Similar to humans, hundreds of microorganisms reside in a dog’s digestive tract. These microbes together create a gut microbiome inside the body. This microbiome of your furry friend is responsible for weight, digestion, nutrient absorption, and even mental health.
Have you suddenly noticed your dog not eating properly? Or throwing tantrums? If yes, there are high chances of an unbalanced microbiome.
Any change in the microbiome can result in disorders including inflammatory bowel disease. To prevent this from happening, you need to focus on improving the gut health of your pet. Here's how you can do it.
Simple Ways to Improve Gut Health Of Dog
Follow these tips and improve the gut health, digestion, and regulate bowel movements of your dog. As a result, you will have a playful and happy best friend.
Choose Raw Food
If you are someone who doesn't believe in giving raw food to your dog, you can keep him away from necessary nutrients. This is one of the biggest factors in maintaining gut health.
Feeding raw food to your dog is a very nutritious move. However, you need to be a little cautious while choosing the type of raw food because it can be contaminated easily. The USFDA recommends as well as offers tips to prepare nutritious, raw food for dogs with safety.
Speaking more of raw food, a recent study found that 98.7% of dog owners who fed their dogs with raw food observed a health improvement. Of these owners, bones or raw food were provided as a part of the main meal to 16.2% of dogs.
Now, feeding raw food to your dog can get expensive. However, you can still reap benefits by supplementing your regular diet with a portion of raw food.
Probiotics are healthy microorganisms that reside in your dog’s gut and help indigestion. These convert fibre and plant-based sugars into vitamins and fatty acids to balance your dog’s biochemistry. In addition, these healthy microbes or probiotics can also ward off respiratory tract and urogenital infections.
Naturally, these are found in meats and yoghurts. However, you can get a lot of dog food supplements with probiotic content. Feeding these supplements makes it easy for your dog to avail all the healthy microbes it needs.
Include Fermented Foods
Fermented foods enhance the antioxidant content and build a healthy microbe colony in the gut of your dog. These foods are equipped with high quantities of live microorganisms that can improve the digestion of dogs. In addition, these foods also have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant effects.
A study found that fermented glasswort, gangway mugwort and turmeric showed a positive effect on enhancing the dog's immune system and extending their lifespan.
Say Yes to Prebiotics
Prebiotics, including fibre, helps in the growing microbe population residing in the gut of your dog. Although a lot of food has natural prebiotic content, adding prebiotic supplements to the diet can reduce inflammation and regulate bowel movements.
In addition to this, you need to be very cautious while adding prebiotics into the diet of your dog as these can also grow harmful bacteria in case bad bacteria exist in the dog’s stomach. So, the best you can do is gradually introduce a little quality of prebiotic in the diet and see how your dog reacts.
If you notice any unusual behaviour or irregular bowel movements, cut back immediately.
Use Herbs Instead of Dewormers
Tapeworm, whipworm, and parasites are common problems for dogs. Often, vets recommend dewormers as these get rid of worms effectively and quickly. However, a lot of dewormers contain harmful chemicals that can disrupt your dog’s health and digestion.
Owing to this issue, more and more vets today recommend the use of herbs to kill worms naturally. You can use the following:
- Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
- Oregon Grape
- Black Walnut
Avoid Unnecessary Vaccines
Research has found that core vaccines your dog get as a puppy are sufficient to protect them for seven to fifteen years - which is most of the dog’s life. Aside from these vaccines, any extra vaccination can lead to lethargy, digestive issues, allergies, and even untimely death.
Don't Feed Human Food
Yes, those puppy eyes must be very tempted looking at your plate, and you can give into it easily but wait!
This might be the hardest thing for you to do but letting your dog feed human food will create havoc on their digestion, stomach, and overall health. As per facts, dogs that only eat dog food live better with good body condition scores when compared to those eating human food.
Have a Look At Ingredients
Now, buying dog food doesn't necessarily mean that you pick up any food from the store. You need to look for food that contains high-quality ingredients to improve gut health. You need to look for:
- High meat protein
- Animal fat
These ingredients are known to improve the digestion of dogs. Hence, pay close attention to the label and ingredients on the list before putting it in your cart.
Today, more and more dog foods are going grain-free. Although dogs do not have a bad repo with grains yet it doesn't even contribute to better digestion. It has been found that some grains can cause allergies in dogs or lack the nutritional value that a higher protein dog food can offer.
The most important on the list is certainly this point. Dogs coping up with anxiety are frequently stressed and will manifest on chewing on things or licking their paws or acting destructively. Stress can not only do harm to their behaviour but it will also deteriorate gut health. An upset stomach can also cause anxiety and pain in dogs which can lead to a vicious cycle.
Making your furry friend happy and improving his digestion and gut health is something he will thank you for. It will not only improve his overall health but will also boost his immune system and regulate bowel movements. This will lead to a healthy and happy dog.