The Importance of Digestive Health in Pets

When it comes to digestive health in pets, there’s a lot to be aware of and understand on how gut health figures into the entire wellbeing of your dog or cat. They say, “it takes guts to be healthy,” and that is absolutely true! The way your pet’s gut microbiome works is key to keeping your pet healthy and happy. That’s why AnimalBiome has developed a gut health test kit complete with a detailed analysis that can help you and your pet – and your vet! – get and keep your pet living their healthiest life.

Beyond just overall health and wellness, the gut’s microbiome in dogs and cats plays an important role in their immune system as well as providing insight into other diseases and issues. From allergies, to chronic conditions, diseases, and other concerns, understanding gut health is a key step in your pet’s diet and wellbeing.

We know that gut health can be tricky. What caused your dog’s upset stomach? Or why is your kitty having so many issues with their belly and using the litter box? Are there underlying issues that could be cause for concern? The AnimalBiome team developed a test to help understand digestive health in pets, so that we can work together to correct any issues and determine what diet and nutrition and perhaps even medication is needed to fix any stomach issues in your pet.

So how does digestive health and testing in pets work?

First, you collect and send a stool sample to AnimalBiome (they have a kit, and we can help with that if you need) where they use genetic sequencing to detect bacterial imbalances, identify which groups may be causing problems, and review the information. Then, they provide a detailed test report with personalized information that you can bring to your veterinarian for diet, lifestyle, or supplement recommendations to improve pet gut health and address any other issues that may have been uncovered during testing.

What if there is an imbalance or issue with my pet’s digestive health?

When a bacterial imbalance is detected, there are several options. The AnimalBiome Gut Restore Supplement is an excellent start, and that along with diet and other supplement recommendations with your vet’s insights can help to restore balance in the gut. The AnimalBiome science-backed supplements, designed specifically for cats or dogs, introduce an entire community of beneficial bacteria to the gut microbiome.

What do the reports look like?

Great question! One of our own patients was willing to share their actual gut health report as an example. In this case, the cat Caspian was suspected of having lymphoma and had lifelong health issues. The report from AnimalBiome also uncovered some unusual bacteria in the gut, including streptococcus which is not normally found at those levels in a cat’s gut. Due to these findings, the cat was treated with antibiotics and showed marked improvement and quality of life. While the gut health testing and supplements were unable to cure his cancer (we all wish there was a cure for cancer!), it was able to improve Caspian’s quality of life and provided valuable information that helped the Animal Hospital of Sussex County’s team of veterinarians develop a treatment plan that worked for this specific patient.

Download Caspian’s first report here.

Compare to Caspian’s second report here.

How important is digestive health in pets?

Honestly, it’s incredibly important, though it is just one of the many building blocks of your pet’s system that helps keep them healthy throughout their life. The gut and digestive tract are where the food and nutrients are processed and absorbed. Without a healthy gut, your pet can have more than just an upset tummy. They can also suffer from nutritional issues, vitamin deficiencies, and other ailments if their gut is not able to properly digest and process the food they are eating. In some cases, just adding supplements won’t fix the issue as if the gut isn’t properly functioning, it won’t be able to absorb supplements any more than the nutrients in your pet’s food. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your pet’s gut.

While some supplements such as prebiotics and probiotics can help, AnimalBiome’s Gut Restore Supplement is a very specifically made gut supplement taken from the microbiome of healthy pets. Designed specifically for cats or dogs, they introduce an entire community of beneficial bacteria to the gut microbiome that help your pet on the path to better health. 

Want to learn more? Visit the AnimalBiome website or schedule your appointment today!

digestive health in pets

Our patient Caspian enjoying time at home between AnimalBiome and other diagnostic testing.

Our Certifications

AAHA: The Animal Hospital of Sussex County is a certified hospital in the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). To achieve this distinction, our hospital has passed regular comprehensive inspections of our facilities, medical equipment, veterinary practice methods and management. If you are traveling or relocating anywhere, finding an AAHA hospital will ensure the best medical care for your pet. The AAHA is recognized as the world’s leading association of small animal practitioners.

AAFP: We are also a cat friendly practice, certified by the American Association of Feline Practitioners. This means that the Animal Hospital of Sussex County is specifically set up to decrease stress and provide a more calming environment for your cat. Our staff has also been trained in feline-friendly handling and understanding cat behavior in order to increase the quality of care for your cat.

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