Good gut health is imperative to your four-legged friend’s overall health.
After all, a dog’s immune system, or “gut” (stomach, colon and intestines), is responsible for preventing toxins and bad bacteria from entering the bloodstream, as well as making sure that valuable nutrients from the food they eat is properly absorbed.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are nutrients that help to balance out the live bacteria in your dog’s intestines and keep their gut healthy. All people and animals have bacteria living in their digestive tract; and while some of it is good bacteria, and some of it not so good, probiotics work to ensure there is enough good bacteria in there to keep a healthy balance.
Are probiotics necessary to keep your pooch fighting fit?
Here we look at the benefits of giving your dog probiotics regularly:
Improved skin and hair
This is more of an ancillary benefit rather than a direct one, but taking probiotics can give your dog a healthier and shinier looking coat.
By improving the bacterial balance in the gut, your dog’s entire body will benefit.
Your dog will be less prone to disease and skin problems, and that will translate to a nicer looking coat and healthier skin. Many skin and hair problems that dogs face are a direct result of digestive and nutritional issues, and much of that is prevented using probiotics.
Reduces mood disorders
If you have noticed your dog being moody and not feeling like itself recently, then you may want to consider using probiotics as a treatment.
Many times, changes in mood and odd behaviors are a result of poor nutrition and digestive issues. If your dog isn’t feeling well because of stomach problems, then it likely won’t act like itself. Your dog will be more irritable or less likely to want to play and be active when its stomach is churning and tied up in knots. Probiotics can take care of a lot of that and provide a simple solution to this complex problem.
Boosts the immune system
A gut imbalance means that your dog’s immune system is busy fighting all sorts of digestive bacteria all the time. In other words, it is too busy to fend off smaller attacks like those from microorganisms that cause infection. So with an imbalance of bacteria in the gut, your pup will be sick more often.
It is important to remember that regular deworming of your pet (monthly flea treatment preventives such as Bravecto chews also contain a dewormer) can cause disruption of the normal bacterial environment.
If you choose to give your dog probiotics for this reason, bacteria levels will even out and normalize. Your pooch will be healthier because its immune system will be stronger, able to fight off colds, sinus infections, allergy symptoms and most minor problems. Your dog will also be healthier and less prone to infection and disease, living a longer, fuller life.
Prevents and decreases most gastrointestinal issues
Dogs with a poor gut balance tend to suffer from all sorts of digestive problems. Their colon, stomach and other digestive components can be infested with bad bacteria and prone to infection. This can cause bloating, gas, constipation, indigestion, nausea and other problems related to digestion. Once treated however, the gut balance will restore the digestive system and your dog will feel a whole lot better.
Taking probiotics not only prevents a lot of these kinds of issues, but it also decreases their potency. In other words, if your dog is already suffering from gastrointestinal problems, then it will start to have less severe symptoms after taking probiotics.
Improves bone health
When your dog’s bacteria levels are off kilter, their immune system has to fight to preserve and draw out nutrients. In other words, a lot of the nutritional value from the food your dog eats will be lost because the dog’s body is working so hard to try to use those minerals simply to stay in decent shape. The body will also be unable to absorb and retain minerals very well while it’s struggling with an unhealthy gut balance.
Once your dog starts taking probiotics however, gut balance will improve and more minerals and nutrients can be absorbed from the food your dog eats. Your dog will get more out of its food, and its bones will be healthier as a result. By absorbing more minerals and nutrients, the bone density will increase, and your dog will enjoy stronger, healthier bones that last longer and provide it with more support. This prevents the onset of osteoporosis later in life and prevents a lot of different bone diseases.
Consult your veterinarian if you are considering probiotics
.These are just a few of the different benefits that come from giving your dog probiotics. But before you make any major nutritional change to your dog’s diet, especially if your dog is in poor health, you should consult your veterinarian.
Probiotics can have a powerfully beneficial effect, and you should notice a series of short-term and long-term positive effects from introducing probiotics into your dog;’ diet. Most dogs can handle these supplements quite well and should not experience much in the way of side effects, but it is always worth consulting your veterinarian first.
About the author
Ron Wolf is a content editor at pupjunkies.com – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous dogs who are fuelled by nature.