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Our Top Tips for Great Dog Gut Health

Dog gut health may not be something you’ve been thinking much about… if so, that may change with this article! Dogs need a healthy, balanced gut to live their best lives.

Gut health impacts a number of things for your pup, including its immune system, weight, mental function (stress levels), skin/coat condition, dental condition and urinary tract health.

In essence, your dog’s nutrition plays a vital role in ensuring they have the right balance of bacteria in the digestive tract. And that bacteria affects the health of so many parts of their body.

So read on to find out how you can give your doggo top gut health.

What the gut? What dog gut health is

Just like us, dogs have a range of intestinal flora in their stomachs that helps with digesting food and liquid and absorbing nutrients. A dog’s microbiome (their gut environment) consists mostly of good bacteria.

Problems creep in when that balance is disturbed and there’s more bad bacteria than good. This can create a condition called dysbiosis, which can result in bad breath, loose stool, bloating, and weight loss. If there aren’t sufficient amounts of good bacteria you may start seeing problems like constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and flatulence too.

Circumstances that can disturb your dog’s intestinal flora are the taking of antibiotics and stressful events such as surgery or kennel boarding. Other factors include age, diet, and exposure to certain diseases.

A dog’s digestive tract is one of its most important organs. The majority of their immune system is located in their digestive tract – about 80%. It also regulates blood sugar levels.

dog gut health

Foods for dog gut health

Restoring the balance in your dog’s gut health may take weeks or even months, but is possible. Getting the right food is one of them.

There are several ingredients in dog food that play a role in their gut health. This includes the protein source, fibre source, fat content, volume of vitamins and minerals and quality of ingredients.

When it comes to proteins, your dog might digest some proteins better than others. Maybe they digest chicken better than beef, for instance. Try to switch out the protein source they’re getting to see if that helps.

Food with more fibre can also be beneficial. Look for a dog food containing beet pulp, inulin or psyllium.

It should come as no surprise, but food higher in fat is harder to digest and will impact dog gut health. The easiest way to check the fat content of dog food is by checking the label – the fat percentage should be listed. If fat is among the top four ingredients on the nutritional label, the food is probably high in fat.

A lot of commercial dog foods don’t have an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals, so look for one with proven research on its contents.

With so many dog food brands on the market and so much information on the internet, it can be confusing to find the right choice. The best thing is to talk to your vet about the options and their tips for tending to your dog’s sensitive stomach. They’ll be able to recommend an appropriate food brand specially for your pet.

dog licking dog gut health

Other tips for good dog gut health

There are several other avenues to good gut health for your precious pup, and we list three below.

As an aside, you might also be interested to know that sometimes when a dog feels sick, they’ll self-medicate by eating grass! Read our article: Why Dogs Eat Grass.

1. Consider a raw meat diet

Raw meat is the most species appropriate option for your dog. Adding raw meat, bones and organs to their diet will result in plenty of good bacteria for their gut.

Read more about raw food for dogs and puppies here.

2. Add superfoods to their meals

Superfoods are super nutritious, nutrient dense foods. They also contain probiotics to add healthy bacteria back into the gut. Including them in your dog’s diet is a good idea, even if your dog already has a healthy gut.

Superfoods include green bananas, green vegetables, kefir, and sweet potatoes.

3. Use pre and probiotics

Finally, pre and probiotics are a big part of good dog gut health.

Prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates that help good bacteria grow in your dog’s gut. Probiotics are live cultures of good bacteria, usually found in fermented foods or yoghurt. Incorporate these into your dog’s diet to increase and aid their natural microbiome.

And if one of the reasons you’re reading this is because you’re dog’s been off its food, read our article providing reasons why your dog’s not eating.

Top insurance for top dogs

We know you love your pup and want to care for their health as much as possible. Part of being a responsible pet parent is making sure you have the financial cover in case of an accident or medical emergency.

Our dog insurance will give you the peace of mind that you can afford treatment for your fluffball if something goes wrong.

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