(Family Features) When four-legged friends are feeling under the weather, pet parents may feel helpless pinpointing exactly what’s wrong. Nurturing your pet’s gut health is one way to protect his or her immune system and to promote overall well-being.
Improve your pooch’s gut health with these tips from the pet experts at Solid Gold:
Recognize the Signs of a Potential Gut Health Problem
While many problems are readily apparent, gut health isn’t one of them. There may be some tell-tale signs like diarrhea or vomiting, but other symptoms like bloating or constipation may be harder to spot. Other signs of gut trouble might include fatigue, frequent licking, restlessness, changes in coat quality and luster, and weight fluctuations. Be sure to talk with your vet promptly if you observe any concerning symptoms.
Pay Attention to Ingredients
Choose a dog food with ingredients that promote gut health. For example, Solid Gold’s Hund-N-Flocken dog food is powered by NutrientBoost, a proprietary blend of ingredients packed with protein and nutrients that help canines thrive. It features crave-worthy taste and ingredients like amino acids, probiotics and proteins that support digestion, immunity and nutrient absorption. Each bite is made with a blend of high-fiber ingredients such as carrot, pumpkin and pearled barley to support digestive health.
Be Conscious of Allergens and Food Intolerance
Dogs can experience allergies just like people. Allergies that affect a dog’s skin are common, but you might also find your dog has trouble digesting certain foods, which can create inflammation and irritation in the gut. Allergy testing or an elimination diet (removing one potential allergen source at a time) can help pinpoint the problem.
Feed Probiotics to Promote Good Bacteria
Just like humans, dogs need a well-balanced microbiome. Probiotics build the microflora in your dog’s system, promoting the good bacteria that wages war on infections and harmful bacteria when needed. Probiotics can be especially helpful if your dog is prone to diarrhea or gas, or if he or she has recently received an antibiotic treatment that may have affected the natural gut flora. You can find probiotics in the form of food or supplements like Solid Gold’s Mellow Belly Gut Health Supplement, which is made with a powerful combination of natural digestive enzymes and probiotics to aid in proper digestion. The entire collection of food and supplements are made with superfoods and probiotics to help support your pet’s immunity and get the most out of every day to keep him or her thriving.
Don’t Forget the Prebiotics
Many people are at least somewhat familiar with the role probiotics play in gut health, but not everyone knows about prebiotics. Prebiotics, which are a form of dietary fiber, function as a fertilizer or food source for probiotics, allowing helpful bacteria to multiply. Look for prebiotic treats, capsules, drops, powder and even specially formulated foods.
Manage Stress with Play and Exercise
If you’ve ever experienced digestive issues as a result of stress, you know mental and physical health go hand in hand. The same is true for dogs, so managing your dog’s stress level is an important step in helping regulate his or her gut health. Exercise is beneficial for your pet’s health in a variety of ways, including suppressing cortisol, which is an inflammatory hormone that may weaken the immune system.