Probiotics For Dogs And Cats | Keeping them happy, Inside and out

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What are probiotics? 

  • They are live bacterial ‘microorganisms', scientifically known as microflora, microbiota or friendly bacteria and good yeast.
    • Other microorganisms include small colonies of parasites, yeast, fungi, viruses, protozoa and mostly probiotics.
  • Probiotics have a mutually beneficial relationship with the body, neither can live without the other. “Some say, the microbiota is another vital organ.” 
  • The word probiotics means ‘For Life’ in the Greek language.

My dog has allergies.  Will probiotics help?

Probiotics can aid in the following:

  • Decrease hypersensitivity (MCS - multiple chemical sensitivity)
  • Reduce seasonal allergies (pollen specifically)
  • Reduce allergenic response (general)
  • Decrease inflammation (general)
  • Reduce atopic dermatitis
  • Reduce eczema

Does age, weight, breed, or sex affect the type of probiotic my dog or I should take?

All of these things can be factors on how your animal will respond to a probiotic.  Dogs’ metabolisms are like people’s, and our bodies all respond differently depending on the above indicators and also environment, stress and medication. 

Where are probiotics found? 

IN THE BODY: The largest number of probiotics live in the colon, but billions also live in the oral cavity, nasal cavity, the skin, esophagus, around the gums, and in the pockets of our pleural cavity (surrounding our lungs). They dwell within our stomach, our intestines, within the vagina, around the rectum, within joints, under the armpits, under the toenails, between the toes, inside our urinary tract, and many other places.

IN FOOD SOURCES: Yogurt, Miso Soup, Natto, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Kombucha, Kefir, Microalgae, Pickles, Tempeh, Poi, Sourdough bread.

What is the GI tract? 

The gastrointestinal tract runs from your mouth to your rectum.  It is an organ system responsible for consuming and digesting foods, absorbing nutrients, and expelling waste.   

How are Probiotics sourced?

Most strains are directly harvested from a healthy person, animal and soil, then researched and produced in a certified manufacturing facility.

What are the benefits of probiotics?

Probiotics can do the following: 

  • Enhance immunity 
  • Improve digestion
  • Decrease allergies, autoimmune diseases 
  • Aid in nutrient absorption
  • Improve women’s health
  • Aid in infant health
  • Improve dental health
  • Aid in heart health and cholesterol
  • Helps healthier coats
  • Improve mood 

What is the difference between prebiotics and probiotics?

Prebiotics are non-digestible fiber compounds (not bacteria) that nourish the current good bacteria in the body and also act as a carrier to the probiotics, enabling them to move through the upper part of the GI tract.  They keep the probiotics alive through the stomach and plant them in the upper and lower intestines. Prebiotics are the vehicle for the probiotics, both working together but have different health benefits. 

Does my dog have to take them daily? If so, why?

Many studies have shown that your microbiota is determined in infancy by daily supplementation during that time you are able to enhance its profile and population. 

Afterwards a daily supplementation is beneficial considering the daily environment challenges.  

 

    How many probiotic strains are native to my body?

    It is still unknown but scientists have found over 500 strains and are still researching and understanding the true complexities of these bacteria.  With the use of antibiotics that number can drop immensely.  

    What are CFUs?

    CFUs (Colony Forming Units) are the number of viable bacterial per serving 

    How can probiotics die?

    Since probiotics are live bacteria, the two primary ways they can die are: 

    1. Moisture 
    2. Temperature (heat)

    After ingestion:

    1. Antibiotics 

     

    What should I look for when buying probiotics? 

    • Packaging: needs to be in a safety controlled package, to reduce exposure to high temperatures and moisture (capsules/blister packs, individual sachets)
    • CFU: Claim of how strong the probiotic CFU per serving. Also, a higher CFU count is more desirable 
    • Strains: Multiple strains of probiotics, to have a greater health benefit

    INTERESTING FACTS

    1. Probiotics in our body outweigh our brains. 

      image comparing number of probiotics in your system to other body organs

    2. There are approximate 10 times more probiotic bacteria than cells in our body 

    Image comparing probiotics to the cells in your body.

    In a healthy person, there are more than 100-300 Trillion probiotic bacteria and yeast, compared to only 10 trillion cells in our body.

    1. Your first exposure to probiotics is through the birth canal. (Lacto bacilius, when the water breaks)

    picture of birth of baby