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Longevity 101: The Crucial Role of Gut Health in Your Dog's Well-Being

Longevity 101: The Crucial Role of Gut Health in Your Dog's Well-Being

Did you know that one of the biggest pieces to the longevity puzzle is a healthy gut? 

That’s right—just like in humans, a healthy gut is essential for your pup’s physical and mental well-being. From digestion and immunity to mood and behaviour, the gut plays a pivotal role in every aspect of your dog’s life.

Why gut health matters

The gut is more than just a digestive organ; it’s a bustling ecosystem teeming with trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms known as the gut microbiome. This dynamic community of microbes not only helps break down food and absorb nutrients but also plays a critical role in regulating the immune system, producing essential vitamins and neurotransmitters, and even influencing mood and behaviour.

When the gut microbiome is in balance, your dog thrives. But when it’s thrown out of whack—whether due to poor diet, stress, medications, or other factors—a host of health issues can be the result.

Nourishing your dog’s gut

The good news is that you have the power to support your dog’s gut health and keep their microbiome flourishing.

Feed a fresh, nutrient-dense diet

Opt for whole, minimally processed foods that are rich in fibre, antioxidants, and essential nutrients. Fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh proteins, and healthy fats are the building blocks of a healthy gut.

Feeding a variety of foods is also important. Studies have proven that an ultra-processed diet, such as kibble, is “associated with a higher risk of adverse health outcomes, especially cardiometabolic, common mental disorder, and mortality outcomes.”

During our Gut Week series on social media, we provided lots of ideas for some wonderful additions (see captions), and we also have a handy, free Bowl Boost PDF that might help. You can also book a one on one consultation

Include gut-friendly foods

Incorporate foods that are known to support gut health, such as blueberries, turkey tail mushroom, steel-cut oats, and leafy greens. These foods are packed with fibre, prebiotics, and beneficial compounds that nourish the gut microbiome.

Limit toxins and chemicals

It’s important to minimize your dog’s exposure to pesticides, processed foods, and environmental toxins. These things disrupt the gut microbiome and compromise overall health.

Manage stress

Just like in humans, chronic stress can take a toll on your dog’s gut health. To keep stress levels in check, provide plenty of opportunities for relaxation, play, and mental stimulation and enrichment.

Consider gut-supporting supplements

If your dog has to go on antibiotics, use pre- and probiotics during and afterwards. Also, add sprinkles of inulin or psyllium to their food every so often. For dogs struggling with major imbalances, oral FMT supplementation can be very successful for restoration.

Keep your dog active and maintain a healthy weight

In addition to diet and lifestyle, it's crucial to ensure your dog remains active and maintains a healthy weight. A sedentary lifestyle and excess weight can disrupt the balance of bacteria in your dog's gut, leading to inflammation, decreased nutrient absorption, and a weakened immune system. Regular exercise not only helps your dog stay fit but also promotes healthy digestion and keeps their gut microbiome in balance.

The bottom line

A happy gut equals a happy dog. By prioritizing your dog’s gut health and making mindful choices about their diet, lifestyle, and environment, you can help them thrive from the inside out.

Here are just a few of the studies we found supporting the importance of a healthy gut microbiome.

Fresh food is best

Ultra-processed food exposure and adverse health outcomes: umbrella review of epidemiological meta-analyses (The BMJ) Gut Microbiota: An Important Link between Western Diet and Chronic Diseases (PubMed Central) Pet Food Studies (Raw Pet Food Research Database)

The gut–brain axis

Gut Microbiota in Anxiety and Depression: Unveiling the Relationships and Management Options (PubMed Central) The Role of Diet on the Gut Microbiome, Mood and Happiness (PubMed Central)


Relationship between Gut Microbiota and Allergies in Children: A Literature Review (PubMed Central) Food Allergy and the Microbiome: Current Understandings and Future Directions (PubMed Central)


The Gut Microbiota and Inflammation: An Overview (PubMed Central)

The gut–heart axis

The Gut-Heart Axis: Updated Review for The Roles of Microbiome in Cardiovascular Health (PubMed Central)

The gut–liver axis

Gut–Liver Axis: How Do Gut Bacteria Influence the Liver? (PubMed Central)

The immune system

Impact of the Microbiome on the Immune System (PubMed Central)

The microbiome and autoimmune disorders

The Dynamic Interplay between the Gut Microbiota and Autoimmune Diseases (PubMed Central)
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