Powerful Probiotics for Goodness of Gut Health

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Dr CP Modi

Dr SS Patil

Dr MM Pawar

Probiotics are microorganisms such as bacteria or yeast that can be added to the food with the purpose of regulating the intestinal flora of the host. Probiotics are also referred to as ‘direct-fed microbial’ by pet-food regulatory body AAFCO.  -by Dr CP Modi, Dr SS Patil and Dr MM Pawar

We try and include probiotics in our diet for good gut health, so why leave our pets behind? Composition of dog intestinal micro flora shows a large individual variability and may also depend on diet composition. The micro flora can also be altered in stressful situations like dietary changes, gastrointestinal infections, weaning, antibiotics, etc. Feeding probiotics to your pet is a great way to improve their overall health and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal disorders, especially if your pet has a sensitive gut.

Probiotics are given orally and are recommended for patients showing symptoms of gut disorders. They are administered to maintain or re-establish the normal bacterial flora in the intestinal tract and to treat overgrowth of pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria.

How do probiotics work?
The microorganisms present in probiotics will set up a colony in the intestine. Probiotics produce short-chain fatty acids, which hinder ‘bad’ bacteria like E. coli, salmonella and others. They also stimulate the direct uptake of dissolved organic material by the bacteria and also increase immune response of the body. Probiotics help dogs to absorb fat, protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins from their food. It specifically helps with the absorption of vitamin B, vitamin K, and biotin. A combination of these essential nutrients will help improve your pet’s skin and coat.
Fighting infection and bacteria with probiotics
You can give probiotics to your pet in the form of supplements or foods that are enriched with probiotic characteristics like yogurt, etc. Prefer supplements that are either in powder or liquid form instead of giving tablets. Liquids and powders reach the lower parts of the gastrointestinal tract and benefit the entire digestive system of your pet.

Regularly feeding probiotic supplements to your pets will be greatly beneficial. They act as anti-inflammatory agents and powerful antioxidants, decrease the gas production in gut and bad breath, and help fight the adverse effects of food poisoning.

Take care of the daily dose
The measuring unit for probiotics is CFU (Colony Forming Unit). Usually, for maintaining the general health, a dog needs 1-4 billion CFU per day, depending on the dog’s weight. You can also break the daily dose in two and give it twice a day. If you use a product for dogs, there should be a label on it with exact instructions about dosage. Also make sure you ask your vet to know the best probiotic supplement for your pet.

Right way and time to give probiotics
If your pet needs probiotics to help with digestion, you can give it with meals. If he is suffering from some gut disease, it is better to give the supplements before the meal followed by drink. This helps to dilute stomach acid and makes the effect quicker. Probiotic supplements can be fed daily or as prescribed by your vet during intestinal disorders.

Goodness of probiotics
Resistance to acidic pH and bile salts
Produces lactate and other antimicrobial agents
Become the normal inhabitant of the gut
Able to survive, colonise and multiply at a faster rate in the gut
Stable and viable during long storage and field conditions
(Dr CP Modi, Dr SS Patil and Dr MM Pawar are from College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University (SDAU), Sardarkrushinagar, Gujarat)

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