If you’re like me, you want to provide a lifetime of good health and happiness for your pet. You provide love, shelter, high-quality food, clean water, lots of exercise and stimulation. But did you know that your pet’s gut health is just as critical for supporting vitality and health?
Did you know that the gut is your dog’s largest immune organ, and that 70% of your dog’s lymphoid tissue (which is central to healing, repair, and immunity) is directly associated with the gut?
This means proper care and feeding of the gut has a multiplying effect of healing throughout the body.
As a veterinarian and mom to two furry pups and one rescue cat, I’ve got 5 simple strategies for doing just that.
Top 5 Strategies for Boosting Your Pet’s Gut Health
#1 Give a Daily Multi-Strain Probiotic + Prebiotic Supplement:
Ample Nutrition’s, Complete Dog Prebiotic + Probiotic is easy to administer and vegetarian – excellent for pets with food sensitivities. (Cat dose: ¼ tablet 1-2X/day)
#2 Give a Daily Digestive Enzyme Supplement:
Digestive enzymes increase the "bioavailability" of nutrients and energy in food and decrease the chance that partially digested food particles and proteins harm the gut wall or cause bad breath, foul-smelling stool or voluminous poop.
As you probably know, optimal health begins with proper digestion, and the gut is your pet’s largest immune organ. Poor or incomplete digestion diverts energy from the gut’s crucial immune functions into extra work just breaking down food - work it should ideally not have to do.
Ample Nutrition’s Daily Digestive Enzymes are easy to administer and plant-based to withstand a wide pH range throughout the digestive tract.
#3 Give a High-Quality Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplement
A no brainer – with the numerous benefits for the skin and coat, allergies, brain and eye development, cognition, heart, and kidney health. Fish oil supplementation can also decrease damaging inflammatory responses in the gut (IBD) and joints; this effect has been proven in human and mice IBD models.
Ample Nutrition makes two Omega-3 Fish Oil products:
- Daily Omega-3 Fish Oil comes in an easy pump-delivery bottle
- Daily Omega-3 Fatty Acid Soft Chews come as a tasty treat for your pet to enjoy.
#4 Supplement with a Natural Fiber to regulate stool
Adding a natural dietary fiber, such as organic steamed or canned pumpkin (avoid pie filling) or steamed sweet potatoes, to your pet’s meals will help should diarrhea or constipation occur. Fiber modulates digestive regularity which makes loose stools firm and firm stools softer.
Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are jam-packed with nutrients that include beta- carotene, zinc, iron, potassium, vitamin A, C, E, and
B-vitamins. And since fiber creates a feeling of fullness, adding pumpkin or sweet potatoes to your pet's meals can help with weight management. Don't overdo it either - start with approximately 1 tablespoon per 20 pounds of body weight.
#5 Give Bone Broth to your pet
Bone broth is one of the most healing, nutritious, and easy-to-make superfoods you and your pet can consume. Bone broth contains gelatin which is excellent for nourishing the digestive tract, and it’s packed full of amino acids like proline, glutamine, and arginine which are effective for sealing microscopic "holes” (i.e. leaky gut) in the intestinal lining. Bone broth also boosts detoxification by supplying sulfur and glutathione.
Bone broth is excellent for pets recovering from GI disorders or inflammation, pets recovering from surgery as a first meal, or simply for extra nourishment in a healthy pet. Bone broth is easy to freeze in ice-cube trays or can be served fresh. I give approximately 1 tablespoon per 20 pounds of body weight.
"All Disease Begins in the Gut" - Hippocrates
There are many ways you can target the various functions of gastrointestinal health in your pet to support intestinal and immune health and prevent disease. Keep up the good work and make sure you include plenty of fresh filtered water, high-quality food, fresh air, plenty of exercise and tons of fun for you and your pet!
Thank you for taking the time – and I wish you a happy, healthy, and rewarding relationship with your pet for many years to come.
About the Author:
Dr. Kris Latson is a trained veterinarian and co-Founder of Ample Nutrition LLC, https://amplenutrition.com, a veterinarian-formulated and researched natural line of dog and cat products.