Gastrointestinal disorders are at the top of the list of health conditions that affect a dog’s long-term quality of life. Scientists nowadays look into any sickness from a GI and microbial angle. Gastrointestinal disturbances can cause many diseases that may seem to be unrelated to the gut. What is the best food for dogs with leaky gut syndrome?
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome in dogs
Leaky gut happens when the semipermeable intestinal lining becomes damaged, which is responsible for breaking down nutrients. As a result, the lining becomes more permeable and less selective, allowing toxins, undigested food, and other undesirables inside the gut to pass through the bloodstream. The immune system then launches an attack against the substances; the more the leaks out into the bloodstream, the greater the symptoms are.
You might be wondering why this all happens in the first place? What causes that injury that sends it all spiraling out of control? Check causes and common symptoms of this health issue here.
Best food for dogs with leaky gut
It should be no surprise that nutrition will play a huge role in managing a leaky gut. While every dog will be different, you definitely want to consult a nutritionally-minded vet if you suspect your dog has a leaky gut.
Keep in mind that two things are closely related to the syndrome: (1) the overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast and (2) inflammation. To that end, a three-step strategy is recommended:
- Eliminate inflammation
- Follow a special diet
- Regulate the overactive immune system
1. Eliminate inflammation
Some of the most harmful irritants to the digestive system are things we regularly give our dogs: vaccines and medications.
Vaccines force the immune system to treat disease unnaturally and this confuses the immune system’s response. Consider spacing the vaccination more than a year apart, except for rabies. The rabies vaccine is regulated by law and must be administered at least every three years. When it comes to flea, tick, and heartworm medication, consider natural repellents during cold seasons instead of chemical-based solutions.
The most powerful irritant to your dog’s gut is their diet and nutrition. Kibble and commercially processed canned foods are the cause of the miseries of many dogs with sensitive stomachs. Not only the ingredients can be difficult to digest, but also pro-inflammatory and even potentially toxic.
Diet can be an indirect cause of other conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, inflammation, deficiencies, and intolerances.
Avoid excess carbohydrates like cereals, potatoes, sweet potatoes, grains, and commercially processed foods and dairy products.
Fresh food is best for dogs with the leaky gut syndrome. Your dog needs a diet rich in living enzymes, bioavailable nutrients, antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, and immune boosters.
- Meats: Chicken and pork are high in omega-6 and aren’t very recommended; instead, choose turkey, salmon, duck, and deer which are also rich in omega 3 and omega 6.
- Vegetables: They are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Include green leafy vegetables like broccoli or spinach and orange-yellow vegetables like squash, peppers, and carrots. Other good options are cabbage, Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, green beans, and cauliflower.
- Fruits: if given in small quantities, they can have a positive effect. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, and many other fruits are great additions.
Opt for a supplement to regulate the immune system
Besides providing your pet with a balanced diet, depending on their needs, you can consider giving them natural supplements to control their immune system:
- Bone broth: it is rich in gt-healing amino acids like proline, glycine, and L-glutamine.
- Prebiotics and Probiotics: these are known to highly support the balance of good bacteria in the dog’s microbiome.
- Kefir: is another great source of probiotics, use goat’s milk, kefir, or coconut water.
- Digestive enzymes: help break down food particles before leaving the intestine and this reduces the symptoms of the leaky gut syndrome.
- Turmeric: Known to have powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Therefore its consumption – as part of a balanced diet – would be recommended.
- Ginger: it improves digestion by stimulating the enzymes and increasing the production of bile.
Dogs with sensitive stomachs need proper nutrition, and this is an ongoing commitment. It is not enough to just feed the dog a healthy diet long enough to recover and then return to commercial products and snacks of all kinds.