Slippery Elm is not a stranger to us for human use…
… but might be for some when thought about how it can promote great health in dogs!
This herb has been around for a long time and has been used to treat wounds on the skin including burns, boils, wounds and other similar skin conditions. Slippery Elm Bark has also been shown to help digestive issues that dogs suffer with on a day to day basis. These issues include: diarrhea, constipation and inflammation.
Today we want to share with you how Slippery Elm can benefit your dog.
Dogs Digestive System
Did you know, that unlike humans, the digestive system does not begin inside a dogs mouth? Meaning that dog’s saliva, contains no enzymes in it that can break down food. The digestion of food begins in the stomach of a dog.
That is why dogs tend to gulp down their food. Dogs are designed to get the food from their plate to their stomach as fast as possible so the digestive work can begin. It also explains why dogs have so much saliva. This extra saliva, lucubrates the food so it can pass safely through the esophagus.
A dog’s stomach produce acid 100 times stronger then humans stomachs. This is why they can break down and digest bones and we cannot. In the stomach, the food is processed into what is know as chyme. Chyme is made up of food, water and acid. From there the chyme journeys to the small intestine where the bulk of digestion takes place.
Once the food or Chyme, reaches the small intestine of the dog, the liver pancreas produces enzymes and hormones that reduce the acid level of the chyme. It is important for your dog to have a healthy liver, for the digestive system to work properly. One way to keep the liver healthy is by detoxing your dog. To find out more on how and why to detox your dog, read our blog titled: Does a Dog Need to Detox?
After the chyme has been de-acidtized, the small intestines then absorbs all of the nutrients from the chyme it needs. Once this process is finish, what is left of the chyme’s moves to the large intestine.
Once the now very digestive food reaches the large intestine, almost all of the nutrition is gone from it. The role of the large intestine is to pull of the water that is left. Once the water has been pulled, the waist then exits the dogs body in what we call dog poop.
This whole process, from the time the dog eats the food, to the when it leaves the body can vary. But depending on the type of food, it can take anywhere from a few hours, to about 9 or 10 hour.
Slippery Elm Bark for Dogs
Now I know what you are thinking…
Although you find a dog’s digestive tract incredibly fascinating, what does any of it have to do with slippery elm bark?
I am glad you asked…
In order for a dog to remain healthy, their digestive system has to be performing correctly. A poor working digestive system can lead to a malnourished dog. Slippery elm may help in keeping a dog’s digestive system working properly.
Slippery elm may be helpful in a number of digestive issues a dog may experience throughout their lifetime. These issues can range from an upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, constipation and inflammation of the digestive system. It may also be useful in getting ride of worms and parasites from a dogs body.
Slippery Elm for Diarrhea in Dogs
Slippery elm may help with dogs that are suffering from diarrhea. This is because slippery elm contains a substance know as mucilage. This oily substance coats the inside of a dogs digestive tract.
It lubricates and helps promotes mucous secretions which in returns helps reduces the inflammation within the digestive tract of a dog. With the inflammation reduce, the digestive tract can once again preform its proper function and digest properly.
This means that the food inside your dog, will be digestive properly, thus helping end acute diarrhea. Slippery elm is not the only herb that produces mucilage. Soybeans are another great source for it as well.
(Psst! If you would like to know more about soybeans and the potential benefits they may have for your dog, read our article titled: Flaxseed for Dogs, Good or Bad?)
Lastly, the slippery elm is also high in fiber. This fiber can help get your dog’s system back on track. Fiber can help absorb excess fluid and thus act in firming up loose stool.
Slippery Elm for Dog Constipation
Now I can probably guess what you are thinking..
There is no way that slippery elm can help with diarrhea and constipation! It is impossible… Isn’t it?
The short answer is yes, yes it can. The one thing that you have to remember is that diarrhea and constipation in dogs are signs that something is not working correctly in the digestive tract.
The herb, slippery elm, helps supports a proper healthy digestive tract. Once the digestive tract in the dog is healthy, problems like inflammation, diarrhea and constipation can go away.
When a dog is constipated, their digestive muscle has to work extra hard to push the waste through their digestive tract. The muscles worked hard because there is not liquid in the waste to help pass it. With slippery elm, a lubrication is created within the digestive tract of the dog, causing passing of firm or hard stools, much easier.
The lubrication helps relax the muscles putting less stress on the digestive system. The lubrication caused by slippery elm is why we use this herb in our #13 Herbal Wormer for Dogs. This herb blend helps the dog easily pass the parasites found in their digestive tract.
A good working digestive system is critical in a dogs overall health. A normal functioning digestive tract is key to making sure a dog is absorbing all of the nutrition they need from their meal.
A poor digestive tract can lead to abdominal pains. These abdominal pain may be cause by constipation or inflammation within your dog’s digestive tract system.
Slippery elm bark may be the key in ensuring that your dog’s digestive tract is working properly. That is why we use this herb in many of our canine herbal products.
Two of the products we use these herbs in are Herbal Wormer for Dogs and Digestive Support for Dogs. If you are looking to improve the digestive processes of your dog, we highly recommend trying these out.
No person or animal can be their best when they are experiencing digestive issues. These issues can lead to malnutrition if not taken care of. If you have any questions about you or your animals, you can get ahold of us with our contact page.