The raw diet and soil-based probiotics in dogs
Raw diets for dogs have been growing in popularity for almost two decades now. While feeding traditional kibble from a bag is still by far the most commonly purchased type of dog food, the recipes for an exclusively raw diet are increasing in numbers and followers online.
What is a raw diet?
A raw diet includes bones and meat muscle, either whole or ground, fruits and vegetables, raw eggs and dairy, as well as organ meat like the liver and kidneys.
There is a lot of controversy among the veterinary community about pet foods and whether or not raw is truly that beneficial. The idea of raw diets for non-working dogs was initially proposed by Ian Billinghurst, an Australian veterinarian. The belief is that feeding your pet this type of diet can render a healthier and shinier coat, more energy, and smaller stool production. Working breeds like huskies and greyhounds have been fed these types of diets since they burn so much fat and calories and need to have more protein than the average household dog.
The raw diet debate
Most veterinarians and the FDA do not agree that the raw diet is actually more beneficial than a traditional formula found in pet stores. There have been many studies to show the risks of raw diets in dogs. As well as the risk of salmonella that the people take by handling so much raw meat. Some of these harmful bacteria can be found in the pets’ stools as well.
No matter the disagreement among pet owners and professionals, there is strong evidence that supports raw diets, at least in some dogs. Pets with stomach sensitivities and allergies have been found to have an improvement in their stools as well as their skin and hair coat.
Combining this diet with a soil-based probiotic can increase the benefits even further.
Soil-based probiotic supplement Safe Guard
Providing supplements, especially a probiotic, to your dog when feeding them a raw diet is extremely important. It is unlikely that they would receive all of the necessary good bacteria needed to combat the bad bacteria from the raw meat and bones that enter their gut. So naturally, introducing a soil-based organisms (SBO) probiotic would be the best option.
There are many kinds of probiotics to choose from online, doing your research beforehand is crucial as to what strain would be best for your dog, and yourself if you’re looking for one. The product Safe Guard is soil-based and is one that includes a duo of bacteria called, Bacillus coagulans and Bacillus subtilis. Because these probiotics are soil-based, this means that they have a hard outer shell that allows for them to venture further into the GI tract, as well as faster overall results. This pair works together well in regulating the microbiome of your dog’s stomach, which will promote a healthier immune system, minimize symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome as well as regulate BMs and improve anxiety and behavioral issues.
Safe Guard also uses another soil-based pair called Fulvic and Humic acid. These two organisms only add to the benefits of this probiotic. Fulvic acid is derived from the decomposition of organic matter and materials. Its benefits include anti-inflammatory effects as well as a marked reduction in symptoms of IBS. Humic acid is also from decaying plant life and matter and is rich in trace minerals that are difficult to get through a normal diet. It also stimulates the immune system.
Combining raw diet with SBO probiotics
Some owners will go to a raw diet as soon as their puppy is old enough for the switch, some will only opt to use this less common food method because their dog has chronic stool issues. Whether that’s constipation or the more likely, diarrhea like IBS, raw diets and probiotics work well together to enforce a healthier gut.
The raw diet has been proven to help improve the overall digestion of foods. The users of the diet tout how your dog’s stools will be much smaller since they are utilizing and absorbing more of the nutrients and foods that your pet ingests. But they still need help getting the ideal amount of healthy bacteria in the GI tract.
Unless you are purchasing a pre-made raw diet that includes a probiotic, it is important that you are providing them with this supplement. In some cases, an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine can cause stomach upset (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO), which an SBO probiotic, like Safe Guard, should be given. This is because of the spore-forming outer shell that will help protect the bacteria until it gets to the small intestine where it can colonize in the colon. This will help recover the appropriate microbiome count so that the overgrowth of the bad bacteria can be managed.
Healing the skin and gut with both
Raw diets and SBO probiotics have many similarities, like the overall improvement of GI health, but they are also proven to help in other ways.
Both Safe Guard and the raw diet can improve the condition of your pet’s skin and coat as well as reduce allergies and inflammation. By ridding the body of the bad bacteria that has been hanging out the gut and replacing it with the healthy and happy colonies, you will notice shinier fur and less dander as well as fewer symptoms of allergies like itching and inflamed skin. The increased fat in the raw diet combined with the improved absorption of nutrients and minerals is what allows for our dog’s hair to shine and the skin to clear up.
While it is true that you could use one or the other instead of going with both the raw diet and a probiotic, it is important to note that deciding to go fully raw is a delicate one. It’s not cheap and research is crucial in deciding what meats to feed, how many different fruits and vegetables you need as well as and which supplements you should include for other nutrients like phosphorous and calcium as well as a probiotic. Choosing Safe Guard to use in conjunction with a raw diet can render the healthy results you’ve been looking for in your four-legged companion.