Probiotics and your pet
by Heike Mayes
Your dog and cat’s digestive health is extremely important to their overall wellbeing. A healthy gastrointestinal system aids digestion prevents disease and helps with better nutrient absorption and also helps to boost the immune system.
Probiotics play a large part in GI health. They are the good bacteria that live in the intestines. The intestinal system needs the proper balance of good bacteria, in order to prevent major health issues.
There are so many pros to adding these bacteria to your pet’s diet, including:
Reduced levels of cholesterol
Properties that act as an anti-inflammatory
Helping improve a dog’s resistance to diarrhea
Decreasing gas and breath odor
Helping fight off the effects of food poisoning
Yeast overgrowth and infections
Improved skin and coat
A diet that is rich in probiotics will help your pet to achieve digestive balance and promote a healthy gut. It is also important to note that Probiotics that are supplied in pet foods may be ineffective when ingested by the pet due to the manufacturing processes of the food. Therefore it is important to choose a food or supplement for your pet that will be the most beneficial.
Giving your pets a regular dose of probiotic supplements can have a range of benefits, not only for pets that already have issues with their digestive system, but also as a ‘barrier’ for future issues in healthy pets. Probiotics can be supplemented in times of stress, or when there is already a disruption in the Gi flora, from an infection or parasites. They can be given alongside the use of antibiotics to get the gut back on track. They can also be used as a routine in your pet’s daily health regimen.
So what probiotic is best?
Not all probiotics are made the same. Probiotics for pets are different that human made products. There are about nine species of probiotics that show benefit to dog and cat digestive health, but you shouldn't necessarily combine them all in one shot.
Ask us if you have questions about the probiotics in your pet’s food or if you would like a recommendation to a product we carry. Either one of our Seattle or Everett Animal Hospital locations with questions. Our experienced veterinary team would love to cater to you and your pet!