October 14, 2019
Heed these takeaways
- Good gut health is essential for a healthy digestive system and proper immune system function.
- Probiotics are the good bacteria in your dog’s gut; prebiotics are the food that helps probiotics thrive.
- There are many foods that can act as a rich source of prebiotics for your pup.
- High-fiber foods that act as sources of prebiotics include apple, banana, flaxseed, chicory root and raw oats.
Your dog’s digestive tract makes up some 70% of his immune system, so good gut health is essential for a happy and healthy pup.
Probiotics play a crucial role in maintaining proper digestive balance and keeping your dog’s gut in top shape. These “good” bacteria live in your pup’s gut and ensure that nutrients are absorbed properly, bad bacteria are kept at bay and the immune system functions at its peak.
In other words, they play a pretty damn important role, so helping these beneficial bacteria thrive can go a long way to creating a healthy pup.
And that’s where prebiotics come in.
What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are soluble fibers that feed the good bacteria in your pup’s gut. These non-digestible fibers make their way to the colon, where they’re then fermented to release short-chain fatty acids.
Prebiotics help beneficial gut bacteria grow and thrive while keeping harmful bacteria at bay. They help fight disease, ensure nutrients are absorbed properly and support proper immune system function.
Prebiotics are often included in probiotic supplements for dogs. However, there are also many foods that can act as a rich source of prebiotics for your pup, so let’s take a closer look at five of the best.
Apples aren’t just great for people; they’re also a healthy snack for our fur-babies. Apples are high in fiber and well known as an excellent source of prebiotics, so they help support proper digestive function. They’re also readily available just about everywhere, affordable, and loaded with vitamin C and important antioxidants.
However, to help your pup stay safe, make sure to remove the seeds and core before eating.
The humble banana offers many nutritional benefits for dogs, and one of the main highlights is that it’s an excellent natural source of prebiotics. Rich in dietary fiber, bananas aid digestion and can help prevent health issues in the gastrointestinal tract. Throw in the fact that they’re also a rich source of potassium, vitamin B6 and a long list of other vitamins and minerals, and it’s easy to see why a little bit of banana can make a great treat for your pup.
Flaxseed has long been known as a source of natural fiber, helping to support proper digestive function and promote a healthy gut. These tiny seeds are also a source of alpha-linoleic acid, which provides a boost for your pet’s immune system, and are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.
Rich in a prebiotic fiber known as inulin, chicory root helps promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. It aids digestion, has anti-inflammatory properties and helps protect your pet against disease, which is why it’s seeing increasing use in a range of dog foods.
Last on our list of natural prebiotics for dogs, raw oats are an excellent source of prebiotic fiber. They’re easy to include in your dog’s diet and can help support beneficial bacteria, promote proper digestion and ensure regular bowel movements. They’re also high in iron, manganese and B vitamins, so they provide a long list of health benefits for your pet.
Feeding Your Pet
If you’re passionate about feeding your pup nothing but the best, you might want to incorporate one or more natural sources of prebiotics into your pup’s diet.
Unfortunately, finding the right balance of ingredients for your pet isn’t easy. It can take a lot of time, research and hard work, so it’s much easier to give your pup a premium dog food that’s specially formulated to meet all of his or her nutritional needs.
Here at Heed, all of our recipes are created with good gut health in mind. We include a carefully formulated mix of pre and probiotics to our premium kibble blends to help improve your dog’s digestion while protecting him from harmful bacteria — find out more about our pre and probiotics here.
And because our blends are independently tested to ensure their nutritional quality, digestibility and great taste, you can rest assured that your pup’s health and wellbeing are in safe hands.