Pet Wellness Guides > A Guide to Dog Digestive Health - Pet Insurance Review

A Guide to Dog Digestive Health

Posted: 06/23/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Uncategorized

You may have heard that a person’s overall health was dependent on the health of their gut. And that’s because over 80% of our immune system is located in our gut. The same is true for our canine companions. If you’re a pup parent, it’s important that you understand dog digestive health so you can help your pup live a long and happy life.

dog digestive health

Your Dog’s Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract

Like the human GI tract, your dog’s GI tract houses a unique collection of thousands of different types of microscopic living things like bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microorganisms. Together these microorganisms are referred to as the “gut microbiome.” 

For your dog to be healthy, he or she needs a diverse and well-balanced gut microbiome. Sometimes, their gut microbiome can become unbalanced, leaving your pup with too many ‘bad’ bacteria. This can lead to things such as diarrhea, weight loss, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and immune system reactions.

Humans and our pups are suffering from imbalanced gut microbiomes. This is a result of age, illnesses, eating a diet consisting mostly of overly-processed foods, taking a variety of medications including antibiotics, and living a stressful lifestyle. Yes, many dogs feel stress and some even suffer from anxiety, which can definitely kill off the good bacteria in their gut.

Luckily there are a few different things you can do to restore dog digestive health:

Get Your Dog’s Poop Tested

Does your pup suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, itchy skin and even bad breath? These are all potential signs your dog has poor digestive health and their gut microbiome needs to be restored.

Speak with your vet to see if they can do microbiome testing on your dog’s stool sample. This is the best way to see what is actually going on in there. This test uses DNA sequencing to identify all of the bacteria and other microorganisms currently living in your dog’s GI tract. If your vet doesn’t offer this kind of testing, there are independent companies that sell canine microbiome testing kits. 

Add Back in Some Good Bacteria

Whether you decide to test your dog’s poop or not, there’s a very good chance that their gut could use some more beneficial bacteria. This is particularly true if they have been on medications for any amount of time, had 1 course or more of antibiotics, suffer from chronic diarrhea or constipation or suffer from allergies.

There are different ways you can add good bacteria back into your dog’s digestive system. 


Supporting dog digestive health must start with proper nutrition. The foods your dog eats can help good bacteria flourish or they can destroy it. If your dog is on a typical commercial dog food, you may want to speak with your vet about alternatives. There are multiple humagrade foods on the market that are created with wholesome ingredients. Check out companies like Honest Kitchen and The Farmer’s Dog (and others) to see if you can’t get your dog on a food that has more good ingredients and less junk fillers.

It’s also important to mention that dogs are carnivores and require a high-protein low-carbohydrate diet. Most commercial kibble diets on the market are simply too high in carbohydrates. These foods end up promoting growth of bad bacteria in your dog’s gut. The good bacteria in your dog’s gut will flourish with a high-protein low-carbohydrate diet.

dog digestive health


Probiotics are as good for your pup as they are your human family members. But not all probiotics will be effective at restoring their gut microbiome. Most probiotics on the market intended for people contain high amounts of a few specific strains of bacteria that aren’t native to dogs. So giving these bacteria won’t really help because they’re not able to become “permanent residents” of your dog’s gut.

One probiotic that has been proven to be effective at restoring dog digestive health is  Saccharomyces boulardii, also referred to as S. boulardii. Actually, S. boulardii isn’t really a bacteria but a strain of yeast that is especially good at regrowing gut microorganism populations in canine GI tracts.

Get Them Outdoors More

Being out in nature is good for every living thing. And it turns out there are good bacteria everywhere outdoors. Be sure to take your dog on plenty of walks so they can be in the dirt and plants where these good bacteria live. 

Final Thoughts

If your dog is older, has been on medication, or showing any signs of an upset stomach (diarrhea, vomiting, constipation), there’s a very good chance he or she has poor dog digestive health. Getting your dog’s gut balanced and healthy again can be as easy as getting them on a healthier species appropriate diet, adding in a probiotic supplement, and ensuring they get regular outdoor exercise. 

Pet Insurance Can Help Your Dog’s Overall Health Too!

If you’ve read this far it’s obvious you really care about your pup and want to do what’s best for their health. One of the most important things you can do to ensure your pup lives a long and healthy life is to enroll them into a pet insurance plan.

At some point in a dog’s life, they will experience an accident or major illness. Are you able to comfortably afford a vet bill to cover the costs? What if you were suddenly hit with a vet bill for over $7,000 to get your pup life-saving treatment?

You can find a pet insurance policy with a monthly premium as low as $25. Spend more and you can find a policy that will reimburse you for up to 100% of your bills. Talk about peace of mind!

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  1. “5 Steps To Restore Dog Gut Health”
  2. “Dog Gut Health: Everything You Need to Know”
  3. “The power of probiotics | Benefits for the whole dog



The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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