Practical information about commercial pet foods and what goes into them.
Understanding Pet Food
Probiotics are live bacteria that can help ꟷ by a variety of mechanisms ꟷ maintain a healthy, balanced intestinal microbiota and, therefore, promote good pet health. Probiotics offer an appealing approach to the management of some gastrointestinal (GI) tract conditions (e.g., diarrhea), to the reduction of anxious behaviors in dogs, and many other potential uses. A substantial part of their appeal is that probiotics offer the opportunity to reduce the use of medications ꟷ particularly antibiotics ꟷ that could potentially produce adverse effects.
Many probiotic products are available to pet owners, who may not know how to select the most appropriate one for their pets. Veterinary health care teams can play an important role in educating clients and guiding their probiotic supplement choices.
Probiotics offer many benefits, but with so many options available, pet owners may not know how to select the best quality and most appropriate one for their pet's needs
Czarnecki-Maulden, G. (2008). Clinical nutrition ꟷ Using probiotics to optimize intestinal health. Veterinary Technician, 29(10).
Hill, C., Guarner, F., Reid, G., Gibson, G. R., Merenstein, D. J., Pot, B., Morelli, L., Canani, R. B., Flint, H. J., Salminen, S., Calder, P. C., & Sanders, M. E. (2014). Expert consensus document. The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 11(8), 506─514. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2014.66
Rolfe, R. D. (2000). The role of probiotic cultures in the control of gastrointestinal health. The Journal of Nutrition, 130(2S Suppl), 396S─402S. doi: 10.1093/jn/130.2.396S
Sanders, M. E. (2008). Probiotics: Definition, sources, selection, and uses. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 46(Suppl 2), S58─S61. doi: 10.1086/523341
Weese, J. S. (2002). Microbiological evaluation of commercial probiotics. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 220(6), 794─797. doi: 10.2460/javma.2002.220.794
Weese, J. S., & Martin, H. (2011). Assessment of commercial probiotic bacterial contents and label accuracy. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 52(1), 43─46.
Wortinger, A. (2019). Behind the hype: Prebiotics and probiotics for dogs and cats. Today’s Veterinary Nurse, 2(2), 14─18.