Help, my Dog... ...has sensitive intestines!?

“Sensitive intestines” is something we’re hearing more and more about. Many dogs can get very ill indeed when they eat “something wrong”. More and more dogs suffer from constant diarrhoea and/or permanent runny stools. Most often in such cases, owners are advised to start putting their dogs on a “light diet”. Our experience, however, shows that this is normally bad advice in most cases and only worsens the dog’s sensitivity in the long term.

What is the main cause of “sensitive intestines” in dogs?

Help My DogThe ancestors of our dogs, the wolves, are natural scavenger-predators. They are perfectly able to digest basically everything they eat. Even eating nuts, rootstocks and the excrement of other animals etc. does not upset the working of their intestines or metabolisms.

In order to survive, therefore, wolves need strong healthy intestines as they clearly can’t stop every five minutes to relieve themselves when hunting. Moreover, a wolf’s hunt is hardly going to be successful if he is suffering from “belly ache”. Consequently, strong healthy intestines are essential in the wolf’s fight to survive.

Partly because of what we have learned from healthy human nutrition, we know that strong healthy intestines depend on the quality of the intestinal bacteria. The quality of the intestinal bacteria is determined for the most part by the presence of multiple stable groups of bacteria, the total quantity of each type of bacteria and their proportions in relation to one another. If this balance is disturbed, whatever the cause, we are dealing with disbacteriosis.

Disbacteriosis is the main cause of sensitive intestines and/or permanently runny stools and has a very adverse effect on the overall health of the dog. Naturopathy, or natural medicine, maintains that virtually all diseases originate in “unhealthy” intestines.

The main way wolves keep their intestines strong and healthy is by devouring the stomach and intestines of their prey. As the stomach and intestines of the prey animal contain many different groups of bacteria and bacterial spores, they provide the wolves with highly variegated and stable intestinal bacteria. Furthermore, eating a large variety of items mean that the different bacteria “get enough to eat”.

So much for the wolf.

Contrary to the wolf – which only eats natural products – our domesticated dogs are increasingly given so-called modified feed. This includes easily digestible items such as, for example, feed based on rice with lamb and chicken. This feed is then extruded and/or expanded, which all means that very few intestinal bacteria and bacteria groups are needed to breakdown and digest this modified feed.

As they aren’t needed, the intestinal bacteria then become ever scantier and fewer and, as a result, the intestines are easily upset at the slightest provocation. The food can no longer be broken down properly, resulting in much undigested food fragments resting in the large intestine. This triggers all manner of fermentation processes which in turn destroy the large intestine’s own intestinal bacteria. If a dog in this situation then eats “something wrong” again, it’s often a trip to the vet and a diagnosis of “sensitive intestines”.

An intestinal infection that is treated with antibiotics can also throw the intestinal bacteria out of balance. Chemicals added to the feed, e.g. antioxidants (BHT and BHA) and preservatives (anti-fungal agents) also have a very adverse effect on the intestinal bacteria as they block the normal growth of the bacteria.

How can balance be restored to “sensitive intestines”?

As we have outlined above, the heart of the problem is a lack of intestinal bacteria.

And the solution is to introduce stable, varied intestinal bacteria in the dog’s intestines. You can create these stable intestinal bacteria by giving your dog complete Fresh Meat Feed (frozen) at least three times a day over a multiple days. It is important that this fresh meat feed mostly contains (at least 60%) natural (not processed / green) tripe. You give the feed to your dog uncooked and at room temperature. It goes without saying that you must not defrost and/or warm up this fresh meat feed in a microwave as this kitchen appliance will “zap” all the bacteria.

Depending on the seriousness of the “sensitive intestines”, you can start giving your dog the raw fresh meat feed immediately. In cases of serious diarrhoea, for the first 2-3 days give your dog fresh meat feed that “has been plunged in boiling water”. After that, give your dog the feed raw. Give your dog this tripe-rich feed for 7-10 days, and then change to Farm Food HE. Depending on the seriousness of the problem, you may need to repeat this tripe therapy several times before balance has returned to your dog’s intestines. When the problem has been resolved, give your dog complete fresh meat feed (with unprocessed tripe) once a day in addition to Farm Food HE. After that, at least 1-2 times a month. In the case of young dogs, once week is enough.

Alternatively, you can avoid all-meat days and mix some raw tripe with your dog’s FARM FOOD HE meals. Doing so will keep your dog’s intestinal bacteria strong and stable, and that means a healthy dog!

If your dog already has healthy and balanced intestinal bacteria, a diet based on Farm Food HE will ensure that the essential variety of bacteria remains intact and your dog won’t suddenly get ill as soon as he eats that “something wrong”. You can keep the intestinal bacteria in top shape by occasionally treating your dog to some raw tripe. Doing so will make those “sensitive intestines” a thing of the past..

Notes:

  • If your dog becomes very ill and develops a fever, don’t waste any time getting him to a vet.
  • If your dog is on antibiotics, give him vitamin B-complex for up to one week after the antibiotic treatment has ended (depending on the weight of your dog, 4 x a child’s dose). The antibiotics suppress the dog’s natural creation of vitamin B in the large intestine.
  • Administering special intestinal bacteria preparations designed for humans will not benefit your dog. The pH balance (acidity) of a dog’s stomach is so low that virtually none of its intestinal bacteria will survive (unless they are acid-resistant types such as the tripe bacteria and the bacterial spores of ruminants).
  • All dry feed, including Farm Food HE, is sterile (contains no bacteria). Also canned feed and other products that don’t require freezing are sterile and therefore do not benefit the accumulation and maintenance of intestinal bacteria.

© Farm Food Dog Food, Gerrit de Weerd. - FARM FOOD HE, The natural alternative.
Leaflet from the series “Help my Dog”: the holistic approach to fighting health problems in dogs.