Gut issues can result from various factors, but there's one factor you may not have considered...
Gut issues are commonplace with dogs and cats today
The gut plays an essential role in the overall wellbeing of your fur babe. It's not just important for digestive processes. The gut is also directly linked to your fur babe's immune function, mental wellbeing and overall health.
Gut issues are commonplace with dogs and cats today. There are various reasons for that. In my opinion, the causes of these gut issues are wide and variable and can include one or more of the following:
But there is one underlying factor - the health of your pet's gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome.
Your pet's microbiome
A healthy gut will house a thriving metropolis of micro-organisms consisting of intestinal bacteria, gut flora and gut macrobiota. Together, these components make up the GI microbiome.
The GI microbiome is tasked with:
defending against non-resident intestinal pathogens;
developing a healthy gut epithelium (mucosal lining of the gut);
developing a healthy immune system;
providing nutrients via fermentative and metabolic activities.
It also plays a significant role in what's called the gut-brain neuroendocrine metabolic axis. What's that you ask? It's basically a two-way communication channel between the gut and the brain, which links the emotional and mental brain processes with intestinal functions.
To give a simple and practical example, if your dog has anxiety, that anxiety can impact the health and functioning of their gut. And, if your dog has gut issues, that can impact your dog's emotional and mental processes resulting in anxiety and behavioural changes or issues. Make sense?
When there is a disruption to the GI microbiome, such as with antibiotic use and disease, the microbiota can become imbalanced and inflammation can occur. Over time, your pet can experience:
As stated at the top of this post, there are various causes of gut issues, and it's these causes that can upset your pet's gut microbiome, and their overall health and wellbeing.
There's another factor that's not often spoken about... the connection between your fur babe's health and yours.
There exists a deep bond between humans and their companion animals, but this connection is often ignored. This connection is integral and involves unconditional love and a sharing of energies. This love and this sharing of energies can result in shared illnesses or a symptomatic response by the animal to what's happening with the human.
We transfer energy with our pets and one of their jobs is to transmute that energy (to move it, to change it). As a result, the animal can present with symptoms. These symptoms may be a way that the animal is trying to alert the human to something that needs attention. Or it can be simply be the animal's way to relieve some of the human's burden, to help them out with what they're experiencing.
If attention is had to the symptom, and there is a realisation by the human of the issue that's unresolved, a healing effect within the human can be triggered, and so too, within the animal. Once the human has got the message and healed the unresolved wound or issue, the animal will no longer need to present the symptom.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Are your pet's gut issues symptomatic of an unresolved issue within yourself?
If we take this back to the main topic of this post, there is a possibility that your pet's gut issues are symptomatic of an unresolved issue (emotional or physical) within yourself. Your pet may be trying to communicate with you, to bring focus to an area that needs attention for you to be happy.
Their gut issue may simply be a side effect of your emotional state or your own physical health issue.
How can you navigate this?
As an animal naturopath, I always recommend a wholistic approach to wellness. An approach that takes into account your fur babe's whole being - their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. What are they eating? What medications are they on? Do they have a high toxic load? What is their environment like? Is there emotional upset within the home eg stress, anxiety, worry, frustration?
Here are some options that you can explore:
Learn about gut health and how to support your fur babe's gut. My Natural Gut Health for Pets workshop will help you with this.
Reflect on your own health and how that may be having an impact on your fur babe's gut health. I shared a reflection exercise on Instagram recently that helps with this process. View that here.
Book a 1:1 consult with me. We'll work through your pet's overall state of health, their symptoms, what's going on with their diet, medications, toxic load, environment (including the role you play in their environment).
Can supplements help?
They certainly can but they will only be one part of the solution to heal your pet's gut issues. Ideally, you'd foster an outcome (taking into account what I've shared in this post) so that your fur babe wouldn't need to take the supplement on an ongoing basis. Two digestive supplements I recommend that can be beneficial for healing gut issues are Digestive K9 and PetWell Digest. You can save 10% on Digestive K9 and PetWell Digest when you check out with the code RUTH10.
For ongoing digestive support, I also recommend my own Prebiotic Wholefood Powder. This is a blend of whole foods known for their prebiotic and other digestive benefits.
In summing up, gut issues are becoming more prevalent, and more often than not, the health of the animal has gone way past gut issues, and there are various contributing factors. Sure, supplements may help, but they won't usually fix the underlying factor that caused the issue in the first place. It's my view that more is needed than just a supplement to bring about deep healing and optimal health.