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As a puppy parent, you know how overwhelming it can be trying to give your dog the best gut health support possible...
Our pups can, unfortunately, suffer from many of the same gut and digestive ailments that we humans also suffer from - which can make it all the worse when you know how your pup can be feeling, especially if you know it’s painful, uncomfortable, and stressful.
Here at Petlab Co., we always want to make sure that we’re giving all you doggy lovers out there as much knowledge as possible to help keep your pooch healthy and strong, which is why we wanted to tell you all about the amazing plant that is the KEY to offering health-boosting properties to your dog’s gut and overall health… Chicory root!
Cichorium intybus, or Chicory, is a beautiful plant with bright blue petals that belongs to the dandelion family. Naturally found in Europe, it was introduced to the US in the 19th century. The roots of this flower have been used in human medicine for its ability to help gastrointestinal issues; constipation, stomach upsets, and loss of appetite.
Often ground or roasted, it has been used in tea for human consumption for years, but there is more to this natural powerhouse than just a tasty drink!
Take a look at a few health benefits chicory root can give to your pet’s gut, digestive, and overall health...
This wonder plant naturally contains some impressive properties, one of which is its volume of prebiotic fiber inulin - when fresh, the root is composed of nearly 70% inulin!
What is this inulin I might hear you say and why is it so important? Well, it is a type of fructan fiber or fructooligosaccharide (FOS), a natural sugar carbohydrate made from fructose molecules that your pup’s body doesn’t digest.
Inulin can act as a prebiotic (‘food’ for microbes living in the stomach), feeding and supporting the good bacteria found in your furry friend’s gut. Your dog’s gut needs good bacteria to help reduce inflammation and infection. Plus, they’re needed to help absorb minerals and key nutrients such as calcium and magnesium into your dog’s body.
"Fiber-containing prebiotic ingredients can greatly augment the effectiveness of probiotics by acting as a source of food for the beneficial bacteria. Intestinal bacteria can ferment these soluble fibers into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). This produces butyrate, acetate and propionate, which provide energy to epithelial cells in the colon, inhibit pathogen colonisation and protect against absorption of toxins and allergens. SCFAs also boost the immune system by increasing antibody production as well as supporting brain functionality."
As said above, the root of the Chicory plant contains large amounts of inulin fiber, which, when ingested, can pass through the body undigested, feeding bacteria within the gut to support healthy digestion – and with healthy digestion means better, stronger natural defenses for your pooch.
Along with the many minerals, vitamins, and inulin fiber, chicory root produces and holds a multitude of antioxidants - including the ones are commonly known to help reduce inflammation caused by infection and offer support to the blood flow, protecting arterial function.
Plus, in a recent study conducted by animal researchers, the antioxidants found in the chicory root were seen supporting liver health and function - which is an incredible find. The liver acts as the primary detoxifying organ, which means wonders for your pup’s overall health. With the liver and gut in full health, you can give your pooch the tools to fight infection and keep in tip-top shape.
Once we found out the incredible qualities of these marvellous blue plants, we knew we needed to make it known that we should be getting these benefits into our pups. As these special roots are used for both human and canine medicine, you can quite easily get your hands on them for a nice brew or hot cup of joe – but this won’t be very helpful when it comes to your furry friend, so look for a probiotic supplement made by a reputable pet brand that contains chicory root!
Why not use your chosen probiotic chews as a daily treat or an addition to their dinner, breaking it up and sprinkling it over their food? Either way, this may give you the confidence that you're providing your pup with this wonder root without having to dramatically change their routine or diet – it's the perfect solution!