If you notice that your dog has been experiencing digestive issues such as gas, diarrhea, and vomiting or other issues such as frequent shedding, excessive scratching, and weight loss, these all can indicate poor gut health. An upset stomach can lead to bloating and pain which can cause inflammation and depression, along with other issues. When it comes to digestive health, our dogs are not much different than us. Beneficial bacteria, otherwise known as probiotics, in your dog’s gut (where a majority of the immune system lives) are necessary for their overall health. Continue reading to learn more about the steps you can take to get your furry friend’s gut health back on track and improve their overall quality of life!
It’s important to replenish your dog’s gut flora from within! By (slowly) introducing probiotics such as lactic acid probiotics, probiotic yeast, spore forming probiotics, or natural probiotics, this will build microflora and balance our dog’s microbiome. Some common probiotic foods or “natural probiotics” are probiotic yogurt and fermented foods like chaga, kefir, or kimchi. On the other hand, prebiotics are sources of fiber that are consumed with the intent to promote healthy gut microbe growth. Many dog food options naturally contain these ingredients, yet some dog owners supplement their dog’s diet with extra. Prebiotics are available in various forms such as powders, capsules, tablets, or chewables. Always remember to start with small doses of these pre and probiotics to observe how your dog responds to them.
When inflammation creates gaps between the individual cells that line the walls of your dog's intestines, this is known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. This can then lead to other issues such as asthma, skin rashes, joint pain, thyroid conditions, and more. Bone broth contains easily digestible liquid gelatin which is what can help to seal some of those gaps. Adding this broth to your pup’s meals can increase the absorption of nutrients and create the ideal environment for gut flora to flourish.
Being out in nature and getting fresh air provides numerous health benefits given that some bacteria that are good for your dog can be found in nature such as in the dirt, on plants, and even in the air. Sufficient exercise and playtime will also boost your dog’s physical and mental health. By reducing stress via exercise, this will not only keep your pup entertained and fit but will also curb the amount of cortisol their body creates. Cortisol can weaken the immune system and cause inflammation.
All aspects of your dog’s health connect to his or her gut microbiome in one way or another. Restoring gut health takes time and you’ll need to be patient with this process as you take these steps to help your furry friend. The longer your dog has had gut issues, the longer the healing process will take. If your dog experiences long-term gut health problems, it may be beneficial to speak with a holistic vet. Remember…healthy pups start with healthy guts!