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How To Select The Best Probiotic For Your Dog or Cat

 

One of the best ways to help your pet maintain a healthy microbiome is with a probiotic supplement. But NOT all probiotics are the same. Probiotic supplements for dogs or cats are usually in capsules or powder forms.

The best probiotics for dogs have live bacteria of different types and numbers. So how can you choose the best probiotic for your dog?  Here are six tips to help you check and choose the best probiotic for your dog or cat.

1:  SELECT A PROBIOTIC THAT IS FORMULATED SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR PET

A probiotic made for your human microbiome will not work for your pet’s microbiome. Most probiotics for humans aren't always appropriate or as effective for dogs or cats. 

Check all the types of bacteria in a Pet Probiotic. Make sure they are able to make it all the way through the pet's gut and adhere to the pet's insides.  Select a probiotic with ingredients backed by research and science for use in your pet. 

2:  CHOOSE A PROBIOTIC WITH APPROVED INGREDIENTS

Pet probiotics are regulated by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).

AAFCO explains probiotics as, live microorganisms that maintain a healthy pet’s belly. All ingredients in a pet probiotic should be approved by AAFCO.

One-third of probiotics for dogs contains ingredients that are not listed with AAFCO. Look for a Probiotic for your pet that has less than 3-4 ingredients. Many companies add ingredients that dilute the actual probiotic. Probiotics should contain good bacteria, prebiotics and a flowing or blending agent. No junk or additives.

All the ingredients should be generally considered safe by AAFCO.  Be sure you’re giving your dog or cat a product that contains reputable ingredients that are safe.

3:  HOW MANY BACTERIA ARE IMPORTANT

We get feedback from pet parents that probiotics do not support their pet’s digestive health.  This is no surprise as your pet has trillions of bacteria in their body of 100's of different types.

No one knows how many bacteria are best, but with trillions in your pet’s belly a probiotic must be able to make an impact. Choose a high number of different types of good bacteria to help tilt the balance in favor of good bacteria.

No one knows how many bacteria are best, but with trillions in your pet’s belly a probiotic must be able to make an impact. Plenty probiotic bacteria are good for digestion, nutrition, and wellness.

Probiotic counts are in Colony Forming Units. This refers to the live microorganism’s ability form colonies. 

When choosing a probiotic for your dog or cat, probiotic counts range from 1 million up to 100 billion.  Check all the types of bacteria in a probiotic. Make sure they are able to make it all the way through the pet's gut and adhere to the pet's insides. Select a probiotic with ingredients backed by research and science for use in your pet. 

Pick a probiotic that has enough bacteria for digestive health and immune function.  It's important for your dog or cat to consume probiotics in ample amounts.

4: CHOOSE A PROBIOTIC WITH MANY TYPES

Research suggests that probiotics work better as a team called synergy.  Probiotics with various bacteria have better efficacy than probiotics with only one type.

Look for a product with effective types that work all the way through your pet’s gut (from mouth to anus). Effective probiotics are supported by science and research.

Profauna Pet Probiotics contain 8 types of bacteria. These bacteria are supported by published clinical evidence and species-specific research:

  • Streptococcus thermophilus
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii (Recently reclassified by AAFCO)
  • Bifidobacteria animalis
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus brevis
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum

The types that cats do best with are the Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus families. Lactobacillus plantarum are known for supporting urinary health in cats. Each type of bacteria has a different probiotic activity that supports your cat or dog.

5:  LOOK AT THE COST OF BACTERIA PER SERVING

When buying anything, what’s one of the first things we all tend to look at?  Yep, the price!  When looking a probiotic for your dog or cat see the price, per 1 billion bacteria, not the cost per dose or serving. 

Look at the number of doses per day.

Do you need extra items such as pill pockets or cheese/food to conceal the probiotics? This can add to the “price.”  You may discover you’re actually paying too much per dose for your pet.

6: CHOOSE A POWDER PROBIOTIC

Here are the benefits of choosing a powder probiotic over a probiotic in a capsule or tablet. 

  • Save time and money:
  • Easy-to-dispense tasteless powder (no pills or capsules to mess with)! 
  • No need to buy pill pockets and no hassle trying to force feed capsules or tablets to your furry friend.
  • Convenient and easy to give:  Add the powder to your pet's wet or dry food.  That's it!  
  • No taste.
  • No odor: Seek out a probiotic with no flavor, so your pet should not be able to detect it in their food. 
  • 8 out of 10 pet owners in a free trial program said their pets could not detect Profauna 100 in their food.    
  • Consider for all dogs and cats. Powder is good for dogs and cats who cannot swallow capsules or have throat or tongue issues.

When you’re picking a probiotic for your dog or cat, go with your “gut”!  Choose a probiotic that you feel will work best for your pet based on your pet’s needs and your research.  You may need to consult with your veterinarian and discuss your probiotic options.

A good probiotic will replenish good bacteria in the belly. It will also give a variety of bacteria to support your pet’s digestive and immune health.

 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at support@ocnean.com.

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