By understanding the importance of Step #1 of the Surefire Steps to Transforming Your Dog's Health, you'll be empowered with the information you need to prep and prepare the cells to receive, assimilate, and utilize the nutrition that you feed your dog.
Now it's time to support, repair, and maintain the mode of transportation for the nutrition... The digestive system.
The digestive system is a crucial piece of health and wellness for your dog. There are two primary reasons proper digestion is important to health. First, it’s the vehicle or transportation system of your dog’s nutrition. Without proper digestion, nutrition will not be utilized or absorbed by the body. If the digestive system is compromised, even the best nutrition goes to waste. The second primary reason that a properly functioning digestive system is vital to health is over 70% of the immune system resides in the GI tract. Canine digestive health concerns and issues are sadly, widespread. According to Animal Wellness Magazine, digestive problems are among the most common reasons people take their dogs to the vet.
Hippocrates known as the Father of Medicine was quoted as saying, “All disease begins in the gut.” That view translates over to your dog’s health. Taking steps to clean your dog’s nutrition, which we will discuss later in this series, will serve to support a healthy digestive system. But what else can you do to help repair, balance, and support your dog’s digestive system?
The Three Amigos of Canine Digestive Health
Depending on your dog's diet and lifestyle they may benefit from prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes. Before we explore the details and benefits of these Three Amigos of Canine Digestive Health, it’s important that you acknowledge and have an awareness of your dog's dental health.
The reality is that most kibble-fed dogs struggle with tarter build-up, poor gum health, and tooth decay. Ensuring your dog's teeth are clean and strong is crucial to good digestive health. Typically dogs on a carnivore diet with raw meaty bones to regularly clean their teeth and stimulate circulation in the gums, will experience fewer dental concerns and tarter build-up that needs to be addressed.
Once your dog's dental health is taken into consideration it's time to bring in the Three Amigos of Canine Digestive Health.
Amigo 1 - Canine Prebiotic
Amigo 2 - Canine Probiotic
Animals and humans are both full of beneficial bacteria and microorganisms that promote health and balance of the body. Probiotics are strains of bacteria that are known to benefit the body. It’s best if you can use species-specific probiotics when available. There are many supplements that claim to contain probiotics… If you do not see any benefits when adding it to your dog’s diet, it’s a red flag that either the supplement does not contain active or optimal probiotic strains, or your dog’s GI tract needs additional support to balance pH and the environment of the GI tract.
Amigo 3 - Canine Digestive Enzymes
The dog’s body is made up of trillions of cells, and there are different cells for different functions. Enzymes are what make chemical reactions in cells happen. They are vital for life and serve a wide range of functions in the body, including aiding in digestion and metabolism. Most of your dog's nutrient absorption takes place in the jejunum and ileum. Which are portions of the small intestine. The dog’s small intestine utilizes enzymes for digestion, so it is important to supplement canine digestive enzymes, especially if your dog is on kibble with plant-based ingredients in it. Ultimately, your dog's mouth doesn't break down plant material like an omnivore, despite what many are led to believe.
Although amylase is produced in the salivary glands of herbivores & omnivores for the breakdown of plant matter, your dog's mouth instead produces lysozyme, an antimicrobial enzyme. This combined with the single hinged jaw and lack of wide molars prevents the proper digestion of plant material and increases the need for your dog to have the added support of canine digestive enzymes.
If you find you’re not sure if your dog would benefit from additional digestive support, here are some indicators to look out for:
- Your dog is experiencing high levels of stress. Whether mental, emotional, or physical. Note that even boredom or lack of exercise can increase stress for a dog.
- Your dog is experiencing an illness or is recovering from injury.
- When infectious sickness or viral conditions are spreading in your area and you want to boost your dog’s immune system.
- You plan to vaccinate or chemically deworm your dog.
- Your dog's nutrition plan contains plant-based ingredients or you're adjusting to different food.
If any of the following situations align with your dog’s current condition or lifestyle, then supporting them with canine digestive enzymes, probiotics, and prebiotics is highly recommended.
Your dog's digestive system is a crucial part of his or her overall health and wellbeing. Reach out to your Core Wellness Coach to learn more about effective digestive support products and systems to keep the digestive system at its peak performance.
You're now well on your way to having full awareness and understanding of the Surefire Steps to Transforming Your Dog's Health! There is only one more step we need to reveal... Watch your email and we will see you soon.