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A Healthy Gut = A Healthier Dog

November 18, 2022 2 min read

A Healthy Gut = A Healthier Dog

What Is The Gut?

When we talk about the ‘gut’ we really mean the ‘intestines’ which sit between the stomach and the bowels.

What Does The Gut Do?

In the simplest of terms, the gut is responsible for breaking down food, absorbing its nutrients into the bloodstream so they get to where they are needed in our dog’s body, and then solidifying waste.

The gut consists of colonies of micro-organisms, each having a different job. These colonies work to break the food down. We refer to this collection of colonies as the ‘gut microbiome’.

A dog with a healthy microbiome has a balanced system of good bacteria that break down the food, whilst keeping the bad bacteria in under control.

Your dog’s microbiome is unique, and it effects all aspects of their body, both inside and outside. It is a complex relationship that is dependent on things such as their diet, environment, genetics and stress.

Why Is The Gut So Important?

A dog’s gut health isn’t just about good digestion, it’s essential for their overall health.

The gut’s microbiome is important for supporting many of a dog’s internal systems and effecting core health such as:

  • supporting and regulating a healthy immune system.
  • reducing stress, anxiety, and aggression.
  • absorption of vitamins and nutrients.
  • decreasing food intolerances.
  • helping to regulate brain functions.
  • decreasing pathogens that can produce disease.
  • aiding digestion.
  • manufacturing vital vitamins along with the liver.
  • balancing glucose levels.
  • supporting anti-inflammatory proteins.
  • supporting oral health.

Let’s look at some of those in more detail:

The gut is hugely important for supporting healthy immune function, as up to 70% of a dogs immune system is based in their gut. The gut wall provides a barrier that when functioning properly, prevents viruses, fungi and ‘bad’ bacteria from entering the bloodstream. So, when a dog eats it is feeding billions of gut bacteria too, and the food it eats impacts which bacteria do well and which die off. 

Research shows that gut health has a massive impact on mental health byreducing stress and anxiety. A calmer happier dog is much less likely to have issues with aggression too.

A healthy gut communicates with the brain through the neural network and by using hormones.

The gut is often referred to as the ‘second brain’ with its own nervous system.

Our dog’s food not only has to contain all the correct ingredients, but they also need to easily break down in order to be effectively absorbed.

When the gut is working perfectly and our dog is getting the correct balance of nutrients it decreases the risk of allergies and food intolerances.

Why Great Dog Food is Essential for Good Gut Health?

The gut is a complex and hostile environment which has to be kept in a delicate balance.

Critical to achieving and retaining good gut health is feeding the correct nutritionally complete diet.

This, along with giving our dog plenty of quality exercise, and allowing them the time to rest and sleep will optimise the process of nutrient absorption, and therefore their overall health and wellbeing.

Great dog food like Walker & Drake contains the perfect balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to achieve this.

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