You may have heard about probiotics for people, but have you heard about probiotics for dogs? Yes, it is true. Probiotics are just as beneficial for dogs. Probiotics are helpful bacteria, which are responsible for maintaining and restoring the normal balance of microflora in your dog’s intestinal tract. These “friendly bacteria” are helpful in combatting the harmful types of bacteria that live there. Here are a few ways that your dog’s intestinal tract can get out of balance in the first place.
Common Causes of Digestive Imbalance
- Antibiotics, NSAIDS, steroids or other drugs can cause a disruption
- A poor diet or changes in the diet
- Being exposed to a pathogenic virus or bacteria
- Having surgery
- Becoming exposed to pesticides, chemical fertilizers or other pollutants
- When the gastrointestinal tract becomes inflamed
- Excessive stress, due to changes in environment, for example
Why is a Healthy Balance of Gut Microflora Important?
According to experts, a dog’s digestive tract is the largest immune organ in their body. Dogs come into contact and ingest more harmful bacteria than humans do, but thankfully the “friendly” bacteria present in their gut acts as a first line of defense against these harmful organisms.
This is why it is so helpful to have a consistent supply of friendly bacteria in your dog’s GI tract. Adding probiotics to your dog’s diet is the key to that. Probiotics can help prevent a wide range of health problems, including keeping their immune system working properly. According to experts, there should be a ratio of about 85% good bacteria to 15% non-beneficial bacteria. If this gets out of whack, digestive problems may result and they can become susceptive to other health issues.
Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs
There are many ways that probiotics can benefit dogs. Here are a few examples:
Good for Intestinal Troubles
Probiotics for dogs help to promote proper food digestion and combat lactose intolerance. They help prevent and treat intestinal disorders such as diarrhea, vomiting, bloating and gas. It has also been found that there is a link between intestinal imbalances and the following issues:
- Yeast Infections
- Chronic Constipation
- Food Allergy
- Skin Conditions such as psoriasis and eczema
Supplementation of probiotics for dogs can help remedy these maladies.
How Probiotics Work
Probiotics nourish the system by helping to manufacture vitamin B groups, folic acid and biotin. By stimulating the immune system, probiotics improve the health and general wellbeing of your dog. When probiotics are given to puppies, they improve growth by helping its food digest properly. An improved amount of nutrients, antioxidants and iron from food are absorbed, with the help of probiotics.
Antibacterial and Antimicrobial
Some strains of probiotics can help stop the growth of yeast, namely Candida albicans. They can also produce natural antibiotics that have the ability to overpower pathogenic bacteria or other microorganisms like salmonella and E-coli.