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The right foods and supplements can improve gut health in dogs and cats

Digestive issues in pets can be corrected with the right foods and supplements.

Michelle Martin
for Premier Pet Supply
Improve your pet’s gut health with these simple tips.

When it comes to digestive health, dogs and cats aren’t much different than humans. Their digestive systems comprise a large part of their immune system, and an upset stomach not only can lead to bloating and pain – it also can cause inflammation, depression and other issues.

Feeding your pet a high-quality diet is just one way to be sure his or her digestive track is working properly.

Here are some tips to help your dog or cat have optimal digestion and gut health.

Watch for health issues

Digestive issues, such as gas, diarrhea and bloating, can be obvious signs of poor gut health in dogs and cats. But other issues, such as frequent shedding and excessive scratching, also can indicate a problem.

Dogs and cats that have poor gut health can experience vomiting and weight loss. Cats also might resist being picked up or will spend an excessive amount of time grooming their abdomen. Some dogs can have separation anxiety issues when their digestive system isn’t working well. But these also can be signs of other health issues, so you should talk with your vet to confirm the cause.

Start with a good diet

A high-quality pet food diet is key for optimal gut health.

A high-quality pet food – one with high meat proteins – is a good way to help restore gut health.

Look for foods that have meat, not grains, as the first ingredient on the list. Other ingredients, such as animal fat and turmeric, also are good for your pet’s digestive track.

For dogs, try Dr. Gary’s Best Breed red meat recipe dog food, which is made with buffalo meat and has probiotics to promote digestive health. For cats, Instinct limited-ingredient cat food, a grain-free food made with salmon, has just one animal protein and one vegetable. 

And although it’s tempting to feed your pet human food, don’t do it. Human food not only can harm your pet’s digestive system, but also can lead to weight gain and other issues.

Use probiotics and supplements 

Consider using supplements to improve your pet’s gut health.

About 70% of a dog, cat and human’s immune system lives in the gut. 

Bacteria live in the digestive track, and together with fungi and other organisms, they break down food. However, when the good bacteria encounter bad bacteria, they signal the white blood cells of the immune system to fight it.

Having the right balance of good bacteria in the gut is important – and probiotics help with that. Supplements, such as Nootie Progility Advanced Skin & Coat With Probiotics is a good option for dogs. For cats, try Fidobiotics Meowbiotics Good Guts Probiotic Powder

Digestive supplements, such as Primal Raw Frozen Goat Milk for dogs and cats, also can support a healthy gut. 

Keep the water bowl full 

Leverage the wonders of water for gut health by being sure your dog or cat is drinking enough during the day. Water not only helps with digestion, but it also can help to promote the balance of good bacteria in the gut.  

Dogs need about an ounce of fluid per pound of body weight each day; cats need about four ounces of water per five pounds of their body weight. To make sure your pet is getting enough water, consider a water dispenser, such as the Moderna Water Bubble Pet Waterer, available at Premier Pet Supply.

To learn more about the ways you can improve your dog or cat’s gut health, visit premierpetsupply.com.

Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA TODAY Network were not involved in the creation of this content.