How Does Good Dog Gut Health Help Battle Toxins?

May 3, 2022

It’s a world full of chemical and toxin exposure these days–in everything from the foods we eat, the water we drink, the clothes we wear and even the air we breathe. Research shows that our dogs are also exposed to toxins as well. That exposure can bring about a host of health issues for them too. The good news? Good dog gut health can make a difference, and we’re experts in that!

A recently published study showed that dogs and cats are likely exposed to potentially toxic chemicals, and that exposure may be a reason why so many pets develop diseases like cancer in the colon, bladder and other areas of the body.  And you’ll never guess what helped scientists discover the connection. It was their poop!

The proof is in the poop

While we at Bernie’s Perfect Poop have always known about the importance of good dog gut health and how poop reveals a lot about a dog’s (and a human’s) health, research is finding out even more from poop. The recent research showed that dogs (and cats) exposed to toxic chemicals in their homes  (aromatic amines) may be experiencing adverse health situations and the chemicals could even be linked to cancer.

Aromatic amines are chemicals found in tobacco smoke and dyes, plastics and other textiles–lots of things found around a house and having links to cancers. Interestingly, it was noted that tobacco smoke was NOT a major source of pet exposure and researchers placed more emphasis on plastics, dyes and other textiles in a pet’s home as exposure leaders.

The study was led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and identified eight types of aromatic amines in stool samples they collected from dogs and cats. It found traces of the chemicals in nearly 40% of urine found in a different sample group of other pets.

Dr. Sridhar Chinthakindi is a postdoctoral fellow at NYU Langone Health and the study’s lead author. He said that the results suggest that it’s not just direct exposure  to these chemicals, but indirect exposure as well. Past research showed a popular flea control medication can be broken down into an aromatic amine called 2,6-dimethylaniline by microbes living in animals’ guts. The new research found that this was the most common aromatic amine detected. Prior investigations of the study authors have looked at other hormone-disrupting chemicals (like phthalates, bisphenols and melamine) in pet urine but the new study is the first that was designed to look at how exposure to aromatic amines in the house of a pet affected their health and welfare.

The animals used for samples were dogs and cats that lived in private homes, shelters and vet hospitals in Albany, New York. They then compared them to other pets living in the same region and compared samples.

They found cats had triple the concentrations of aromatic amines in their urines as dogs, but metabolism and exposure may play a role in the concentration amounts. The team didn’t find much difference in concentrations between animals who lived in a shelter or who stayed at a vet hospital, showing how common the substances were in homes and every day life. Because pets are smaller and more sensitive to toxins, Dr. Kurunthalchalam Kannan says they’re like canaries in the coal mine when it comes to risk assessments for humans. Dr. Kannan is a senior leader of the study and says the insight is good for human and animal health knowledge.  He says that if we know our pets are being exposed to these toxins like they are in our homes, it’s a good idea we look at our own human exposure as well. He’s also a professor of NYU Langone’s Center for Investigation of Environmental Hazards and he cautions us as there really isn’t a clear idea of what ‘safe’ toleration levels for aromatic amines are in pets, and so far, there isn’t any limit for their protection. They plan to continue researching to explore the link between aromatic amine exposure and bladder, testicular and thyroid cancers in pets.

Good dog gut health: More important than ever

The takeaway from this study, and many others like it, is that while there’s a lot we can’t control (like environmental exposure to toxins that seem to be rampant), there’s a lot we can do when it comes to our dog’s health. And the number one way to help our dog’s overall health be as good as it can be is to ensure he has good dog gut health.

That’s why Bernie’s Perfect Poop was created! Bernie’s parents knew that a healthy immune system and a healthy digestive system went hand-in-hand, and they combined premium fiber, dog prebiotics and dog probiotics and digestive enzymes for dogs in two delicious formulas that are super easy to serve with each meal. As science continues to tie dog gut health with good dog immune systems, we continue to look for the best ways to strengthen our dog’s digestive system. Especially when it comes to the apparent need to battle toxins the above research shows to be the case!

The good news is that Bernie’s Perfect Poop makes it easy (and delicious). If you’re not already giving your dog probiotics or dog fiber with every meal, consider Perfect Poop. Our endgame is always to keep our dogs healthy and happy as long as we can, and with Perfect Poop, it’s one step easier!

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