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Fermented Foods Aid Canine Digestion!

Many dog owners feed their pets raw plant matter. In fact, most commercial raw meals are 20% to over 90% vegetables and grains. But, canines don't have the enzymes to breakdown unfermented cellulose and carbohydrates. Raw veggies add fiber but replace costlier essential nutrients by volume to increase profit margins.

        While searching for a solution to my dog’s intermittent colitis, I met a man who had grown up in South Africa where he witnessed many wild dog kills. It was pointed out to him that the lead dog was the fastest and healthiest because it ate it’s fill of the fermented plants found in the rumen [the first of the 4 chambers of the stomach of a ruminant]. My research revealed that the bacteria in the rumen stimulate fermentation which breaks down any foods a canine eats. Those same bacteria help maintain gastrointestinal (GI) health, which stimulates general wellness. If low-sodium fermented vegetables are inconvenient, raw apple cider vinegar with mother is a simple and effective way to assure that your pet gets the health benefits of fermented foods. Either way, a Tbsp or two per pound of meal fed is all you need.

Dr. Karen Becker discusses feeding fermented vegetables to dogs.

The Science Behind Fermented Foods for Dogs

Grass-eating ungulates have a symbiotic relationship with the microbiota in their rumen (chamber number one of their four-chambered stomachs) by virtue of the fact that the microbiota in their GI tract stimulate fermentation, which breaks down cellulose and produces volatile short-chain fatty acids (SCFA)  like acetate, butyrate, propionate and other substances that facilitate metabolism and immunity. SCFAs are important sources of energy. They also stimulate the growth of intestinal epithelial cells that play important roles in the digestion of food, absorption of nutrients and protection from microbial infections based on having properties that apparently inhibit the growth of pathogens. Butyrate helps prevent colitis by minimizing the oxidative damage to DNA and inducing the death of cells that sustain DNA damage. Acetate has shown that it induces beneficial modulation to intestinal permeability (reduces leaky gut), which reduces the damage created by intestinal endotoxins (toxins released inside a bacterial cell when it disintegrates). 

Excerpted from "Canine gastrointestinal microbiome in health and disease" by Jan Suchodolski, Dr. med. vet., PhD, Dipl. ACVM, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Texas A&M University and Kenneth Simpson, BVM&S, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ECVIM-CA College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, New York State.

RAwsome Meals are optimized for healthy dogs and may not be suitable for dogs with underlying health issues or on medication.

For dietary advice specific to your pet, consult a nutrition-trained vet.

RAwsome Meals produced by H.F. Farms for Carnivore Feast. Copyright 202​0-2021 by Carnivore Feast