Dog running outside on grass


Gut Check: Protect Your Pooch’s Digestive Health this Summer

Corn on the cob. Meat-drizzled rocks beneath the grill. Goose poop. Our precious pooches have been known to chow down on things that just shouldn’t be eaten. Whether you’re gathering on the patio, heading out for a family trip to the lake or just enjoying those dog days of summer with your canine companion, take a minute to consider how you can protect and preserve your dog’s digestive health this August during Pet Digestive Health Month and every month.
A healthy gut is key to your pet’s overall well-being. It’s the epicenter of their immune system and is critical to a long and happy life. When your pet’s digestive tract is functioning properly, the rest of their body benefits. From healthy skin to strong bones, maintaining digestive health is critical to keeping your pet looking and feeling their best. Michael Hayek, Ph.D., director of companion technical solutions at Exclusive Pet Food, offers answers to some of the most common pet digestive health questions.

Q. Why is my pet’s digestive health so important? 

A: A healthy gut allows your pet to absorb nutrients properly, which is crucial for their well-being. Just like us, our pets have nutritional requirements that support the development of strong bones, muscles, joints, nerves and organs. When your pet can absorb essential nutrients like proteins, fats and carbs, they are more likely to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Q: How does my pet’s digestive health impact their immune health?

A: Up to 70% of your pet's immune system is located within their digestive system, so adding ingredients such as fiber, prebiotics and probiotics to their diet can make a big difference. Maintaining a healthy microbial population in the intestinal tract can even help pets deal with stress, such as environmental changes and poor eating decisions. Designed to ensure your pet's immune system is supported, our Comfort Care® formula is fortified with scientifically studied ingredients. Learn more about our Comfort Care formula and how it can contribute to your pet’s holistic health.

Q: What should I look for in foods to help maintain digestive health? 

A: There are a couple things to think about. One is you want a diet that's going to be very highly digestible with proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that can be absorbed and utilized by our dogs.
The other thing to think about is the bacteria that reside in your dog's intestinal tract. These bacteria need to be fed properly. Nutrients, such as those in Exclusive’s Comfort Care system, feed the bacterial population. These diets are also highly digestible, so your pet receives the fiber, prebiotics and probiotics they need to stay healthy.
Besides feeding a healthy food, it’s also important to make sure your dogs aren't getting into garbage or things in the backyard that will disturb digestive health.

How does my pet’s diet support their skin and coat?

A: The skin is the largest organ of the body and requires protein, energy, vitamins and minerals for normal function. Skin provides a protective barrier against environmental elements that affect the health dogs and cats. Nutrition plays an important role in supporting skin health, as nutrient deficiencies are associated with skin abnormalities.
A good quality diet is important for supporting skin and coat health. When selecting a diet for your dog or cat, choose a complete feed and pay attention to the type of fat in the diet. The essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 are important for skin health. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids in dog and cat diets include nut and plant oils, flaxseed and fish. Meat from land-based animals is the primary source of omega-6 fatty acids. These ingredients will be listed in the ingredient decks found on the bags of dog and cat food products.

Q: Why celebrate Pet Digestive Health Month in August?

A: It’s a month that’s always bustling with summer activities and outdoor adventures. As pets spend more time outside, in new places and with new people, they’re more likely to eat things that aren’t good for them and face stress that can be hard on their digestive systems. Paying attention to your pet’s digestive health an important step to help keep your pets happy and healthy throughout their lives.
Learn more about how to protect and preserve your pet’s digestive health this August and all year long, visit or stop by your local retailer.

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