Probiotic Supplements for Dogs and Cats
Studies of puppies and kittens have limitations similar to those for studies of adult dogs and cats, including small numbers of subjects, limited evaluations for disease states, and limited control populations for direct comparison. One important feature, which is highlighted when puppies and kittens are concurrently evaluated, is that important species differences in response to probiotics exist; therefore, evidence from one species cannot automatically be extrapolated to another species. Probiotics are also likely to have different effects in immature animals than in adult animals because the GIT microorganism population transitions to the adult microorganism population during development in immature animals.
Thanks so much for writing this! You mention that there should be 5 strains in the probiotic, are there any specific strains that are most beneficial for cats? Thanks again for keeping such a helpful and informative blog!
With a healthy gastrointestinal track, cats can absorb the proper minerals they need daily. However, Probiotics for cats are not the yogurt products humans consume. In fact, cats are lactose intolerant and may experience an upset stomach if they were to consume dairy products. Human food is never a good choice for your cats' diet.Probiotics are of special importance in cats with any type of digestive problem, including vomiting, hairballs, diarrhea, and constipation. They are essential for animals who are, or have been, taking antibiotics; they should be given both during the course of antibiotics (2 hours apart from the drugs) and for at least 2 weeks afterwards. Probiotics are particularly useful for allergies, including atopy (inhalant allergies), food allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease.There are many cats (and dogs) who need extra help with digestive and other health issues. Probiotics have helped solve these problems for many pets.The benefits of adding a probiotic to a cat’s diet have been understood and utilized by holistic and integrative veterinarians and nutrition specialists for decades. In recent years, conventional veterinarians have begun recommending probiotics for pets, especially those with digestive problems. This more natural approach to care is very positive.
So, what exactly are probiotics and what do they do?
Probiotics – from a Greek word that means for life – are living microorganisms that keep pathogenic bacteria – the bad kind – from creating an imbalance inside the digestive tract.It’s easy to add probiotics to your cat’s diet. While many owners and breeders recommend adding a tablespoon of yogurt to the food, this simply adds extra carbs and sugars to the diet, but not enough probiotics to have any beneficial effect. It is better and simpler (and definitely more cost-effective) to buy probiotics in powder or capsules and add them to the food. Fortunately these supplements generally have little taste and are readily accepted by most cats if mixed with canned or homemade food.Not all probiotic products are created equal.
Cats (and dogs) require probiotics that can survive the strong acids produced in their stomachs. That is why it is so important to use a product especially made for pets.
When choosing a probiotic, be sure it is a live product and contains at least 20 million beneficial bacteria from multiple strains (at least 5). The product should not contain sugars (like malt) or starches, as both provide a breeding ground for bad bacteria as they digest in the gut.