Pet Talk: Trust the Gut (Health)

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Gut health is a hot topic these days. From humans to pets, we’re hearing a lot about the importance of maintaining a healthy level of gut bacteria for digestion and optimal health. What we’re finding is that the bacteria needed in all our large intestines is much more important than originally thought. 

Studies are showing that a healthy balance of “good” gut bacteria makes up the gut micro biome and is crucial not only to digestion and nutrient absorption, but for immune support, metabolism, vitamin and hormone production and emotional health. 

Some scientists are calling the gut micro biome the “second brain” because there’s a connection between the bacterias in the gut and their communication and effect on the brain. Clinical studies on humans have found that gut bacteria send messages to the brain that have a very big impact one mood. There is a connection called the Gut-Brain Axis in which chemicals communicate amongst nerves and hormones. Its effect seems to depend on what kinds of bacteria are in the gut, because different bacteria make up different chemicals. Some have a calming effect, while others may contribute to anxiety and depression.

According to the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, it’s estimated that up to 70% of behavioral problems in dogs are related to anxiety of one form or another. A recent study links the gut micro biome of dogs and a possible link to aggression.

What contributes to a lack of these beneficial bacterias? 

Knowing that the first input of these beneficial bacterias come from the mom via nursing, animals that weren’t able to nurse may be at a disadvantage right from the start.

Wide-spectrum antibiotics will affect beneficial bacterias. As important as antibiotics are, understand that your pet’s gut will need supplementation upon completion of the medication or it could take time before their levels are balanced out naturally.

Poor diet can contribute. Diets high in carbohydrates will feed the wrong kinds of bacteria, leading not only to weight issues, but will break down to sugar and feed yeast that could possibly lead to skin issues and more.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to help alleviate anxiety and depression, or improve your pets’ immune system simply by supporting a healthy level of gut bacterias via diet?

Pet owners have access to products that can help. Some of our favorites include:

  • Complete raw diets by Solutions Pet Products, Smallbatch, Northwest Naturals and Wild Coast Raw
  • Raw Goat milks by Solutions Pet Products and Green Juju
  • Raw goat cheese by Solutions Pet Products
  • Bone Broths by Nugget’s Healthy Eats and Solutions Pet Products
  • Artisan Yogurt for Dogs by Nuggets Healthy Eats
  • Plant Enzyme & Probiotics by Animal Essentials
  • Optagest by inClover
  • Digest-All Plus by Wholistic Pet Organics
  • Just Greens, Bailey’s Blend, Golden Blend, Bam’s Beets and Lua’s Golden Paste by Green Juju Kitchen
  • Raw marrow & neck bones by Primal & Northwest Naturals

We advise daily on the importance of adding fresh foods and supplements to your pets diets. Their (gut) health may depend upon it!

1. Deepika Bagga, Johanna Louise Reichert, Karl Koschutnig, Christoph Stefan Aigner, Peter Holzer, Kaisa Koskinen, Christine Moissl-Eichinger & Veronica Schopf (2018) Probiotics drive gut microbiome triggering emotional brain signatures, Gut Microbes, 9:6, 486-496, DOI: 10.1080/19490976.2018.1460015

2. Nicole S. Kirchoff, Monique A.R. Udell, Thomas J. Sharpton. Published January 9, 2019. PubMed 30643689. Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University, Department of Animal and Rangeland Science, Oregon State University, Department of Statistics, Oregon State University

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