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Pet Wellness

Dog Gut Health: How To Improve Your Dog's Health

January 26, 2023 - 8 minute read by The Team at Dr. Harvey's

Hero Featured Image   Sick Dog Hero Featured Image   Sick Dog

A dog’s gut health is more important than pet parents may realize. The digestive system’s microbiome affects many parts of the canine body, like the immune system, brain, heart, dental and joint health.

When your dog’s stomach is out of balance it can affect their entire body.

Figuring out why your pup has digestive issues can be tricky, and sometimes you may not even know anything is wrong.

This is why Dr. Harvey's decided to create an easy-to-understand resource that explains how to spot symptoms and conditions of a bad gut and how to improve your dog’s gut health naturally.

How to Tell if Your Dog Has an Unhealthy Gut

Since a dog’s digestive system is similar to a human's, they also share some similar signs of an unhealthy gut.

Symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Gas and gurgling
  • Low energy levels
  • Joint pain
  • Bad breath
  • Changes in weight
  • Constant licking of the body
  • Poor sleep
  • Dull coat
  • Irritation of the ears and eyes
  • Behavioral problems
  • Itching
  • Yeast overgrowth
  • Food Sensitivities

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9 Ways to Improve Your Dog’s Gut Health

There are many ways you can improve your dog’s gut health without a lot of effort or changes to your buddy’s daily life.

We at Dr. Harvey’s encourage a species appropriate diet for your canine companion. This type of diet is the best way to ensure your dog’s superior gut health. These foods are all natural and contain no chemicals to cause an imbalance in the microbiome and encourage a healthy gut flora. All of Dr. Harvey’s foods help to maintain this balance and provide an exceptional diet to aid digestion and gut health.

1. Keep Your Dog Hydrated

A dog licking a person's hand

Adequate hydration is a simple way to improve gut health for dogs. Hydration levels affect the overall health of your companion and liquids help the digestion process run smoothly. Use fluid-filled foods and make sure water is available in easy-to-find places.

2. Choose Whole Foods

To improve and maintain gut health for your dog, you need to feed your furry friend quality food. The best dog food for gut health is made using whole ingredients that include the full nutritional value of each ingredient.

Think of it like this: If you only ate processed food, you’d start to feel sick—right? The same goes for your best friend A dog sitting in front of a bowl of food

3. Focus on Fiber and limit simple Carbohydrates for Pancreatitis

Fiber is important in any fur baby’s diet, as it keeps the entire digestive process moving. Luckily, dogs can get fiber easily from fruits and vegetables.

Finding the right amount of fiber is key to keeping your dog’s tummy happy. Too much fiber can actually hinder digestion and cause excess gas.

While many believe that fats cause pancreatitis, the truth is that simple carbohydrates like those found in dry kibble can trigger this serious condition. Limiting or eliminating simple carbs can reduce the chance of an attack of pancreatitis.

To find out what is right for your dog, please contact our team of experts.

4. Use Prebiotics and Probiotics

Like with humans, prebiotics and probiotics can vastly improve and maintain a dog’s gut health. Sometimes they get lumped together, but they are different.

Prebiotics are a food source for probiotics and good bacteria in the stomach, which helps increase the amount of good bacteria in the stomach. This decreases inflammation and improves bowel movements.

Probiotics are similar to the good bacteria in the stomach. When the bad bacteria overpower the good, gut problems occur. Using them as a supplement in your dog’s diet can help maintain your dog’s balance of good and bad stomach bacteria, leading to a healthy gut and a happy dog.

5. Pay Attention to Dog Food Ingredients

A bowl of food next to a book and a bowl of broccoli

Some pet parents can’t make their companion’s meals from scratch, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for unhealthy processed food. Instead, get in the habit of examining the ingredients listed in the nutritional information on the bag or can of dog food you buy. Many ingredients in popular branded food can cause a variety of stomach problems.

Look for dog food made with whole food ingredients. As with all of Dr. Harvey’s foods, our Canine Health Miracle Dog Food is made with nine vegetables and 6 organic grains that have been preserved through dehydration instead of chemical preservatives.

6. Look for Food Allergies or Intolerances

A simple solution to your fur baby’s stomach problems may be that they’re allergic to something they’re eating. Not only will that make them feel unwell, but it’ll also cause inflammation in the gut, which can cause a variety of problems.

If you suspect your fur baby has an allergy or intolerance, start by removing or replacing ingredients in your dog’s meal one by one. Make notes of how your dog feels after.

Go slow. Large changes in diet can also cause stomach problems.

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7. Try Fermented Foods and Supportive Supplements

Fermented foods are a good source of antioxidants and can help boost good bacteria in your buddy’s stomach. They can even help improve the immune system and digestive process.

Many dogs find kefir, plain yogurt, cottage cheese and raw goat’s milk tasty. Beneficial herbs to promote good gut health are turmeric, ginger, slippery elm, pumpkin, bentonite clay, apple pectin and marshmallow root. Dr. Harvey’s Runs be Done supplement can be a lifesaver when it comes to good dog gut health.

8. Avoid Unnecessary Vaccines and Antibiotics

It’s been found that core vaccines can last up to three years and that many of the vaccines dogs receive are for diseases they’re not likely to get. Excessive vaccination can make your canine companion feel sick and cause havoc in their digestive system.

Talk to your holistic veterinarian about what a proper vaccine schedule should look like and what vaccines are necessary for your fur baby.

The overuse of antibiotics and other drugs will wipe out all the good and bad bacteria in the stomach, which can cause prolonged stomach upset.

When antibiotics are necessary, add probiotics to your companion's diet to reduce any negative side effects.

9. Reduce Stress

Both humans and dogs alike feel better when they’re living stress free. It’s often been discussed how the human brain and stomach are connected—the same goes for dogs too. Anxiety and stress create cortisol, which can cause stomach problems, which, in turn, can cause more stress, perpetuating the cycle.

Help your dog destress through walks and play. Minimize any triggers they’re especially sensitive to, which you can do by creating a safe space for them to go to when they’re feeling overwhelmed.

A person holding a dog

If they seem particularly stressed, spend some time doing the things that help them relax to encourage them to feel safe. In addition, certain herbs found in Dr. Harvey’s Relax supplement can be beneficial for your pet exhibiting anxiety or stress.

Try Dr. Harvey’s All Natural Food Today!

Dr. Harvey’s offers a variety of foods and supplements that can help your canine companion be their healthiest. If you have any dog gut health questions, contact our team of nutritionists. They are always available and happy to help.

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Over the years, Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health has helped thousands of dogs with digestive issues – including diarrhea, constipation, and gas. And Canine Health can help your beloved companion, too!

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See the difference in your dog!

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Enough for several meals.