A happy pup starts with a happy gut! Just like humans, pets need healthy gut flora to support their overall well-being, decrease anxiety & maintain a healthy immune response. We caught up with our in-house Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Laurie Johnson, to get the low-down on why digestion matters.
Why does digestion matter?
Poor gut health = poor global health = weak immune system
The immune system of the gut is based on the health of the microbiome (microorganisms of the gastrointestinal tract/GIT)
Leaky gut is a thing! Chronic GIT inflammation can lead to a host of problems you wouldn’t expect.
Healthy inside = healthy outside!
What do you think most dog parents don’t know, but should know about or should be concerned about in terms of digestion?
- The domestic dog ≠ a wolf and their needs are different
- Immune system starts in the gut
- The food that a dog eats can affect the intestinal microbiome negatively or positively
- Intestinal parasites, bad bacteria, viruses, and some medications (esp. antibiotic, steroids, antacids) can further weaken the microbiome.
What are the main factors that affect digestion? Is it diet, genetics, lifestyle etc.?
While it’s safe to say that diet, lifestyle, and environment play a role in digestion, the following are important questions to consider.
- Diet- Is the diet appropriate for the dog’s individual needs?
- Digestive strength - Is the dog able to assimilate the nutrients in the food?
- How might a dog’s digestive needs change over time as they age?
What Dandy treats help with digestion? And how do they help?
- Happy belly - Pre and probiotics plus digestive herbs can get your pup back on track
- Shine boost - Omega 3 fatty acids can tame inflammation in the gut
- B complex - Restore B-vitamins lost with chronic GIT inflammation
- Chill Pill - Skullcap & chamomile address anxiety and stress to benefit digestion
- Immunity blend - 4 different mushrooms come together to boost the immune system for stronger gut health
Any last tips?
- Address stress and anxiety for better digestion (see our Anxiety story!)
- If your dog eats too fast, use a slow feeding bowl or food toy. Savour not devour!
- Make sure water and food bowls or storage containers are clean and fresh
- Talk to your integrative vet about what foods are best for your pup based on their individual needs.