How to balance your dog’s microbiome

Having a diverse microbiome (a greater variety of beneficial bacteria species in the body), makes your dog healthier and more resilient.
Each species of bacteria performs its own role in the body. So, if one species is wiped out, there are others who can take over this role!
Decreased diversity of good bacteria in the gut has been linked to various diseases in dogs.
Research has even shown that a diverse microbiome in Irish Terriers helps reduce the instance of gluten sensitivity*.

Methods for ensuring diversity of microbiome in your dogs’ gut,

  • Feed fresh food (variety is key)
  • Avoid toxins, pesticides and drugs (especially antibiotics unless diagnosis demands it)
  • Include prebiotics to the diet. Foods such as milled seeds, blueberries, lentils and apples feed can the gut bacteria.
  • Provide probiotics supplements to your dog, especially soil-based.
  • Allow your dog to scavenge when it’s safe to do so.
  • Allow for a relaxed and calm environment for the dog, avoiding stress.

Factors which reduce microbiome diversity in your dogs gut

  • Veterinary antibiotics and many other medicines
  • Unvaried highly processed diets
  • Genetically modified foods
  • A home where toxic antibacterial sprays, detergents, grooming products pesticides etc are used.
  • Lifestyle – dogs cooped up in an apartment or a sterile environment, unable to access areas outside, where they can scavenge, play in mud brimming with life and play with other animals!
  • Stressful experiences

Many studies show** feeding fresh food promotes gut diversity, balanced microbiome and thus health, whereas feeding processed food promotes the growth of gut bacteria species that are not health promoting.

Fresh food is highly digestible and nutrients can be utilised for normal bodily functions. Much of the undigested food is then a prebiotic, which is food for our microbes! The more variety of food eaten, the more variety of species can be fed. Depending on what we feed our dogs, different species of microbes will either increase or decrease.

Including fermented, probiotic, foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi (onion-free) or kefir can help in-crease certain strains of bacteria in your dog. These can be added daily as a part of the diet, or a couple of times a week.

Soil based probiotics, such as the brand Fidospore are especially effective at increasing microbiome diversity. It is best to use supplements if your dog has needed antibiotics recently. Once the supplements have worked to repopulate your dog’s microbiome continue with fermented foods and prebiotics in the diet.

Help for your dogs sensitive stomach or digestive issues.

Microbiome balance is at the route of canine digestive troubles.
You can speak to our canine nutrition consultant Caroline or our founder Kathy about your dog’s diet anytime, we know switching to a fresh food diet will support your dog and can help you to do so.


*https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1378989/
Abnormal permeability precedes the development of a gluten sensitive enteropathy in Irish setter dogs.

** https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13099-017-0218-5-2017
Differences in the gut microbiota of dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) fed a natural diet or a commercial feed revealed by the Illumina MiSeq platform.
**
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35892531/
Fresh food consumption increases microbiome diversity and promotes changes in bacteria composition on the skin of pet dogs compared to dry foods. Animals (Jul 22)
**
https://bmcvetres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12917-017-1073-9
A diet change from dry food to beef induces revisable changes on the faecal microbiota in healthy, adult, client-owned dogs.

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