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How to Improve Your Pet's Gut Microbiome

How to Improve Your Pet's Gut Microbiome

We all want our furry friends to be healthy and happy. One way to achieve this is by maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, which can have a positive impact on overall health. While many pet owners may be aware of probiotics and other similar compounds in their own diets, they may not be familiar with what is really going on behind marketing claims for digestive health pet foods.


What are microbiomes? 

As animals, we all live within biomes, and within us we contain microbiomes. Just like ecosystems in biomes become less resilient when faced with invasive species, habitat destruction, or pollution, the internal environment can also fall out of balance. This can lead to a shift in the microbiome that can result in and/or contribute to chronic inflammation, digestive problems, and other health issues. One way to control the conditions of the microbiome is through diet. Research has shown that different types of foods, nutrients, and supplements can influence the body's microbiome. There are a plethora of prebiotics (fibres) and probiotics, but not all of them have the same species specificity and research behind them. Accordingly VIVUS Pets incorporates only evidence-based prebiotics and probiotics in our products. By doing so, we aim to help nourish healthy microbial communities within dogs to encourage overall dog health and wellbeing.


Why consider a plant-based diet for your pet?

While it may seem potentially restrictive for an omnivorous animal, it turns out that plant-based diets may be beneficial to their gut microbiome (just like ours!) In fact, there is evidence to suggest that plant-based diets may affect the diversity and/or alter the composition of gut microbes in both humans and animals. In particular, studies have found that dogs fed a plant-based diet had increased levels of bacteria associated with digestive health compared to dogs fed a meat-based diet. Of course, it's important to note that it's always best to consult with a veterinarian before making any significant changes to a dog's diet, so consider speaking with your family vet about how a plant-based diet may promote a healthy gut microbiome for your dog. If your dog requires a specific food and/or cannot tolerate a food change, consider adding a gastrointestinal support supplement as a method of adding prebiotics and probiotics to your dog's daily diet without changing their required food.