May 22, 2023 4 min read
Supporting your dog’s health from the inside out!
We’re on a mission, to put fresh food back into dog food. Not because it’s trendy, but because we continue to learn about the value of feeding fresh from the growing body of research and because we’ve seen how fresh food has improved our dogs’ and our customers’ dogs’ health and wellbeing.
Today we want to share what we have learned about fresh food as an intervention for better gut health and a more resilient gut microbiome.
To get us all up to speed, a quick explanation of the
Your dog’s gastrointestinal tract plays host to a variety of microbes including bacteria and fungi. When we talk about the microbiome we are talking about all these microorganisms, from your dog’s mouth all the way to their rectum – that is a lot of additional little creatures in your care that perhaps you have not given much thought to before. These microbes play a critical role in your hound’s health; from fending off pathogens, digesting nutrients, managing inflammation, supporting immune function, regulating the production of antibodies, and even supporting brain function.
Busy little bacterium.a blue cartoon skeleton of a dog showing its digestive tract
When the balance of your dog’s microbiome is compromised, and the hard-working useful bacteria decline, the barrier to toxins and allergens is weakened. This allows pathogenic colonies to thrive and steal much needed nutrients from your dog’s digestive system. This imbalance in your hound’s gut is called gastrointestinal dysbiosis and has wide reaching health implications.
Research has shown that disruptions to the balance and health of your hound’s gut microbiome can lead to various immune disorders, skin conditions, increased allergic reactions, kidney function issues and obesity.
So to keep our dogs healthy and happy it is important to keep our dog’s microbiome healthy and happy.
How do we do that?
We like to think of it simply as the two Ds:
Just like us, our dogs need quality nutrition to grow and maintain healthy body function. The digestibility of their food dictates the extent to which they are able to absorb the available nutrients. Our little friends, the gut microorganisms, also help digest nutrients that the dog’s body couldn’t digest without their help. So, while your dog’s food affects their microbiome, their microbiome also contributes to their response to nutrition. This means that digestibility has the potential to affect health conditions directly; through the digestion of macro- and micro nutrients, as well as indirectly; by changing the balance of the microbiome.
There is an increasing body of research arguing that fresh food is more digestible. The extreme processing techniques used to make kibble results in nutrient loss and nutrient absorption challenges. We have also learned how some cooking can increase digestibility and bioavailability. Our modern canines no longer have the enzymes required to break down animal proteins into shorter, digestible, peptides that their wolfy cousins have. Cooking the proteins effectively skips this enzyme-step and creates the shorter peptides so your dog is able to absorb the necessary nutrients to keep their guts healthy for better overall health and wellbeing. And you will see it in smaller poops – smaller poops mean your hound is absorbing more value from their food!
Much like for humans, research is confirming that microbiome diversity is key to health. Diversity in your hound’s microbiota promotes resilience and systemic balance by providing for a range of responses to challenges. If one microbe is unavailable to fulfil its function there are others to step up and do the work. A diverse microbiome also ensures your hound’s immunity is less likely to build up intolerances for any one particular allergen.
Lower bacterial diversity in dogs has been associated with compromised immune function, inflammation and gastrointestinal dysbiosis.
Eating the same food every day is boring. But, perhaps more importantly, it is also less healthy. If your dog is eating the same thing every day, their guts are being exposed to a limited array of microbes. Feeding a variety of bioavailable, fresh food meals ensures the team of busy bacteria in your hound’s gut is diverse and can maintain balance and stability in the system.
As we have said before, we have a responsibility in the choices we make on behalf our hounds every day. As we learn more about the power of gut microbiomes to regulate bodily functions, prevent inflammation and disease, we understand that we have a role in promoting better gut health for our dogs through the food we choose to feed.
Choose fresh and join our dog food revolution for health and wellbeing for your hound!
- The Effects of Nutrition on the Gastrointestinal Microbiome of Cats and Dogs: Impact on Health and Disease (2020)
- The Gut Microbiome of Dogs and Cats, and the Influence of Diet (2021)
- The Role of the Canine Gut Microbiome and Metabolome in Health and Gastrointestinal Disease (2020)
- New dog food? Study shows Fido’s gut bacteria could turn over within a week (2022)
- The Amazing World of the Canine gut Microbiome (2020)
- The canine gastrointestinal microbiota: early studies and research frontiers (2019)
- Your Dog’s Microbiome (2018)