You've probably heard about probiotics, whether from commercials or from your doctor. They're usually linked to digestive health, and just like with humans, probiotics can also be beneficial to both cats and dogs. You might not think of nutritionally managing health problems with strains of live bacteria, but it's actually quite natural once you understand the science behind it. We'll help you gain a better understanding - and see if probiotics for dogs or cats might be beneficial for your pet.
1. What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms similar to those found naturally in the intestines, which help maintain balance in the digestive tract. After being consumed, they help to inhibit harmful pathogens from colonizing the GI tract. Nestlé has pioneered research into how probiotics can be beneficial to health, leading to many products that help humans achieve healthy digestion, like infant formulas, nutritional drinks for children and yogurt for adults. At Purina, this research has gone to helping cats and dogs too.
2. When Might Cat or Dog Probiotics be Necessary?
There are many reasons why probiotics for cats or dogs would be beneficial to try. If you've noticed your pet has had gastrointestinal incidents, like loose stool, diarrhea or excessive gas, your pet might benefit from a probiotic supplement.
These GI conditions are often associated with an imbalance in intestinal microflora (bacteria), which can be triggered by stress (related to boarding or changes in the home environment), dietary indiscretion, or food change. Since antibiotics work by killing bacteria, antibiotic therapy can also leave a pet in need of a probiotic boost. Pets of any age can experience these digestive issues, so at times probiotics for puppies or kittens could help. Probiotics for puppies can be beneficial to manage diarrhea through diet or by maintaining stool quality by feeding probiotics long-term.
3. Do Cat and Dog Probiotics Taste Good?
The flavor cat and dog probiotics have and how aware your pet is of the taste largely depends on the method you use to feed them and the form it takes. Some supplements are oral pastes, some are powders, some are pills or capsules. Your cat or dog may favor one form and flavor over another. It is important to choose a supplement they will enjoy. One that couples well with your pet’s normal feeding routine is FortiFlora®.
4. FortiFlora® may be right for your pet
If you think probiotics for cats or dogs might be right for your pet, you should ask your veterinarian about Purina Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets FortiFlora® Probiotic Supplements. Available only by prescription, they are safe and effective probiotics for cats and dogs. Here's why:
- FortiFlora® Probiotic Supplements are made with a proprietary microencapsulation process that stabilizes the microorganisms and creates multilayer protection against moisture, temperature, and abrasion. This helps make sure that when the probiotics get where they need to be in your pet's GI tract, they'll still be alive and effective at promoting normal intestinal microflora.
- Unlike traditional supplements, FortiFlora® comes in a packet that you can sprinkle right on your pet's food. We've made it so tasty for pets, that it's actually been shown to increase their desire to eat.
- FortiFlora® promotes a strong immune system and contains vitamins A, E and C, which can help support a strong immune system.
We hope we've helped you better understand how probiotics for dogs and cats work. If you want to learn more, visit our Pro Plan Veterinary Diets site.