Exploring the growing role of probiotics in pet wellness

Pet owners are seeking more health benefits out of probiotic supplements.

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Owner Feeding Labrador
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As the pet food industry has witnessed, pet owners continue to grow more conscious of what they are giving to their pets just as they are for themselves. And looking for ways to maximize their pet’s health and well-being has become their top priority.

Coinciding with the human health trend, supplements are growing in popularity for pets and among those are probiotics.

Probiotics have shown to help aid the gut microbiome, but also to promote weight loss in obese dogs.

Aside from overall gut health, probiotics have many other benefits and pet owners are looking to maximize on those benefits in their pets’ lives.

“They are moving beyond digestive benefits into more unique probiotic applications like mental health, dental, immunity and even urinary and weight management,” said Lidiia Alaverdova, head of global marketing, animal and plant health and nutrition, with Chr. Hansen.

Alaverdova will be presenting at Petfood Forum Europe 2024, providing a deeper understanding of usage, drivers and current beliefs of pet owners around probiotics and latest trends in human health.

While sharing insights from latest market research by the company on the U.S., Alaverdova will share findings from French and Chinese research. This presents a solid rationale for why probiotics as a functional ingredient remains as a strategic strategy to cater to the needs of pet owners.

The research explains how pet companies can improve communication around probiotics for maximum value.

Probiotics and the mental health of pets

Just like humans, stress can cause anxiety in pets and lead to other issues with gastrointestinal and immune health, and urinary tract health in cats.

Anxiety in dogs can cause many behaviors such as excessive licking, barking, shaking, pacing and destructive behavior.

In a stress-related behavioral study, the Purina Institute states that the gut and brain have a unique relationship.

“Research has shown that the gut microbiome influences development of the nervous system, brain biochemistry (e.g., neurotransmitter production), response to stressors, and behavior,” according to the study.

From their research and study Purina concluded that dogs supplemented with a probiotic containing the Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 (BL999) strain had seen an improvement in those anxiety-related behaviors.

Probiotics for other pet health conditions

Aside from gut health, stress and anxiety, probiotics may have benefits for other health related conditions such as: allergies, dental health, coat quality, diarrhea, immune disorders, intestinal inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome and liver disease.

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