Here is an article I had written on the benifits of Probiotics and your dog. Maybe it can help.Canine Health SpotlightProbiotics: Good Bacteria
If you’re the owner of a Boston Terrier or another little gas filled pooch, or if you have a dog that has a sensitive stomach, irregular bowl and frequent constipation or diarrhea listen up…there is help at the end of that gas riddled trail and hope for the pooch, and their human companion, with the most stubborn digestive tract. No it’s not some new magical pharmaceutical pill it’s an all natural substance called Probiotics.
What is a probiotic? The word "Probiotic" means "for life." Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, or good bacteria, that actually can help strengthen the body's natural defenses, and help restore the appropriate balance of healthy bacteria. To facilitate good health, live digestive plant enzymes assist your pet’s digestion and absorption of essential nutrients; they control harmful bacteria. Dried streptococcus, faccium fermentation product, dried lactobacillus, Acidophilus Fermentation product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation product, Dried Saccharomyces cervisiae permentation product are all forms of probiotics.
To understand more about probiotics, let’s take a look at Prebiotics… Prebiotics are a category of functional food, defined as non-digestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, and thus improve host health. Most potential prebiotics are carbohydrates such as oligosaccharides, but the definition does not exclude the use of non-carbohydrates as prebiotics. The definition does not emphasize a specific bacterial group. Often, however, it is assumed that a prebiotic should increase the number and/or activity of bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria, probiotics, as these groups of bacteria are claimed to have several beneficial effects on the host. Typical dietary sources of prebiotics are soybeans, Jerusalem artichokes (which contain inulin), raw oats, unrefined wheat and unrefined barley.
Probiotics help with intestinal balance because the basic makeup of intestinal bacteria was established very early in life. You may not realize that bacteria are continually introduced into the body as a normal part of daily life. However, at times, the result is a cascading effect that ends in noticeable digestive upset as the body attempts to return to its normally balanced state. The goal of a probiotic supplement is to maintain the optimal bacterial balance and provide a natural defense against this cascading effect. Common factors that can disrupt the digestive balance are changes in diet or surroundings, levels of stress, illness, and the use of some medications, particularly antibiotics. New research has found that individuals or pets who suffer from frequent digestive upsets, such as people who are diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), may have a pronounced disruption of bacterial balance, which is thought to contribute to their symptoms.
Some of the potential benefits that have been assisted by the use of probiotics are: managing lactose intolerance, prevention of colon cancer, cholesterol lowering, lowering blood pressure, improving immune function and preventing infections, reducing inflammation, improving mineral absorption, prevents harmful bacterial growth under stress, irritable bowel syndrome and colitis.
There is no published evidence that probiotic supplements are able to replace the body’s natural flora when these have been killed off. Bacterial levels in feces disappear within days when supplementation ceases. There is evidence, however, that probiotics do form beneficial temporarycolonies which may assist the body in the same functions as the natural flora, while allowing the natural flora time to recover from depletion. The probiotic strains are then progressively replaced by a naturally developed gut flora. Hence, probiotics have been defined as correctives of the ecoorgan. If the conditions which originally caused damage to the natural gut flora persist, the benefits obtained from probiotic supplements will be short lived.
Some of the products that are available to the public to suppliment probiotics in your pet are Gentle Digest , Natural Probiotic for Pets, available at http://www.herbalremedies.com/natural-pet-digest.html
, Total-Biotics available at http://www.petenzymes.com
, Ultra probiotic powder available at http://b-naturals.com
, and Ration Plus™ Supplements for Dogs available at PetSmart. I have personally not tested the effects of any of these products on my pets, but do believe in the benefits they can provide especially to the aging or ill dog or cat in your household. I can not endorse the reliability of these products, it is best to research them yourself and make an educated decision.
Any questions regarding the use of probiotics can be e-mailed to C_K-9_C@hotmail.com