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Good Guts! - Part Two - Finding a Solution

17 CommentsTuesday, 19 February 2013  |  Kate

Here's the second part of our article on how to maintain a healthy digestive tract for your dog. In case you missed it last week you can read part one here.

A Balanced Diet

Balanced Diet Healthy digestion aids good guts!

A balanced diet is the best way to maintain healthy guts. A balanced diet for dogs depends on the breed, age and activity levels but is generally comprised 22-25% Protein, 25-28% Fat and around 50% Carbohydrates. While these are the recommended guidelines, the ideal diet for any dog is one that's tailored specifically to the individual dog. For example, a young puppy needs lots of protein while it's young but an older dog won't need any more than the recommended amount. Changing their diets every few months will mean they have the best chance of avoiding food allergies and can become stable on varying diets. This needs to be done slowly however because dogs' digestion do not react well to sudden changes in their diets.

Probiotics

Probiotics are the naturally occurring 'good bacteria' found in the body. These bacteria help to increase digestibility of foods and are a vital part of the digestive system. Good quality probiotics will be natural and organic with no added sugar or flavours. Adding probiotics such as Yumpro BioActiv to your dog's food is an excellent way to top up these beneficial bacteria. It's a good supplement to have to hand if your dog is on anti-biotics or other drugs for any length of time as this will upset the pH balance in the gut.

Prebiotics

In simple terms prebiotics are healthy food for the probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract. They feed the probiotic bacteria so that they can do their job well. Yumpro BioActiv contains both probiotics and prebiotics so you can top up your dog with both at once. Prebiotics are also found in beet pulp, raw oats, inulin and soybeans.

Natural Fibre

Not to put too fine a point on it but fibre provides good roughage and keeps your dog regular. Fibre helps waste pass through the digestive system at an ideal speed so it's important to get the right amount.

Phytonutrients

These are powerful antioxidants that naturally occur in fruits and vegetables; what they do is to help neutralise 'free radicals' in order to maintain healthy cells. While essential to the body, oxygen molecules can turn into free radicals which can actually cause serious damage to the other cells in the body. They can contribute to the aging process as well as diseases like cancer, heart disease or a decline in the immune system or brain function.

Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that have an extra electron present. They damage the body by taking an electron from another cell to stabilise themselves however, this just creates another free radical in the process. This can cause a chain reaction and in seconds thousands of free radicals can be created.

Normally the body can control these with naturally occurring antioxidants but a deficiency means that free radicals are left to do their damage. Antioxidants have the ability to stabilise or deactivate free radicals before they damage other cells.

Antioxidants are found naturally in Vitamins C & E as well as Beta Carotene (which the body converts into Vitamin A) which can be found in fruits and vegetables so these are an important part of the diet in the correct amounts. If you want it in a treat try Papaya, Sweet Potato or Carrot treats.

BARF Diets

BARF stands either for 'Biologically Appropriate Raw Food' or 'Bones and Raw Food' but they both describe a diet consisting of uncooked meats and bones. The argument of this kind of diet is that the heat used in cooking commercial dog foods destroys all the nutritional content and value in the food and is therefore redundant as a diet.

Those in favour of BARF diets postulate that feeding a dog a raw food diet more akin to their evolutionary predecessors is much more healthy and beneficial. If these diets are followed it is important to thoroughly research them as well as a dog's nutritional requirements so that you can make sure to give them all the nutrients they require on this diet.

Solving the Problem

Consulting your vet is the best way to insure against digestive problems but to ease the symptoms of an upset stomach Yumpro BioActiv is your best bet. It's full of probiotics and prebiotics that promote healthy digestion and helps to create a digestive environment that is unattractive to bad bacteria.


Sobrino Goodman
Saturday, 14 December 2013  |  11:57

Really interesting. Keeping them coming.


Sara Ford
Thursday, 10 March 2016  |  12:29

According to some experts, dogs don't need carbs
http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/canine-nutrition/dog-food-carbohydrates/

Our dog is fed raw meat (with minced bone), veg & fruit & she loves it! No more tummy troubles & no more issues with her anal glands!


Kate
Tuesday, 29 March 2016  |  12:28

Hi Sara

Just like us, all dogs can do without simple carbs, often found in dog food but complex carbs are brilliant. I don't feed mine any simple carbs and she doesn't have a pick on her.


Estella Matheson
Friday, 17 March 2017  |  11:39

Can you tell me how you mince the bone. My dogs used to have raw chicken necks etc but they are older and need a little help with digestion. Thank you


Mildred
Tuesday, 11 July 2017  |  8:19

Helpful information, thank you


Christine P-Jefkins
Wednesday, 3 December 2014  |  15:25

Excellent topic thank you, well explained in clear understandable language.


Geraldine Jull
Friday, 19 December 2014  |  12:24

Tried our dog from Thailand on the BARF diet. She suffered with a terrible upset tummy and eventually needed antibiotics to sort her out. Will never try it again with her. She is now on a wheat free diet and although hasn't sorted her hair loss problem she is a happy contented dog who eats well and enjoys life to the full,


Beryl Fosbury
Thursday, 28 May 2015  |  17:36

I have started home cooking for 6month old Lucas Terrier Lulu. Could you tell me the best additives I need to supplement the diet.


Kate
Thursday, 28 May 2015  |  20:20

Hi Beryl, you could try Dorwest Keepers Mix as an all round conditioning mix. That and home cooking, add raw bones, they type she can't eat or something small like a chicken wing, raw as well will help too.


Beryl
Friday, 29 May 2015  |  21:00

Thank you Kate I will try that. Lulu likes a raw chicken wing and has had one a week for awhile.
Should I also use omega oil, I have not really got into fish yet.


Kate
Friday, 4 December 2015  |  12:39

As long as you're getting a varied diet you should be fine. Nothing wrong with a good omega oil though.


Sue Douglas
Tuesday, 1 March 2016  |  14:14

Really appreciate varied information from you.
Thank you.


Kate
Tuesday, 29 March 2016  |  12:32

Our pleasure. Ask us anything.


Jacqueline Anderson
Monday, 7 March 2016  |  15:57

Hi there. Kate you're marvellous and the book has educated me and enthused me to try my 7 year old Blue Whippet, Ptolemy on a part diy BARF and part commercially bought raw food.He's been fed like this for over 5 weeks now,and loves the variety.I'm still feeding a little ,low fat special kibble in his treat ball mid evening,but not more than a few grammes.I'm giving 1/3 raw meat,1/3 fruit and veg mash & 1/3 carbohydrate as sweet potato.However, it all adds up to a big dishful and as he's rather portly, I'm committed to his losing about 2 to 3 kilos with the vet's agreement.He's 21kg now.At first he seemed to be losing,now though we're standing still,even,dare I say ,slightly larger.He has suffered from Pancreatitis a few times in his life ,so I need to be aware. I have, by the way ,occasionally cut out carbs from a few meals. Help pleeeese?


Kate
Tuesday, 29 March 2016  |  12:31

Hi Jacqueline

That's great. All you have to do is feed less of it. Roughly you're wanting 2-3% of body weight in food per day. So a 21kg dog would be 2% to lose weight as a starting point which is 420g per day. Try that then adjust if he's putting on or losing too fast. You're aiming for 2-3% weight loss per month. In your case that would be 400-600 grams roughly.


June Hoy
Friday, 10 February 2017  |  14:58

I've just started feeding raw I buy it complete in bags defrost am serve my girls love it, goin to try the sweet potato like you said, thanks for info


Kate
Wednesday, 26 July 2017  |  12:24

Hi Estella

You could try buying Natural Instinct raw chicken with bone included. Save yourself the trouble and then you know it's minced down enough.
Kate