How an investment in your dog’s gut health saves you time and money, and keeps your dog happy!
Date Posted:17 December 2018
Your dog’s gut is just one of many systems in their body. So maybe you’re wondering: why is gut health so important? Is it more important than taking care of the skin and muscles, for example? Or, more important than healthy bones or a healthy brain?
The answer, of course, is that all of those body systems are important. But, there is a good reason to focus on the gut first…
That’s because what happens in the gut has a profound effect on all the other systems of the body.
For example, 70% of the body’s immune system is located in the gut. That means that the gut (particularly the small and large intestines) is crucial to maintaining a healthy immune system, avoiding infections, and decreasing inflammation in the body.
Beyond that, the gut is also the place from where the rest of the body gets the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that it needs in order to function. The muscles need protein from the food that is digested in the gut. The blood and organs need certain vitamins and minerals. And the bones need calcium.
If digestion isn’t efficient, then your dog might be missing out on some of those vital nutrients - even if you’re feeding the best dog food in the world, your dog will need to have a healthy gut in order to get the benefits of that food.
And of course, digestive health is also a big factor in terms of quality of life. Frequent upset stomach or diarrhoea is no fun for you or your dog.
For all of these reasons, and more, an investment in your dog’s gut health is a smart and efficient investment in their overall health.
This means that, for otherwise healthy dogs, keeping the gut healthy could potentially limit the amount of other health problems that pop up from time to time. This can save time and money on medical expenses - but more importantly, keep your four-legged pal happy and enjoying their favourite activities with you, whether that’s a day out at the park, or curled up next to you on the couch while you watch your favourite movie on a lazy weekend.
Here are a few of the ways that caring for your dog’s gut health can keep both of you happy…
Your dog may eat less (and poop less) without feeling hungry
We’ve heard from some owners using a probiotic dog food, who feed their dogs 30% less food when digestion is efficient. (If you’re wondering what a probiotic dog food is, don’t worry, we’ll cover that soon.)
One important thing to note here: the owners were not denying their dogs any food. The dogs just ate less because they felt full.
This is good for several reasons. First of all, it means you’ll spend less money on dog food over time…
Second of all, it means your dog’s stools will be smaller, and easier to pick up (and likely less smelly, too). That’s because since they’re eating less, and processing the food more efficiently, there’s literally less waste to clean up.
One more added benefit is that this makes it easier for your dog to maintain their ideal weight, and gives them a better chance of avoiding some of the health problems that come with obesity.
Less lawn issues, such as “grass burn”
Anything that goes into the body can affect the acidity of the urine. So when you feed a nutritionally complete and balanced food, combined with the right supplements for digestive health, you’re likely to see urine that doesn’t have such a devastating effect on your lawn
You can save time and money maintaining your lawn when you don’t have to worry about “grass burn.” Also, any “accidents” inside the house are likely to have less odor, and do less damage.
Keep your dog (and wallet) happy by improving your pet’s whole body health
Of course, good gut health can’t guarantee that your dog will never develop any health problems. But, it can certainly help in a lot of ways.
And one of the best ways to maintain gut health is by giving your dog a probiotic.
A probiotic is a supplement that provides “beneficial” bacteria to the gut. These bacteria help to maintain good digestion, a healthy immune system, and better overall health.
Here are just a few of the ways your dog could benefit from a probiotic…
- Digestive health. If your dog is prone to upset tummy or diarrhoea that occurs with sensitive stomach, stress, or other reasons, they’re likely a good candidate for probiotics. Sometimes, a probiotic alone is enough to get rid of their symptoms. This means a happier dog, and less vet visits for you.
- Dental health and better smelling breath. Of course, you’ll still need to take care of your dog’s teeth. But, often a probiotic can improve the balance of bacteria, and make your dog less prone to infections and bad breath. Plus, since part of your dog’s breath odor comes from the digestive tract, a healthy stomach can help to keep their breath smelling fresher longer.
- Anal glands. With healthy digestion and normal stools, it’s easier for your dog to express their anal glands naturally. That means the glands are less likely to get backed up. If your dog needs their glands to be expressed often, you might notice an improvement once they’re on a good quality probiotic.
- Skin allergies and skin health. Food allergies - which have terrible effects on the skin, such as redness, itchiness, rashes, sores, infections, dander, and dull coats - can often be minimized through probiotics and their beneficial effects on the gut. For some dogs, keeping the gut healthy can really help to decrease the inflammation and negative effects that come with food allergies and food sensitivities.
If your dog suffers from allergies or food sensitivities, probiotics are definitely worth a try. Imagine seeing your dog’s symptoms decrease, with a healthier skin and coat. This means less discomfort for your pal, and less medical treatments needed. It is possible, and it’s a win-win for you and your dog. In fact, a probiotic dog food may be one of the best foods for dogs with skin allergies.
- Immune health. Since 70% of the body’s immune cells reside in the gut, it plays a crucial role in keeping your pet healthy. Keeping the gut in good health could thus decrease your dog’s risk of getting an infection.
- Weight and overall health. Efficient digestion of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals can help your dog get the nutrition they need for healthy muscles and a healthy body, without them feeling hungry or wanting to overeat.
Probiotics may be the only supplement your dog will need
Since gut health affects the rest of the body, you may find less of a need for other supplements.
For example, if your dog maintains a healthy weight, it could mean they don’t get arthritis until a later age - and might not need to start joint supplements or pain medications until later in life.
Also, when you feed a good quality food along with a probiotic to help with digestion, you typically won’t need any vitamins or nutritional supplements for your dog - they’ll get everything they need right from the food.
For that reason, probiotics are a good power-packed supplement, that could save you money by helping with your dog’s overall health.
How to give your dog a probiotic
Consider using a probiotic dog food!
Probiotics are most effective when given daily. So when they’re already included in your dog’s food, it’s one less thing for you to put on your to-do list.
There’s no having to figure out the right dose for your dog. You’re already feeding them according to their weight - so, they’ll automatically get the right amount of probiotics along with their daily meals.
We look forward to helping your dog maintain great health - so they can keep enjoying all their favorite activities for many years to come!
Are you considering getting your first dog?
Proudly sponsored by Aussie Dog Food.
Check out the lucky winners from Dog Lovers Show 2017!
A guide to Guide Dogs.
Try these healthy homemade dog treats!