More people these days have become aware of the health benefits of probiotics and as a result, an increasing number of people take them regularly. Because the interest in probiotics is continuing to grow, so too has interest in probiotics for dogs and other pets.
As it turns out, most of the health benefits that people receive from probiotics are similar to the health advantages that may be seen in dogs too. Why are probiotics good for dogs? That's what we'll take a look at in the following paragraphs.
How Gut Health Works in Dogs
Just as in humans, dogs have trillions of microorganisms within their gut at any time. These microorganisms consist of bacteria, viruses, yeasts and more, plus they make up what is known as the microbiome, the scientific term for the assortment of microorganisms found in the digestive tract.
Some of those microorganisms are good (aka probiotics), while some can be harmful and may cause harm and infection in your dog. Inside a dog having a healthy gut, you will see a mix of both negative and positive microorganisms however the high quality ones help with keeping the pathogenic ones in check to prevent infection.
How Probiotics are Good for Dogs
Probiotics are the good microorganisms mentioned in the previous section.
Probiotics might help improve dogs' digestion, improve gut health, and have many general health benefits such as lowering the severity and duration of diarrhea, decrease in symptoms from allergies, relief from digestive complaints, strengthening the defense mechanisms, plus they may benefit heart health by lowering bad cholesterol. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
Probiotics might even be able to positively influence your canine's mental health by reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression. (6) One theory for how probiotics do this is thru what's called the gut-brain axis. The microbiome sends signals to the brain and also the brain sends signals to the microbiome. Quite simply, they communicate with one another. This relationship is extremely complex and is not fully understood but there's evidence that dysbiosis (an imbalanced, unhealthy microbiome) is associated with central nervous disorders such as autism and anxiety-depressive behaviors. (7)
So, how come probiotics great for dogs?
Probiotics are good for dogs simply because they may:
- Improve gut health
- Improve digestion
- Reduce the severity/duration of diarrhea
- Relieve allergies
- Relieve symptoms of digestive disorders
- Strengthen the immune system
- Lower bad cholesterol (which improves heart health)
If your pet includes a condition for example ibs, if you notice good results right after giving your pet probiotics. If your dog is healthy, the results might be more subtle but by providing your dog probiotics your pet may have better gut health, digestion, and will be happier, healthier, have a stronger immune system and live longer because of it.
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