Just like humans, dogs' digestive systems are the very foundation for their health and make up a large part (70-80%) of their immune system. So an upset gut can result in reduced immunity and potentially put them at risk for sickness. Gut health is actually cruciall to most facets of their overall health.
Your dog's gut is responsible for much more than just waste disposal. In fact, it's the largest part of their body, and it plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy digestive system. In addition to breaking down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats from your dog's food, the gut also helps the body absorb vitamins and minerals.
I Have to Look At Their What?!
Inspecting your dog's poop is one way to determine the health of their digestive system. You're probably picking up your dog's poop anyways, so you're familiar with their baseline regardless. You'll want to look for any changes in color, texture, size, and to correlate them with foods or habits that may have changed. Your pup may not have been able to absorb nutrients from any visible ingredients in their poop. You should monitor this over time as ideally your pup should be digesting all ingredients in the food to ensure healthy guts.
Here are some of the benefits of a healthy gut:
The fact is that our babies are so full of energy, endless, most of the time! But as they age, their energy levels decrease. A healthy gut helps your dog's energy levels by ensuring that nutrients from food and supplements are properly absorbed and utilized.
Even though our dogs look extra adorable when they are fat and chubby, carrying too much weight can be detrimental to their health in many ways, including mobility and longevity. A healthy gut supports weight management by maintaining blood sugar levels within the normal range and maintaining healthy digestion - all these factors can keep your furry friend from overeating and gaining unwanted weight.
Bone and Joint Health
Joint pain and weak bones make it difficult for your dog to do all the things he loves. But a healthy gut can do wonders. Certain good bacteria naturally found in your dog's gut produce vitamins (i.e Vitamin K). These vitamins help produce enzymes that are necessary for proper mineral absorption.
As dog owners, we know how easily our pets can be stressed out by changes in their lifestyles. These changes could be in their diets, new places, new smells, time away from the family, visits to the veterinarian, etc. A healthy gut produces feel-good neurotransmitters (e.g. serotonin) to boost moods and prevent anxiety and stress. It also produces enough cortisol (the stress hormone) to lower levels of anxiety.
A healthy gut helps keep your furry friend healthy when he or she is experiencing digestive discomfort due to a change in diet, stress, overfeeding, or other conditions.
A healthy gut is the foundation for a dog's overall well-being. And isn't that exactly what we want for a longer and healthier pet?