Having an adorable puppy or a full-grown canine is not just about the playtimes and snuggles. It is a greater responsibility where you have to take care of them inside-out and that includes their gut as well.
What’s in the gut?
A healthy gut results in a healthy dog. Scientific studies show that a well-functioning digestive system supports a strong immune system not only in your pups but kitties as well. This gives your furry pals an edge when it comes to fighting several illnesses and diseases. It also improves their overall quality of life and helps them live longer.
Now, before we dive into the steps you can take to keep your pet’s digestive health at its best, let’s look at some of the key functions that occur within the gut.
Absorption of nutrients:
Just like us, the main organ that helps our fur buddies absorb carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals is their main intestine. It’s also where the process of digestion and absorption of protein is completed.
The gut microflora – or ‘beneficial’ bacteria – inhabiting the gastrointestinal track of canines plays a key role in a healthy and functioning immune system. Together with immune response cells, they help fight off ‘bad’ molecules or foreign bodies. However, if they start reacting to elements they are designed to normally tolerate such as food, your dog can develop an intolerance. This can lead them to suffer from diarrhea, discomfort, and an irritable stomach. Dietary intake of probiotics can restore the balance and greatly enhance the growth of a helpful microbiome within the stomach to treat and prevent such issues.
A balanced presence of good bacteria — prebiotics, probiotics, and symbiotic has a direct correlation with your pet’s nervous system. It helps reduce the secretion of cortisol and boost the production of neurotransmitters, serotonin — which is mostly produced in the intestine — and Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA). This provides your canine with a relaxed and happy state of being while relieving anxiety and stress.
Here are 5 steps through which you can maintain optimum gut health of your fur babies.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet
A diet rich in fiber and nutrients is ideal for your dog while sugar, processed food, and other items that do not belong to their natural diet are best avoided. Certain treats can be highly loaded with preservatives which can prove to be harmful for your fur baby in the long run.
Some glucose-rich food, such as candy, can cause diabetes and other health disorders. It is always advisable to feed them fresh food. It is easy to cook a meaty meal with some dog-friendly vegetables that your pet will enjoy.
Many pet parents also vouch for a raw meat diet that helps their canine babies to develop an enhanced resistance towards microbes. With your vet’s suggestion, you can also add healthy dietary supplements to their food to make up for the missing minerals
- Treat Infections
Gut infections are more common in animals that have a primary diet of processed food. Yeast and SIBO are also general occurrences. It is important to treat such inflammations as soon as possible and prevent it from future incidences. However, this can be avoided completely through a healthy diet and friendly flora supplements that promote gut health. Regular de-worming at periodic intervals and a check on bugs can also lower the risks of intestinal issues.
- Heal the Stomach
Certain illnesses can cause trauma to the inner lining of the stomach and affect the overall health of the fur baby. Under such circumstances, it is vital to heal the stomach and restore it to its former state. Slippery Elm, De-Glycerides Liquorice, Glutamine, and N-Acetyl Glucosamine can aid in soothing and healing stomach irritations, while HCL, Pepsin, and healthy enzymes will restore the balance in the internal lining of the stomach. Functional treats such as Digestive BitesTM from Pet Natural Remedy can facilitate the production of digestive enzymes and improve the gut health of your pet.
- Befriend the ‘Friendly’ Bacteria
As we discussed above, millions of micro-organisms living in canine guts are responsible for a host of physiological functions. The key to ensuring healthy microfloral balance and prevention of stomach related issues is to promote the growth of such healthy bacteria in your dog’s gut. Adding probiotics to a fur pals’ diet has shown to boost the growth of healthy microbes as compared to those who were not.
- Help Them Stay Active
A healthy dog will love to play and a playful dog will remain healthy. In other words, ample exercise and playtime allows your paw pal to effectively digest their meals and eliminate waste. It also helps them release their pent up energy and relaxes them, which will eventually reduce their stress levels.
Mental stimulation and interaction also release happy hormones and help your canine to feel less stressed. Low stress levels are directly associated with optimum absorption of nourishment from food. It also prevents indigestion and mal-absorption of nutrients in your puppy. Something as simple as a daily morning walk can work wonders for the gut health of your dog and help in efficiently managing unwanted weight gain.
Every responsible pet parent aspires to provide the best for their furry pets. Nonetheless, sometimes, it becomes undeniably difficult to analyze and decide the best care that our loyal buddies require. A quick consultation with a vet alongside regular check-ups and grooming can greatly help to enhance the lifespan of your four-legged friends. A small step towards providing the correct conditioning can make a big difference in its life.