By:  Debbie Reynolds, DVM

Most people know about probiotics.  They are the opposite of antibiotics.  ANTIbiotics kill bacteria.  PRObiotics replenish bacteria.  The good ones, that is.  It is well known that we humans need probiotics.  The same is true for our companion pets.  They need probiotics, too!  

Good bacteria are crucial for the health of your cat or dog’s gut. But they also support the brain, digestion, assimilation of nutrients and – best of all –  the immune system. Boosting your pet’s immune system is probably the most important role of probiotics.

Our favorite product for getting NATURAL probiotics combined with digestive enzymes is The Honest Kitchen's Pro Bloom Goat's Milk.  It is convenient, cost effective, and a treat your dog will love.  There are endless ways to use it:  as a stand alone drink, poured over dog food, frozen in ice cube trays, and dogs and cats absolutely love it.  Pro Bloom is immune and digestive support with a whopping 5 billion active probiotics and digestive enzymes, so it’s good for your pet and their gut. 

Immune System

As much as 80% of your pet's immune system is based in the gut. Different probiotics pair with almost every different part of the immune system that we know of.  Viruses and bacteria enter the body through the mouth and probiotics are present starting in the mouth and throughout your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. Maintaining the good bacteria keeps pathogens in check and is your pet’s primal immune system.  A good balance of probiotics helps reduce inflammation throughout your dog or cat's  body – and that lowers susceptibility to illness and chronic disease.

Digestion

The most common use for probiotics in people is to help with gastrointestinal issues.  The same is true for our pets!  It can help with diarrhea or constipation, nausea, frequent bowel movements, or just about anything that is out of whack with the gut.  Replenishing the good bacteria makes things work better.  

Brain

The flora that lives in the gut is in charge of producing neurotransmitters and neuropeptides needed for brain health. The gut is filled with nerve cells so probiotics in the gut can also support brain function.  Probiotics also make some important hormones that are needed in the body.  

Digestive Enzymes

These are added to Pro Bloom and just about every dog or cat can benefit from them. They simply allow your pet's food (whatever it may be) to be digested to the full!  They will benefit from as much nutrition as possible from their current diet.  These enzymes (amylase and lipase) make it easier for your pet's pancreas to digest their food.  Especially if your dog or cat eats dry kibble, this will be of benefit.  Dry kibble has about 30% starches and carbohydates which your pet's body wasn't meant to try to digest.  These added enzymes will help.  

 

The bottom line:  a healthy gut prevents disease, improves digestion, aids in better nutrient absorption and boosts the immune system.  If you want your pet to live a long healthy life, be proactive!  Supplement with probiotics and digestive enzymes daily.  Or at least a few times weekly.  Try Pro Bloom Goat's Milk by The Honest Kitchen, it has everything you need in one convenient product that has a long shelf life and can be given in different forms of treats - anything from warm milk to frozen treats!  Your dog or cat will be happy and healthy!