Perhaps you’ve taken probiotic supplements for yourself. If not, you’ve surely seen the many different products on the market that advertise the benefits of taking probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that naturally exist in our digestive system. They help with both digesting food and they help keep our immune system running efficiently. Animals like dogs also rely on probiotics in their system for their digestive health as well. But does that mean that they can benefit from taking probiotic supplements?
Beneficial bacteria are vital when it comes to your pet’s overall health. Not only does their digestive system rely on them, but they are also equally important to their immunize system and proper brain function. In an ideal situation, your pet’s body will be able to maintain a proper level of beneficial bacteria through their regular diet. However, there are times when your pet’s natural probiotic balance may become off.
In order to thrive, the probiotics in your pet’s body need to be “fed”. Probiotics feed on what are called prebiotics. Prebiotics are a type of fiber that is naturally found in some foods. By adding some of these of these foods into your pet’s diet, you can help them maintain a healthy probiotic balance. Common items such as bananas, apples, and leafy greens are a great source of prebiotics. Feeding your dog these items on a regular basis can help boost their immune system so they are better able to fight off diseases.
There is some debate as to whether or not pets can benefit from a store-bought probiotic supplement. In an ideal world, your pet will be able to naturally maintain a healthy probiotic level through diet alone. Of course, we know that, just like with humans, this isn’t always the case. If you’re curious as to whether or not your pet could benefit from probiotic supplements, it’s a good idea to check with your veterinarian first. Even though probiotics are a natural supplement, they still require proper dosing.
Aside from probiotics, there are many ways you can help your pet maintain a healthy immune system. First, make sure they drink plenty of water and that their diet consists of a good balance of protein and fiber. It’s also very important that you ensure that your pet is up to date on all of their vaccinations. Immunizing your pet is their best line of defense against serious diseases.
Regular exercise is also incredibly important. Playtime and walks are not only fun for your pet, but these activities are also important for their health. Physical activity can help keep your pet’s digestive system running smoothly. In turn, that helps keep your pet’s immune system working its best as well. Pets that are inactive for many hours of the day are more prone than those that are more active.
If you have questions about giving your pet probiotics, or if you would simply like to schedule a regular exam, contact our office today to make an appointment.