Probiotics help prevent disease in dogs

What you do not know about probiotics deprives you, your dog and other pets of a huge health advantage. Probiotics are destroyed during heat processing, which is standard in the pet food industry. The manufacturing process not only destroys probiotics but changes or destroys many important nutrients — up to 100% loss of certain vitamins, up to 60% loss of certain amino acids, up to 10% loss of certain fatty acids. Probiotics and enzymes benefit dogs, cats and people by helping prevent chronic health problems. Probiotics benefit your dog by reducing toxins, strengthening organs, removing bound decaying matter, and fortifying your dog’s system with important nutrients lost with processed foods, antibiotics, illness or stress. Probiotics should be selected based on the health and stress level of the animal, and compliment any veterinary therapy.

Proper nutrition is a vital bridge between the living body’s cells and the microorganisms that inhabit a healthy gastrointestinal tract (GIT), which extends from the mouth to the anus, hosting approximately 400 different microorganism species called endogenous flora or microflora.

Required by all mammals, these beneficial organisms and biologically produced substances create a hospitable environment so they can take up residency, for necessary health and proper functioning of the GIT.

You may ask, why is cancer the number one killer of all pets?

Our dogs and the rest of us are deprived of these valuable organisms and nutrients we need to metabolize because of processed foods and stressful environments.

Endogenous microflora play an intrinsic role in your dog’s digestive issues: gas, bloat, bad breath, stool eating, inflammatory bowel disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, chronic skin problems and allergies. Included in the list are life-threatening vaccine reactions, parasites, worms, endurance fatigue, hypertension and joint problems, especially for elderly dogs, and immunology. The microflora and the immune system are intrinsically connected. What hurts one negatively affects the other. Few diseases are isolated in nature, and repercussions throughout the body are probable.

Endogenous microflora attached to the walls of the GIT are killed off by cessation of nutrient flow in your dog or any mammal, stress, and pH changes due to antibiotics. As a result, areas within the GIT are stripped of the naturally protective microorganisms, creating an open invitation to opportunistic pathogens that can make animals sick by competing for available nutrients and starving the beneficial microorganisms or, more seriously, through the production of toxins. Food poisoning often involves bacterial toxins. The smallest amount of toxin can make an animal sick to deathly ill, and it can happen quickly.

Probiotics may assist in the dog’s faster recovery.

Probiotics for our dogs and other mammals act as replacements until the endogenous microflora, decimated by antibiotics or stress, can recover.

Antibiotics can kill probiotic microorganisms. Probiotics for dogs on antibiotics regimen should be given at twice the usual rate with doses staggered to maximize benefits. Antibiotics may or may not kill the initial invading microorganisms, but they indiscriminately kill beneficial probiotics in dogs. Probiotics help control infections and prevent secondary infections, not in the GIT but by stimulating the immune system. Probiotics benefit our dogs by improving their microbial balance which includes bacteria, yeasts, and fungi that protect against pathogens and allow the endogenous microorganisms to recover.

To help your dog get the best probiotic protective coverage, rather than opportunistic pathogens, use a wide-spectrum probiotic, containing required amounts of the widest selection possible of different species. No one probiotic species is the best for every requirement or need and it can take 10 to 14 days for probiotics to fully activate in your dog’s system. More concentrated forms begin working within a few hours.

An effective probiotic is Lactobacillus acidophilus, meaning “acid lover”. It’s a lactic acid-producing bacterium that lives in the stomach. It prefers acid and will secrete enough of its own acid to maintain a pH that is uncomfortable for many opportunistic pathogens. Other probiotics prefer the less acidic environs of the large intestine, and will successfully pass through the stomach and continue to the colon. There are always some probiotic microorganisms that succumb to the extreme conditions in the stomach, and that is why initial doses should be higher. The mechanisms are not completely understood, but probiotics act as regulators of the intestinal microflora, as a source of digestive enzymes, and as a positive stimulant to the immune system.

Giving probiotics to your dog helps produce natural antibiotics, which fight harmful bacteria. Probiotics benefit the dog’s digestion of food, and aid in absorption of nutrients, antioxidants, and iron from food digested. Probiotics can help your dog with food intolerance while aiding in absorption of B vitamins, biotin and folic acid. Probiotics for dogs assist in controlling the growth of yeast, regulating hormone levels, stimulating the immune system, reducing inflammation and increasing energy levels.

Buying from a distributor or retailer, do you really know what you are getting?

Storage and handling of probiotics for your dog influences the actual quantity of viable microorganisms consumed. The package you buy may have had the CFU (colony forming units) of the various organisms listed on the label when it left the manufacturer, but are they there in the same amounts when your dog gets the probiotic? The most effective probiotics are the freshest ones that spend the least time away from the manufacturer.