Dog Gut Health: What Is It And How To Restore It
‘Gut health’ has become a buzzword. It’s something we’re becoming increasingly aware of, with huge amounts of research being carried out on the subject. And just like humans, dogs have trillions of microorganisms in their digestive system. This wealth of bacteria and microbes (including viruses and fungi) makes up what we call the ‘gut microbiome’. If the microbiome is off-kilter, this can affect your dog’s health. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to keep on top of dog gut health.
What Is Dog Gut Health?
The gastrointestinal tract (also known as the gut) transports food all the way from the mouth to the stomach. It’s the gut’s job to convert food into nutrients and energy and to get rid of all the nasty waste. In recent years, scientists have discovered that gut health plays a huge role in general health – much bigger than previously assumed. Recent studies show that gut health is linked to everything from skin issues to immune strength and even mental health.
Common Digestive Problems In Dogs
First things first, if you’re in any way worried about your dog’s health, please contact your vet. Digestive problems in dogs are diverse. The digestive system includes an array of different, complex organs, including the stomach, liver, pancreas and intestines, and with each of these comes an array of varying health issues. Common digestive problems to look out for in your dog include constipation, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and bloating.
Signs of Poor Gut Health in Dogs
There are lots of signs of poor gut health. Your dog might be suffering from bouts of vomiting or diarrhoea that last more than two days. You might notice their weight has changed or that they suddenly lack any appetite. Or you might notice changes in your dog’s stools. Another sign of poor gut health is that your dog’s mood is lower than usual or that he or she has become lethargic.
How to Improve Gut Health in Dogs
There are plenty of ways to ensure good dog gut health. Boosting your dog’s gut health will not only give your pet more energy, it will also give them the best chance of living a long and healthy life.
A Balanced Diet
The best way to ensure your dog’s gut flora stays at a healthy equilibrium is to give your pet a balanced diet. While kibble is widely used and convenient, not all brands are rich in fibre and nutrients, and many of them contain preservatives and other ingredients that aren’t good for your dog.
The best foods for the gut health of your dog are those that are rich in fibre. Brown rice, kale, broccoli, sprouts, green beans, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots and cabbage can help restore gut health for dogs and are easy to add to your dog’s food bowl. You can also add some types of fruit to your dog’s diet, for example chopped apple. A few spoonfuls a day can make a big difference.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in our bodies and promote a healthy gut, while prebiotics are kinds of dietary fibre that are essentially food for these ‘good’ bacteria, promoting their growth. Feeding this beneficial bacteria strengthens your dog’s immune system and counteracts inflammation to prevent digestive problems and restore gut health.
Studies have shown that feeding probiotics to dogs suffering from diarrhoea leads to a higher microbial diversity, increasing the abundance of some beneficial bacteria and reducing the presence of many pathogenic bacteria which improved their health through regulation of the gut microbiota.
Natural sources of soluble fibres that make up prebiotics include bananas, flaxseed and apples which can be found in many good dog foods or fed to your pet as a tasty treat. Our Pets Love Fresh dog food contains 100% fresh, natural ingredients that contain probiotics to promote gut health and the overall wellbeing of your dog.
Making sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise and playtime will reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol that is produced and help to prevent weakening of their immune system and inflammation. Regular physical activity promotes healthy bowel movements and overall gut health. It also helps to maintain the healthy weight of your dog, fighting obesity which can lead to a number of health issues including gut problems.
Moreover, walking your dog allows them to get exposure to fresh air and nature which helps them pick up good bacteria to strengthen their immune system and gut health.
Regular Vet Check-ups
Regularly taking your dog to the vet for check ups will help you to identify the early signs of potential gut health issues. Your vet can then recommend specific treatments to restore the gut health of your dog based on their needs.
How Pets Love Fresh Can Help
At Pets Love Fresh, we know that a good diet is the key to a happy, healthy dog. Our team of nutritionists, dieticians, vets and pet owners developed the best food possible for our canine companions that is gently cooked and leaves out preservatives, artificial flavourings and other nasties that can be difficult for your dog’s digestive system.
Our fresh dog food contains high-quality proteins, essential vitamins and minerals, as well as probiotics and antioxidants to promote gut health and the overall wellbeing of your dog.
Order our taster pack today and let your pooch try out our high quality food for themselves.