Probiotics for Your Pet’s Digestive and Immune System Health
If you’re like most pet guardians, you want your furry family members to be healthy and happy for as long as possible. You might even already be supplementing your dog or cat’s diet with a multivitamin, Omega 3 fatty acid or joint supplement. However, adding a probiotic to your pet’s diet is a great way to support your pet’s overall health.
What exactly is a probiotic supplement? It’s a supplement that contains various “friendly” microbes that help augment the beneficial bacteria in your pet’s intestinal tract. The good bacteria in the digestive system help to improve digestion, keep the intestinal lining healthy, and prevent the overgrowth of bad bacteria. Whenever your pet is on an antibiotic, it kills both the harmful and the beneficial bacteria. The reduction in the friendly bacteria can lead to diarrhea and digestive upset in your pet. Giving your pet a probiotic will help restore the correct balance of bacteria in the gut.
But a pet probiotic is not just for pets with digestive issues. Up to 80% of the immune system is located in the digestive tract so a healthy digestive system helps support and boost immune functioning. Holistic veterinarian Michael Dym, VMD writes “..if our pets’ digestive tracts are not healthy, this can lead to what is called a ‘leaky gut.’ This can result in long term chronic health problems not only of the digestive tract, but of other organ systems such as chronic ear/skin allergies, joint problems, chronic respiratory ailments, and even chronic urinary tract disorders.”
While a pet probiotic can help a pet under stress or with a digestive disorder, the best time to start your pet on a probiotic is when he or she is young and healthy. Now available exclusively at PetMeds, Probiotic Chewys for Dogs contains probiotics as well as soluble fiber, and comes in a chicken-flavored soft chew that most dogs will readily eat as a treat. Just give 1 chew daily to dogs up to 40 pounds, or 2 chews daily for dogs over 40 pounds. Give daily to maintain your pet’s digestion and immune functioning, or you can give sporadically during stressful situations, after de-worming, antibiotic therapy, or digestive upset.