How fresh food helps to keep your dog’s gut healthy

dog gut health

While Hippocrates, the ‘Father of Modern Medicine’, may not have exactly had your pup in mind when he said, ‘All disease starts in the gut’, the principle applies to them too. What we feed our pups impacts their overall health, as compromised digestive health makes them susceptible to disease. So, it’s good to know that fresh, human-grade food is considered to be key to a happy, healthy gut.

Why is your dog’s gut health important?

The gut refers to your dog’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract, plus the trillions of microorganisms that make up their microbiome. The GI tract works to process your dog’s food, but gut function goes beyond just digestion. Your dog’s gut is also involved in immune function and metabolism and helps to eliminate toxins. It’s vital that their gut is functioning properly, as this powerhouse indirectly affects almost every part of your pup’s body.

An imbalanced microbiome or GI tract inflammation can result in dysbiosis, which may lead to health issues like food intolerances, increased competition for nutrients and gut hyperpermeability. New research has even discovered a link between dysbiosis and disorders like anxiety and aggression. Thankfully, with the right food, it’s easy to keep your dog’s GI tract and microbiome healthy, supporting their overall health and wellbeing.

How does human-grade food support gut health?

Human-grade food is a phrase you may have heard frequently, but it’s not one we use lightly. While human-grade food is subject to strict safety and quality controls, unfortunately, pet-grade food remains unregulated in Australia. This means that it’s often unclear what’s in your dog’s food or how it’s made. Earlier this year, a study showed that dogs digest human-grade food better than non-human grade fresh food or dry food like kibble. The study also revealed that dogs who ate human-grade diets had more diverse and healthier microbiomes. The fact is that human-grade food helps keep your dog’s gut healthy and functioning properly.

dog gut health

Why does processing matter?

Highly processed dog foods, in particular kibble, are cooked under extremely high temperatures, which means that much of their natural nutrients are removed and have to be artificially replaced. Because of the way kibble is processed (a method called extrusion), it needs to have a high carbohydrate content, which typically comes in the form of beet pulp, wheat or legumes. This sounds healthy, but the lower animal protein content in dry food has been linked to a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (also referred to as DCM). The high heat used in preparing kibble has also been shown to produce Maillard reaction products, including Acrylamides, which reduce the diversity of your dog’s microbiome and can contribute to many chronic illnesses.

Lyka’s fresh food is lightly cooked at a much lower temperature than dry food, which means our deliciously fresh ingredients retain their natural nutrients without the need for high carbohydrates or harmful Maillard reaction products.

Lyka’s top 3 gut-health boosting ingredients:

  • Turmeric is a superfood with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. Emerging research suggests that it also acts as a prebiotic, supporting gut microbiome health.
  • Purple sweet potato is a high-fibre, low-GI carb packed with phytonutrients for disease prevention.
  • Psyllium seed husk is an excellent source of fibre that helps keep your pup’s stools healthy.

Fresh is best

Because your pup’s health is important to us, all of Lyka’s recipes are jam-packed with fresh, gut-friendly ingredients. For minimally processed and easily digestible, human-grade food that helps to keep your dog’s gut healthy and moving along smoothly, try a Starter Box today!