Jul 02 2017

Probiotics for your Pets? You bet!

Published by at 1:06 pm under probiotic supplements

Probiotics for your Pets? You bet!
From getting your dogs outside to giving them Body BioticsTM, expose them to friendly bacteria for better gut health.


Isn’t it a joy? The warmer weather and longer days! Whether you have to get up at 5am to beat the heat, or are lucky enough to live where the temperatures are mild all day, summer is a lovely time for being outdoors and enjoying good health. But its not only a good time for humans to enjoy the great outdoors, it is also a great time for pets to get a little more outdoor time, whether its playing in the yard or being taken for a walk. It’s good for us and them, as a good walk boosts serotonin levels, oxygenates the blood supply and gets the day off to a great start.

No one appreciates a good walk more than our furry friends. Dogs love to go on walks! And cats do too! I have a neighbor who walks her dog every morning and evening and her cat follows along too. They get exposed to a variety of sights, sounds and smells, and have a chance to expend excess energy which if not released can lead to negative behavior. Just like children who don’t get to release physical energy, dogs will also find them selves “getting into trouble” by chewing on things, tearing things up and being wild indoors if not allowed to get out. But oh so importantly, dogs need to be exposed to the soil born organisms which they can’t be exposed to when holed up inside all day.

Dogs (and cats) have microbiomes just as humans. Sometimes it is easy to forget and neglect the gut health of our pets.  Just like humans, animals’ gut health ties into the immune system and digestive health. Just as it is essential for  humans to keep their microbiome in balance, it is also just as important for our pets.

So what do you need to pay attention to in order to support your animal’s digestive health? Here are a few tips that should help keep their digestive health on the right tract and make them the healthiest that they can be.

Outdoor play
Even if it means getting up early to beat the heat, it is our responsibility as pet owners to give our pets the exercise they need and exposure to the friendly critters found in the great outdoors. Not everyone lives in an environment with plenty of parks, woods or grassy fields, but getting them outside for a good romp in the woods is so good for them. Just as children who are exposed to a multitude of bacteria tend to be healthier with less allergies, the same goes for pets. Parks, fields, the beach…you get the picture. You owe it to your pet to get them outside!

Use antibiotics only when necessary.
Pets get antibiotics almost as much as humans. Pets get exposed quite often for a variety of ailments and this can lead to diarrhea and a break down of the balance of friendly bacteria in their digestive system. Just as when we take antibiotics, it wipes out our good as well as bad bacteria, so is the case for dogs and cats. Replacing this bacteria with probiotics is important.

Pets can be exposed to a wide variety of parasites
Because pets tend to eat things humans would not, such as trash and other animals feces, they can be exposed to harmful bacteria and parasites. If your animals digestive tract is healthy and their immune system is strong, their exposure to these things may not be as detrimental to their health. Keep an eye on their bowel movements and if you notice unhealthy changes, a call or visit to the veterinarian may be in order.

Do I have to use a probiotic designed solely for pets?
The answer is no. You can give your pets Body BioticsTM Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics ConsortiaTM as it contains the bacteria they need for a healthy digestive system. The advantage of taking Body BioticsTM over an animal grade probiotic is that products developed for animals do not go through the same rigorous standards as those for humans. “…For human-grade probiotics, which are used for foods and supplements, this process is even more complex and stringent because all of the equipment and processes must be extremely clean and be of higher quality…”1

How do I administer probiotics to my pets?
It can be very easy to give your pets daily probiotics. Dogs can take them by mixing it into their wet food, or add to water and shoot it in their mouths with a syringe. You can also break open a capsule and stir it into some chicken broth. Find out what works best for your dog.

What about prebiotics?
Because Body BioticsTM  has both probiotics and prebiotics in the formula, you know they are getting both.

How much should I give them?
Due to the nature of a dog’s digestive tract, you can start them off with a full capsule daily. If your pet is ill and needs a more therapeutic dose, just as with humans, slowly increase the dosage and keep an eye on how they are tolerating the increase. Scale back or increase as needed.

Pay attention to their diet.
Diet is important for dogs. Finding a food that has the first ingredient as meat and not a by product is important. There are a lot of animal foods that are made with some bad ingredients that if you knew what they were, you would not give your pet. Avoid corn, fillers and preservatives. Fresh, raw meat diets for dogs are preferred by some owners, but the debate is out for others due to dangerous bacteria such as salmonella. Give your dog the healthiest food you can afford. And make sure they have fresh water available at all times.

Watch their weight.
Too many people kill their dogs with kindness…literally. They think giving table scraps and people food is being kind to their pets, when in actuality, it is the opposite. It’s comparable to when we eat processed junk food. It can lead to weight gain (not to mention leads to bad habits of “begging”.) An overweight dog is an unhealthy dog. Just as with humans, it is harder on their cardiovascular system, their joints and their overall health. So stick to a regularly scheduled meal time of twice a day, and don’t feed them too much and feed them the right foods for their species. If you are uncertain, check with your veterinarian or a good local pet store. They tend to carry a more healthful variety of foods and can be a valuable resource for nutritional advice for your pets.

Reward system
A pet trainer told me…”don’t give your dog anything for free”. In other words, they need to work for everything you give them. A simple sit before feeding them or giving them a treat shows them that you are in charge, not them. It shows them that you are their resource for food, putting you in control, not them. When you do give your dog a treat, make sure it is a healthy treat. Many of the treats found in the grocery store are equivalent to giving your child candy. Once again, find a high meat source treat for your dogs. It is healthier for their gut.

Avoid these foods
There are some common people foods that should never be given to your dog. These foods include avocados, alcohol, chocolate, raisins, caffeine, baking soda and powder, chives, seeds, corn cobs, fruit pits, grapes, garlic, rhubarb leaves, tomatoes, macadamia nuts and walnuts, yeast dough, milk and milk-based products, mushrooms, nutmeg (and other spices), onions, and xylitol (found in many candies and gums).2

Pumpkin is good for them
Feed your dog a couple of tablespoons of pumpkin a day to keep their tummies feeling good and their digestive tract healthy. A quality, plain canned pumpkin (not sweetened) is a good prebiotic for them as well. 2

So take care of your dog’s gut health just as you would your own. They are part of the family after all. Dogs aren’t called man’s best friend for no reason! So treat your best friend right. Next week we will look at how having a dog is actually good for your health.

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.fidobiotics.com/blogs/news/probiotics-are-human-probiotics-good-for-dogs-is-there-a-difference-between-human-grade-probiotics-vs-dog-grade-probiotics
  2. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/probiotics-vs-prebiotics-does-your-dog-need-both/
  3. https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/nutrition/dog-nutrition-a-to-z


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