Nutrition update: Probiotics and digestive health pet products
The latest petfoods, treats and supplements claiming to promote digestive health with probiotics and enzymes
Probiotics continue to remain a functional additive in petfoods and are making their way from their now comfortable spot in over-the-counter supplements to new products like cat treats, alternative ingredient premixes and an entire line of puppy to senior dog food. There has been extensive research done to prove these additives like prebiotics, probiotics and other digestive enzymes have beneficial effects on digestive health. Plus, we already know that pet owners are more proactive than ever with their pet's health, and probiotics are definitely on their shopping radar.
According to Dr. Donna Spector, DVM, DACVIM, consulting veterinarian for Halo, Purely for Pets, consumers should look for the labels FOS (fructooligosaccharides), inulin (a type of FOS), GOS (galactooligosaccharides) or TOS (trans-galactooligosaccharides). These prebiotics have been studied extensively and have been proven beneficial in pets. Pet parents should look for species of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Enterococcus to indicate the inclusion of probiotics in a packaged petfood. While some petfoods include only one or the other, foods that supply both a prebiotic and a probiotic provide maximal digestive health benefits, says Dr. Spector, because feeding both gives pets the advantage of a maximally improved intestinal bacterial population, improved stool quality and enhanced nutrient absorption. There have been no side effects or adverse reactions reported with long-term feeding of these products, states the Halo, Purely for Pets website.
Dogs and cats prone to digestive sensitivity, like soft stool gastrointestinal distress or diarrhea, may…