Probiotics, What Are They? Do Our Dogs NEED Them?
What are Probiotics you ask?
Probiotic literally means "for life," or supporting life. Our probiotic microorganisms are the essential "friendly" flora--especially, the "good" bacteria--that maintain the ecosystem in our pets (and our own) bowel, or intestinal tract. Compare this concept with antibiotic drugs, which are designed to be "against life." Because antibiotics destroy "good bugs" along with the "bad bugs" (the pathogenic bacteria), we need to add probiotics to our pet's diet. If we have resorted to conventional antibiotics to treat infection, or if the immune system has not been able to mount the necessary defenses to keep our pets (or ourselves for that matter) healthy.
We;ve heard this statement often, but what does it really mean? The answer lies in the vital role that intestinal tract flora play in over all health.
Friendly bacteria including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifido-bacterium bifidum, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus are your pets (and your own) body's first line of defense against the all the potentially harmful microorganisms that your pet or yourself inhale or ingest. Probiotics are another term for these friendly bacteria that live and work in the gastrointestinal tract every day of our life. Think of them as a mighty bacterial army that defends the body against dangerous invaders. Having sufficient numbers of these friendly bacteria in residence can help prevent a wide range of health problems.
Here is an excerpt from an article obtained from Dr. Beau Diskin about Probiotics:
"Probiotics (Friendly Intestinal Bacteria) have many functions. These can be broadly classified into 4 areas:
METABOLIC, NUTRITIVE, PROTECTIVE and ANTI-MICROBIAL.
There are two types of bacteria, which colonize our bodies, good and harmful bacteria. Good bacteria, most of which are Lactic Acid bacteria ensure good health. They normally inhabit the intestines and are critical in maintaining the correct balance of our intestinal microflora. However, to achieve this they must be present in optimal numbers, types and ratio (85% beneficial to 15% non-beneficial)...
Probiotics are live and beneficial bacteria. They maintain and restore a healthy gut. Probiotic are absolutely necessary to help:
1. Manufacture B group vitamins, biotin and folic acid.
2. Reduce blood cholesterol levels.
3. Produce natural antibiotics, which can protect against harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E.Coli and shigella.
4. Regulate and stimulate many aspects of the immune system.
5. Improve lactose intolerance.
6. Display significant anti-oxidant activity.
7. Inhibit the growth of some yeast (eg. Candida Albicans).
8. Detoxify harmful chemicals and carcinogens from the body via the intestinal system.
9. Increase energy levels.
10. Regulate and increase hormone levels.
11. Remove toxins ingested through foods (eg. Pesticides and Herbicides).
12. Absorb nutrients, antioxidants and iron from your diet.
13. Removal of toxins as waste products of digestion.
14. Reduce food intolerance (eg. Lactose and Gluten).
15. Reduce inflammation.
16. Digestion of food."
The Royal Society of Medicine of Great Britain reported that 90% of chronic diseases are caused from an unhealthy intestinal system primarily the colon.
There exists a connection between imbalance in the intestines and the following:
Arthritis, Candida/Thrush, Chronic Fatigue (does not relate to dogs or cats) , Asthma, Hayfever, Food Allergies, Psoriasis, Eczema, Acne, Irritable Bowel, Celiac Disease, Indigestion, Constipation, Lupus, Low Immune System.
If we wish our pets (and ourselves)to maintain a healthy body, we need large quantities of friendly bacteria. This is easily done by taking supplements of good bacteria to help us counteract the harmful bacteria.
Live bacteria supplementation, as opposed to freeze-dried or liquid preparation (yogurt, etc.) tend to have a greater effect on the re-colonization and re-balancing of the gut microflora.
Several things can destroy the intestinal bacterial balance in a pet's gut. Overuse of antibiotics destroys good bacteria as well as bad. Moreover, stress, poor diet, pollutants, environmental changes, and prescription drugs can also deplete beneficial bacteria.
Other killers of good bacteria include chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and soil sterilizers in agriculture which damage the soil ecosystem and the natural flow of bacteria found in the food chain. These chemicals, as well as chemicals in the water supply, reduce the good bacteria in the gut. This allows harmful bacteria to multiply and produce large amounts of toxins and carcinogenic agents. These toxins inhibit the normal function of the digestive system and increase the demands placed on the liver and kidneys. Consequently, this speeds up the aging process and leads to various diseases and digestion problems.
Has your pet recently been on anitbiotics? Does your pet have digestion problems, diarrhea, skin problems, food intolerances, or other chronic health problems? Supplement with a high quality pet probiotic to restore his/her healthy gut, and chances are you will improve your pet's over-all health.
Pets with large amounts of beneficial bacteria are better equipped to fight the growth of unhealthy organisms. So, if pets are to maintain a healthy body, they need large quantities of friendly bacteria. Supplement a well-balanced diet with a high quality pet probiotic and give your pet the health that he most certainly deserves.
The Whole Dog carries *Fastrack, as well as Great Life and Animal Essentials probiotic and enzyme products
*The unique combination of natural, live, friendly bacteria's in these probiotic products helps to ensure a healthy digestive tract; enhancing the immune system and defending against pathogenic agents in the digestive tract.
If you would like your pet to benefit from probiotics in his or her diet we have probiotics and enzymes made especially for pets. Click here for more information.
If you got to this page from The Cat's Meow and would like to go back there now, Click Here