Be a Pro At Gut Health for Your Pet
By Brooke Sloate
Probiotics are well known as a primary supplement to promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the intestinal tract, and have been linked to a wide range of health benefits. There’s also a wide variety of probiotics and knowing which ones are most beneficial for our specific needs is important.
In another article, called GI Wish I Felt Better, we talked about how good gut health is as important for our pets as it is for us. Let’s look a little more closely at which probiotics are best for our pets.
Probiotics, such as Bacillus and Lactobacillus, are live microorganisms that are dehydrated and dormant. Once they’re exposed to moisture, they start to live and come out of their dormant state, that’s when the clock starts ticking. These microorganisms have a short life span (from days to weeks generally), so packaging is critical to ensure these microorganisms don’t get exposed to moisture.
For this reason, these probiotics for pets should be packaged in a way that keeps them from being exposed to moisture (such as a capsule packaged in a blister pack, or individual foil-lined stick packs). This ensures that the last dose is as effective as the first dose. If the probiotics come in a jar, each time that jar is opened, the microorganisms are exposed to moisture. The first few doses of the product would be just fine, but those at the bottom of the jar would most likely be dead and not effective.
I thought probiotics had to be refrigerated.
Refrigerating is necessary once the microorganisms have been exposed to moisture, as it slows down their metabolism and minimizes the growth of bacteria. If your pet’s dose of a capsulated probiotic is half a capsule, you should open the capsule, pour half of it on their food, reclose the capsule and store the other half in the refrigerator (the same for an opened stick pack).
What is the best way to give my pet capsulated probiotics?
Even if you’re dosing a whole capsule, your pet will benefit more if you open the capsule and sprinkle it on the food as opposed to pilling him, as he will get the immediate benefit of the amylase beginning the digestive process by breaking down starches in his mouth, as he chews the food.
How are the probiotics processed for gut health?
When a dog or cat is given probiotics, they go through their stomach and pass into their colon, protecting their gut with good bacteria. A super high level of 12 Billion colony forming units are recommended. This refers to the minimum number of alive and viable bacteria cells.
Isn’t bacteria bad?
No, probiotics refers to the “good” bacteria, as opposed to the “bad” bacteria like salmonella and e-coli which cause intestinal issues such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and gas. Good bacteria have a tremendous effect on the immune system. They use up anything that hasn’t been broken down and absorbed in the small intestine. The good bacteria keep the bad bacteria under control and prevent the overgrowth of pathogens. They also produce beneficial vitamins like Biotin and Vitamin K.
What about PREbiotics?
Prebiotics are long-chain sugars that don’t get digested in the stomach like regular sugar. The prebiotics continue down the GI tract to the colon where they are used as nutrients for the good bacteria or probiotics. Their purpose is to feed the probiotics.
At pawTree® we are committed to providing pet parents with a line of premium products to help pets thrive. Look for products from pawTree that include the recommended ingredients listed above, including our propriety product, Gastro Pro Plus for both dogs and cats, developed by veterinarians and animal nutritionists. It provides a premium digestive health solution for pets. In comparison, pawTree’s Gastro Pro Plus contains 100 times more colony forming units than probiotics sold in vet’s offices, as well as digestive enzymes, prebiotics and herbs.
Brooke Sloate, Director of Product Development at pawTree LLC, is passionate about solving problems for pets and creating products that truly make a difference to pet parents.
With over 20 years of experience in the pet industry working for a variety of pet companies prior to pawTree®, including Nature's Variety®, Hill’s®, Mars®, Petmate®, Applica® and Sergeant's®, Brooke has developed a wide range of innovative pet products including pet food, treats, and pet accessories.
Brooke loves pets! She enjoys the unconditional love of her family of Shih Tzus and responds by spoiling them every chance she gets!
Gastro Pro Plus