5 tips to keep your dog’s gut healthy

With information about the gut microbiome ever growing, and products targeting gut health increasing in number, it can be a hard world to navigate with your dog, especially as you cannot see inside your dog’s gut, and they can't tell you what the problem might be. If you want to start promoting a balanced gut microbiome in your dog, but aren't sure where to start, follow these 5 tips to ensure a balanced gut flora in your dog. 
2 min read
Dr Joe Inglis BVSc MRCVS
Head of Veterinary Sciences

With information about the gut microbiome ever growing, and products targeting gut health increasing in number, it can be a hard world to navigate with your dog, especially as you cannot see inside your dog’s gut, and they can't tell you what the problem might be. If you want to start promoting a balanced gut microbiome in your dog, but aren't sure where to start, follow these 5 tips to ensure a balanced gut flora in your dog. 

Increase dietary fibre - prebiotics are essentially high-fibre foods such as chicory and artichoke that feed the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut microbiome, and when fermented in the gut, create short chain fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory among several other protective health properties.

Promote rich and balanced gut flora - by having diversity within your dog's gut microbiome, ‘good’ bacteria are more likely to thrive and ‘bad’ bacteria are less likely to take over and become an issue. Diversity can be aided by supplementing probiotics for dogs, but also by supplementing foods that are high in live bacteria, such as kefir or fermented vegetables. 

Give your dog a variety of vegetables - variety in the diet = variety in the gut microbiome. The more variety you include in your dog’s day to day diet, the more the various microbiota in their gut are nourished. Try introducing a few pieces of different kinds of vegetables to their meals each day

Only use antibiotics when necessary - when dogs take antibiotics, all the ‘good’ bacteria are wiped out alongside the pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria, leaving the gut microbiome severely disrupted. To keep your dog’s gut health strong, avoid using antibiotics as a preventative measure, or ‘just in case’.

Minimise stress - try to minimise stress however you can. Stress will always affect a dog's microbiome balance, so supplementing anti-stress ingredients like melatonin and chamomile will help protect the ‘good’ bacteria in their gut, especially if you have an anxious dog.

In conclusion, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is increasingly being proved as a keystone in your dog's health and well-being. By following these five key tips, you can make a start at improving your dog's gut health. These measures support beneficial bacteria, bolster the immune system, and contribute to a happier, healthier dog. Simple adjustments to your dog's diet and lifestyle can make a big difference in their gut’s support of other bodily functions, improving optimal health and longevity.

 

 

 

 

 

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Frequently asked questions

  • The microbiome is the name given to the collection of microbes, mostly bacteria, but also fungi and protozoa, that exist within your dog’s gut. It is a diverse and complex microbial community which can directly affect health and wellbeing. We know that 90% of a human’s body cells are microbes, with only 10% being human cells – it’s just that human cells are markedly larger than the microbes. It’s similar for our four-legged friends. Testing the microbiome gives us an idea of exactly which bacteria are present in your dog’s gut and this can help indicate existing or future health problems.

  • A healthy diversity within the microbiome has been found to be an accurate indicator of overall health and wellbeing. If your dog appears healthy, but has an imbalance in their microbiome, then this could be an indicator of a potential future health issue. If your dog has any existing health complaints, then improving the health of their microbiome can help to improve immune system health and overall wellbeing, as well as improving disease symptoms.

  • Testing and treatment have the potential to help with a whole range of different health complaints. The immune system is very closely associated with the gut, so any imbalance in the microbiome can influence immune system health, overall vitality and wellbeing. Our supplement recommendations are also tailored to your individual dog, with specific ranges designed to help with gastrointestinal inflammation, joint problems, allergies and skin complaints, to name a few.

  • All you need to do is order a kit online and fill in our questionnaire about your dog and their general health. We will then send the kit out to you by post. You then just need to collect a sample and return it to us, again by post. Once the test is performed, we will email the results directly to you.

  • You do not need to get your vet’s permission to test, or talk to them about performing the test beforehand. We do recommend that you pass on a copy of your test results to your regular vets, as it may help them in understanding your pet’s current health, and any future complaints they may have.

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