and consists of an extensive range of microorganisms working together to keep your dog healthy. Maintaining this balance is influential, as explained by Dr. Alejandro Caos, DVM, a veterinarian with ‘The Vets’. It ensures effective digestion, prevents disease-causing pathogens, and supports a robust immune system. 

According to Caos, these are important signs of good dog gut health as follows,  

  • Regular bowel movements 
  • Consistent gut movement 
  • No signs of stomach discomfort 
  • Steady appetite 
  • Proper nutrient absorption 

Importance of Your Dog Gut Health 

Research shows that most dogs (61%) were dealing with some health issue, and most of these affected dogs (57%) were particularly suffering from digestive problems. 

You might have heard that the gut is the “second brain.” This is the place where the phrase “gut feeling” comes from: our stomachs house the largest and most crucial part of our nervous system (called the enteric nervous system), which alerts the brain when something goes wrong. This is why we get butterflies in our stomachs, feel it in our guts, or sometimes even take a trip to the restroom during times of distress. 

It’s the same for your dog. Your lovely friend’s gut is also its second brain — not just because it dictates the next squirrel chase but also because it governs every decision it makes.

Diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, constipation — all of these can occur if your dog’s microbiome and digestive health aren’t functioning at their best. Ensuring that your dog’s second brain stays sharp can not only save them from stomach troubles but also promote physical immunity.  

Fortunately, various supplements and simple dietary changes can help support your dog’s digestion. Learn about the best choices for your dog’s gut health, something you can do from your dog’s perspective. 

5 Ways to Improve Your Dog Gut Health

1. Use Prebiotics and Probiotics

Just like in humans, prebiotics and probiotics can significantly improve and maintain your dog’s gut health. Sometimes they come together, but they’re different. 

Prebiotics, like fiber, help increase the population of beneficial bacteria in your dog’s gut. While many foods naturally contain prebiotics, adding a prebiotic supplement to your dog’s diet can reduce inflammation and regulate gut movements. 

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that live in your dog gut health, converting fiber and plant-based sugars into vitamins and fatty acids that improve your dog’s biochemistry. Probiotics can also help fight respiratory and urogenital infections. 

2. Pay Attention to Your Dog’s Food Ingredients

Some pet parents can’t start their companion’s food from scratch, but that doesn’t mean you have to rely on unhealthy processed foods. Instead, make it a habit to check the ingredients listed in the nutritional information on your dog’s food bag or box. Many popular brands contain ingredients that can cause various digestive issues in pets. 

Look for dog food that’s made with whole, complete ingredients. Like all of Dr. Harvey’s meals, our Canine Health Miracle Dog Food is made from six certified organic vegetables and no chemical preservatives, preserved with just water instead of chemical preservatives. 

3. Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Proper hydration is an easy way to improve your dog gut health. The level of hydration affects your companion’s overall health and helps move digestive fluids more efficiently. Use liquid-filled food and make sure that water is readily available in easily accessible places, especially on hot days and/or long walks. 

4. Avoid Grains 

More and more dog food is moving towards being grain-free. While your dog’s food doesn’t necessarily have to be spoiled with grains, it doesn’t contribute to better digestion. Some grains can cause allergies in dogs or be the cause of nutritional deficiencies that can lead to the dog eating more protein. But don’t just switch to grain-free cables. Grain-free cables use different starches like peas or potatoes, which can also be harmful to gut health. The best food for your dog’s gut health is a fresh, complete diet. 

5. Reduce Stress

Dogs that struggle with anxiety often feel stress and express it by chewing things up, licking their paws, or working in destructive ways. Stress not only affects their behavior but also affects dog gut health. Stomach problems can also cause pain and discomfort, creating a vicious cycle for your dog. Help your dog cope with stress through exercise and play. Decrease any stimuli they’re especially sensitive to, which you can do by creating a safe space for them when they’re overwhelmed. 

Conclusion

Dog gut health is essential for your dog’s well-being. It affects everything from digestion to mood. Keep an eye on their bowel movements, appetite, and nutrient supply to work out gut health. Focus on using prebiotics, quality food ingredients, proper hydration, grain-free options, and stress reduction techniques to support dog gut health and overall happiness.