While the gut is the center of nutrient extraction, it also plays a key role in modulating the immune system. It houses the enteric nervous system, or ‘second brain’, and is home to trillions of microorganisms – the microbiota.
These gut bacteria have many different functions in maintaining pet health – both physical and behavioral – and they form a crucial part of the bidirectional interaction between gut and brain known as the gut-brain axis.
While there are numerous influences on gut microbiota composition, diet is considered among the most crucial.1
Purina’s ongoing research into nutritional strategies that improve the gut health of pets, and the balance between beneficial bacteria and pathogenic bacteria, includes probiotics, prebiotics, non-replicating microorganisms (NRMs) and bovine colostrum.
75% of veterinarians recognize they have a low level of knowledge of the gut-brain axis.2
If you knew more about how gut microbiota impact pet health, can you imagine having conversations with your clients that could lead to longer, healthier lives for their pets?
Oriach, C. S., Robertson, R. C., Stanton, C., Cryan, J. F., & Dinan, T. G. (2016). Food for thought: The role of nutrition in the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Clinical Nutrition Experimental, 6, 25–38.
Kynetec. (2018). Global Veterinary Topics: Quantitative Results.