Meet your dog's microbiome

Your canine friend is also a host to a vast community of microorganisms, including an impressive number of bacteria, living on their skin, in their mouth, and most predominantly in their gastrointestinal tract. This collection of microorganisms is known as the microbiota, and together with their genetic material and environment, they form your dog's microbiome.
2 min read
Asher Nathan
Co-founder

Your canine friend is also a host to a vast community of microorganisms, including an impressive number of bacteria, living on their skin, in their mouth, and most predominantly in their gastrointestinal tract. This collection of microorganisms is known as the microbiota, and together with their genetic material and environment, they form your dog's microbiome.

Wait, so many bacteria in my dog? Yes, and it's mostly a good thing. Most of these bacteria are harmless or even beneficial. They play a crucial role in your dog's health, aiding in digestion, bolstering their immune system, and even impacting their mood and behaviour.


Where does my dog's microbiome come from?

Just like in humans, a dog's microbiome begins to form at birth. The initial exposure happens through the birth canal, followed by the environment they interact with – including humans, other pets, and their surroundings. This exposure helps in establishing a foundational microbial population in their gastrointestinal system, crucial for their immune system development.


What do bacteria do in my dog's body?

The bacteria in your dog's body are integral to many functions. In the gut, they help maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall, preventing harmful substances from entering the bloodstream. They assist in breaking down food, producing essential nutrients, and protecting against harmful pathogens.


What is the gut-brain axis?

Beyond digestion, microbes in your dog’s gut produce neurochemicals which tell the brain to ‘do’ or ‘make’ certain things in their body. At an obvious level, these help to produce chemicals for digestion, but through this gut-brain axis, they also produce transmitters that tell your dog to be happy, sad, anxious or even protective, so an imbalance in certain microbes can influence your dog's mood and overall well-being.



What is the gut barrier in dogs?

The gut barrier in dogs is a defence mechanism comprising a layer of ‘epithelial’ cells and mucus. It acts as a selective barrier, allowing vital nutrient absorption, whilst also keeping out pathogens. A healthy gut barrier is vital for preventing issues like allergies and infections.


How can I tell if my dog's microbiome is healthy?

A dog's microbiome is as unique as its personality, influenced by diet, environment, and lifestyle. It's crucial to maintain a balance in this microbiome for your dog's overall health. As with humans, dogs are unique superorganisms with a complex and essential microbial ecosystem and the concept of an ideal microbiome is complex and variable. Supporting your dog's microbiome through diet, probiotics, and a healthy lifestyle is key to their long term wellbeing. At BIOME9 we’re pioneering the understanding of the canine microbiome and on a mission to open new doors for veterinary medicine, hygiene, diet, and long term health care, GutDiscovery® is our first step to help you decode and unravel the secrets of your dog’s gut for a healthier, happier life.

 

 

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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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