What do probiotics do, and how do you find a good quality probiotic?
You may have heard before that 70% of the body’s immune cells are present in the gut… But did you know that it’s true for dogs, as well as for humans?
Just like us, our four-legged friends rely on the immune cells and functions of the gut to stay healthy.
Here’s how it works…
The body (whether human or dog) has a lot of bacteria and yeast that live there naturally, both on the skin and inside the body. And a large portion of these microorganisms are present inside the gut, particularly in the small and large intestines.
Many of these microorganisms (especially certain kinds of bacteria, although this can also include some types of yeast) play an important role in keeping the body healthy. They help the digestive system to break down food (like tough fibers that would normally be difficult to digest), and thus help the body get more nutrients, while also decreasing episodes of diarrhoea or upset tummy.
Common examples of probiotics include bacteria from the Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium lines - but there are other kinds out there, too.
On the other hand, certain “bad” bacteria - like E. coli or Salmonella, for example - can cause problems such as diarrhoea or stomach upset. Thankfully, the “good” bacteria can help to inhibit the growth of these harmful types of bacteria.
For all of these reasons, having a good balance of bacteria in the gut - where there are more beneficial bacteria rather than harmful bacteria - means a happier tummy and better digestion.
And better digestion not only means less smelly stools that are easier to clean, but it also means that your dog will have an easier time absorbing all of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that they need to keep their body healthy.
After all, you can feed your dog the best dog food in the world - but what good is that if their body can’t digest it efficiently?
Besides all the positive effects directly on your dog’s gut health - probiotics can also help to maximize the immune functions of the gut cells and microorganisms, keeping your dog healthier and less likely to get infections. And, you’re likely to see other benefits, such as a healthy skin and coat, and less allergy symptoms.
Here’s where probiotics come in…
The word “probiotic” comes from the Latin word “for” (pro) and the Greek word “life” (bio).
When you feed your dog probiotics, you’re doing it because you want to maximise their gut health - and by taking care of your dog’s gut health, have a positive effect on their immune system and overall health.
A probiotic is basically a supplement that delivers more of the “good” bacteria or yeast that have beneficial effects within the gut.
Yes, that does mean that you’re feeding your dog bacteria or yeast - but it’s the type that’s good for their health. Think of it a lot like the helpful bacteria for humans that’s present in yoghurt. And perhaps you already know people who take probiotics for their own health (or maybe you take them yourself).
It’s really the exact same idea when you give a probiotic to your dog… The only difference is, you’ll get the maximum benefit by using a supplement that’s designed for dogs rather than humans.
The bacteria and yeast that live in a dog’s intestines can be different from the ones that live in the intestines of human beings, so a probiotic for dogs will be your best bet to give them all of the benefits of a healthy gut.
Where do probiotics come from?
A lot of the beneficial bacteria are found naturally in your dog’s gut, mainly in the small and large intestines. And, they can also be found naturally in certain food sources, such as yoghurt or kefir.
Besides being found naturally in certain foods, you can give your dog a supplement in the form of a pill or powder. But the easiest way to provide probiotics is by feeding a dog food that already has good quality probiotics right inside.
But more on that in a moment - first, there are a couple of other things you’ll want to know about probiotics for dogs…
How do you know a probiotic is good quality?
Just like for humans, you’ll find a lot of different products available for dogs. And sometimes, it can be hard to tell just by looking at the label whether or not it’s a good product.
Plus, just having the right bacteria or yeast for your dog’s gut doesn’t necessarily guarantee the product is good. There are a lot of other factors to consider.
For example, the probiotics in those supplements have to survive a lot - the manufacturing process, storage at various temperatures, and then the journey to your dog’s intestines (meaning they have to survive the acidic environment of the stomach).
A good quality product will need to ensure that the probiotics actually make it to your dog’s gut in sufficient numbers. Otherwise they won’t be effective.
Here are a few tips to consider when selecting a probiotic:
- Be sure it’s a supplement for dogs, not for humans. While human probiotics generally aren’t harmful, they also might not be helpful. If you have a product specifically formulated for the canine gut, then it’s far more likely to be beneficial to your pal.
- Talk to your veterinarian. They can help you to determine a good quality product, and may have some additional nutrition recommendations.
- Read the reviews and testimonials. Often, the proof is in the pudding… See which products have good reviews and happy customers who have noticed a difference in their dog’s health after giving them the product.
- Give it a try!. The best proof of effectiveness will be any positive changes that you notice in your own dog’s health.
Prebiotics and enzymes can also help. Here’s how…
To take it a step further, you can also give your dog the benefits of prebiotics. Prebiotics are a type of “energy source” for the good bacteria in your dog’s gut, allowing them to flourish and keep your dog healthy.
Also, digestive enzymes can help. Enzymes are produced by the body to help with efficient digestion of food, to be sure that your dog processes and absorbs all of the nutrients in the food they eat. Without enzymes, the food would pass right through the digestive system, and a lot of nutrients would be wasted.
In order to make digestion even more efficient, digestive enzymes can be supplemented. Just like probiotics and prebiotics, this supplement can be given on its own, or added to the food that your dog already enjoys
See the improvement for yourself, when you give a probiotic dog food to your pet!
There are plenty of probiotic supplements available for dogs nowadays. But, we feel that the easiest way to give your dog a probiotic is by feeding a probiotic-enhanced dog food - basically, a dog food that already has the probiotics they need, along with prebiotics and enzymes.
That way, you’ll never forget to give them a dose - as long as you’re already feeding your dog on a daily basis, they’ll get everything they need at meal time.
With the ease of providing probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes in your dog’s daily meals - along with a money-back guarantee - you can’t go wrong!
The benefits of a probiotic dog food typically include better digestion (for less upset tummies, and firmer, less smelly stool), a healthy and shiny coat, a decrease in skin problems and skin allergies, and better overall health.
Go here to read reviews from happy customers right here in Australia.
And then, go here for your FREE SAMPLE of our patented-formula, Australian-made probiotic dog food.
Your dog will love it - and you’ll love seeing the benefits to your furry friend’s health.
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