What The Gut?!
We’re becoming more aware of the importance of gut health in humans, but gut health for dogs is important too.
In your dog’s digestive tract, there are hundreds of bacteria and microbes that are referred to as a gut microbiome. These bacteria are vital for digestion and to obtain nutrients from food. From mental health to weight, your dog’s microbiome affects virtually every element of your pet’s happiness and well-being. If their gut bacteria is imbalanced, however, disorders like IBD may arise. So, how can you care for your pet’s microbiome?
Adding More Microbes To Your Pet’s Microbiome
Some dogs don’t have a great enough diversity of bacteria in their microbiome. For example, if your pet has been exposed to a pathogen that caused a disease or if he has recently been taking antibiotics, your dog may need more microbes to be added to his gut to improve his overall well-being. Luckily, it needn’t be difficult to improve the variety of microbes in your dog’s gut.
· Nature And Fresh Air - There are potentially beneficial bacteria all around in nature – in the air, on plants and in dirt. Make sure you walk your pet in a natural environment to maximise the good bacteria that your dog is exposed to.
· Feed A Raw Diet - Raw fresh food provides a key source of microbes for your pet. As long as you take suitable safety precautions, feeding your pet a raw meat diet is a great way to boost your dog’s gut microbiome.
· Spending Time With Others - Dogs share microbes not only with you and your family members but also with other dogs. Make sure your pet spends time with others, both human and animal, to widen their microbe diversity.
· Feeding Probiotics - Some dog owners give their dogs probiotics as a daily supplement to help make their microbiome more diverse and to promote the growth of good bacteria in their gut.
Removing Gut Microbes
Not every microbe will be beneficial for your pet. If your dog has too many harmful microbes or an infection, some of the bad bacteria may need to be removed. This can be done by giving your pet antibiotics which kill pathogenic bacteria. It may also be possible to introduce competing good microbes through a faecal transplant to kill bad microbes in the gut.
Changing The Gut Bacteria Balance
Sometimes, your pet will have many different kinds of microbes in his gut, but the balance is wrong. This can be altered by changing your pet to a low-fat, high-protein diet such as a raw food diet that will influence the type of bacteria thriving inside his gut. You can also give your pet prebiotics to counteract inflammation and reduce the level of stress that your dog experiences since mood has been shown to influence your pet’s microbiome. You can do this by giving your pet more exercise and by stimulating their mind through engaging activities such as puzzle toys.
When your pet has a good balance of diverse microbes in his gut, he will enjoy optimal health and well-being.