How Is a Skin & Coat Condition Connected to Your Dog’s Gut Health?

When your dog’s gut microbiome is out of balance, common skin and coat symptoms like itchy skin, redness, and hair loss—or more serious conditions like atopic dermatitis—may result.

Skin issues and poor coat condition are often signs of an immune system problem that can occur when your dog’s gut microbiome isn’t functioning well. Because 70%–80% of immune system cells live in the gut, your dog’s skin and coat symptoms could actually be a sign that their gut microbiome is out of balance.

So what is the gut microbiome? It’s the community of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that live in your dog’s digestive tract and are essential for good health.

How Does a Dog’s Gut Become Imbalanced?​

A gut microbiome is imbalanced when it’s missing good bacteria, has too many harmful bacteria, or doesn’t have enough diversity. Factors like disease, age, diet, and medications—especially antibiotics—can cause this kind of imbalance in your dog’s gut.

Missing Good Bacteria

Too Many Harmful Bacteria

Not Enough Diversity

How Can You Know What’s Going On in Your Dog’s Gut?

We recommend testing your dog’s gut microbiome with our at-home DoggyBiome™ Gut Health Test.

Gut microbiome testing can give you a detailed understanding of what’s going on in your dog’s gut, revealing any imbalances that may be causing symptoms like skin issues or poor coat condition. 

You send us a small poop sample from your dog, and we do the rest. Using DNA sequencing, our scientists analyze all the types of bacteria in your dog’s poop and compare them to our healthy dog reference set to determine if an imbalance is present. We then provide an interactive online report of your dog’s gut microbiome with personalized diet and supplement recommendations to help relieve symptoms and improve your dog’s gut health and overall well-being. 

How Can You Restore Your Dog’s Gut and Relieve Their Symptoms?

For dogs who suffer from moderate to severe or chronic skin and coat issues (like atopic dermatitis), we recommend our DoggyBiome™ Gut Restore Supplement.

The supplement introduces an entire community of beneficial dog-specific bacteria to add diversity and bring balance to the gut while relieving symptoms. Gut Restore is a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) in an oral capsule. FMT has been shown to improve symptoms of atopic dermatitis and other skin issues. Replenishing important missing bacterial populations can often resolve symptoms quickly by restoring a healthy balance to your dog’s gut. If possible, we still recommend testing your dog’s gut microbiome with a Gut Health Test.

For dogs with occasional or mild skin and coat symptoms, we recommend our DoggyBiome™ S. boulardii + FOS Powder, a probiotic plus prebiotic daily supplement.

With active ingredients Saccharomyces boulardii and Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), our supplement designed for dogs combats yeast overgrowth, promotes healthy skin, supports good digestion, and strengthens the immune system. S. boulardii is a probiotic yeast with anti-inflammatory properties, and FOS is a prebiotic fiber that good bacteria like to eat. Studies in dogs have shown that supplementation with FOS improves both gut health and immune functions.

How Can You Help Keep Your Dog’s Skin and Coat Healthy?

We recommend maintaining a strong immune system and a healthy gut microbiome with our DoggyBiome™ ImmuneShield™ with EpiCor® Chews.

These daily chews boost your dog’s immune system and support healthy digestion. The active ingredient, EpiCor® Fermentate, is a postbiotic formulation that’s been clinically shown to increase and improve immune function. The soft, trout-flavored chews are specifically designed to improve your dog’s immune function, address seasonal allergies, reduce systemic inflammation, and promote gut health. Plus they are dog-approved for tastiness!

Health Tip

Feeding a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to manage your dog’s gut microbiome. If you’ve taken our Gut Health Test, follow the diet recommendations in your dog’s personalized report to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. Since the microbiome is an ever-changing ecosystem that is impacted by multiple factors including diet and medications, we suggest re-testing your dog’s gut health annually or anytime symptoms arise. A well-balanced gut microbiome will help your dog live a healthier, happier life.

Learn More About Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs