Your pet is an important member of your human family. You feed them well, walk them, make sure that they have fresh water everyday and a warm place to sleep, give them plenty of deserved attention and in return, they give you their unconditional love. But have you ever considered their gut health and the importance that this has on their overall health and wellbeing?
Chances are you are familiar with your pets digestive system, what upsets their tummies and is eventually delivered on your back lawn tells that POOch’s story. But have you gone the step further to really understand the “ins and outs” of your pets digestive system? Because gut health is just as important in our pets as it is in ourselves and modern day research has shown us that our gut health is the foundation of general wellness. Poor gut health can be linked to allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, skin irritations, fatigue, anxiety, cancer, and more.
More than 80% of the immune system lives in the gut and is responsible for preventing toxins and bacteria from entering the bloodstream. It’s also responsible for ensuring that your pet digests and absorbs valuable nutrients to prevent them from getting sick.
Microbiome is essentially the gut’s ecosystem. These are bugs in the gut that form a diverse ecosystem of friendly bacteria that must be in balance for your pet to achieve optimum health. This includes bacteria, virus and fungus. This is where we focus on good bacteria - prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics.
Prebiotics are types of dietary fibre that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut that are found in foods including (but not limited to) certain fruit and vegetables, flaxseeds, and some fermented foods. Prebiotics help the gut bacteria produce nutrients for your pet’s colon cells. It reduces inflammation and regulates bowel movements.
Probiotics are live, good, friendly bacteria that reside in the gut and promote balance in the intestines. Probiotics are responsible for increasing and maintaining the “good” bacteria in the gut. They can help to protect the gut mucosa, preventing gut inflammation, leaky gut and other intestinal or systemic disease problems. Good bacteria can also attach to the cells and release substances that help prevent bad bacteria from increasing. Too many of the wrong bacteria, parasites and yeasts can create a poor digestive ecosystem and lead to problematic symptoms creeping in such as bloating, gas, diarrhoea, itching, yeast infections, food intolerances, leaky gut and at times immune problems where disease starts to present.
A healthy and balanced microbiome supports your pets overall health and vitality. It proves to improve bone and joint health, easing stress, maintaining energy levels, soothing tummy problems, supporting healthy weight and improving immune function. It’s clear that the beneficial bacteria in your pet’s microbiome work overtime to keep them healthy and strong.
It’s also important to know that there are many external influences, sometimes out of our control, that can impact your pets microbiome making them feel out of whack. These can include vaccinations, stress, the ageing process, antibiotics, inappropriate foods and environmental contaminants.
However, there are certainly things that we as pet owners are able to do to support happy family pets. This of course includes feeding them a raw food diet that maintains ethical standards. Be sure to always pay attention to ingredients and always discard any raw foods that are not of high quality. We can also reduce stress where possible. Dogs who are stressed will often act out but stress not only affects their behaviour but also their gut health. Upset stomach can also cause pain and anxiety, creating a vicious cycle for your furry friend.
Understanding your pets digestion is the most valuable gift that you can give them. At Bella and Boots we pride ourselves on only including proven ingredients that improve and support your pets overall nutrition and gut health. We use the perfect formulation in our blends that contain organic ingredients including pro and prebiotics, green leafy matter, fermented foods and wild and organic cuts of meat.