Your dog or cat, with whom you spend much of your time, is a member of your family, your life partner, and your best friend.
The period during which your precious dog or cat can live a healthy life is called "a healthy life-span."
And the keyword to make it as long as possible is "Microbiome Care" proposed by KINS, a specialist in the microbiome, and veterinarians.
About 1,000 trillion bacteria live in the bodies of dogs and cats.
Maintaining the balance of these bacteria is essential for maintaining good health of them.
Today, we will provide an overall picture of Microbiome Care for dogs and cats and answer to these questions: What is Microbiome Care for pets, and what exactly should we do?
- What are the functions of "indigenous bacteria" living in the gut and skins of dogs and cats?
- Why do dogs and cats need "Gut Care"?
- Special Microbiome Care methods for dogs and cats
- What is "Microbiome Care for Dogs and Cats"?
- Intestinal Toxemia Correlated with Various Diseases in Dogs and Cats
- Is this a sign? Benefits of Microbiome Care for Dogs and Cats
- What you can do today for the intestinal environment and health of dogs and cats
- Have a healthy life with your precious pets by Microbiome Care
What is "Microbiome Care for Dogs and Cats"?
Have you ever heard of the term "Microbiome care"?
There are 1,000 trillion bacteria living in the human body, including intestines, skins, oral cavity, and vagina.
The balance of these bacteria is deeply related to skin problems, obesity, immunity, stress, and other health issues.
It is the same thing with your pets.
Indigenous bacteria live in the bodies of dogs and cats.
In order to maintain good mental and physical condition, it is important to take care of the balance of indigenous bacteria inside the body(e.g. intestinal) and outside the body (e.g. skin).
For this reason, we at KINS focus on the microbiome and recommend that you practice Microbiome Care for the health of your beloved dogs and cats.
However, there is one problem here.
As humans, we can notice changes in our physical condition, and take action to solve problems.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with dogs and cats.
We, as family members, need to be aware of the little changes they experience every day.
Diarrhea, loss of appetite, itchiness, halitosis...
The cause of these problems may have things to do with their lifestyles and diets.
Even the food and daily necessities that we give them without thinking may have some factors that can upset the balance of their microbiome.
The accumulation of bad habits can lead to health problems.
In the next chapter, we will explain some of the health problems that can result from an imbalance of microbiome.
Intestinal Toxemia Correlated with Various Diseases in Dogs and Cats
You may have heard that taking care of your gut can positively affect your overall health. And this is true for dogs and cats as well.
When their intestinal environment is disturbed and the amount of "bad bacteria" that harms the body increases, the risk of various diseases increases.
This state of increased bad bacteria in the intestines is called "intestinal toxemia."
But do you know what exactly the "bad bacteria" are?
Intestinal flora is the key to health for cats and dogs.
In both cats, dogs, and humans, the intestinal microbiome living in the intestines looks like a flower garden, and this group is called "intestinal flora."
Intestinal microbiome can be classified into three major categories below, each with different functions.
- Good bacteria (bacteria that do good work for health)
- Bad bacteria (bacteria that do bad work for health)
- opportunistic pathogens (Bacteria that are not classified as either of the above).
When the bad bacteria increase, they produce substances that negatively affect the body and make it difficult for good bacteria to work.
A poor intestinal environment can interfere with the various functions performed in the intestines.
The function of the intestines is not only to excretion but also includes hormone secretion, autonomic nervous system, immunity, and brain function.
For example, 90% of serotonin, the "happy hormone," is produced in the intestines.
In addition, many diseases such as atopic dermatitis, obesity, allergies, stress, diabetes, autism, diarrhea, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have relation to intestinal toxemia.
Therefore, creating a state of the predominance of good bacteria in the intestines will lead to better health for humans, dogs, and cats.
Is this a sign? Benefits of Microbiome Care for Dogs and Cats
Have you ever been concerned about your dog or cat's stool?
Stools are greatly affected by intestinal environment.
If the stools are diarrhea-like, it is possible that there may be an increase in Welsh bacilli, which are the bad bacteria.
In that case, we recommend visiting a veterinary clinic, even if your pet does not seem to feel any particular pain.
If you take "Microbiome Care" on a regular basis, you will be able to notice such changes in the physical condition of your dog or cat as soon as possible. And we can use our knowledge of the microbiome to identify the causes and take appropriate measures and prevention.
In this way, we can protect the health of our precious family members even if they do not complain of health problems in human languages.
There are two levels of Microbiome Care methods.
The first thing we need to do is to reduce the bad bacteria in the body. And the second is to increase the good bacteria in the body.
So, things we have to do are;
- Prevent the increase of the bad bacteria, the source of intestinal toxemia
- Increase the good bacteria that have a positive effect on health.
We will explain how to accomplish the above two steps in the next chapter.
There may be hidden signs to regulate the intestinal environment, not only in their stools but also in their daily gestures and behaviors.
It is our responsibility as pet owners to pay attention to these signs on a daily basis.
What you can do today for the intestinal environment and health of dogs and cats
It is said that it's significant for the health of dogs and cats to regulate their intestinal environment by taking in the microbiome through their foods like humans.
One research result shows that lactic acid bacterium intake is related to the maintenance of the immune system.（*1)
For balancing the intestinal bacteria by reducing bad bacteria and increasing good bacteria, we at KINS recommend that you practice the following three golden rules of Microbiome Care.
- Take in the microbiome
- Nurture the microbiome
- Do not disturb the microbiome
Below are the detailed explanations of each rule.
1) Take in the microbiome
This concept is commonly called "probiotics".
It is about improving the intestinal environment by taking in good bacteria. It is efficient to take supplements or food containing the lactic acid bacterium, such as yogurt.
2) Nurture the microbiome
The microbiome exists in the intestine, grows by eating good food and produces desirable components for the body.
On the other hand, even if you take in good bacteria, they will not grow without food.
Therefore, it is important to take in ingredients that nourish them.
We recommend foods rich in dietary fiber, oligosaccharides, and substances produced by the microbiome in fermented foods.
For example; corn, apples, bananas, and oatmeal.
3) Do not disturb the microbiome
It is also important to minimize things as much as possible that increase bad bacteria or damage good bacteria.
For example, intense exercise or stress can increase bad bacteria.
In the case of humans, excessive intake of sugar and fat should be avoided since they feed bad bacteria, and food additives also should be avoided.
Even for dogs and cats, we recommend avoiding additives in pet food.
Have a healthy life with your precious pets by Microbiome Care
In this article, we have explained the following points.
- Dogs and cats have intestinal bacteria just like people.
- Intestinal flora is also involved in diseases of our pets.
- Dogs and cats can improve their health through "gut care" if we become conscious of their daily foods.
Like humans, the microbiome that lives in the bodies of dogs and cats affect their health. In particular, maintaining a good balance of the intestinal microbiome is related to intestinal diseases and other health problems.
On the other hand, the major difference between humans and animals is that they do not talk about the changes in their physical condition in a language we understand. And pets don't take supplements by themselves or manage their own physical condition as humans do.
Therefore, as pet owners, we need to be the first to notice any daily health problems, and support them by taking care of their microbiome.
Why don't you start "Microbiome Care" with KINS WITH for your beloved dogs and cats?
Intestinal Bacteria and Health in Dogs and Cats, TSUNEO Hino, Journal of the Society of Pet Nutrition 7(3)1139・152,2