The gut microbiome is a collection of hundreds of different types of bacteria and other microbes in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
Your dog’s overall health depends on a healthy microbiome – when out of balance, disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, digestive issues, immune system reactions, diabetes, and even depression can be the result.
Modern food production is seen as one of the causes of a rise in microbiome-associated disorders in dogs. Other factors are also having an impact – some medications, particularly antibiotics, dogs with a mostly indoor lifestyle and even things like the antimicrobial cleaners we use in our homes.
These beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, that live in your dogs gut, are key building blocks for overall health. And, as the majority of their immune system lives in the gut, keeping an abundance of good bacteria in the gut’s delicate microbiome can help strengthen their immune system.
Not only will a healthy immune system help protect against pathogens and ward off harmful bacteria, viruses, and everyday toxins, but it also helps prevent allergies, maintains a healthy weight, and improve the overall quality of their life.
How To Maintain Your Pet’s Gut Health
1) Nutrient-Dense Diet
Feed them a consistent, high-quality protein-rich diet.
You can read more on this in one of our recent blog posts – here.
These are live, good microorganisms that are found in some foods and supplements that can contribute to a healthy gut microbiome. The health benefits of probiotics;
- Aid in digestion
- Boost the immune system
- Prevent and manage diarrhoea
- Promote overall intestinal health
- Reduce inflammation
- Adds “good” bacteria
3) Avoid Antibiotics – If possible
Even a short course of antibiotics can have a big impact on the gut microbiome. Antibiotics are prescribed to kill bad bacteria that cause illness or infection, but they also kill good gut bacteria in the process.
4) Avoid Grains!
Grains such as corn, wheat, rice and barley have been linked with pet allergies, with symptoms ranging from upset stomachs to itchy and flaky coats. Compared to the average dry (kibble) and wet food, grain-free recipes typically contain more meat and easy-to-digest meat fats as quality protein sources.
You can read more on why it’s better to go ‘Grain-Free’ in one of our previous blog posts – here.
As always, if you have any concerns about your dog’s gut health, talk to your vet in the first instance.