pet gut health.

The phrase “you are what you eat” never rang so true. In fact, there is an interesting area of biology that we are really just beginning to discover with some pretty impressive effects on the body. Animal Medical Hospital & Urgent Care is excited to share more about pet gastrointestinal health that can make a difference to overall well being!

What Is a Microbiome Anyways?

Scientifically, the term microbiome refers to the cells and organisms residing in a given environment. The gastrointestinal tract is full of all sorts of bacteria in varying numbers, which start at the oral cavity and extend all the way to the rectum. 

Pet microbiomes in the GI are a unique environment, and the balance (or imbalance) of them can have numberable effects. Overall health, physiological function, and behavior are all impacted by the population and health of the biome in the gut. 

The population of the pet digestive system starts even before birth, and we know that the organisms present can influence the development and regulation of systems like the brain, immune system, and skin. Important stuff! It is pretty incredible how these tiny organisms can work to influence a bigger one. This is a field of research that has a growing body of evidence in both the human and veterinary worlds. 

Pet Microbiomes and You

The evidence keeps piling up—your pet’s gastrointestinal tract is linked to their overall health and well-being. Inflammatory conditions like IBD, food allergies, immune disorders, skin conditions, oral health issues, systemic problems, and even behavioral conditions can respond to a healthy gut biome.

Providing a good foundation for healthy day-to-day function is essential to helping your dog or cat thrive. So what can you do to support gut health in pets?

  • Utilize veterinary probiotics (especially after the use of antibiotics or other events that upset the digestive tract)
  • Consider prebiotics (i.e. bacteria food)
  • Choose a diet formulated to support a healthy gut biome
  • Maintain a regular wellness program for your pet
  • Monitor changes in your pet’s digestive function and let us know when they occur

We may recommend products for your pet such as prescription foods or probiotics that are made to support optimal gut health and even provide relief for certain problems. It is important that our veterinary team and your family work together to provide the best health possible for your pet.