Everyone knows that dogs are a man’s best friend. For many of us they are true members of the family and we want to do anything we can to make them as happy as they make us.
Unfortunately, although we have the best intentions, sometimes our attempts to make them happy may not be the best choices to keep them healthy.
This is common when it comes to feeding companion animals. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy to provide our dogs with tasty food, plenty of treats and the occasional human food too. So, while you are hopefully not actually feeding your dog Twinkies, you may be providing them with food that isn’t necessarily optimizing their intestinal tract and immune system.
The good news is, there is no time like the present to make a change for the better!
How Can I Improve My Dog’s Gut Health?
Obesity is an increasing problem among companion animals in the United States. Interestingly, there is a correlation between dog gut health and obesity, as well as a number of other medical conditions.
A recent study showed that dogs who ate high protein and low carbohydrate diets had an improved gut microbiome, with less imbalance. Further, this study showed that obese animals actually had a greater response to diet intervention than their lean counterparts, which gives us hope that it is possible to make a positive impact through a change in diet (1).
While we now know the dog’s gut microbiome can be altered by the type of diet they are eating, one of the best ways to ensure your furry friend has a happy digestive system is through the use of probiotics for dogs.
Prebiotics and probiotics for dogs are utilized to provide the animal with good bacteria strains that can then live in the GI tract and aid in proper digestion, among other benefits.
Additionally, probiotic supplements for dogs can be provided when antibiotics are being utilized in order to protect the beneficial gut bacteria and ensure that the infection-causing bad bacteria are the only ones wiped out.
Beyond obesity alone, an optimized gut promotes your dog’s overall gastrointestinal health and is helpful in preventing metabolic diseases, cancer, and neurological dysfunction in dogs (2).
What is a Good Probiotic for a Dog?
Gut microbiome research in animals is still limited, however, in humans, an imbalanced gut microbiome can lead to issues such as cardiovascular disease, immune disorders, and liver and brain diseases (1).
While there is still plenty of research to be done in regards to the gut microbiome in companion animals like dogs and cats, evidence is clear that proper gut health (and loads of beneficial bacteria!) is integral to your dog’s overall health.
So, next time, rather than treating Fido to a Twinkie when he’s being an extra good boy, consider providing him with the best probiotics for dogs and rest easy knowing you’re contributing to a long healthy life for your best friend.