Just like us humans, dogs and other pets are vulnerable to illness, even though many of them are better at “toughing it out” with sickness than people are. Digestive health is one of the most key areas of a dog’s health that owners should be aware of. Here we look at some digestive issues that can exist in dogs, accompanied by some recommendations for supplements that can foster healthy digestion in them.
Digestive Problems in Dogs
Dogs can experience a variety of different digestive issues. Some of them are more serious than others. If you are a dog owner, it is important to be aware of what these are. Here are three such conditions that merit your attention and preparedness:
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is a condition of a dog’s pancreas wherein the cells that produce digestive hormones don’t function properly. The pancreas produces hormones that break down different types of macronutrients. EPI can severely hinder a dog’s ability to absorb nutrients, leaving them starving and hurting even while eating regularly. There is no known cure for EPI, but it can be managed with the right enzyme supplements and lifestyle considerations. A great resource for owners whose pets experience exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is Epi4Dogs Foundation. Wonder Labs has close connections with Epi4Dogs Foundation, and we regularly confide in them for knowledge on pet health and the quality of our pet supplements.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition where there is an overgrowth of the small bacteria that are naturally present in a dog’s small intestine. This can follow the indigestion that happens in a dog with EPI. Toxins can develop from this overgrowth of bacteria, causing food intolerance and other more severe long-term effects. Antibiotics are the usual treatment for a dog with SIBO, but for long-term treatment, the right enzyme, probiotic, and nutrient supplements are the best way to go.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that can cause periodic flare-ups wherein a dog’s digestive muscles don’t function properly. Diarrhea and constipation are the primary symptoms. IBS is not very common in dogs.
Supplements for Your Pet’s Digestion
Supplements designed for dogs can be of real help in bolstering your dog’s digestive process. These supplements contain healthy vitamins, nutrients, or enzymes that are in a form that is ideal for a dog’s digestion. They can help improve the state of a dog’s gut microbiome.
Never give your dog supplements produced for human consumption. Products that are formulated for humans often contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs. We recommend that you discuss these issues and recommendations with a veterinarian before giving any of these supplements to your dog.
Pet-Factor B-12: Vitamin B12 is a critical nutrient for all dogs. It is important for a dog’s digestive health. Conversely, supplementing with B12 is especially important for dogs that have EPI, because EPI causes B12 deficiency by inhibiting a dog’s body from absorbing nutrients from food. If your dog has EPI, supplementing with a Pet-Factor B-12 supplement is essential, and instrumental in treating EPI. B12 is also helpful in other ways; It helps foster proper nervous system function, cell growth, blood production, and even brain health. Dogs with IBS can also have a B12 deficiency. They can benefit as well from supplementing with it.
Pet-Zyme 10X is a WonderLabs product containing the enzymes amylase, protease, and lipase. These are three of the main digestive enzymes used by dogs. For dogs with EPI, supplementing with these enzymes is extremely important. This is because the pancreas cannot produce enzymes; therefore, the dog must consume them alongside their food, to absorb their food’s nutrients. In any dog, supplementing with these enzymes can help nutrient absorption, relieve digestive issues such as bloating, support healthy body weight, and more.
Slippery Elm Bark (no pun intended) can be helpful for a dog’s digestive system in ways different from the previous two supplements. Slippery elm bark takes on a unique quality when combined with water: it forms a mucus-like texture, which can soothe the mucous membrane of a dog’s digestive tract. This is helpful for dogs with inflammation in their digestive system. It is good for dogs with mild gastrointestinal issues related to diarrhea, gastroenteritis, and IBS.
It can be painful to see your pet suffer from digestive issues, especially ones such as EPI and SIBO. The right supplements, especially enzymes and vitamin B12, are critical for addressing these disorders; they are just plain healthy for your dog as well. Talk to your vet about using these supplements for your dog experiencing digestive issues, even mild ones.