Dog Gut Health: A Simple Guide | Pupford
May 5th, 2023
Filed under Health + Wellness
Let’s talk about poop... and dog gut health.
All dogs do it, and paying more attention to it might be more useful than you realize (Yes, we have a point, getting to it!).
Poop = digestion and digestion = an important indicator of our dog's gut health.
Today we’re going to talk a little bit more about this so you can really understand what goes on in your dog’s digestive tract -- and how to help it function at its best.
Speaking of dog poop: PSA - don’t be those dog parents. While your dog’s doing his business is totally natural, it doesn’t mean it should be a part of other people’s lives. Pick up your dog’s poop and dispose of in either a provided bin or a proper garbage can.
Make sure “I don’t have a baggy” is never a reason for leaving your dog’s poop again with this 10-pack of strong, biodegradable poop bag rolls. That’s 150 bags -- enough to make sure all your dog parent friends are stocked up too! .
Back on track to today’s topic.
Let’s get started by diving a little deeper into what actually goes on inside your dog’s cut.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR DOG'S INTESTINAL MIROBIOME (aka, The Gut)
To understand how to best keep your dog healthy, a basic understanding of the microbiome is so important.
For this purpose, we’re going to give a high-level overview, but if you want a full and in-depth explanation of your dog’s microbiome, check out !
And for an in-depth interview with a microbiome expert, !
When we refer to the microbiome, we’re talking about the environment of your dog’s digestive tract that’s made up of bacteria, archaea, viruses, and eukaryotic organisms. All of these organisms work together in a symbiotic relationship, meaning they all work to benefit themselves and their host (AKA your dog).
Your dog’s microbiome is mainly responsible for controlling digestion, inflammatory responses, and immune system -- so it’s pretty important!
THE GUT AS THE KEY TO DOG HEALTH
Since the gut interacts with so many different parts of the body, it can be considered the “key to health” for your dog. So many health issues from joint inflammation to depressed mood can be linked back to the gut -- sounds crazy, right?
But if you really think about it, it makes perfect sense. The gut microbiome contributes to metabolism, protects against pathogens, aids the immune system... and really aids in all physiologic functions of the body.
A healthy microbiome is symbiotic and works on keeping a balance within the body. For example, it simultaneously works as an anti-inflammatory while also making sure the body is prepared with an inflammatory response in case of infection.
That’s why other areas of your dog’s body like joints, brain, mood, etc. are all impacted by whether or not the gut microbiome is in balance.
For improved gut health, check out a supplement like and . These supplements work to improve your dog's overall health, for a happier and healthier pup.
INDICATORS OF GUT HEALTH
So all of this information is well and good, but how do you tell if your dog’s gut is balanced?
While we wish we had a more glamorous answer, a big part of it really does come down to learning about your dog’s bowel movements, gas patterns, and all that good stuff.
If you notice that your dog has more gas than normal, goes to the bathroom more or less frequently than usual, or burps with bad breath, it may be a sign of digestive distress.
You’ll also want to pay attention to energy levels, signs of joint pain, and overall mood.
If any of these things seem to differ from normal and you can’t pinpoint any diet changes, bring your dog to visit the vet to see what’s causing their gut issues.
5 WAYS TO IMPROVE DOG GUT HEALTH AND DIGESTION
So whether your dog’s digestion has been a little off lately, or you’re ensuring that all body systems are working their best, there are a handful of ways you can improve your dog’s gut health and digestion.
INSPECT THEIR POOP
You’re likely picking up their poop anyway (or do we need to have the poop bag talk again?), so you’re probably familiar with their baseline whether you realize it or not. You’ll want to look for changes in color, texture, size, and to correlate it back to changes in diet or habit.
INLUDE FIBER IN THEIR DIET
Fiber is an important nutrient for keeping digestion in check. Dogs can get the fiber they need from vegetables, , and certain whole grains. Just be mindful of portions, as too much fiber isn’t good for digestion either.
MAKE TRANSITIONS SLOWLY OVER TIME
New supplements, foods, and treats, should be introduced slowly and phased in. Microflora and mucins that line the gut change when new things are introduced, and changing too quickly can disrupt the gut. Even if the change is good, disrupting too quickly isn’t a good thing, so gradual transitions are best.
ADD DIGESTIVE ENZYMES AND PROBIOTICS
Supplements containing key probiotics and digestive enzymes can do wonders for balancing the gut and improving digestion. We’ve recently introduced the supplement, which (among other things) has science-backed ingredients selected for optimal gut health. It was formulated by Dr. Greg Sunvold, Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences.
Which brings us to our last tip…
LISTEN TO EXPERTS
The internet is full of a ton of information about gut health, but unfortunately, not all of it is reliable. Make sure you get your information from a veterinarian or a trustworthy source of peer-reviewed data.
To get you started on your research, we sat down with Dr. Greg Sunvold, Ph.D. to talk about all things doggy gut health.
You can !
Dr. Greg Sunvold also helped us create a course in Pupford Academy ALL about the microbiome. Learn about probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics, the effect that fiber plays on your dog, and how to choose microbiome-friendly foods and supplements for your dog. .
GUT HEALTH RECAP
To recap, our dog's gut health can be a huge indicator of their overall health. Be sure to keep an eye out for major changes in your dog's poops and gas, as it might tip you off to gut health problems.
We hope this helped you learn a little more about the role your dog’s gut and digestive system plays in their overall health, and ways to keep them happy and healthy!
If you're looking to significantly improve your dog's gut health, be sure to check out Super Pup! . And check out Gut Health + Immunity Supplement for Puppies. .