It’s still early days when it comes to understanding the full impact of the gut microbiome on canine (or even human) health but studies are showing a surprising range of benefits. Here’s just a few:
– Supports the immune system – the microbiome has a significant impact on your dog’s immune system. It communicates with a lymphoid tissue in the intestines to help produce immune cells such as lymphocytes, T and B cells. The microbiome itself can also form a barrier against toxins, carcinogens, allergens and help destroy pathogens too.
– Helps digest food and provide nutrients – the bacteria in the in your dog’s produce enzymes which help break down and digest your dog’s food. They also produce vitamins (especially thiamin and B vitamins) and short chain fatty acids which aid absorption of important minerals, including calcium, magnesium and iron.
– Reduces anxiety and improves mental health – amazingly more than half of the serotonin in animals’ bodies are a result of their microbiomes and there’s surprising evidence that boosting gut health can improve mental health. Certain bacteria for example have been found to have a calming effect on mice similar to anti-anxiety prescription drugs.