Should you give your pet probiotic supplements?
One of the largest growing areas of nutritional supplementation is gaining wider acceptance by even the most conservative and conventional veterinarians and MD’s, and it’s the addition of probiotics to various treatment protocols. Both probiotics and prebiotics contain various digestive and health-promoting intestinal aids. In addition, there are also several healthy strains of bacteria that help populate the digestive tract with all of the factors needed for optimal digestion and absorption, which helps the digestive tract achieve its maximal functional capacity.
It’s often said that up to 80% of the immune system starts in the digestive tract. And 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. By supplementing with a trustworthy and reliable probiotic, animal guardians are going a long way toward not only helping to treat some of these chronic conditions, but also in possibly preventing future health problems.
For my patients, I include probiotics as part of my treatment of any digestive tract disorder, even if there isn’t one currently active, but in the pet’s medical history. Amongst the more reliable products to be helpful, I’ve recommended Naturvet Enzymes and Probiotics, Fast Balance by Vetri-Science, and Mitomax by Imagilin. And whenever I need to prescribe an antibiotic in veterinary medical practice, I make sure to use a good quality probiotic to insure that I don’t disrupt the normal intestinal population of healthy bacteria.