3 steps guide to intestinal rehabilitation in dogs

The intestine is important for your dog. This is exactly the reason why you should deal with it. We tell you the most important tips and a simple 3-step guide to intestinal rehabilitation. In addition, we have for this article advice from the veterinarian Mag.med.vet. Emin Jasarevic for this article.

Puppy bowl
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The intestine is largely responsible for the health of the entire body. Over 80% of the body's immune system are located in it.

The intestine from dog

It filters nutrients, vitamins, minerals and trace elements from the food pulp and ensures a smooth removal of accumulating pollutants. Dangerous bacteria and viruses are killed and fought / suppressed by the intestinal flora and directed out of the dog's body.

Millions of important bacteria ensure a smoothly functioning digestive system. In order to maintain a healthy intestinal flora in the long term, a living being needs species-appropriate, fresh and vitamin-rich food on which the beneficial intestinal bacteria feed.

Today's conventional diet in dogs and humans does not provide a nutritional basis for the good intestinal bacteria. The result is a mass die-off of the vital ecosystem in the intestine. 

The death of the good bacteria paves the way for gastrointestinal diseases. But this process can be reversed. With the help of a colon cleanse and the right diet, this can be prevented.

For this purpose, I have compiled the basic knowledge as well as useful tips for a healthy intestinal flora and intestinal reorganization.

How the intestine of the dog and man are similar


A German-American research team found that the intestines of dogs and humans are amazingly similar. 

The human intestine is more similar to the dog's intestine than to the pig or mouse, for example. The bacterial colonization is almost identical. 

Due to thousands of years of domestication from wolf to dog, the human and the dog's intestines have aligned. Probably because the tame wolf or dog in earlier times were fed with human food scraps.

Therefore, it can be assumed that the dog's intestine can be sanitized in a similar way as a human's intestine.

What does the dog intestine need to be happy?

More than 400 different strains of bacteria live in the intestine of a dog. The most important of these are the so-called lactobacilli or lactic acid bacteria. These feed mainly on indigestible dietary fiber, which is mainly found in fresh vegetable food.

A hunter like the wolf finds these Dietary fiber in the stomach of its prey. Frequently, wolves, dogs and also cats eat grasses in between. They consist largely of fiber and indigestible plant fibers.

If the beneficial intestinal bacteria get to eat their favorite food, they secrete Lactic acid from. This lactic acid, in turn, forms the food of the intestinal wall. It keeps the intestinal wall supple, dense and makes it impenetrable to bacteria, viruses and harmful substances. Unwanted matter passes along the intestinal wall and is excreted.

But not only dietary fiber is important for a functioning intestinal flora. For smooth processes in the intestine such as good blood circulation, effective renewal of all cells and an strong immune system, the dog needs sufficient amounts of proteins and fats in addition to vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

The intestinal bacteria like it fresh and chemical-free

Biological, pollutant-free food, which comes from animals from species-appropriate husbandry and pesticide-free plant foods, puts significantly less strain on the organism than meat from conventional mass breeding and conventional cultivation. 

Animals from factory farms are often heavily treated with antibiotics, to prevent mass epidemics in the cramped, dark and usually very dirty stables. These antibiotics pass into the meat of the animals and therefore into us and our dogs.

Fruits and vegetables from conventional cultivation are usually heavily treated with various pesticides and antifungals. These chemical agents soak up the plant with the water. Washing, accordingly, brings little, because the whole plant is saturated with this chemical club.

Both antibiotics and chemical pesticides kill your pet's valuable gut bacteria in a very short time. Even if they are ingested indirectly via food.

Only chemical-free food keeps the intestine and the body permanently healthy.

Carbohydrates in the form of cereals are not necessary

Carbohydrates, such as those found in grains, are nutrients that dogs can mostly digest but do not need.

Quadrupeds and bipeds, in the absence of sugar and carbohydrates, are able to get their energy from fats. 

This form of energy production ensures a stable blood sugar level and is closest to the natural diet of the dog and also humans.

If carbohydrates are fed, they should be at least gluten free and not be based on wheat, rye, barley or spelt. 

Gluten is a gluten protein to which dogs can react with intolerance.

Better barf, wet food or dry food?

dry food or wet food

The most natural way is certainly the nutrition with fresh food, as it is for example with Clean Feeding or also with the Barfen is made. 

But also against a high quality Wet food speaks nothing. Wet food is always preferable to dry food. Dry food causes a permanent moisture deficit in both the dog and the cat. 

While wet food has a moisture content between 70 and 90 percent, the moisture content of an average Dry foodat just 10 percent.

If an animal eats only dry food, it absorbs 60-80 % less moisture through the diet. 

This deficit must be compensated by drinking enough water be balanced again. After all, sufficient moisture is the basis of every healthy life in the intestine.

An unbalanced water content can not only reduce intestinal activity, but kidney and other organ damage can also result.

What does a good chuck look like?

A good feed contains between 70 and 80 percent meat of organic origin. Animal by-products should consist of precisely listed organs. 

The rest may be made from vegetables and a small part of fruit. Since wet food is cooked, vitamins and minerals may also be added. 

Under no circumstances should it contain sugar, flavor enhancers or cheap fillers such as gluten-containing cereals, corn or soy.

What else is important besides a healthy diet?

The basis of a healthy intestine is a species-appropriate diet and the supply of the dog with all vital substances. But other factors also play a major role when it comes to intestinal health. 

In addition to dietary habits, it is important to maintain an ideal weight, plenty of Exercise in the fresh air, sufficient social contacts and good mental hygiene. 

This means: The balance between rest and stress phases should be balanced. Permanent stress devours vast amounts of vitamins, minerals and trace elements, which are then missing for a healthy digestion.

Plenty of exercise in the fresh air ensures good blood circulation throughout the body, an optimal supply of oxygen and a balanced psyche. The intestinal mucosa benefits from this in particular.

A dog with enough exercise and also enough rest time, forms a balanced and contented nature.

Why is a broken intestine a health hazard?

If the intestine is already damaged by an unhealthy lifestyle, harmful substances, dangerous bacteria and viruses can pass unhindered through the intestinal mucosa into the blood and thus into the entire body.

If the good lactic acid bacteria are missing, the intestinal mucosa becomes permeable. Bad bacteria, such as coliform bacteria, which feed on sugar and low-quality waste products, spread. 

These secrete biting secretions that attack and dry out the intestinal mucosa. This can go so far that leaky patches form. This condition is also called leaky gut.

A leaky gut occurs more often than one might think and is the main trigger of many diseases. Only when the intestinal mucosa is rebuilt and the intestinal flora is intact, a sustainable cure of all diseases becomes possible.

What destroys the intestinal flora in dogs?

1. antibiotics

tablets capsules

Antibiotics have a negative effect on the intestinal flora in mammals. These aim to kill harmful bacteria. Since antibiotics usually have a broader spectrum of action, harmful bacteria and important bacteria of the intestinal flora are killed.

For the millions of intestinal bacteria, antibiotic therapy usually means the end. The longer and higher doses of antibiotics are taken, the fewer intestinal bacteria will survive. 

An intestine without intestinal flora cannot function. Severe diarrhea, constipation, gastrointestinal cramps and severe fungal infections are short-term consequences of antibiotic therapy. 

If the intestine is summarily not rebuilt, long-term disease patterns can develop. Antibiotics are both a curse and a blessing. They can save lives and in some cases are unavoidable aids, but nowadays they are prescribed far too quickly and without further explanation. 

Few physicians also address intestinal health and the rebuilding of intestinal flora after treatment. After each treatment with antibiotics, the intestine should be rebuilt.

2. worming

Worm dog

After a chemical worming treatment, your furry friend's intestines will need some time to fully rebuild. Chemical worming treatments are intended to kill unwanted worms and other parasites in your four-legged friend. However, they are also a burden for the intestinal flora and can bring it out of balance.

Here you will find a helpful and comprehensive guide on the subject of Worming dog.

Many veterinarians recommend deworming dogs and cats every three months. If a dog owner follows this recommendation, it can have a negative impact on intestinal health. Meanwhile, some veterinarians are moving toward testing the animal's stool for parasites before administering a worming treatment. Only if there is an infestation do they administer a worming treatment to minimize the damage.

Meanwhile, some veterinarians are moving towards testing the animal's stool for parasites before administering a worming cure. Only if there is an infestation do they administer a worming cure to keep the damage as low as possible.

But natural, toxin-free remedies can also keep the dog's intestines permanently free of parasites. Cures with Coconut oil, Pumpkin seed oil, fresh garlic or even turmeric have proven themselves and are free of side effects.

Every chemical worming treatment should be followed by intestinal cleansing.

3. vaccinations

Vaccinations are a controversial topic for both humans and animals. Vaccinations can save lives, but they usually have accompanying substances, such as various heavy metals, which the body must first eliminate.

While the immune system is busy fighting off a wide variety of dead and half-dead pathogens, the detoxification organs have to filter out and excrete all kinds of accompanying chemical substances. 

Heavy metals can unbalance the intestinal flora.

Intestinal rehabilitation after vaccination is always useful to rebuild the weakened body.

4. diseases

Every illness demands the highest work from the body. The defense against viruses and bacteria, the provision of the immune system and the reconstruction of damaged parts of the body consume many vitamins, minerals and trace elements. 

Were the vital substance stores relatively empty due to years of poor nutrition? Is there no additional supplementation during the disease? Then the disease lasts much longer and attacks the body's own reserves much more strongly. 

The intestine in particular, as the seat of the immune system, is stressed and, depending on previous history, severely affected. 

After every illness, the intestine should be rebuilt. The longer the disease lasts, the more intensively the intestine should be rehabilitated.

3 steps for intestinal cleansing

High-quality nutrition and a balanced daily routine form the basic framework of a healthy dog intestine. However, if the intestine is already pre-damaged, it should definitely be supported by additional measures.

Thereby, the intestinal rehabilitation should be carried out in three steps:

1. change of diet

Barf plate with food

The basis of a healthy intestine is the appropriate diet. In order for various remedies to support the intestinal flora, the diet must be right. 

If your protégé has been fed poor conventional food for many years, the new food should be introduced slowly to accustom the intestines to it. 

The best way to gently change the diet is within a month by slowly mixing the new food with the old.

2. bowel cleansing

Sticky pieces of feces and microscopic remnants of medications often remain stuck to the intestinal walls. For the intestines to become clean, a cure with zeolite and psyllium husks is best.

Zeolite is a special mineral rock. It is able to bind toxins, drug residues and heavy metals to itself and eliminate them with the stool.

Psyllium husks are the husks of Indian psyllium seeds and consist of almost 100 percent dietary fiber. They swell with water by 50 times their own weight and form a large, slimy mass. This mass envelops the entire intestine and takes along everything that has settled there.

Zeolite and psyllium husks form a perfect symbiosis. Both are mixed with sufficient water and can be taken together with food. A six-month course of 6 to 8 weeks is recommended and always after medication, worming, vaccinations and illnesses.

Dosage zeolite:
You should administer 0.02 % of your pet's body weight daily. The minimum interval when taking other medications should be at least 1 hour, as zeolite has a binding effect. (Follow the manufacturer's dosage instructions)

Dosage psyllium husks:
Daily 1/4 to 1 tsp depending on weight and tolerance (follow manufacturer's dosage instructions).

The application should be done twice a day, because both zeolite and psyllium husks can cause constipation if not enough water is given.

Psyllium husks should swell with 10 times the amount of water before being mixed into the feed.

Make sure that your dog always drinks enough during the treatment. Dry food should also be taboo during this time.

3. reconstruction of the intestinal flora


Probiotics are foods that contain important lactic acid bacteria or ready-made preparations that contain the most important bacterial strains and can be ingested with food.

Good probiotic foods are sauerkraut and yogurt. Ready-made preparations are available in powder, capsule or liquid form. If these are taken daily, the intestine can be repopulated with the appropriate bacteria as quickly as possible.

Probiotics should be taken daily, and depending on the condition of the gut, for a period of 8 weeks to 6 months.

Tip: The probiotic ingredients in Anifit - Power Intestine help the good intestinal bacteria to multiply. In contrast, the harmful intestinal bacteria are bound and excreted through the feces. Thus, the intestinal activity of your four-legged friend gets back on track.

It is important to know that the valuable bacteria can only settle permanently if the right diet creates an intestinal environment in which they feel comfortable and also find food.

Frequently Asked Questions

Intestinal rehabilitation is the process of restoring a damaged intestinal flora. Harmful bacteria are eliminated and useful ones are added.

After antibiotic treatment, illnesses, vaccinations and worming, it is advisable to carry out a colon cleanse on your dog to regenerate his damaged intestines.

Intestinal rehabilitation is best done in three steps: First, your dog needs to be switched to a healthy diet, then you cleanse his intestines and finally restore the intestinal flora. To learn more details, read our full article.

If your dog has been treated with antibiotics or worming, or if his intestines are permanently dragged into trouble by a poor diet, serious gastrointestinal diseases can develop.

Wet food is in principle better than dry food because of the extra liquid and freshness. Also, you should choose food without gluten and added grains.

Veterinarian’s Recommendation

In short, the intestine is the "second brain".

It is not only a part of the digestive system, but also the source of psychoactive substances that affect the mood and voice.

The vernacular has known this for centuries: 

Expressions such as "funny gut feeling" or "acting on gut instinct" have always indicated that it is not only our brain that is responsible for what we do, but that the gut also plays an active role.

It is exactly the same with our dear friends.

The healthier, happier and more vibrant the gut, the more balanced the body and psyche. That is why regular sanitation of the intestine is necessary.

Veterinarian Mag.med.vet. Emin Jasarevic
Veterinarian Mag.med.vet. Emin Jasarevic

I am a veterinarian and writer on animal health topics. Animals are my passion, and it is my personal goal to create medically accurate articles and videos to educate pet owners as much as possible.

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