Just like for us humans, there is quite a bit of literature on the pro and cons of using probiotics for your pets. We hope this short summary helps you decide if probiotics are right for your pet.
According to Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, “supporting your pet’s gastrointestinal health is a key factor in helping to make sure your pet is living the best life possible.”
Let’s take a moment to explain the power of probiotics.
The term probiotics originates from the Greek word that means “for life.” When ingested, these living microorganisms replenish the microflora in your pet’s intestinal tract. This results in the promotion of a number of health-enhancing functions, including enhanced digestive function.
But, why does your pet need these “health-enhancing functions?”
The answer is stress.
Dr. Becker explains, “just like humans, your pet encounters emotional and physiological stresses everyday – and every one of these stresses can potentially affect their GI tract.
You see, as the largest immune barrier in their body, the gastrointestinal track bears the brunt of these stresses.
Everything from eating sticks and grass, to dietary changes experienced when being boarded or even just you being gone for the day can rock the delicate balance of good bacteria… which opens the door to less-than-optimal health.
Add to that poor diet choices of highly processed pet foods as well as a stressor-filled environment and you can quickly understand why protecting your pet’s immune system, healthy digestion, and overall good health is so important.”
She says that exciting new research indicates that a complete pet probiotic can promote:
- Overall gastrointestinal maintenance and health
- Faster promotion of gut health
- Defense from emotional and physiological stressors
- Support for pets in less-than-optimal health, such as runts, and shelter animals
When to use probiotics
After 20 years of clinical experience using probiotics, Dr Richard Calland (Vancouver BC) found that dogs and cats with gastrointestinal issues all benefit from a good probiotic supplement and that’s what he uses as his first and usually his only “medication” to treat an intestinal imbalance.
He explains, “Probiotics gently help dogs get over digestive disturbances by bringing the bacteria in the digestive tract into balance – without the use of harsh medicines. Using pharmaceuticals to treat most digestive disturbances is usually ineffective and often slows the recovery of a balanced, normally functioning digestive system.”
According to Dr. Calland, “any dog under medical or surgical treatment would benefit from a good probiotic to counteract the detrimental effect of pharmaceutical drugs. Probiotic supplementation can even improve the overall wellbeing of healthy animals and support a healthy immune system.”
Bonnie’s Barkery carries several brands of probiotic supplements, including the brand that Dr. Becker developed. Please stop by and let’s discuss if probiotic supplements are right for your pet.