How Feeding Soil to your Dog could Help Symptoms of Arthritis

Carol Hughes of Pet Biome is a leading researcher of canine gut health

Many dogs as they get older begin to suffer from painful arthritic joints, and a leading researcher claims that a helpful remedy could be found in the ground that we walk on every day.

Carol Hughes, of Pet Biome, is a leading researcher of the bacteria in your dog’s gut, and the scientist claims that a lot of joint and arthritic pain is down to an imbalance in your dog’s delicate internal fauna.

The researcher has found that dogs with arthritis often display an increase in megamonas, which offer protection to the dog against the inflammatory symptoms of arthritis by fermenting glucose (from fibre) into anti-inflammatory acetate and propionate.

This is the animal’s own way of offsetting the condition, but this can lead to a decrease in metabolism and other health complications.

Carol, who is set to be a keynote speaker at the Natural Dog Expo 2024, said: “One of the best probiotics for helping to increase levels of the low beneficial bacteria is with ‘good earth’ microbes.

“Dogs seem to have a natural affinity to the soil, using the Petbiome database which consists of the microbial analysis of the gut microbiome, we also analyse soil samples for horse owners, concerned about the impact on the health of their grazing animals. When comparing the soil microbes to the content of the dog microbiome it became apparent that the dog shares around 30% of its microbes with the soil.

“For soil to be of benefit to the health of the dog it must contain low/no agrichemical pollutants such as glyphosate, have low levels of pathogenic gut bacteria and a good level of alpha and beta diversity.

“The best soil microbes to aid arthritis are to be found in the soil of a mixed herb garden, herbs secrete compounds to feed microbes and in exchange encourage the plants to capture essential nutrients and antioxidants.  

“A half teaspoon of good soil can be added to the dog’s daily food ration.”

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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