It might surprise you, but dogs and humans aren’t all that different when it comes to gut health. Despite all the structural changes between human and canine digestion tracts, there are critical similarities that relate to the types of gut bacteria that, namely that both require a specific combination of gut bacteria to function healthily. It’s a critical part of healthy food digestion that in many ways, is also dependent on the type of food you and your dog will eat. With more than half of all dogs today classified as overweight, there is a clear problem with gut bacteria. As a result, dogs are experiencing deteriorated gut health that could not only cause them to look unhealthy but also shorten their lives.
What Does Diet Have to Do with Gut Health?
The population of bacteria in the gut is called the microbiome, and it has a major effect on the function of the entire body. The latest scientific research has revealed that there’s a tight relationship between the composition of your dog’s diet and the type of bacteria that lives in his gut. For example, diets high in protein have a different effect than diets that are high in fat or carbohydrates. This happens because the digestive system is a highly-complex machine that’s dependent upon millions of bacteria that protect the body from harmful pathogens. Because of this, the health and make-up of gut bacteria have a deep impact on health and the ability of the immune system to operate optimally. When a dog’s gut health is in its best, he will not only live longer, but his well-being during that time will be far better. With a bad diet and an unhealthy gut, your dog could be looking at several worrying outcomes, starting with constipation, exaggerated itching or paw-licking behaviors, and going as far as terminal illnesses. These include infections, diabetes and even cancer. Some of the most common preliminary symptoms include the following:
- Skin irritation/itching
- Increased allergic reactions
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Increased urination
- Bad behavior
If your dog is suffering from any of these, his gut bacteria may require adjustment.
How to Improve Your Dog’s Gut Health
More and more pet owners are coming to realize the major impact that gut bacteria have on their dog’s life and as a result, their own. Owners of dogs with gut problems may not suffer directly, but they’re the ones who will have to deal with health issues as they arise and treat their dog – which as we all know, is very costly. That’s why we should do everything in our power to help improve our best friend’s gut health. Thankfully, there have been more than a few researchers that dedicated a lot of resources to the subject, allowing pet nutritionists and veterinarians to come up with the ideal make-up of your dog’s diet.
The first step is to find out if there’s even an issue. The easiest way to this, without setting up an entire laboratory at your home is to take advantage of NomNomNow’s Insights Microbiome Kit. It includes everything needed to get a clear picture of the dog’s gut health by providing a detailed analysis of the bacteria in your pup’s gut. Doing so is simple enough, but it will require you to collect a feces sample and send it in for analysis. Results typically return within 2-5 weeks and include everything you need to know to make an informed decision.
If your dog has issues with gut bacteria, the best countermeasure is to improve his or her diet. Aside from NomNomNow, both Spot & Tango and The Farmer’s Dog offer human-grade ingredients and vet-approved recipes to ensure your dog’s gut health improves.