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  • Writer's pictureKari Bastyr, MS, CDBC, CPCN

Dog Nutrition: Leaky Gut Syndrome in Dogs Related to Fear & Anxiety

Many pet parents contact me when their dog exhibits anxiety or fear, and sometimes allergies, diarrhea, and chronic inflammation accompany those. It’s not uncommon for dogs to have many symptoms that are all related, and in fact, can be contributing to each other. When I am working with a dog on behavior, I actually look at the whole picture: behavior, emotions, history, medical status, level of stress, allergies/skin issues, and gut health. They are all related in one way or another, but most commonly can be caused by something called ‘dysbiosis’, or ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’. Humans can develop Leaky Gut Syndrome, too.

Dysbiosis is an imbalance of gut bacteria that leads to leaky gut. When that occurs, the digestive tract (small intestine, mostly) can’t absorb nutrients and those nutrients, plus toxins, are released out into the bloodstream. This in turn affects many of the body’s systems, including the gut-brain axis. The gut-brain axis is so very important to anxiety, emotions, and behavior so improving that system is imperative.

I put together a short video about Leaky Gut Syndrome and what to look for in your dog. It’s a complicated pathology, but once you learn about all the intertwined components, it opens up a whole new world of possibility for treating behavior and other things.

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