Unlocking the Secret to Pet Gut Health: Beyond the Raw Food Diet

Summary: Has switching your pet to a raw food diet not alleviated their itchy skin and ear infections as you hoped? Join Dr. Katie Woodley, holistic veterinarian and founder of The Natural Pet Doctor, as we dive deep into why a raw food diet might not be solving your pet’s health issues and explore holistic supplements that can make a difference.


Many pet parents switch to a raw food diet hoping for a cure to their pet’s itchy skin and persistent ear infections. However, when the anticipated improvement doesn’t materialize, it can lead to frustration and confusion. In this blog, we discuss the limitations of raw diets and introduce holistic solutions that target the root causes of these issues and how to start truly healing pet gut health issues.

Recommended Products:

1. Standard Process Zypan

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Zypan combines pancreatin, pepsin, and betaine hydrochloride to facilitate healthy digestion, which is crucial for pets struggling to absorb nutrients from a raw food diet. This supplement supports the stomach’s enzymatic environment, enhancing nutrient breakdown and absorption, which is essential for overall health.


  • Large dogs – 2 with meals
  • Medium dogs – 1 with meals
  • Small dogs and cats – 1 with meals

2. Standard Process Enzycore

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Enzycore is designed to bolster digestive enzyme activity, which helps pets better digest their food and absorb nutrients effectively. This is particularly beneficial for pets on raw diets to ensure they receive the full benefits of their nutrient-rich meals.

  • Large dogs – 1 capsule with meals
  • Medium dogs – 1/2 capsule with meals
  • Small dogs and cats – 1/2 capsule per day with meal

3. Standard Process Feline Enteric Support

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This supplement supports the intestinal environment of cats. It’s formulated to improve nutrient absorption and gastrointestinal health, making it an excellent addition for cats experiencing gut-related health issues. Follow dosing instructions on the label.

4. Standard Process Canine Enteric Support

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Similar to its feline counterpart, this product aids in maintaining a healthy gut environment for dogs, fostering proper digestion and immune system health. Follow dosing instructions on the label.

5. Standard Process ProSynbiotic

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ProSynbiotic is a synergistic blend of probiotics and prebiotics. It supports gut flora balance, enhances digestion and nutrient absorption, and contributes to immune function.


  • Large dogs – 1 capsule twice a day with meals
  • Medium dogs – 1 capsule per day with meals
  • Small dogs and cats – 1/2 capsule per day with a meal

6. Standard Process Canine Adrenal Support

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This supplement supports adrenal gland function in dogs, helping manage stress and bolster overall health. Follow dosing instructions on the label.

7. Standard Process Feline Immune System Support

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It focuses on strengthening the immune system of cats, supporting their ability to fight off illnesses and manage stress better. Follow dosing instructions on the label.


You’ve switched to a raw food diet, hoping to clear up your pet’s itchy skin and ear infections. You’ve read online about so many success stories from other pet parents how their dogs allergies resolved with just a simple diet change. But instead of relief, you’re seeing no change, or maybe it’s even getting worse. Why isn’t this new diet the cure-all you hoped for? So you try diet after diet hoping that the problem goes away, but your pet only continues to itch and may even get worse.  

If you’re feeling frustrated and unsure about the next steps, this video is for you. If you feel like you’ve tried everything from diet changes to supplements with little to no success, stick around. Today’s insights could be the breakthrough you’ve been seeking for your itchy pet. 

Welcome to our channel! Whether it’s your first visit or you’re a cherished returning viewer, it’s great to have you here. I’m Dr. Katie Woodley, not just a holistic veterinarian, but also the passionate founder behind The Natural Pet Doctor and our transformative program, the Healthy Holistic Pet for Life Blueprint. We’re here to empower pet parents like you, cutting through the confusion and guiding you towards clear, actionable steps for addressing your pet’s gut health issues right at the root, using comprehensive holistic methods. 

Raw diets can be incredibly beneficial, providing fresh, unprocessed nutrients. However, they’re not always a cure-all, especially for skin issues which are often just the surface signs of deeper imbalances in health in your pet’s body. 

Let’s start with gut health. A key concept here is the gut-skin axis, where disturbances in the gut can directly affect skin health. Problems like leaky gut, where the intestinal barrier is compromised, allow toxins and undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream, causing systemic inflammation that often manifests as skin irritation. 

First, Let’s start with gut health and digestion. It’s possible that your pet is struggling to break down and absorb nutrients from their raw diet.  Issues like leaky gut, not enough stomach acid to stimulate digestive enzyme production and an unbalanced microbiome can lead to an overstimulated immune system, which in turn, exacerbates skin issues. And all three of these conditions are commonly missed every day by pet parents and my veterinary colleagues.  

Our Healthy Holistic Pet for Life Blueprint tackles this with a comprehensive 5R approach. We utilize the 5R approach: Remove, Replace, Repair, Reinoculate, and Reset. This method helps address these core issues systematically, paving the way for true healing. 

First, Remove—we eliminate foods and toxins that irritate the gut. If you’re already feeding a more minimally processed diet, like lightly cooked or a raw food diet then you are on the right track.  And if you’re not able to feed those types of diets, don’t worry.  You can still look around your environment and see where other things could be compromising gut health, like cleaning chemicals, laundry detergents, flea & tick products, herbicides, and even pesticides are being used and start replacing these with healthier options. Every little change can make a huge difference.  For example, laundry detergents like really popular brands like Tide can stay in clothing and/or bedding for 6 weeks and are a common irritant to pets that can cause itchiness!  

Make sure to check out our other video on natural remedies for fleas and ticks that are much healthier for your pet and also safer for your pet’s gut health.  

Next, Replace—we add back essential nutrients that aid digestion and absorption, like digestive enzymes, betaine hydrochloride and beneficial fats.  

Two of my favorite digestive products are Standard Process Zypan and Enzycore to help support a health stomach environment due to the betaine hydrochloride and enzymes present where digestion begins to help break down the food properly so it can be absorbed and not trigger an immune reaction later on in the digestive tract that can manifest as itchy skin and ear infections. You can check out those products in our description, which can be used for both dogs and cats.  

One of our blueprint members came to us because her 1 yo rottweiler Prince had been experiencing repeat bouts of vomiting and diarrhea for over 6 months.  Her veterinarian had put him on a hydrolyzed diet, which is a common treatment for many pets with allergies and was told this was going to be the rest of his life. These diets are supposed to work due to the proteins being predigested to not stimulate the immune system and cause the symptoms of itchiness or GI upset.  Well it wasn’t working for him and he was still experiencing problems.   

With a simple diet switch to a homemade, cooked balanced diet and adding in digestive enzymes, Prince’s symptoms resolved within 2 weeks after having problems for over 6 months.  We still needed to heal the damage that had occurred from the repeat GI upset, but this shows us the power of what can happen when we support our pet’s digestive systems.  

Then, we must Repair the gut lining and ecosystem—using specific supplements and herbs, we help heal the gut lining. We use an entire system to help your pet achieve this in our Blueprint program.  Leaky gut is common in many pets that have itchy skin due to the gut lining becoming inflamed and allowing food, bacteria and toxins to pass through, which then overstimulates the immune system since these are seen as foreign.  Now we have increased inflammation, histamine gets released and your pet gets red, inflamed and itchy.  

L-glutamine is a great supplement that is an amino acid that feeds the enterocytes or gut cells to help keep it from becoming leaky. Standard Process Enteric Support is a whole food glandular supplement that also contains l-glutamine along with other nutraceuticals and herbs that help heal the gut lining and create a healthy ecosystem to allow the microbiome to start healing.  Check out our description for this supplement or comment with GUT HEALTH below in the comments so we can share these favorite supplements with you for both your dogs and cats.  

After, Reinoculate—introducing beneficial probiotics and foods rich in natural healthy microorganisms to restore a healthy microbiome balance is essential for producing hormones, anti-inflammatory compounds like short chain fatty acids and neurotransmitters so your pet can function optimally.  

Making sure to use probiotic supplements that also contain prebiotics, which are the food source for the microbes is really important.  One of my go to brands is Standard Process Prosynbiotic which contains a combination of beneficial bacteria, yeast like Saccharomyces boulardii and inulin, which is a healthy prebiotic.  I’ve found this not only helps modulate the immune system but also makes the intestinal tract more acidic which helps better balance the microbiome and create a healthy ecosystem, which is essential for keeping the good bacteria in the gut.  

Finally, Reset—we want to reduce stress and calm down an immune system and nervous system that is in overdrive.  One of the first things we do in our Healthy Holistic Pet for Life Blueprint is start with a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Test so I can better understand what’s been happening with your pet on a cellular health, deeper level over the past 3 months.  I can see if the adrenals are stressed, if your pet is stuck in sympathetic overdrive, which is the fight or fight system. If this is happening, which is quite common, your pet will only heal so much.  You cannot feed a stressed pet back to health.  This is a very common situation in cats who are very emotional beings.  

Using herbs like ashwagandha and other adaptogens like eleuthero, both found in the whole food/glandular supplement Standard Process Canine Adrenal Support and Feline Immune Support can help calm stress levels and support hormonal and adrenal health so that your pets body can start to heal.  We need to remove the resistance to healing, which the diet was not enough to do on its own.  

One of our healthy blueprint members joined our program after her cat, Lamb Chops was experiencing chronic itchiness and hyperesthesia where his back would twitch and roll.  Through the HTMA test we were able to see heavy metals were a big issue and his adrenals were really stressed.  It was no wonder why the raw food diet she was feeding him wasn’t enough.  By helping his digestion and providing some calming herbs, support for his GI tract like Feline Enteric Support and supporting his detox pathways, Lamb Chops has improved significantly.  

Blocked detox pathways are another critical area, as it was for Lamb Chops and many of our other clients we work closely with in our Blueprint program. Toxins that aren’t properly processed can build up, exacerbating skin issues. Supporting liver and kidney health through targeted detoxification, helps to open these pathways and reduce toxic overload that can then spill over to inflamed and itchy skin.  However, many pet parents jump to detox first before optimizing the rest of the body which can lead to detox reactions.  

Here’s the thing, it’s no wonder why you’ve had a hard time.  Myself as a vet didn’t realize all of these interconnections with my itchy patients.  I was using apoquel, cytopoint, prescription diets and steroids.  No wonder this type of treatment didn’t work in the long-term, the symptoms always returned because we were only treating symptoms and not the root cause.  

But I want to break this down and make it simple for you.  It’s important to understand the why, otherwise you will keep trying all the foods and then all the supplements and end up with a supplement graveyard, more frustration and your pets no better. We need to understand these interconnections in the body at least on a superficial level.  

So be thinking about the 5 pillars of health and how you can optimize each area by doing one thing:  

From improving physical health with exercise, which supports the detox pathways.  

Where can we remove chemicals and toxins and replace them with healthy alternatives.  

Add in more fresh foods, even if it’s just a topper from healthy leftovers we had.  

And pick two or three supplements to start with that work on optimizing these foundations.  My go-to’s if you’re in the United States are Standard Process Enzycore, Standard Process Enteric Support and an omega-3 supplement for healthy fats from companies like Standard Process VF-Omega-3 or Nordic Naturals.  I trust STandard Process due to their organic farming practices, transparent sourcing and extensive all of their products and ingredients go through, which is important for every supplement company that i recommend for my patients. This combination will help break down the food and digest it better, help support a healthy ecosystem and microbiome, calm the immune system and naturally reduce excessive inflammation.  It may not be enough to cure the itch, but it can make a huge difference to the quality of life of your pet.  

If you can’t access this brand, definitely check them out and see if you can find brands in your area that have similar ingredients to help support your pet.  

And If this sounds like the comprehensive care your pet needs, don’t wait. Schedule a free discovery call with us through the link below and let’s see if our Healthy Holistic Pet for Life Blueprint program is the right fit for your pet’s health journey to fix gut health issues. We partner with pet parents across the globe to be your guide to help find and remove the resistance to your pet healing their gut and skin health issues through a true holistic approach with food as medicine, emotional health, herbs and safe detox methods.  If you’re needing help, just comment HELP below and we’ll connect with you to see how we can best support you.  And if you have other pet health issues, still message us so we can see how our other resources can help guide you.  

And if you’re ready to learn more about these 5 pillars and go deeper with your pets, make sure to watch our video How To Find The Root Cause Of Disease In Your Dogs & Cats. 

Thank you for watching, and don’t forget to subscribe for more expert insights on holistic pet care to better support your pet’s gut health. Together, let’s help your furry friends live their healthiest lives. See you next time! 


Understanding the underlying health issues affecting your pet is crucial, and sometimes a raw food diet isn’t enough.  We have to go back to the foundations and pillars of health to truly heal your pet’s gut health to eliminate symptoms of itchiness and ear infections for good. Our recommended products from Standard Process are designed to support digestive health, immune system function, and overall well-being, addressing the root causes of your pet’s discomfort rather than just the symptoms.

Want more specific help for your pet’s gut health issues?

Struggling with your pet’s gut health issues? Our Healthy Holistic Pet for Life Blueprint is designed just for you. This unique program offers lifetime support directly from Dr. Katie Woodley, who will personally guide you through the complexities of gut health, providing intimate, personalized assistance. Through our dedicated community, you’ll receive direct support from Dr. Woodley, along with weekly Q&A sessions for personalized feedback and tailored recommendations to address the root causes of your pet’s health challenges. This program is a commitment to your pet’s lifelong well-being, ensuring you have the knowledge, support and confidence to manage gut health issues effectively while finding and healing the root cause.

Book a call now to see how our Blueprint can transform your approach to pet care with the continuous, personalized support you need. Schedule your call here to learn more: Healthy Holistic Pet For Life Application

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*Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Dr. Katie Woodley cannot answer specific questions about your pet’s medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship. Links in the description are typically affiliate links that let you help support the channel at no extra cost.

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