Prebiotic Fiber and Gut Health of Dogs
Within your dog’s digestive tract there are trillions of microorganisms, also known as bacteria, that play a massive and often underappreciated role in your dog or cat’s health. Just like in humans, this “gut microbiome” ends up affecting everything from your pet’s happiness to their physical and dietary health.
Unfortunately, some pet foods may not include the correct nutrients to successfully promote optimal health of the gut microbiome. That’s where prebiotic fiber comes in. It helps promote the growth of probiotics, or healthy bacteria, which help your dog or cat extract gut health benefits from the food they consume.
Importance of Gut Health for Dogs and Cats
It’s usually fairly obvious if your dog or cat is experiencing an imbalance in their gut health, but because the number of possible symptoms is so vast, many pet owners (and veterinarians) often misdiagnose the problem or assume the cause is something other than the gut.
Signs That Your Dog Might Have Issues with Gut Health
If your dog is experiencing poor gut health, it’s usually apparent that something is wrong. However, it can be hard to identify the exact cause. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Weakened immune system, lethargic or chronic fatigue.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Ongoing digestive issues such as diarrhea, gassiness, bloating, or vomiting
- Joint problems and pain
- Allergies (food or environmental)
- Skin problems that usually manifest as dermatitis or dandruff
- Behavioral issues that can range from whining to inexplicable aggression
The list of possible symptoms can be extensive, and most of these symptoms wouldn’t immediately strike you as a consequence of underperforming or imbalanced gut bacteria. However, the scope of this list should give you a sense of how important a healthy gut for dogs (and cats) is to their overall health.
Similar to a human body, your pet’s gut bacteria play a role in both their physical and emotional health, and prebiotic fibers are a scientifically proven way to increase functionality within the gut biome.
Reasons Why Your Dog or Cat Might Have Developed an Unhealthy Gut
In the same way that the symptoms of poor gut health are wide-ranging, so are the possible causes. However, the following three culprits are the most common:
- Poor diet
- Misuse of pet medications
The temptation to share human food with our pets, such a