What are Probiotics?
We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But our bodies are full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are shown to be good for your health, especially your digestive system. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.
Some common conditions they treat are; irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites) and antibiotic-related diarrhea.
But did you know that it’s not only us humans that can benefit from probiotics, but also our pets?
In animals, bacteria are found just about everywhere: on all exposed external and internal surfaces of the body – the ears, nose, the eyes, skin, mouth, throat, and airways – as well as in the intestines, cecum, and colon.
Almost 90 percent of an animal’s immune system is in the wall of the intestines. Without a healthy balance of good bacteria within their digestive tract, their immune system cannot function in a healthy fashion. Allergies or intolerances often start in the gut and are the result of an imbalance of bacteria. Many factors can impact the balance of bacteria including genetics, environment, hygiene, stress, infection, and diet.
A good quality probiotic contains bacteria that act together to restore disrupted balance in the gut. These “good bacteria” must survive the acid in the stomach and the bile in the small intestines to be successful. It has been found that animals with gastrointestinal issues can greatly benefit from a good probiotic supplement. Probiotics gently help animals get over digestive disturbances by bringing the bacteria in the digestive tract into balance – without the use of harsh medicines. Using pharmaceuticals to treat most digestive disturbances is usually ineffective and often slows the recovery of a balanced, normally functioning digestive system.
Probiotic supplementation can even improve the overall wellbeing of healthy animals and support a healthy immune system.
Probiotics can also improve the health of animals on a processed kibble diet or irradiated and pasteurized raw foods. They can also benefit animals who exhibit stress or who have sensitive digestive systems.
Please note: This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Results may vary from individual to individual.