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Will my Dog or Cat Benefit From a Probiotic?

cat sitting excited waiting for dinner with supplements

Will My Dog or Cat Benefit from a Probiotic?


Yes! Probiotic supplements are a great way to keep your dog’s and cat’s gut healthy and functioning normally. 

The gastrointestinal tract plays a huge role in every dog’s and cat’s overall health. Research shows that nearly 70 percent of your immune system is in your digestive tract. The good bacteria that inhabit your gut help defend your body from infections and support the immune system. If your pet has frequent GI upset, such as diarrhea, flatulence or constipation, their immune system may be compromised. Low amounts of beneficial bacteria can lead to more infections, inflammation, and even autoimmune disorders. 

Let's dive a little deeper to find out how to keep the GI tract healthy, what probiotics are, how they can benefit GI health, and most importantly; benefits they can provide for your fur babies.

What Is A Synbiotic? 


Synbiotics are a mixture of probiotics (good gut bacteria) and prebiotics (non-digestible fiber that help grow the good bacteria) that work together to create a synergistic relationship in the gut. The prebiotics feed the probiotics to help them survive in the intestines and promote gut health and a stronger immune system. 


What is a Probiotic?


Probiotics are live microorganisms that support a healthy digestive system and lead to improved gut health and immune system function. 

Probiotics may be found naturally in foods such as yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut or may also be taken as a supplement. 

Probiotics are unique microorganisms that survive food processing as well as the acid in the stomach. They are non-pathogenic organisms - in simpler terms, they are good and don’t cause disease. Probiotics establish themselves as part of a community of beneficial microorganisms within the gut, also known as the gut flora or microbiome.

You probably have also heard the term prebiotic talked about regarding the digestive system health. Both probiotics and prebiotics play an important role in gut health but in very different ways.


How do Probiotics differ from Prebiotics?


Prebiotics are sources of fiber and other nutrients that the probiotics use as a food source. These food sources are generally carbohydrates that can not be broken down by an animal's digestive system. 

Prebiotic sources come from eating fibrous fruits and vegetables or may be taken as a supplement.

Prebiotics are unique fiber sources that resist breakdown by stomach acid and fermented to stimulate the growth of gut microflora. 

dog running with human

What are the Benefits of Probiotics?


Your pet’s gut microflora is responsible for many functions including: 

  • food fermentation
  • digestion
  • nutrient absorption
  • vitamin synthesis
  • immune system regulation.

Digestive issues, obesity, allergies, depressed mood can all occur when the gut flora are out of balance. Probiotics act to initiate, enhance, or restore the gut flora and their functions. 


Probiotics can be beneficial for animals of all life stages and provide health benefits for both healthy and sick animals. The benefits of probiotics include:


  • Maintains the Balance of GI Microbiome:  Probiotics restore the natural balance of the digestive tract. Probiotics replace or displace the “bad” microorganisms within the GI tract and help establish a “good” community of GI flora. “Bad” bacteria, yeast, or fungi may flourish due to illness, poor diet, or use of antibiotics. This imbalance can cause gas, indigestion, and/or diarrhea until the natural balance is restored.
  • Improves Digestive Health: Probiotics help the gut maintain the appropriate pH. This allows for optimal digestion and function of digestive enzymes, which prevents gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. It also ensures appropriate fecal consistency and production frequency.

  

  • Improves Mood and Behavior: Probiotics can reduce anxiety and depression and may also help to improve memory. The gut produces many of the same mood regulating neurotransmitters as the brain. In fact, more of the “feel good” neurotransmitter, serotonin, is produced by the gut than the brain. The gut and the brain are connected via an extensive network of neurons called the gut-brain axis. It is through this axis that gut health can impact brain function and modulate mood and behavior.
  • Improves Heart Health: Probiotics reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels by maintaining a balanced gut microbiota.  The microbiota prevents reabsorption of cholesterol by breaking down bile which functions to absorb fat from the digestive tract. A reduction of LDL cholesterol and increase in HDL cholesterol is associated with a healthy, well functioning heart and low blood pressure. 
  • Immune System Support: Probiotics help to reduce inflammation, lessen the severity of allergies, and protect against infections. Probiotics help to establish and enhance GI microbiota and their interactions with immune cells.  Over 70% of the body’s immune system is in the walls of the GI tract in groups of cells called Peyer’s Patches.  Probiotics help to maintain the health of Peyer’s Patches by inhibiting the growth of harmful GI microorganisms, promoting antibody production, and boosting T-cell and natural killer cells which are important in fighting disease.
  • Weight loss: Bile is an enzyme within the digestive tract that functions to absorb fat from the diet. Probiotics support the healthy microbiota that are responsible for breaking down bile and preventing fat absorption. Probiotics also increase the hormone that makes you feel fuller for longer, burn more calories and store less fat.  That sounds like a win-win for your pet’s waistline. 

What Changes Can Be Seen in Cat’s and Dog’s After Starting a Probiotic Supplement?


  • Healthier skin, coat, and nails. A healthy gut digests food more easily and absorbs more nutrients that can help to nourish the skin, hair coat, and nails.
  • Reduction in indigestion, gas, and loose stools that can be caused by illness, stress, diet changes and antibiotics.
  • Better formed stools that are produced on a regular and consistent basis. No more picking up a watery mess at the dog park or constantly letting your dog in and out of the house.
  • Reduction in itching, scratching, and hot spots caused by allergies.
  • A more playful and comfortable companion due to weight loss and mood modifications caused by a healthy gut microbiota.
  • A decrease in the incidence and severity of illness and disease in your pet due to the immune boosting effects of probiotics.  
cat with owner ordering supplements on computer

What to look for when shopping for a Probiotic 


When looking to add a probiotic to your dog’s or cat’s diet, look for these on the label to make sure it is a high quality product:

  • USDA Certified Organic
  • Probiotics AND Prebiotics
  • No Artificial colors, dyes, or preservatives
  • Grain free, no soy, corn, or dairy
  • Veterinarian formulated
  • Vegan

Start supporting your dog’s digestive system with probiotics now!


Upgrade Your Pet’s Health the Natural Way

At Fera Pet Organics, we’re committed to using only the most natural high-quality ingredients to keep your furry family members healthy and happy for as long as possible. 


Ready to learn more about naturally maintaining your pet’s health? Be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, TikTok, and Pinterest  to stay up-to-date on the latest news and deals for our fellow pet parents. We’d love to hear from you! What do you want to learn about next? Do you have any comments or questions? Reach us at hello@ferapetorganics.com!


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