Sensitive or fussy pupper? Leaky gut may explain why

Masses of dogs across Australia are developing food intolerances throughout their life. Itchy skin, chronic ear infections, and constant scratching are the daily norm for these poor pooches. These symptoms can be traced back to what is commonly known as “leaky gut syndrome” in dogs.  

Nothing is more permanent than a temporary fix

Single-source protein pet foods are the industry’s “solution” to the growing problem of intolerances in dogs. A single protein rabbit dog food, is ideal for a dog that can’t tolerate beef, right?

Yes, but not for long. We’ll use a fictional Cavoodle, Harley, as an example. As a puppy, Harley ate a beef diet. Everything was well for a few months, until he started reacting to beef, and had to switch to chicken. When chicken no longer worked, he turned to pork. Eventually, Harley needed novel protein sources, like crocodile, to sustain his diet. But it’s almost inevitable that he’ll become intolerant to those too! And what happens then?

Pet food companies are on the hunt to find affordable (and questionable) alternative protein sources. Even elephant meat is used in dog food. Yes, elephant meat.

But removing the trigger protein from a dog’s diet is nothing more than a quick fix. It doesn’t answer the question, “Why are dogs becoming intolerant to these foods?”

Let’s talk root cause: “leaky gut syndrome”

Leaky gut syndrome, medically recognised as “gut hyperpermeability” is a condition where a dog’s gut lining doesn’t function correctly, allowing food particles and toxins to “leak” into their bloodstream. Leaky gut in dogs is caused by an imbalance of gut bacteria or dysbiosis. The gut doesn’t produce enough good bacteria to balance out the bad, leading to overgrowth.

Leaky gut in dogs is often the root cause of other conditions. “Ear and skin problems can often be linked to gut problems via increased gut permeability, and even fussiness can be a subtle sign of bacterial imbalance,” says Dr. Matthew Muir, Lyka’s in-house veterinarian.

If leaky gut is not prevented and treated early, the immune system goes into overdrive. It attacks itself as it attempts to fight foreign substances, which can lead to inflammation and autoimmune diseases.

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Addressing your dog’s leaky gut

The core of treating a leaky gut is regulating your dog’s gut microbiome. Diet is the most important factor that affects gut health, so it’s crucial to address your dog’s eating habits. 

Your first course of action should be to remove foods that cause reactions in your dog’s diet. This will give their gut time to rest and repair. 

If you currently feeding your dog processed food, it’s time to stop.  High-GI, processed dog foods trigger the growth of bad bacteria. The best option for your dog’s gut health is a diet full of fresh, real food, packed with pre-biotic nutrients. This will provide help provide the right gut conditions for their good bacteria to flourish. 

If your dog’s condition is serious, see a veterinarian immediately. Consider an Integrative Veterinarian like Lyka’s Dr. Matthew J Muir, who runs Sydney’s All Natural Vet Care. Integrative vets utilise more natural approaches to treatment, such as herbal medicine, alongside more traditional methods of care to minimise the usage of drugs and chemicals.

How Lyka can help

At Lyka, we believe that a healthy gut microbiome can lead to a benefits for your pup from the inside out, from better poos to healthy skin. For dogs with more sensitive tummies, our Chicken and Turkey bowls are two great options. Both of these recipes are low in fat and easily digestible, and are complete and balanced to offer all of your pup’s required nutrients.  

Unlike other pet food companies, we label every single ingredient that goes into our pouches. You won’t find any mystery proteins on our ingredients lists, so you can be sure you’re not giving your dog anything which has caused them a negative reaction in the past. For dogs with GI concerns, we recommend a slower transition to new food, so try a Starter Box today to get your dog onto a fresh, healthy diet.