4 Things You Might Not Know About Probiotics and Pets

Posted on: July 12, 2013

You've probably heard about probiotics, whether from food 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 healthy 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 they might be right 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 a Pet Need Probiotics?

If you've noticed your pet has had gastrointestinal incidents, like vomiting, 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 problems or food change. Since antibiotics work by killing bacteria, antibiotic therapy can also leave a pet in need of a probiotic boost.

3.  Do They Taste Good for Pets?

It depends how you feed the probiotic to the pet. Some supplements are oral pastes, some are powders, some are pills or capsules. In point 4, we’ll discuss why your pet may prefer the flavor of FortiFlora®

4. FortiFlora® may be right for your pet

If you think probiotics might be right for your pet, you should ask your veterinarian about Purina Veterinary Diets® FortiFlora® Probiotic Supplements. Available only by prescription, they are safe and effective for cats and dogs. Here's why:

  • FortiFlora Probiotic Supplements are made with a proprietary micro encapsulation process that stabilizes the microorganisms and creates multilayer protection against moisture. 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 doing what they need to do. 
  • Unlike traditional supplements, FortiFlora comes in a packet that you can sprinkle right on your pet's food. We've made it so tasty to pets that it's actually been shown to increase their desire to eat. 
  • FortiFlora contains antioxidant Vitamins A, E and C, which can help support a strong immune system. 

We hope we've helped you better understand how probiotics work. If you want to learn more, visit our Purina Veterinary Diets site

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