Does your dog suffer from allergies, itchy skin, chewed up feet or gooey ears?
Then he’s in good company! Allergies are one of the most commonly diagnosed health issues in dogs. And they’re one of the hardest issues to treat.
That’s because conventional medicine only looks at the dog’s skin and not the root cause. And as researchers are starting to spend more time looking at something called the microbiome, they’re finding out why most conventional allergy treatments are doomed for failure.
So … let’s take a closer look at the strong link between dog gut health and allergies.
Good Health Starts In The Gut
Inside your dog’s digestive tract (and yours), is something called a microbiome. The microbiome is a colony of bacteria that live throughout your dog’s body. But the largest – and most important – colony lives in your dog’s intestines and gut.
The microbiome might not seem like a big deal, but it’s a vital part of your dog’s body. In fact, those bacteria outnumber your dog’s own cells by 10 to 1. And there are 100 trillion of these organisms in the gut alone.
You might have heard that 90% of the immune system resides in the gut. That’s because the microbiome in the gut plays a key role in your dog’s immune system function. It’s like a virtual organ that plays a massive role in your dog’s health and immunity.
But if your dog’s microbiome isn’t healthy, your dog can’t be healthy. This is why most allergy drugs, diets and treatments won’t work in the long run. They all harm the delicate balance in his microbiome, which makes him more likely to suffer from allergies and other autoimmune diseases.
The bacteria in your dog’s microbiome have a few key functions in your dog’s body …
For example, the bacteria in your dog’s gut are responsible for producing much of your dog’s vitamin K as well as some of the B vitamins.
The gut bacteria help absorb vitamins and other micronutrients that are critical to your dog’s health.
T cells are an important part of the immune system and they can either increase or decrease inflammation in the body. When your dog is a puppy, the bacteria in his microbiome will help train the T cells to differentiate between friendly and harmful bacteria. This primes his immune system for the future.
Gut bacteria produce fatty acids to keep the intestinal lining strong.
If all is going well with the microbiome, all will be well with your dog. But if the colony of bacteria gets out of control, then they’ll start attacking your dog’s body for their own survival.
And that’s when your dog’s health will suffer.
There are two kinds of bacteria in your dog’s microbiome: friendly and harmful. And the balance between these bacteria is critical – and easy to disrupt.
Here are 6 big things that cause microbiome damage in dogs …
The problem with antibiotics is that they indiscriminately kill both harmful and friendly bacteria. This not only disrupts their balance, but can wipe out the entire colony, leaving only the resistant germs, which can grow and multiply. Even if your dog hasn’t taken antibiotics before, if he’s eating food from conventionally raised animals, he’ll be consuming the antibiotics the cows or chickens he eats were given.
These all inhibit the growth of friendly bacteria.
Steroids inhibit many important gut functions, suppress the immune system and can lead to a proliferation of harmful bacteria.
Disrupt the immune system and inhibit the growth of friendly bacteria.
If your dog spends long hours alone or suffers from other chronic stressors, this will make him more susceptible to an imbalanced microbiome.
Dogs eating processed diets or diets high in carbohydrates (and any kibble on the market will be high in carbohydrates) will have unbalanced gut flora. Carbohydrates, especially those with a higher glycemic load, are the preferred food for many harmful bacteria. Grains and carbohydrates will also cause an overgrowth of fungus and yeast. Dairy products, genetically modified (GMO) foods, preservatives, coloring and chlorinated water can also harm the microbiome.
When the bacteria in the microbe become unbalanced, the result is called dysbiosis. And dysbiosis can create or worsen allergies through something called leaky gut.
Leaky Gut Is A New Epidemic
When harmful bacteria are allowed to proliferate, they can cause leaky gut. Leaky gut is just what it sounds like … gaps develop in your dog’s gut lining, allowing the intestinal contents to “leak” into the bloodstream.
The lining of the gut, called the mucosal lining, becomes irritated and inflamed when dysbiosis occurs. This inflammation causes the cells lining the intestines, called enterocytes, to separate. When this happens, bacteria, fungus and undigested food start to leak into the bloodstream.
Undigested proteins are not supposed to be in the bloodstream. When they do enter it, the immune system ramps up and attacks and neutralizes them. Sometimes, the antigen from the foreign protein can look like the structure of one of the body’s own tissue proteins. This is called molecular mimicry and can cause the body to create antibodies against itself, which is the cause of autoimmunity and allergies.
Leaky gut can also result in bacteria passing through the gut lining, as well as bacterial neurotoxins called lipopolysaccharides. These definitely don’t belong in your dog’s bloodstream and they circulate to the liver, kidneys, heart and other organs where they cause chronic inflammation and disease.
Signs Of Bad Gut Health In Dogs
Leaky gut doesn’t just cause allergies and the hypersensitivity disorders … it creates autoimmunity, which is the root cause of a myriad of common health issues including:
As researchers are learning more about the microbiome and its delicate balance, it’s becoming clear that leaky gut is one of the most significant and preventable diseases in dogs (and humans). If your dog has some of the above problems, it’s a sign of bad gut health in dogs.
Getting To The Root Cause
If your dog’s allergies are caused by leaky gut, it’s short sighted – and ultimately dangerous – to treat his skin conditions with antibiotic creams and steroids. It’s also a terrible idea to feed your dog prescription allergy diets because they’re loaded with carbohydrates and preservatives, which will only harm the microbiome and worsen the leaky gut.
If you really want to know how to get rid of dog allergies forever, stop treating his skin and immune system – and start treating his gut!
10 Steps: How To Get Rid Of Allergies Forever
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Can allergies be related to gut health?
Yes, there’s a close link between your dog’s gut health and allergies. If your dog has leaky gut, it can lead to many chronic health conditions … including allergies.
Do probiotics help with allergies in dogs?
Yes, probiotics will help balance the bacteria in your dog’s gut, helping to support his immune system to get rid of allergies forever. Probiotics for dogs with skin allergies are an essential step in dealing with this problem.
Can allergies cause digestive issues in dogs?
Dogs can have food allergies or sensitivities that show up as digestive problems … but the real root cause is an unhealthy gut. Both digestive issues and allergies can be signs of bad gut health in dogs.
So if you’re frustrated with your dog’s allergy treatments, start treating his gut instead. As long as those undigested proteins and harmful bacteria leak through your dog’s gut, his immune system will be kicked into overdrive and his allergy symptoms will remain.
Those allergy drugs, anti-itch creams and fancy allergy kibble do nothing but kick the beehive – so treat your dog’s leaky gut today and fix his allergies at the source.
This content was originally published here.