What’s even more important than belly rubs? Belly digestion.
Just because your pet loves eating garbage off the street doesn’t mean she’s got a stomach of steel. In fact, digestive trouble is one of the top ten reasons pets end up at the vet. Problems can include irritable bowel disorder, colitis, gas, loose stools, and bad breath. Supplements like digestive enzymes, probiotics, and prebiotics can help. They come in powder, capsules, liquid, chews, and gel, so hopefully your dog will swallow one of them.
Digestives enzymes are key for breaking down food to unlock vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Probiotics flood the system with beneficial bacteria that assist in digestion and nutrient absorption, plus lower stomach pH. Together, these two kinds of supplements make digestion a lot easier. This is great for all dogs, whose acidic stomachs and small-ish intestines can make digestion tricky. Digestive aids are especially important for pets eating processed or commercial food (which lack a lot of the natural components that aid in digestion) and pets who are transitioning diets. Even pets onhome-cooked diets can have stomach issues and need a little extra help.
Prebiotics and probiotics also increase the “good” natural gut bacteria that live in your pet’s gut.This is key if your pet has recently been on antibiotics, which kill good bacteria as well as bad. Different brands of probiotics contain different strains of bacteria, and it’s good to vary which one you use for maximum exposure. 70-80% of the immune system is in the gut, so caring for gut bacteria is one of the best things you can do for your pet’s overall health.