Having a healthy digestive system is so much more important than just ensuring your dog has firm stools and less flatulence!
Every single cell in a dog’s body requires nutrition for its creation and survival. The digestive system essentially is designed to extract the nutrients from food, deliver them to where they are needed and remove any waste.
WHAT IS THE MICROBIOME?
The gut microbiome is like an eco-system in your dog’s tummy, made up of bacteria, microorganisms and viruses that all live in the gastrointestinal tract. They all work symbiotically together to create the best environment for nutrient absorption.
For example, bacteria in the gut produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) that nourish the intestinal wall, while the intestinal wall produces mucus that feeds beneficial bacteria.
A healthy gut microbiome helps with metabolic functions, protects against pathogens (bad bacteria & microorganisms) and supports the immune system, ensuring overall health and vitality.
What helps the microbiome to be healthy?
Like any eco-system, by including ingredients that provide nutrients that thrive in the gut and help support the environment, the microbiome will flourish.
These ingredients include dietary fibre, prebiotics and probiotics.
WHAT IS DIETARY FIBRE?
Fibre comes in two types, insoluble and soluble. Fibre is beneficial for the transit of food through the digestive system.
Insoluble fibre acts as a bulk within the digestive system regulating the transit of food. The transit needs to be slow enough to allow for the absorption of nutrients but not so slow to cause constipation. It also adds bulk and moisture to stools which benefits the colon.
Soluble fibre, such as fructoligosaccharides (FOS) and mannanoligosaccharides (MOS) can improve the health of the digestive tract by providing food for beneficial (friendly) bacteria. However, not all fermentable fibres have a prebiotic effect.
Our Autarky recipes include beet pulp and vegetables which along with many other great benefits, provide excellent sources of fibre.
WHAT ARE PREBIOTICS & PROBIOTICS?
Prebiotics feed the beneficial (friendly) bacteria in the gut.
- Fructoligosaccharides (FOS) break down under the effect of bacteria which releases short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) that nourishes the intestinal wall, while the intestinal wall produces mucus that feeds beneficial bacteria. This helps stop the development of bad bacteria which improves digestive health.
- Mannanoligosaccharides (MOS) are the superstars of prebiotics! These yeast fibres are beneficial to the dog’s tummy in two ways. Firstly, they prevent the development of bad bacteria by stopping them attaching to the gut wall and secondly, they directly help the effectiveness of the dog’s immune system.
Probiotics are the friendly bacteria in the dog’s gut. Adding them into your dog’s diet ‘tops up’ the existing friendly bacteria. By rapidly growing the number of friendly bacteria, probiotics can populate the microbiome and push out the bad bacteria.
WHAT ARE POSTBIOTICS?
They are “inactivated probiotics” non-viable cells or cell fractions which may produce a positive effect when consumed if administered in sufficient amounts. How are they inactivated? Usually but not always by heat treatment.
Studies have suggested that probiotics may exert health benefits even when they are dormant - the “probiotic paradox.” This is likely to be explained by the release of bioactive compounds when the cells dissolve in the gut.
How do they improve gut health?
Compounds of the cell walls of the postbiotics might boost the immune system.
By adhering to the surface of the gut wall the postbiotic cells help to reduce pathogens in the gut
Bioactive compounds associated with the postbiotic cells may play a part in reducing inflammation.
Postbiotic provide a consistent, concentrated source of beneficial bioactive compounds proven to improve the dog’s digestive system which in turn supports immunity, vitality, and overall wellbeing.
Autarky Grain Free Adult – now with postbiotic!
Our grain free recipes have not changed apart from the addition of postbiotic. We still include prebiotic and dietary fibre to help create a healthy digestive system however, by adding postbiotic directly into our recipes, we are giving the dog’s microbiome an extra boost.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A HEALTHY MICROBIOME?
- Supports a healthier digestion system
- Supports healthier skin & coat
- Supports immunity
Having a healthy microbiome means that your dog’s digestive system can absorb nutrients easily which in turn allows them to be used by the parts of their body that require them which will promote overall health and vitality.
The Role of the Canine Gut Microbiome and Metabolome in Health and Gastrointestinal Disease: Rachel Pilla* and Jan S. Suchodolski