Why pre and probiotics work better in combination: You need both
Date Posted:17 December 2018
You do your best to keep your dog healthy – after all, they’re your best friend.
So, you’ve just invested in probiotics for your dog’s gut health. Or, maybe you’ve heard about probiotics and you’re thinking about giving them a try. Either way, it’s a great step toward keeping your dog happy and healthy.
But if you want to take it a step further - and really maximize the effect of the probiotics you’ve invested in - consider adding a prebiotic, too.
So, what’s the difference between a probiotic and a prebiotic?
A probiotic is a supplement that provides beneficial microorganisms (“good” or “healthy” bacteria, and even certain types of beneficial yeast) to your dog’s gut. And good gut health has many positive effects on your dog’s health. This includes direct effects on digestive health, such as firmer and less smelly stools, and fewer episodes of diarrhoea or upset tummy.
But their effects also extend well beyond the gut…
They give the immune system a strong boost (70% of the body’s immune cells are in the gut, which is part of the reason why your dog’s gut health is so important!)
Plus they can help to keep your dog’s breath smelling better, keep their skin and coat healthy, decrease the effects of skin allergies and food sensitivities, and even decrease urine acidity (which helps to prevent “lawn burn.”)
With all the benefits of probiotics, it’s easy to see why giving them to your dog is a smart choice. But, are probiotics enough?
Probiotics are great, even by themselves. But, in order to really maximize their positive effects, it’s best to feed them in combination with a prebiotic.
So what is a prebiotic? You can think of it as a type of food, or energy source, for the beneficial bacteria found in a probiotic supplement.
Prebiotics give those beneficial bacteria the strength they need to grow and do their job - and in this case, their “job” is to keep your dog healthy!
So, think of it as a one-two punch - probiotics to encourage a healthy population of bacteria in the gut, and prebiotics to keep those beneficial bacteria flourishing. It’s really the perfect combination.
Just giving your dog probiotics doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your dog will get all the benefits to their gut, immunity, skin, and overall health.
After all, those bacteria in the probiotic will need to pass through the harsh, acidic environment of the stomach. While in the stomach, they’re in danger of being digested by stomach acid.
Then, when they reach the intestines they’ll have to “compete” for a home with the bacteria that already live there.
Many of the microorganisms that are already in your dog’s gut may be the type that create problems such as an upset tummy, gas, inflammation, or infections. So, it’s beneficial to your dog’s health for those “bad” bacteria to be replaced by the “good” bacteria found in a probiotic supplement.
When you feed a prebiotic, you’re basically taking good care of that new, beneficial bacteria - giving them the food and other advantages they need, so that they have a fighting chance and come out on top.
Over time, this means that the balance inside your dog’s intestines will shift. More beneficial bacteria will grow and flourish, while the harmful bacteria will start to diminish. And this means that you’ll see even more positive effects to your dog’s health.
It’s possible that probiotics might thrive without prebiotics – but, why take the risk?
Especially when they work so much better in combination. When you make an investment in a good probiotic, getting a prebiotic to accompany it is a smart move.
In fact, when you consider all the benefits to your dog’s health - such as decreased allergies and skin problems, better digestion, and a healthier immune system - you may end up saving money over time on medical expenses.
Plus, your dog will feel better, and have a better quality of life. And with benefits like a healthy immune system and healthy weight, they’re likely to keep enjoying their favorite activities for many years to come.
When to use probiotics and prebiotics
- Many types of digestive upset can be helped by probiotics and prebiotics. That includes diarrhoea, gas, or bowel movements that are excessively large, runny, or stinky.
- Anal gland problems, because keeping your dog’s bowel movements firm and normal will help them to better express their anal glands naturally, and help to prevent the glands from getting backed up.
- Food sensitivities. Probiotics, especially when supplemented by prebiotics, can help to decrease the inflammation in the gut that could otherwise occur with food sensitivities.
- Allergies and skin problems. Skin problems are a very common symptom of allergies, especially food allergies. By keeping your dog’s gut healthy, you can help to minimize the effects of your dog’s skin allergies and inflammation - which means less itching and redness, healthy skin, and a shiny, healthy coat.
- Times of stress. This could include travel, separation anxiety, changes in the household, or any other cause of stress. Probiotics and prebiotics won’t necessarily reduce the stress - but they can help to reduce any stomach upset that comes with the stress (this is especially helpful for dogs that have stress colitis, or diarrhoea).
- During an illness, or while on antibiotics. Your veterinarian can let you know whether or not this is appropriate for your pet - but more often than not, dogs will bounce back more quickly with probiotics (and prebiotics).
- With age, because just like us, sometimes a dog’s body can use a bit of an immune “boost” as they approach their senior years. Plus, a healthy gut means they can more efficiently process the nutrients they need to maintain muscle mass.
- At any time, for digestive and immune health - even healthy adult dogs can often benefit from having a healthier gut, which can help to prevent potential health problems down the line.
The easiest way to give your dog probiotics and prebiotics together
With all the benefits of using probiotics and prebiotics together, I’m sure you can see why using these supplements to take care of your dog’s gut health is a smart choice.
In our opinion, the easiest way to give your dog probiotics and prebiotics is by feeding them a dog food that already contains both.
That way, there’s no need to remember to give them a separate supplement, no chance of forgetting to repurchase the supplements when they’re running low, and no chance of missing a dose. Giving your dog the benefits of this powerful combination will be just as easy as feeding them their daily meals. It’s no extra work to you at all, but has significant health benefits for your furry best pal.
And when you have a dog food that contains not only probiotics and prebiotics, but also enzymes, you’ll see even more of a beneficial effect on their gut health, plus a healthy skin and coat as they are better able to process and absorb all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals they need for optimum health.
If you’re ready to give it a try, you can get a FREE SAMPLE today of a dog food with probiotics, prebiotics, and enzymes. Dogs love the taste, and you’ll love seeing the great effects on their health.
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