Message Us

A Healthy Gut Makes a Healthy Dog

By ViktoriaHarris. | Dog Health

As a dog parent, you do many things to keep your best friend healthy. You feed them the best food you can, take them for long walks and give them lots of exercises, you play with them and provide mental stimulation.

You watch their weight, care for their teeth, and groom their coat; but unless your dog is sick or has diarrhea, most pet owners don’t spend much time thinking about their dog’s gut. Yet maintaining a healthy gut has been shown to help prevent disease, improve digestion, aid in absorption of nutrients from foods, strengthen the immune system, and much more. This is because, just like with people, a dog’s immune system is closely linked to the digestive system in his gut, which contains approximately 70% of all immune cells. In other words, your pet’s gut and the health of his digestive system is vital to keeping your four-legged companion healthy and happy.

That’s where probiotics come into play. Many holistic veterinarians have been recommending probiotics for years, but with recent studies, even medical vets have begun to agree that probiotics are beneficial to keeping your pet’s gut healthy, thereby reducing their chance of developing digestive and immune system related health issues.

The What and Why of Probiotics 

So what are probiotics? Probiotics are the “good” or “helpful” bacteria that live in your pets’ intestines and are responsible for nutrient absorption, digestive health and immune system support. Certain species of bacteria that thrive in dogs are: Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus, and Enterococcus. According to American Kennel Club (AKC) veterinary expert, Jerry Klein, DVM, probiotics (bacteria or yeast) can potentially provide an array of health benefits to dogs

                “They are believed to help treat and/or prevent a variety of illnesses and diseases, especially those related to the gastrointestinal system,” he explains. “They inhibit the growth and activity of harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Clostridium perfringens, as well as provide other advantages to the intestines.” 

Without the right amount and balance of “good” gut bacteria, your pet can experience major health issues such as severe stomach pains, bloating and gas, chronic diarrhea and even inflammatory bowel disease. And the benefits of probiotics are not just for sick pets.

Most people think of probiotics only after they have been sick and have taken a dose of antibiotics, which we all know kills the good bacteria in our stomach as well as the bad. But probiotics are not just for restoring your pet’s body to optimal health after an illness. Taken on a daily basis, probiotics keep optimal levels of helpful bacteria in the gut, thereby helping with food absorption, boosting the immune system, increasing metabolism and energy levels, helping the body to maintain an ideal weight, and reducing digestive related illnesses and problems such as gas and bad breath.

Now that I know the benefits, how do I give probiotics to my dog?

There are many ways to give your dog probiotics. Here are just a few:
Foods that contain probiotics naturally (if these are new to your pet, introduce slowly and in moderation):

1. Dairy that is safe for dogs

  • Kefir (add 2-3 tablespoons to your dog’s meal, or give him 1/2 cup on its own)
  • Goat's milk (give 3-4 tablespoons to 1 meal per day, or feed 1 cup as a treat)
  • Yogurt and buttermilk
  • Soft cheeses such as Swiss, Gouda and Cheddar

2. Fermented vegetables

  • Kimchi
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Sauerkraut

3. Raw or lightly cooked vegetables and fruits

  • Asparagus
  • Garlic (in small quantities)
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Seaweed or kelp

4. Seeds

  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseed
  • Chicory root

For both healthy dogs, as well as pets with a compromised immune system or other health issues, a probiotic supplement can also be added to help increase the levels of good probiotics in their system. Look for a good pet probiotic, not one made for humans, as your pet’s needs are different from ours.

Final words ...

To refrigerate or not? A good, dry, stabilized probiotic doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and refrigeration doesn’t mean it’s a better product when it comes to dog probiotics. When the dry bacteria comes in contact with your pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the bacteria become live, active, and multiply many times over.

Air Travel Tips and Dog Seat Covers: Cargo, Dog Bed Liner, Bed Cover: 30% Off Premium Seat Covers

Viktoria Harris

Viktoria is a dog lover and proud pet parent of an amazing Border Collie/Shepherd/Husky mix named Tango. She is also the founder of BestLife4Pets.com, and together with her husband and two beautiful kids runs an online pet store devoted to quality natural products that improve the lives of pets every day.  After her kids’ numerous health problems, she sought out natural and homeopathic treatments that weren’t as harmful to their systems as regular medicine. Having experienced the benefits of these natural remedies and treatments on herself and her family, she decided to do the same for her dog.  And that is how BestLife4Pets came about. Today, she helps other dogs and cats get pain relief and feel better the natural way. 


 

Comments

Signup/Login to post a reply

 

Reviews From 4Knines Customers VIEW MORE »

The best evaluations of our products come from the people who’ve bought them.

great cover

This is actually a replacement for my original 4 knines cover which was 4 years old. I used it daily (bringing my pup to work with me) and washed it weekly, so the backing finally started to flake apart and come off. This newer version is easier to put over the headrests, great improvement in the strap and closures. Also the best improvement is the side flaps, the old cover didn't have these. These flaps help to catch the dirt from dogs feet when they are jumping up into the car, instead of it going on the side of the seat.

READ MORE »
Diane Breland

Fantastic

This is my 2nd seat cover from 4knines and love them both. The product and service were both fantastic.

READ MORE »
GREG BATEMAN

Repeat customer VERY satisfied.

We have made several purchases from 4Knines and are VERY satisfied with products (cargo liner, back seat cover, bucket front seat cover...). I volunteer at a shelter and take dogs offsite daily. Always a Pleasure doing business with 4Knines. Highly recommend.

READ MORE »
Cristina Jones

Split Rear Dog Seat Cover - Fitted - No Hammock

I had ordered this item from an on-line site and was extremely disappointed when I received the wrong item. I was impressed with the quality of the seat cover and decided to contact 4Knines directly. I placed my order with Maggie and received the Split Rear Dog Seat Cover within three days. The seat cover fits nicely in my new Honda CR-V and as stated by 4Knines, is very easy to install and remove. My 8-month old labradoodle Brodie likes the comfort, and friends agree with him. Great quality item, reasonably priced, and outstanding customer service. Thanks 4Knines.

READ MORE »
Sally LIEDHOLM

New seat cover and side panels in Nissan Titan

Excellent solution for my truck. Absolutely no complaints. A+ quality materials, engineering, and design. Fast service on delivery. Cannot ask for anything better. J Jones Aiken, SC

READ MORE »
john jones

New truck seat cover and side panels

I really do like the seat cover and door side panels. The side panels are a must as the Beagle mix puts her feet on the doors. Every now and again someone comes up with a nice product that works well, has quality in its materials, and is well engineered. These are those. I am super satisfied.

READ MORE »
john jones

Pawesomeness!!!

Easy and fast install. Stays in place...works great!! (and the dogs are happy that they get to ride along again!) :)

READ MORE »
Ericka Spiva

Great fit, Great look, Stays in Place

I really like the look of this cover on my front bucket seat. You can't tell it's to protect the seat from the dog! It's very nice looking and fits great. Most importantly, it stays in place! My dog is wiggly, up and down, looking out the windows; and this seat cover doesn't mind. Do make sure you watch the video and carefully follow the installation instructions. I did not at first; and Support was Wonderful in helping me figure out what I was doing incorrectly.

READ MORE »
Sherry McClurkin

4Knines.com

For all general inquiries, please call or email us
Phone: 888.602.2509
Email: support@4Knines.com

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Nothing but the best for your best friend!
© 4Knines. 2017. All rights reserved | Terms | Privacy