Anxiety and aggression often go hand and hand with it comes to dogs and now there are new studies that reveal that an imbalance in gut bacteria may also have a part to play in the mood of our beloved mutts.
To help explain, let’s quickly explore what wonders lie inside the body. The digestive tracts (or gut) of both humans and animals are filled with trillions of tiny organisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses, and others), which are collectively known as the gut microbiome. Their role in the body includes:
- Breaking down food to create fuel that feeds cells across the entire body.
- Supporting the immune system, and regulating the metabolism to help maintain a healthy weight.
- Influencing emotions and mood by making chemicals which communicate with the brain through nerves and hormones. For example, certain bacteria make chemicals that have a calming effect, while others may promote depression and anxiety.
So, can a dog’s microbiome effect their behaviour?
Quite possibly. By carefully sampling the poop of dogs that displayed clear aggression, against those that didn’t, researchers found that certain groups of bacteria tended to be present in higher levels in the aggressive dogs.
However, it's really important to reiterate that anxious dogs are more likely to show aggressive behaviours than their non-anxious counterparts which is why getting underneath the root cause of any out of character behaviour is so critical.
The secret to great pet health is great good health
While there is still a lot to learn, what we do know is that the microbiome plays a crucial role in a huge number of the physical and psychological processes taking place inside our furry friends.
We also know that the diversity and health of this amazing eco-system is being impacted daily by the choice of diet, medications (like antibiotics), and environment that our pets are being exposed to. Health conditions such as inflammation, skin disorders and chronic digestive issues are all signs that the microbiome is most likely in need of some TLC.
If you have an anxious or aggressive dog consulting with a holistic vet is an absolute imperative because good health is the foundation for happier pets.
Make your pet’s food their ticket to GOOD GUT health
Keep your furry friend's microbiome nourished and immunity firing with a teaspoon of Doggy Daily in wet or dry food bowls. Rich in all-natural superfoods, and tried and tested by our Chief Veterinarian, it's great for gut health and so much more.