Many of us don’t even think about how our digestive system dictates our health, let alone that of our dogs.
There are many elements that impact the digestive tract from foods to medicines. It’s important to understand that keeping our pets guts healthy and happy, encourages the rest of their body to heal.
What do probiotics do, in short they replace the healthy bacteria in the animals digestive system that are important for good digestion. They produce short chain fatty acids that help inhibit such as salmonella and e-coli and causing digestive upsets, which can lead to blow out diarrhea and also impact the organs that function to operate the digestive process, like the pancreas.
There are a few things to know about what happens when your dog is on medications.
Antibiotics not only strip the bad bacteria causing the illness in your pets digestive system during treatment, they also strip the good bacteria your pets need for good digestion. Therefore it’s important to replace this flora and fauna and feed a probiotic to your pets during the course of treatment with antibiotics. Do not give them at the same time as the antibiotic and it’s important to continue the use of probiotics for a couple of weeks follow the completion of the treatment.
My vet prescribed this particular brand, Genestra HMF Pre & Probiotic which I still keep in my fridge to this day.
Taken from Dr. Karen Becker’s Mercola Healthy pets information page on probiotics, here is a list of the strains and in short their purpose.
Bifidobacterium lactis: a friendly bacteria often found in yogurt that is known to help stimulate immune responses.
Bifidobacterium animalis: a unique bacteria that promotes optimal health and protection within the digestive tract.
Lactobacillus acidophilus: guards the health of your pet’s entire digestive tract.
Bifidobacterium longum: keeps your pet’s digestive system running smoothly, and helps enhance their immune system.
Bifidobacterium bifidum: helps promote a healthy balance of flora in your pet’s intestine. What’s more, this organism is especially helpful for enhancing immune response.
Lactobacillus casei: works with other helpful organisms, and helps to encourage the growth of other “good” bacteria.
Lactobacillus plantarum: helps to ensure that the nutrients in vitamins and supplements are getting to your pet’s cells.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus: assists your pet’s elimination and occasional intestinal discomfort by working to stabilize their intestinal microflora.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus: works with other Lactobacillus strains to provide your pet with a potential source of dietary antioxidants.
Bacillus coagulans: helps enhance your pet’s intestinal health and provides back-up for sporadic intestinal discomfort.
There are other varieties of probiotic on the market specifically developed for dogs and cats. Try and get the ones specifically designed for your pet and contains a prebiotic too. They cannot be frozen as this kills the bacteria as does adding heat. Yoghurt does contain some probiotic but not all that is required.
Think about adding a probiotic to your dog’s meals, it’s an essential part of keeping their tummy happy and healthy. Remember that a healthy gut promotes general good health over all, good breath, beautiful coat, helps control yeast infections, prevents stomach upsets and reduces excess stomach gases, cause let’s face it, hands up everyone who loves a stinky dog fart in the face?
Here is a list of some other good probiotics designed for our pets other than Mercola:
http://www.carmspack.com/feed-sentials/sunday-sundae/ – this one also contains digestive enzymes
http://www.omegaalpha.ca/en/product/114/Probiotic_8_Plus_trade/ – this one also contains digestive enzymes