Probiotics are live microorganisms that occur naturally in fermented products.
Foods such as yogurt and kefir contain these positive bacteria.
They are also increasingly added to packaged beverages, and can be found in supplements.
Humans have been consuming foods with probiotics for their digestive health benefits for thousands of years.
People eat kimchi, or spicy fermented vegetables, in South Korea, and sauerkraut, or fermented cabbage, in Germany.
Now, humans are beginning to learn about the health benefits of probiotics for their pets.
Furthermore, scientists are studying these benefits in pets and finding great results!
What Are Probiotics?
The best probiotics contain live bacteria and yeasts that benefit the flora in the gut.
Although bacteria and germs are often thought of as bad, many are good!
In fact, our bodies are full of living organisms providing support to our health.
Probiotics are typically referred to as “good” bacteria because they can help keep our bodies healthy.
Why Give Pets Probiotics?
Much like human bodies, animal bodies can become out of balance.
Their bodies have good and bad bacteria just like ours do, although not always the same strains of bacteria.
In order to get your pet’s health back on track, find the best probiotics for cats and dogs.
1. Probiotics May Prevent Diarrhea Caused By Infections
Preliminary evidence shows some probiotics are beneficial in preventing diarrhea caused by infections.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) reports this data.
Pets fighting infections in their bodies may benefit from the addition of a probiotic supplement in their diet.
2. Can Help Prevent Diarrhea Caused By Antibiotics
A major component of digestion is the breakdown of foods in the gut by bacteria.
Antibiotics often kill all microbes, even the “good” bacteria in the gut that facilitate digestion.
As a result, antibiotics often disrupt the balance of flora in the intestines.
This causes watery stools, also called antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
Early studies show some probiotics may prevent diarrhea caused by antibiotics, according to the NCCIH.
3. May Alleviate Symptoms of Irritable Bowels
Irritable bowels are not considered a type of gastrointestinal disease in pets.
However, the symptoms are often associated with chronic inflammation and discomfort in the pet’s intestines.
Preliminary research suggests probiotics can alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowels.
The NCCIH reports this data.
4. Can Help Some Skin Irritations Like Eczema
Eczema can have several causes in pets.
Common causes of dry eczema in dogs include:
- flea bite hypersensitivity
- contact dermatitis
- otitis externa
- food hypersensitivity
- ocular disease
- anal sac disease.
Over-licking a painful spot causes wet eczema, which becomes a lesion, causing more licking.
Probiotics may be beneficial in the treatment and prevention of eczema.
5. May Alleviate Constipation
Chronic constipation is difficult to treat.
Learn more about PET | TAO Harmonize GI.