Probiotics and prebiotics ?

Another internet minefield, is it worth buying these ? The Times recently listed probiotics (except one very expensive brand???) as not worth it for us. They were basing this on a fair amount of research showing most probiotic yoghurt, pills etc don’t contain enough and that it doesn’t survive the stomach. Now I knew this is largely true but I don’t like absolutes so I searched and the US Clinical Nutrition body published results of human tests which firstly showed how effective many probiotic strains are in kicking out the bad guys and helping tummy problems. They also found that given with a prebiotic the baccillii(?) did multiply and were shed. But they didn’t seem to colonize the gut so you had to keep taking the stuff. I found that bananas are good prebiotic food and as I already mixed in one with my kefir I think I am OK. Not so sure that the prebiotic foods like artichokes chicory and especially the onion family can be fed to dogs. Many Tears have saved a number of hopeless diarrhoea cases with vet recommended probiotic treatment and I am wondering what prebiotic might be best for dogs.

I don’t feed probiotics all the time, I’ve never felt that a healthy dog on a good diet has any need of that, but I do always have some in the cupboard and add them to the diet when they are needed - I think they are beneficial whenever the dog has a digestive upset or diarrhoea (such as after picking up & eating something nasty on a walk), after antibiotic treatment (since antibiotics kill good as well as bad bacteria), and at times of emotional stress (I believe that can also upset gut bacteria).

When I do give probiotics I choose one that includes prebiotics in the formulation; they are more expensive but since I don’t use them all the time I’m not too worried about that. The one I have in stock at the moment is Yumpro.

A rescue dog such as those you mention would be another matter of course, possibly needing long-term help, and I’m afraid I really don’t know how that should be approached. Hopefully someone else will know more.

My understanding is that pre-biotics are the sugars that the gut flora feed on to flourish, so in a healthy diet they are probably already included, but adding a little more would do no harm

Pro-biotics on the other hand are only beneficial, as george says, at times when the gut flora has been depleted. I further believe that giving a pro-biotic when not needed can have an adverse effect, since the body will try to keep the levels of bacteria in balance if you supplement with pro-biotics the body will adust to “produce” less bacteria on its own; so when you stop giving the pro-biotic the gut suddenly doesn’t have enough bacteria to function optimally for a while.

The healthy body/gut always wants to stay in balance if it can

Hello All

Its something I have always wondered if giving it daily would upset the balance and then a dog may not be able to regulate.

I wonder if this is the case why many companies add extra pre biotics and pro biotics it to their food?

Are they adding it for a reason in a complete diet why would it be needed?

You see it added to many foods now , the lower end foods I guess its there to boost a poor quality food but some high end ones add them now and thats what confuses me.

Is it really beneficial daily in a dose of food or is it a fad that needs perhaps more research as supplements go perhaps some companies are chucking it in the mix for good measure.

Interesting thoughts though
Luv Lou x

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an interesting article

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I have tried the Bionic Biotic from Pooch and Mutt. 1 table spoon at every meal for about 3 weeks. Although I read reviews from people noticing massive improvement almost immediately, I haven’t noticed any improvement at all with Elsa (very loose stool). Since I stopped this (about 2 weeks ago) things have dramatically improved with Elsa, very firm stool and no more issues. I don’t know if this is just a coincidence or if the product has worked in the long rather than in the short term.

Why Probiotics Are Good For You And Your Dog from My Pet Nutritionist.