The health of your dog’s gut flora would have to be one of the top concerns for pet owners. According to research, up to 80% of a dog's immune system resides in the stomach, which assists in their defense against allergies and a variety of other common health problems. As a result, it's always in your best interest to make sure that your dog's gut health is balanced and healthy. 

To fully comprehend what occurs in your dog's digestive system and how to support optimal performance, we thought what better time to discuss in more detail how your dog’s gut health works and what we can do to help it improve. 

We address what it means to have poor gut health, how your dog may address their poor gut health challenges, and ingredients we use at Bell & Bone that improve gut health for dogs.

How Does Gut Health Work?

Over the years scientists have developed a greater grasp of how important gut health is to both human and animal well-being. In fact, poor gut health can be linked to many common health issues in dogs, including excessive shedding, diarrhea, and nausea. 

Every intestinal tract contains bacteria that regulate the immune system, digestion, and general health. Healthy intestinal tracts contain good bacteria that coexist and work together with the gut to strengthen it. However, there are also harmful bacteria that can overrun your dog’s gut causing inflammation and eventually leading to disease. 

The unique and harmonious population of microbes in a healthy gut, where beneficial bacteria keep the harmful bacteria in check, are known collectively as the gut microbiome. If we don’t feed our dog’s the appropriate diet, it will lead to them having an imbalanced microbiome. This could eventually lead to them developing uncomfortable symptoms or even disease. 

What Causes Poor Gut Health In Dogs?

Many factors can cause poor gut health for your dog. Food sensitivities or allergies, parasites, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), pancreatitis, gastric ulcers, colitis, and diarrhea are several of the conditions that can affect your canine’s digestive system. 

This can occur when dogs don't consume enough fibre, protein-rich meals, are under too much stress, or even from taking antibiotics.

How Do I Know If My Dog Has An Unhealthy Gut?

It's critical to be able to recognize the various elements that can lead to your dog’s poor gut. Obvious signs like chronic vomiting or diarrhea are clear indicators your dog may have a bad gut. Additional symptoms may include weight loss, nausea, or if they are constantly eating grass. 

How Can I Improve My Dog’s Gut Health?

Beneficial bacteria in your dog's gut called probiotics are essential for their overall health. Maintaining a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in the fragile microbiome of the gut can aid in boosting your dog’s immune system. This could aid in preventing allergies, maintaining a healthy weight, and enhancing the general quality of life for your dog by helping them fight off dangerous bacteria, viruses, and environmental pollutants. A great place to start is with your dogs diet. 

Bell & Bone use only the best natural ingredients like Chia (helps absorb vitamins), Seaweed (helps to support healthy digestion), Manuka Honey (great for gut health, antiviral and antifungal effects), and Turmeric (anti-inflammatory, helps with diseases). 

Feed Your Dog A Nutrient-Dense Diet

Being carnivores, dogs need the protein found in meat to stay in good health. A diet high in nutrients can be obtained by eating raw meats, organ meats, and bone broth along with organic fruits, vegetables, and food-based vitamins. 

Live enzymes found in raw meats create ideal conditions for full digestion and nutritional absorption in your dog's stomach. A great healthy snack to help supplement this type of diet for your pup is Bell & Bone’s freeze-dried raw, grain-free, natural and healthy training and reward dog treats. With high amounts of fibre and using only the highest quality proteins, these nutrition treats are the best treats for aiding your dog’s gut health. 

At Bell & Bone, we are completely transparent about the ingredients in our dog treats. You’ll recognize everything in our ingredient list, with some favourite high-quality proteins like Kangaroo, Carob (a great source of fibre), and Ginger (fantastic to help with bloating in larger canines). 

Include Probiotics And Prebiotics In Your Dogs Diet

Include probiotics and prebiotics in your dog's meals to balance their microbiome and promote the growth of microflora. 

Prebiotics serve as food for the beneficial bacteria in the gut while probiotics aid in their replenishment. Together, they make it more likely that your pup’s gut will receive all the nutrients it requires to function properly.

The microbiomes digest prebiotics (carried by fibre sources) to enhance the good bacteria. While probiotics, which are good bacteria, control the body’s natural balance and assist in maintaining the health of the digestive system. They achieve this by producing beneficial vitamins and enzymes that aid in digestion. Dogs that do not consume enough probiotics often suffer from diarrhea and stomach discomfort.

It’s also a great idea to include collagen sticks into their diet. We recommend Collagen in your dogs diet to help promote better gut health as collagen helps break down the nutrients in the body to improve digestion.

Collagen is a crucial ingredient in maintaining your dog’s overall health and well-being. We only use the highest-grade collagen in our collagen sticks which helps improve dog’s joints, skin, coat, nails and gut health. We recommend giving 1 collagen chew daily for optimal care.

Feed Your Dog Fermented Foods

Studies have shown that adding fermented foods to your dog's diet can improve gut microbial diversity. According to a study done by the Stanford School of Medicine, a diet high in fermented foods increases the diversity of the gut flora and reduces the molecular indicators of inflammation. 

The results of the study showed that microbial diversity increased as a result of eating larger portions of foods like yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi and other fermented vegetables.

Avoid Grains

Although there is debate about whether dogs need a grain-free diet, the data suggest grains can cause inflammation in your dog's gut.

Additionally, one of the top items that might trigger allergies and sensitivities in pets is grains. While some canines may easily digest grains, many canines cannot. Therefore, if your dog has digestive issues, cutting out grains is a simple first step to take. A high-quality, grain-free diet with meat as the first ingredient is what you should seek out.

How Do I Restore My Dog’s Gut Health?

As you work to improve your dog's intestinal health, it is important to be patient. Keep in mind that since these problems often have been ongoing for some time, progress might not be immediate. Your dog will need weeks to months, and occasionally even longer, to recover. The longer they have experienced symptoms related to intestinal health, the longer it may take to restore their gut health.

It’s great to give them daily treats with ingredients you can trust will benefit their gut health long term. For example, our superfood dog treats containing Carob and Ginger. 

Carob: a great source of fibre that helps regulate metabolism and keeps you fuller for longer. It also contains pectin which helps flush toxins from the body.

Ginger: assists in preventing nausea, and bloat which is common in larger dogs. It is an anti-inflammatory which is great for bones and joints and supports immunity.

Focusing on your dog's gut health can help you keep your furry companion as healthy as possible for the duration of their presumably very long life. Everything about their overall health will remain healthier if you can keep their digestive system in good shape. Gut health is the foundation of a healthy pet!


Our dog's digestive health can be a major sign of their general health. Keep a watch out for any significant changes in your dog's stool as this could indicate issues with their digestive system.

Make sure you are feeding your dog a nutrient-rich diet. Some of the best products on the market are Bell & Bone’s outcome-based dog treats, formulated for specific canine needs. All their dog treats are grain free and are made only from healthy natural ingredients. 


Being a dedicated dog owner often involves asking the right questions, seeking the right advice and, most importantly, checking in with your pup to make sure that it's healthy and happy. When in doubt, or in the event of health concerns, always consult a professional. Head to our FAQs page for more answers to dog treat-related questions. If you have any other questions, please feel free to get in touch with me and I'll make it a priority to keep you informed and empowered.


January 11, 2023 — Arianne Sackville