Whether you consider yourself a pet owner, a breeder, or a fur parent, there’s one thing anyone with a dog can agree on: that we want them to live happy, healthy lives. That’s why we take them to the dog park, buy them chew toys, and drag them to the vet for regular checkups.
But canine well-being goes beyond daily walks. Have you thought about your dog’s digestive health? For your furry companion, their diet and gut microbiome can have a far-reaching effect on their overall wellness.
What Is a Dog’s Microbiome?
Dogs, like some other animals, have a community of helpful bacteria and microbes that live in their digestive system. Called the “gut microbiome,” this colony of microbes helps absorb nutrients from food and keep your dog’s internal systems running smoothly.
However, if the microbiome becomes unbalanced — say, if there are too many harmful bacteria and/or not enough beneficial bacteria — then it can have a negative impact on your dog’s health. A struggling microbiome can contribute to issues like digestive problems, poor immunity, diabetes, skin conditions, or even depression.
To help mitigate these issues before they start, how can you make sure that your dog’s digestive system is supported by a healthy and functional microbiome?
Supporting Your Dog’s Digestive Health
Fortunately, most dogs aren’t picky eaters, so it’s easy to take the most important step for a healthy microbiome: a diverse diet.
The food your dog eats can introduce good bacteria and help nourish those already present. Fermented foods are especially good for the microbiome, so to keep your dog’s digestive system happy, consider introducing the following canine-friendly options into their diet.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Miso (only if it’s MSG-free)
You can even find dog-centric recipes for fermented vegetables if you want to get more creative.
There are also supplements called probiotics and prebiotics that may be useful if your pet is having health issues tied to their microbiome. But before introducing these into your dog’s regular routine, it’s best to discuss the pros and cons with your veterinarian.
Caring for Your Dog’s Well-being
Your dog’s digestive health and its relationship with the gut microbiome is just one example of hidden health issues that can crop up when you least expect it. Unfortunately, your dog may also have other health considerations that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
To complicate matters further, different dogs may be prone to different health problems depending on their breeding. So what’s the best way to identify potential illnesses or conditions that could be lurking in your dog’s family tree?
Genetic Testing with Orivet
If you want to provide your dog with high-quality and personalized care, genetic testing is an effective way to better understand your furry friend’s unique health needs.
Fortunately, there are easy, affordable DNA tests that can help you learn about your dog’s particular genetic traits — including their habits, behaviors, and even potential medical issues. With these factors in mind, you can tailor both their lifestyle and their diet to support peak health and longevity.
That’s why Orivet is committed to providing best-in-show genetic testing for your pets. With DNA insights from Orivet, you can provide your dog with the best possible care and give them the healthy and fulfilling lives they deserve.