Several years ago, when I started out in the pet health industry, probiotics were a relatively “new” thing. A lot of people had started using them for themselves, but the concept of giving probiotics to pets was less popular.
Thankfully, that has changed!
Nowadays, everyone and their mother has heard about probiotics for dogs and cats. Many, many pet parents give them, both for daily proactive gut health and to help support a variety of different health concerns. We’ve had many people tell us that their vet has suggested probiotics for their animals. And we love that!
Has your vet recommended probiotics for your pet? If so, which ones have they recommended? If you’re just discovering probiotics for dogs and cats, this blog is for you! We’re going to walk through some of the basics, why we love probiotics for dogs and cats, and how to pick the right one!
Has Your Vet Recommended Probiotics?
If your vet has said probiotics would be helpful for your pet, you’re not alone! With the vast amount of research, coupled with the amazing successes so many animals have had with them, it’s no surprise that vets are suggesting many animals take probiotics.
So where do you start? These quick soundbites may help!
What are probiotics, exactly? Probiotics are live bacteria that live in the body, with particular concentrations in the gut. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep the gut healthy.
What do probiotics do? Probiotics can help balance out the gut microbiome and defend against bad bacteria. When “good” bacteria is lost, for example after antibiotics, probiotics can help replace them. And since 80% of immune health stems from the gut, that’s a really good thing for overall health.
What can probiotics help with? Research is plentiful on the benefits of probiotics for the body. Studies have shown that they can be beneficial for everything from digestive upset (think diarrhea) and irritable bowl disease (IBD), to allergies and skin health, to supporting immunity and regulating inflammation.
Are prebiotics the same as probiotics? No, prebiotics aren’t the same as probiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible food components that help probiotics thrive in the body. Essentially, they feed probiotics. Without them, probiotics are not as effective and can eventually die off.
The Best Probiotics for Pets
If your vet recommended probiotics for your animal, they may have given you a few suggestions on what to look for. And that’s great.
But if they didn’t, or you want a bit more info, these tips should help!
- Look for high CFUs. CFUs stands for Colony Forming Units. This is the standard unit of measurement used to estimate the viable microorganisms in a sample. CFU represents the number of bacteria in a sample that are capable of dividing and forming colonies. But the caveat here are species-specific probiotics, where the CFUs may be lower, and that’s ok! It’s just because more of these species-specific strains themselves get to where they need to go!
- Try to find a product with a variety of different probiotic strains. You want diversity, and with more strains, to help build a robust and diverse community of good bacteria. This enhances the chances of reaping the full spectrum of benefits associated with probiotics.
- Consider a species-specific probiotic. There are many probiotics on the market. Some are human, some are animal, and some are formulated specifically for dogs or cats (whichever animal you have) with species-specific strains. Research tells us that probiotic bacteria evolve host-specific traits – meaning you want to find a strain or strains that have optimum efficacy for the host, body or species it’s intended for.
- Look for a product that contains both probiotics and prebiotics. These are also known as symbiotics! that way you’re supporting the probiotics to be able to do their job in the body!
- Try to avoid fillers, binders, artificial flavours and colours, anti-caking agents, etc. You want the majority (or all) of what’s in the bottle to be functional, and those additional ingredients are not.
At Adored Beast, we have a variety of probiotics for dogs and cats – many of which are vet recommended probiotics!! These have been formulated with care, the ingredients specifically chosen for their functional benefits, without unnecessary fillers. You can learn more about each one at this post.
If your vet recommended probiotics for your dog or cat, that’s great! This means they’re thinking about proactive ways for you to improve gut health, and thus overall health, which is awesome! Probiotics can bring so much to the table when it comes to health and wellness, and at Adored Beast, we’re happy to lay out the tablecloth and serve up exactly what your beloved animal needs.