Most people don’t really understand what is the meaning of a probiotic. What are probiotics? Well, pro, which is for; biotic, which is biologically natural. Probiotics are a population of good bacteria that belong in your pet’s gut. And it’s very important to note that it has to be the kind of bacteria that would normally live there or help populate the gut.
What is the exact reason why you or your pet would want to take one? The benefit of a probiotic is to keep the gut really healthy and absorb nutrients that pets take in. One of the benefits of bacteria in the gut is to actually work in concert with cells of your gut in order to absorb nutrients, which is why when your dog is being given other supplements, it’s important that the probiotic is there as well to help that uptake. It enhances every other nutrient uptake in the body.
Probiotics are also anti-inflammatory. In healing the gut, they prevent inflammatory bowel disease. They prevent allergies to food, and they prevent other kinds of bacteria from creating problems like overgrowths of salmonella or yeast organisms.
And why are those bacteria important?
They work in a symbiotic or togetherness relationship with the cells of your pet’s gut in order to keep those cells happy and healthy. When there’s a deficiency or an imbalance, what will happen is the gut becomes permeable or holes begin to form in it, or it becomes inflamed and allows abnormal proteins to get through to the blood stream, and then your dog or your cat or your animal becomes sensitive and develops allergies to foods and substances. This is really the basis and the foundation for health of the entire body. That is why probiotics are so important.
Difference between human gut vs. your dog’s gut
The other thing about that is human and animal probiotics are different and should not be cross-utilized. I know you’re not likely to take your dog’s probiotic, but how many times have you thought about giving your dog yogurt? Yogurt is not really the right population of bacteria to populate your dog’s gut with. So remember, when you’re using a probiotic, you need to look for a specific veterinarian recommended, high quality pet probiotic.
The difference between your gut and your pet’s gut, is humans are omnivores and your dog is a carnivore. We have a very long gut intended to digest those fibers, vegetables and fruits, and grains that we sometimes take in or love so much. Your dog is a true carnivore; from their teeth to their intestine. First of all, their teeth are sharp and pointy. There’s no grinding surfaces, and they don’t move side to side to grind anything. When you get to their stomach, their stomach acid pH is far more acidic in order to digest proteins, and believe it or not, they can even digest parts of bones unlike us humans.
Of course, the biggest part of this is the intestine. Your dog intestine is short. Again, a carnivorous intestine. So it has to absorb nutrients quickly. The protein spend more time in the stomach and far less time in the intestine than in our bodies. Therefore remember that your pet will always need a different probiotic than you will.