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    Leaky Gut Syndrome In Dogs

    Leaky Gut Syndrome In Dogs

    by Health / 3 min read

    Leaky Gut In Dogs


    Estimated Read Time: 5 minutes

    Summary: In this blog, we learn all about leaky gut in dogs! We’ll discover what leaky gut syndrome in dogs is, what the symptoms and causes are, and what you can do about a suspected leaky gut in your dog! Read on to find out more about leaky gut syndrome in dogs…


    There’s an epidemic afoot that could be the reason behind a multitude of health issues your dog’s experiencing. It’s called leaky gut! Leaky gut syndrome is a relatively new discovery of veterinarians and scientists but is now becoming more thoroughly researched and understood.

    The health of your dog’s gut directly contributes to their overall health and that’s becoming undeniable. But, what exactly is leaky gut syndrome and what should we be doing about it?

    What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome In Dogs?

    Leaky gut in dogs is a disorder that affects the lining of the gastrointestinal system. When your dog eats their food, it passes from their stomach to their small intestine via a mucosal lining, then their large intestine and colon: this is the gut. 

    This mucosal lining is naturally quite flimsy, but when functioning optimally, is permeable so can absorb nutrients from the food being digested and transfer them to the bloodstream. However, when this lining becomes damaged, it can become leaky allowing large particles of food, bacteria, debris, and toxins through to the blood too. The result? Leaky Gut Syndrome, which presents itself in frequent allergic reactions, chronic inflammation, arthritis, and even behavioral problems…

    What Are The Signs Of Leaky Gut In Dogs?

    dog laying on beach

    Signs that your dog may be experiencing leaky gut syndrome are:

    • Aggression/Behavioral Issues
    • Joint issues/Worsening of arthritic symptoms
    • Impaired liver, kidney, pancreas, and/or gallbladder functioning
    • Anxiety
    • Fatigue/Lethargy
    • Chronic and frequent ear, skin, or respiratory infections
    • Chronic and frequent yeast infections
    • Chronic and frequent urinary tract infections
    • Thyroid disorders
    • Irritated skin/frequent allergic reactions
    • An irritated bowel/digestive issues (frequent diarrhea, gas, bloating, and/or vomiting)

    The signs of leaky gut are so varied because the chronic inflammation in the gut can affect multiple organs and areas of the body at any time. 

    A leaky gut can typically be caused by stress, frequent antibiotic usage, candida or yeast overgrowth, abdominal trauma, poor diet, food allergies, and/or aging (the older a dog gets, the less commensal - or friendly - bacteria they produce in the gut). So, if your dog is experiencing any of the above, but particularly more than one, could it be leaky gut syndrome? And, if that’s what you suspect, how can you help?

    How Can You Treat Leaky Gut Syndrome In Dogs?

    fluffy white dog laying down

    Up Fiber & Introduce Probiotics

    Inside your pup’s small intestine and colon are trillions of good, commensal bacteria called the microbiome which combat viruses, yeast growth, and parasites. Your dog’s immune cells work together with this commensal bacteria to prevent inflammation from occurring in the gut too. When the commensal bacteria is low or your dog’s immune system is down, the gut lining becomes weak and inflamed. So, ensuring the microbiome is well nourished and in tip-top condition should be any pet parent’s priority. 

    Fuelling the commensal bacteria with high-quality food, good amounts of fiber via fresh food (cut up cucumber, blueberries and small pieces of carrots are great for boosting fiber) and dog-specific probiotics can help make sure the microbiome keep up producing essential digestive enzymes regularly. This will help to efficiently break down food and effectively digest vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and essential fatty acids into your dog’s body, boosting immunity and reducing inflammation. You can purchase high-quality probiotic supplements from the most reputable pet brands and pet stores.

    You should also avoid feeding your dog dairy products as most dogs don’t produce lactase; the enzyme that breaks down dairy in the gut. So, if Fido is treated to pieces of cheese and saucers of milk, this may actually be irritating the gut lining further!

    Reduce Stress

    Every time a dog experiences stress, the stress hormone cortisol is released, resulting in further inflammation of your dog’s immune system and gut. Be careful not to over-exercise them, don’t let them become bored, and try not to expose them to known stressors too often (ie. new dogs or people if this makes them anxious, loud noises, etc.)

    Limit Pesticide Exposure

    If you live in the countryside, be conscious of the pesticides farmers, neighbors, and yourself may be using on crops or lawns. Pesticides are thought to negatively impact the gut and compromise the intestines in animals. 

    Your pup's medications may also be negatively impacting their health, by weakening their gut whilst dealing with the other issue (this is quite common with antibiotics). Check-in with your vet if you’re concerned about their regular medications or treatments and seek to find a less aggressive alternative together if you suspect it’s causing their gut to become leaky.

    Related Reads

    Are Your Dog’s Behavior Problems Linked To Their Gut Health?

    What Are Probiotics For Dogs And Why Should You Use Them?


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