Today we live in a world that industrialized our food supply. Our food became highly processed, high in sugar, low in fibre, which significantly altered our beneficial gut bacteria – the microbiome of the gut.
The microorganisms of the microbiome play a vital role in many physiological
functions – it control harmful bacteria (pathogens), support gut health and the immune system, produce vitamins and short chain fatty acids, to name just a few.
It is clear from ongoing research that the composition of microorganisms in the gut plays an important role in health and disease prevention. This is interesting, because your dog’s gut wall houses 70- 80% of the cells that makes up its immune system. Therefore, any disruption caused to the gut microbiome will implicate a disruption of the immune system, which may have dreadful consequences.
Studies in humans have demonstrated an association between gut microorganisms and health conditions, including obesity, allergies, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autism, autoimmune diseases, mood disorder, cancer, and any more. Many diseases outwardly unrelated are actually caused by an unhealthy gut microbiome. Likewise, studies done in dogs and cats suggest that many health issues often observed in today’s pets, such as oral disease, gastrointestinal diseases, skin and urinary tract problems, and bacterial infections, are all closely linked to changes in the gut microbiome.
As seen in humans, the majority of health issues are caused by environmental causes, with the most prevalent being an inappropriate diet.
HOW DO I KEEP MY DOG’S MICROBIOME HEALTHY?
Any population in the world thrives when living conditions are favourable; food must be available, and the environment must be safe.
Your dog’s microbiome population of microorganisms is not different in this aspect. The biggest threat to the microbiome is antibiotic use.
Antibiotics are “blind” and “trigger happy”, and will destroy all bacteria within its ability to do so, including the bad and good bacteria. Hence, antibiotics should always be prescribed and used in a justified and responsible manner. In the event of antibiotic usage, the pet owner should remember to implement “damage control measures” to reduce the amount of casualties caused to the microbiome by providing your pet with foods and supplements that nourish the microorganisms of the gut. For this purpose the best option is to feed a nutritionally balanced, species appropriate, fresh food diet. A study conducted and published by Sandri et al. (2016) suggested that raw diets promote a more balanced growth of gut microorganism populations in conjunctions with a positive change in healthy gut function.
WHAT SUPPLEMENTS MAY BE BENEFICIAL TO MY DOG’S MICROBIOME?
- Fermented vegetables added to your dog’s food is an excellent way to feed its gut microbiome.
- Probiotic supplements may assist in restoring the gut microbiome after drug therapy or during stressful times. Goat milk kefir is an excellent natural choice loaded with both prebiotics and beneficial probiotic cultures which may be used on a regular basis.
- Digestive enzymes as a supplement, also very beneficial to promote healthy digestion. Good quality digestive enzymes for your dog should be animal-derived and can be found in raw green tripe and organs rich in digestive enzymes, like the pancreas.
Good health starts in the gut. We are what we eat, and what we feed in our lives will grow strong! Your gut is home to a“ flower garden” of good and beneficial microorganisms. Remember to water and fertilize your “gut garden” to enable it to blossom in good health! Pawsome Raw is the perfect start to a good healthy gut for your pet!
Sandri, Misa, et al. “Raw meat based diet influences faecal microbiome and end products of fermentation in healthy dogs.” BMC veterinary research 13.1 (2016): 65.
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