Five Ways to Restore Your Dog’s Digestion and Gut Health

Trying to solve my own gut health issues drove me to start my natural pet food brand, yumwoof! We’re a GMO-free dog food company focusing on healing digestive issues and allergies.

The causes and treatments for digestive issues are surprisingly similar for both dogs and humans. Fortunately, the last ten years have brought lots of clinical research providing solutions.

When a dog’s digestion is off, they may experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, and constipation. Here are five tips to help restore your dog’s digestion and gut health.

1. Probiotics are powerful.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can be added to your dog’s diet. They live in the digestive tract and are a part of the overall microbiome. The microbiome is critical to absorption of nutrients. But it’s lactic acid that feeds the probiotic bacteria so that it can establish itself in the gut and maintain healthy intestinal flora. Without the lactic acid, probiotics leave the intestines in just a matter of weeks, and need constant replenishing. Restoring the balance with probiotic supplements has been shown to improve digestion and, with the help of lactic acid, maintain the correct pH levels in the gut. If your dog has diarrhea or constipation, topping your dog’s food with a human-grade, GMO-free probiotic like our perfect probiotics, and supplementing with Standard Process Lactic Acid Yeast Wafers, has been shown to help. Try to avoid probiotic chews, as they often contain artificial preservatives, which harm the microbiome.

2. Digestive enzymes do the work.

Digestive enzymes help break down food into smaller particles that can be better absorbed by your dog’s body. They can be particularly helpful for dogs that have trouble with certain types of food. Different enzymes work to break down different nutritional elements. For example, lipases break down fats, amylases break down carbohydrates, and proteases break down proteins. Choose a dog food topper like our perfect digestion, which includes these enzymes, to ensure your dog gets a little extra help breaking down their food.

3. Fiber is required.

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested by the body. It passes through the digestive system largely unchanged, providing bulk and helping to keep things moving along. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, while insoluble fiber provides bulk and helps prevent constipation. Good sources of fiber for dogs include pumpkin and inulin.

4. Chaga mushroom is magic.

Chaga mushrooms are a type of fungus that grows on the bark of certain trees. They are high in antioxidants and have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to support digestive health. Since they can be hard to find in natural form, chaga mushroom extract can be found in powder form and can be added to your dog’s food as a topper.

5. Slippery elm bark smooths the way.

Slippery elm bark is a type of tree bark that has also been used for centuries to support digestive health. Studies confirm it works by coating the lining of the digestive tract and helping to soothe irritation. Slippery elm bark is available in powder form and can be added to your dog’s food. Like all the other suggestions in this article, it is safe to feed daily.

In conclusion, stay safe.

It’s important to note that every dog is different, and what works for one dog may not work for others. If your dog is experiencing digestive issues, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian.

When adding ingredients to your dog’s food, it’s important to make sure you’re still feeding your dog a complete-and-balanced diet according to AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. Provide plenty of fresh spring water (unchlorinated and non-fluoridated) to support overall digestive health, too. Water is essential and surprisingly powerful for gut health.

With the right combination of nutrition and science-backed whole food, you can help restore your dog’s digestion and gut health. Feel free to reach out to me at if you have any gut health-related questions for your dog.

Images from iStock/Chalabala (main), Lazy_Bear (post). 

Jaron Lukas

Jaron Lukas is CEO and founder of the non-GMO dog food brand yumwoof!Their premium air-dried food is personalized for every dog’s breed—driven by data analytics and 250 clinical studies. Previously, Jaron founded the VC-backed fintech startup Coinsetter, which he sold in 2016. He also worked for J.P. Morgan and graduated from Rice University on the Presidents Honor Roll. Besides dog nutrition, he’s passionate about history, biochemistry and daily meditation.

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