Pet Health & The Microbiome


By James Leung

James - Managing Director

What Is The Microbiome?

The microbiome is the community of microorganisms that live on both the inside and outside of your pet.  These microorganisms  (a combination of bacteria, viruses and fungi) live all over the body but the vast majority reside in your dogs digestive system. When we feed our pet we also feed the bacteria in its digestive tract.  Substances both beneficial and harmful are produced as the bacteria digest the food. Provided these communities remain balanced, they counter-check each other, balancing out the beneficial and harmful chemicals.  This helps to prevent overgrowth of a single community.  Studies suggest microorganisms in the gut play a significant role in regulating many types of diseases and the overall health condition of both humans and pets. 

For a better understanding consider this, the ratio of bacteria in your dog outnumber his cells 10 to 1.  And their genes outnumber your dogs genes by a ratio of more than 100 times.  Such is its significance, the microbiome is often referred to as the 'forgotten organ'.

The microbiome supports and protects your dog in the following ways:

  • A critical part of the immune system.  Makes up 80% of your dogs immune system.
  • Protection against unfriendly bacteria and pathogens.
  • Forms a protective barrier.
  • Nourishes your dog.
  • Regulates your dogs mood.

Some common conditions experienced by pets with a weakened gut can include skin, immune system, diarrhea, and weight problems occur. It is worth noting that research indicates pet and human microbiomes can have an impact upon one another. As a result, an unhealthy pet microbiome may adversely impact upon the health of their human companions.

How Does the Microbiome Get Damaged?

This can occur for a number of reasons including the overuse of antibiotics, vaccinations, poor diet, environmental stresses etc.  Dogs with a compromised unbalanced microbiome will need help to restore the optimal number and balance of microorganism in the gut.  As such, supplementing with pre and probiotcs can be of great benefit.

canine digestive tract

How To Choose The Best Probiotics For Dogs?

Selecting the right probiotic for your pet depends upon the state of its health. To help you filter through the different brands and formulas a good rule of thumb  of pet probiotics is to identify the ingredients you should avoid.  Certain additives are known to spike blood sugar, retard the growth of friendly microorganisms and induce allergic reactions. Therefore, we suggest avoiding products that include the following:

  • Sucrose
  • Yeast extract
  • Milk
  • Starches
  • Maltodextrin

At Hong Kong Canine online pet shop we offer a range of products to test, repair, improve and maintain a healthy digestive system