How your Westie’s Gut Health Can Affect Its Behaviour

Yes it’s true, a healthy dog really is a happy dog, and recent studies claim that your dog’s gut health could contribute to their temperament.

By transplanting the gut microbiome of one mouse to another, scientists discovered that those who were timid became more confident appearing to swap temperaments with the other mouse.

This is thought to be the same for our dogs too, and with more dogs than ever before living in the UK, microbiome researcher Carol Hughes says that the importance of gut health should not be overlooked.

The research opens the door to the possibility of treatments for aggressive or nervous dogs, simply by improving the balance of their microbiome.

Carol, of Pet Biome, who is set to be a keynote speaker and exhibitor at the 2024 Natural Dog Expo, said: “In the last 12 months we have developed and completed over fifty different gut microbiome profiles linking dysbiosis or imbalances with health conditions and diseases, we have achieved this by sequencing thousands of samples from affected and healthy dogs and using collaborative research with leading AI developers in the UK, Australia and Silicon Valley USA.  

“This new material will be presented for the first time at the Natural Dog Expo conference.  Because of the emerging links and strong association between gut dysbiosis and the brain and its effects on temperament (anxiety/aggression).”  

Animals are 90% microbes, over 100 trillion of them. The majority of the animals’ microbes live in their gut, particularly in the large intestine. The microbiome is the genetic material of all the microbes – bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses – that live on and inside the animal’s body.

The gut microbiome may weigh as much as five pounds. The bacteria in the microbiome don’t just influence behaviour, they also help the animal digest their food, regulate the immune system, protect against other bacteria that cause disease, and produce vitamins including B vitamins B12, thiamine and riboflavin, and Vitamin K, which is needed for blood coagulation.

Carol’s pivotal new microbiome research will be presented for the first time at the Natural Dog Expo 2024.

The one day event, which takes place at the Voco St John’s Hotel, Solihull on May 5 2024, draws together dog guardians with leading natural pet experts including vets and researchers.

To find out more about attending the Natural Dog Expo, and to book your tickets go to

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