What is leaky gut?

The term ‘leaky gut’ is used to describe the more formal condition of ‘gastrointestinal hyper-permeability’, which ultimately means that the lining of the gastrointestinal tract has become more porous than it should be. If the gastrointestinal tract is more permeable than normal, it can allow substances such as toxins, bacteria, and undigested food particles to leak into the bloodstream.

When these foreign items leak into the bloodstream, it triggers inflammatory processes which overstimulates our dogs’ immune systems, making them more susceptible to both food and environmental allergens, and other potential health problems.

Symptoms of leaky gut

Digestive issues and skin conditions are the most common symptoms seen in a dog with leaky gut, but our pets may also experience chronic ear infections, joint diseases, autoimmune disorders and even behavioural problems.

How can I prevent and heal leaky gut in my dog

Diet is crucial for gut health. The most important thing that we can do is to feed them a species-appropriate, whole food diet and less of those ultra-processed foods that are high in sugars and synthetic additives.

Dietary tips for dogs with leaky gut

• Higher quality, more bioavailable animal proteins. We recommend human-grade quality meat.
• High quality fats such as the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish (i.e. salmon, sardines, and mackerel), eggs, flaxseeds, hempseeds and chia seeds.
• Fresh vegetables and fruits – loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support your pet’s immune system.
Pre- and probiotics to strengthen the integrity of the gut, support immune function and promote overall health and wellbeing.

Product recommendation to help reduce the instance of leaky gut in dogs

Big Dog Soothe & Support probiotic supplement is a high-strength formula with 20 billion good bacteria per 5g serve. Containing 7 species specific probiotic strains, plus digestive enzymes, prebiotics and a blend of soothing herbs this formula has been developed to reduce the instance of leaky gut, support digestive health during diet transitions and aid the natural detoxification process in dogs.

This supplement is easy to use with any pet food, simply sprinkle on their meal once a day. We recommend that it be used in conjunction with a fresh, wholefood diet but this can be sprinkled over kibble.

Big Dog probiotic supplements are superior to others on the market as they are microencapsulated. Microencapsulation is a protective layer that covers the probiotics and makes sure the good bacteria is released in the right place of the gut.

To find Big Dog raw foods and our probiotics near you visit our where to buy page.

To read more about leaky gut and its role in allergies, read this article by Canine Nutritionist, Narelle Cooke.