Probiotics, Prebiotics – What’s All the Hype?

August 7, 2012

Probiotics are simply,  good bacteria that help the gastrointestinal tract ward off bad bacteria.  When you give your pet dry dog food containing probiotics, you are helping Fido’s digestive tract to operate efficiently.

This good-guy bacteria in dog food helps protect the dog from infection.  If your dog suffers from a weak immune system or has recently been ill, ask your veterinarian about including probiotics in his diet.  They can be found in several commercial dog foods and in supplements.

The difference between probiotics and prebiotics is slim.  Prebiotics are “non-digestible food ingredients that stimulate the growth of activity of digestive system bacteria that are beneficial to your dog’s health.”  (www.iams.com/en_us/jsp/pet_health/print-view-jsp)

According to the Iams site, prebiotics can help most all dogs.  They are especially recommended for pregnant bitches, weaned puppies with developing immune systems, dogs with certain chronic conditions, and older dogs with compromised immune systems.

Prebiotics support the immune system and appear to reduce inflammation.  Since they have also been shown to reduce development of skin allergies in human babies, it is hoped that they will do the same for puppies.

Look for probiotics and prebiotics at wag.com using this link.  Any commissions we earn will support Seniors for Pets, a Florida charity helping older folks pay for vet bills for their dogs and cats.

If you want to be certain you are getting the best product for your pet, check the ingredients label on his food to be sure the term, “fructooligosaccharides” or FBS is on it.  Always consult your dog’s veterinarian before adding either probiotics or prebiotics to his diet.

 

 

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