Probiotics for Dogs

Alpha1

Pack Leader and Lover
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Location
USA
Here's some information about why probiotics may be beneficial for our canine friends...


Why Probiotics Are Important For Dogs

Written by DogsNaturallyMagazine


The dog’s intestinal tract is a fascinating place. It can digest large pieces of food, render pathogens such as salmonella and e-coli harmless, and convert the food to nutrients the body can use . Much of this work is performed by enzymes and microflora in the gut. The microflora, commonly known as beneficial bacteria, aid in digestion, absorption, and the production of B vitamins and enzymes. Most importantly, they are a primary defense against foreign invaders and an important part of a healthy immune system.

There are over 100 trillion microorganisms, from some 400 different species, in a healthy digestive tract. Many researchers now believe that declining levels of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract may actually mark the onset of chronic degenerative disease and a suppressed immune system. Poor diet and other environmental stresses can be extremely damaging to the beneficial bacteria colonies.

Although there isn’t much research done in dogs, in humans, the beneficial bacteria count can often be as low as 4 to 5 per milliliter whereas a healthy colon would have at least 100 billion per milliliter.

Beneficial bacteria appear to interfere with the ability of disease-causing organisms to latch onto the lining of the gut. In a process known as competitive exclusion, they can also crowd out harmful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. They can also facilitate the digestion and absorption of important nutrients from foods, improving overall health. Mounting evidence suggests they also exert significant anti-inflammatory effects on the cells and tissues of the body.

Factors that cause a decline in beneficial bacteria

There are many reasons for declining numbers of beneficial bacteria in the gut. They include:


  • Aging – over time, beneficial bacteria lose their vitality.
  • Changes in the acid/alkaline balance of the bowels – this is why feeding grains and a lot of vegetable content to dogs may not be a great idea: it changes the pH in the gut and slows down digestion which promotes the growth of the harmful, putrefying bacteria.
  • NSAIDs such as Rimadyl, Metacam and Deramaxx are destructive to the intestinal flora.
  • Chlorine in the drinking water not only serves to kill bacteria in the water; it is equally devastating to the colonies of beneficial bacteria living in the intestines.
  • Radiation is devastating to the inner bacterial environment. This includes radiation from cell phones, cordless phones and WIFI.
  • Virtually all meat and chicken and dairy that you feed your dog (other than organic) is loaded with antibiotics, which destroy all of the beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Antibiotic herbs such as goldenseal (if taken in sufficient quantities) can have a negative impact
  • Antibiotics of any kind indiscriminately destroy both bad and GOOD bacteria — allowing virulent, mutant strains of harmful microorganisms to emerge and run rampant inside the body. In fact, antibiotics (both medicinal and in our food supply) are the #1 culprit in the overgrowth of harmful pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract (a condition called dysbiosis) that may be at the root of many autoimmune disorders and certain cancers.
What you can do

Obviously, supplementing with a good probiotic is crucial to your dog’s health. There are many types of probiotics on the market but in general, you are looking for a formula containing the two following probiotics:


  • L. acidophilus resides primarily in the small intestine and produces a number of powerful antimicrobial compounds in the gut (including: acidolin, acidolphilin, lactocidin, and bacteriocin). These compounds can inhibit the growth and toxin producing capabilities of some 23 known disease-causing pathogens (including: campylobacter, listeria, and staphylococci), as well as reduce tumor growth and effectively neutralize or inhibit carcinogenic substances. It’s also important to note that L. acidophilus is the primary beneficial bacteria in the vaginal tract.

  • Many researchers believe that declining levels of bifidobacteria in the large intestine actually mark the eventual onset of chronic degenerative disease. Bifidobacteria benefit the body in a number of ways. They consume old fecal matter, have the ability to remove cancer-forming elements (or the enzymes which lead to their formation), and protect against the formation of liver, colon, and mammary gland tumors.

When starting your dog on probiotics, you might want to start slowly. The probiotics will cause a die-off of the harmful bacteria in the gut and this may cause gas, loose stools and stomach rumblings.
 

Jessicah

New member
Joined
Jun 29, 2012
I always wondered how dogs can get away with eating some of the stuff they do. This proves that they really can't, and of course that is why they sometimes get sick or vomit.
 

StephanieS

New member
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
All my dogs drink a little water and milk kefir every day, and so do I, kefir is full of probiotics and as I make it myself I know exactly what is in it. My dogs also eat their raw meals out in the garden off the grass - earth and mud contain lots of probiotics too. :) Lots of dog problems, especially yeast issues and leaky gut problems are due to bad bacteria growing out of control because there is not enough good bateria to keep it in check. Anyone or any dog that has had antibiotics could with taking probtioics as antibiotics destroy both good and bad bacteria alike.

There are also many discussions/arguments for and against the need for prebiotics too - prebiotics it is said feed the good bacteria. I give my dogs raw green tripe and 3 times a week they get a little seaweed, both contain prebiotics.
 

haopee

BACON of Light
Joined
Nov 6, 2012
Location
Philippines
Part of Chooey's soft diet (as per the vet's advice) is Cerelac Rice & Soya. It has Bifidobacterium Lactis Culture. I guess that's a good thing. Chooey seems to enjoy the taste and I think it has helped in her recovery as well, especially since it's rich in vitamins and minerals.
 

TWHRider

New member
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Location
Middle Tennessee
Couldn't agree more.

I don't feed Pre/probiotics to my two current dogs but when I do, it comes in the form of Din-O-Vite. Well worth the $$$ as it also did away with the skin allergies the other dogs got after we moved into the Tennessee Valley where allergies prevail.

Three of my four horses get pre/probiotics.

My 25-1/2 yr old horse with hind gut ulcers and metabolic issues gets a specialized PREbiotic only -- to the tune of nearly $3/day and that's just one supplement for his health issues. I could probably take him off that product and put him on the product I feed the other two but, he's been my bud 22-1/2 years, I almost lost him twice to colic in 2012, and I'm not taking chances<---I still need to lose some weight anyway -lol

The fourth one doesn't need them but I know how to recognize the symptoms of needing Pre/probiotics, so he'll get them if that time ever comes.

There's a huge difference between PRObiotics and PREbiotics. Finding a product that has both does not come cheap but the PREbiotics are actually more important than a PRObiotic.
 

NClady520

New member
Joined
May 15, 2013
Location
NC
I've been giving my dogs yogurt for years. It has the great, cheap probiotics and helps with horrible doggy gas.
 

Alpha1

Pack Leader and Lover
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Location
USA
Original Poster
I've heard about prebiotics, TWHRider, but have never taken them myself, only probiotics. I'm glad you mentioned Din-O-Vite, I always hear the ads on the radio, and wondered if it was a good quality supplement. Knowing how well you care for your horses, I'm sure it's something to be recommended, thanks. :)
 

Alpha1

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Mar 28, 2012
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USA
Original Poster
A little bit about PREbiotics, in reference to people's health...

Prebiotics and Probiotics bring health

by Elizabeth Walling, citizen journalist

(NaturalNews) Probiotics are friendly bacteria that live in your digestive tract and essentially influence every aspect of health, from neurotransmitter production to immunity to digestion. But these beneficial little microflora must eat in order to survive and thrive. What is their food of choice? Prebiotics!

What Are Prebiotics?

Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology Diet, explains: "Prebiotics are derived from insoluble fiber and fructooligosaccharides or FOS (carbohydrate molecules made up of a relatively small number of simple sugars)."

These prebiotics are the ideal nourishment for beneficial bacteria living in the digestive tract. By feeding them well, you give friendly microorganisms the chance to establish a viable population that can not only perform important tasks in the digestive system, but also keep pathogenic bacteria like yeast under control.

Prebiotics Benefits

The benefits of prebiotics are far-reaching. While directly affecting gut flora balance and digestive health, prebiotics have also been shown to have beneficial affects on:

- Heart health
- Triglyceride levels
- Cholesterol levels
- Immunity to common illnesses
- Osteoporosis
- Diabetes

One particular advantage of prebiotics is that they do not need special care. Probiotics, on the other hand, have to be carefully handled to ensure the organisms stay alive through packaging, shipment and storage. This does not always happen, and it's difficult to tell if a probiotic supplement or food contains live cultures or not. Prebiotics, however, are carbohydrates that do not need any special care to remain effective.

Foods that Contain Prebiotics

There are many foods that contain one or more of the various prebiotics. Here is a partial list:

- oats
- wheat
- garlic
- onions
- Jerusalem artichoke
- leeks
- asparagus
- chicory
- milk (organic raw certified)
- bananas

There may be particular advantages to eating probiotics and prebiotics together so the two can work synergistically. Yogurt with bananas or onions and live sauerkraut are excellent options for pairing these two beneficial substances in an appealing way.

Prebiotics for Infants

Breastmilk is also a good source of prebiotics, which is yet another reason why breastfeeding is such a healthy choice for infants. Establishing a healthy colony of gut flora as early as possible is essential for healthy growth and development. Studies also indicate that formula-fed infants benefit from prebiotic supplementation.

Prebiotics Supplements

The most popular prebiotics supplements usually contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which is a form of inulin typically derived from chicory. These supplements may be beneficial to those looking to increase their intake of prebiotics. However, they lack the synergy of choosing whole foods that naturally contain prebiotics. A prebiotics supplement cannot replace a wholesome, balanced diet.
 

Happyflowerlady

Dog Mother
Joined
May 2, 2013
Location
Northern Alabama
I am not using Din-o-vite right now either, but I have ordered it in the past, and was pleased with it also. I was expensive, but for my little dogs, it didn't take much, so it lasted forever.
I give my dogs yogurt also, and some kefir when I have it. I also add a little diatomaceous earth to their food, to kill parasites, every now and then. They say to take it for 10 days, and do it once a month . I am not always as consistent as I should be, but I know it helps, and is healthy.
 

lorilou

New member
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
I use two brands of probiotics for my cats, because of different tolerances. Two cats are on ProViable DC (which contains the prebiotic fructooligosaccharide) daily and one cat takes Natural Factors double strength every other day.
 

Alpha1

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Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Location
USA
Original Poster
Bumping this thread as a refresher on the benefits of probiotics for dogs. I've used yogurt, but never an actual supplement.
 

kyle_stallworth

New member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Location
California, USA
I really love reading tips, advice and any information about the good health of dogs because I want to take care my dog properly. By the ideas you shared here, I learned a lot and I will share it to my friends.
 

haopee

BACON of Light
Joined
Nov 6, 2012
Location
Philippines
Bumping this thread as a refresher on the benefits of probiotics for dogs. I've used yogurt, but never an actual supplement.
I forgot to mention that I switch Buchi to a different dog food compared to the others. It's called Eagle Pro. Now that I'm wary of the ingredients, I was happy to find this available in our local pet store. Alpha, have you heard of it?



Ingredient:
Herring, White Fish Meal, Pork Meal, Pure Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Natural Fish Oil (Preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed Oil, Sunflower Oil, Green Peas, Cranberries, Blueberries, Tomatoes, Carrots, Kelp, Alfalfa, Parsley Leaf, Chondroitin, Rosemary Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Lecithin, Choline, Chloride
 


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