Optimizing the digestive health of dogs

Optimizing the digestive health of dogs

Pets parents expect complete and balanced foods which create healthy intestines and long-lasting well-being in their furry companions.

Brand Insights from Phileo by Lesaffre.

Digestive health in a nutshell

Digestive health is a « do or die Â» requirement for the pet food industry.

Pets parents expect complete and balanced foods which create healthy intestines and long-lasting well-being in their furry companions. This is perceived by observing the right fecal consistency, alongside good evidence of vitality.

From a veterinary perspective, this can be achieved by the combination of four pillars:

  1. Healthy microbiota
  2. Gut barrier integrity
  3. Efficient local immune system
  4. Low incidence of pathogens in the intestine

SASI Phileo microbiota pathogens


If any one of these elements is affected, however, various troubles can arise, from local disorders to more general health issues.

One approach is to deal with digestive issues as and when they appear, by using a veterinary drug treatment. A more preferable strategy is to act preventively to avoid problems by using natural and safe ingredients that prepare the digestive tract to face a health challenge.  Following on from probiotics and prebiotics, a new generation of postbiotics are now providing the latest solution to health issues.

Postbiotics - defined by The International Journal of Molecular Sciences as ‘bioactive compounds produced by food-grade microorganisms during a fermentation process with proven health benefits’.

From strain selection to science-based postbiotics

The yeast postbiotic components which are equipped to address intestinal health are mainly polysaccharides of the cell wall:  mannans and beta 1.3 & 1.6 glucans.

A primary yeast producer is the only one able to standardize a postbiotic. This is based on the producer having the expertise to select a relevant strain from a proprietary library of thousands of candidates, while also being able to manage biomass growth and purification within their own factories. This enables the producer to guarantee a consistent concentration and structure of mannans and, as a result, provide predictable health benefits.

These activities, selected in parietal fractions, act in synergy:

  • reducing pathogen pressure by binding pathogens and adsorbing any toxins which enter the body (via food, for example),
  • supporting natural defenses by modulating inflammatory mechanisms and by stimulating the immune system.


SAFMANNAN ®, derived from the PETSAF programis a high quality postbiotic which is fully equipped to deliver good digestive care.

Safmannan Â® binds pathogen bacterial strains isolated from pets

The high affinity of Safmannan® to bind a broad spectrum of pathogens from various origins (digestive, urinary, respiratory, skin), as isolated within dogs and cats, has been evaluated by agglutination by way of an in vitro model. The test was positive for most of the isolated germs:

SASI Phileo bacterial strains chart

Binding of bacterial strains (10 cfu/ml) isolated from dogs and cats, as performed with 0.1% Safmannan® (UFRGS Brazil 2019)

From a published study (Middelbos and al, 2007). In vivo titration trials show a clear linear effect in decreasing the E coli population in the ileum of adult dogs.

SASI Phileo e coli chart

Safmannan Â® helps stimulate local gut immunity in pets

Using a latin square design, Middelbos supplemented the diets of dogs with an increasing dose of Safmannan® over a period of 14 days. Results suggested that 2500 ppm oral supplementation leads to higher IgA levels in the ileum.

SASI Phileo IgA chart

In a practical trial, Swanson and Lin evaluated the effect of an abrupt dietary transition in 12 dogs, using a 4 x 4 latin square design.

  • Days 1-14: all dogs were fed a control kibble diet supplemented with either a placebo (cellulose) or Safmannan® at 2000ppm.
  • Days 15-28: dogs were abruptly fed a commercial canned diet, while still being given their supplements.

Graph below shows that Safmannan® can help prevent a drop in IgA linked to abrupt dietary transition.

SASI Phileo Fecal IgA chart

In vivo trials on 12 dogs (Lin and al, 2018).

In addition to the scientific facts already described, Safmannan® benefits are also visible to pet parents at home, especially when assessing the digestive health of their pets.

94 households were recruited, each involving dogs of different sizes and all involving dogs with digestive issues (as perceived by their owners). No change was made to feeding habits and no treatments were given during the duration of the study.

SASI Phileo 94 households Infographic

Study in Panelis, 2018, involving 94 households.

After three weeks of supplementation with Safmannan® at 40 mg/kg/day, pet parents identified an improvement in the digestive health, vitality, and appetite of their dogs. These highly significant results remained stable, even to 15 days after the end of the treatment, signalling the long-lasting benefits of this solution.


Derived from Phileo’s Petsaf programme, Safmannan ® can be used as a digestive shield during each life stage.

Safmannan Â®, provided as a high quality postbiotic by a primary producer, is a first stop  digestive shield, being equipped to reinforce the pillars of digestive health.

These proven benefits lead to the possible following applications by pet food and pet supplement manufacturers.

SASI Phileo petsaf infographic

Validated by science - tested & approved by pet parents!

As a selected yeast parietal fraction, rich in mannan-oligosaccharides and β-glucans, Safmannan® is a science-based postbiotic which is specifically designed to improve the digestive health of our furry companions in a natural manner.

Please visit our website or contact us to share more of what Phileo by Lesaffre can do to better nourish and protect cats and dogs:

This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Not all products are available in all markets nor associated claims allowed in all regions. The information provided in this document is to the best of our knowledge, true and accurate. However, products must only be used in compliance with local laws and regulations and we cannot guarantee freedom of use for every intended application or country.

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