05 Aug 2020 PAW How do probiotics help your pet? 4251 views 2 min to read Did you know that for milennia bacteria and mammals have shared a mutually beneficial relationship? This infographic looks at the gut microbiome of your dog and how probiotics can help your pet's gut health. Digestive health PAWWellbeing news Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin 0 comments How do probiotics help your pet? For the last 90 years, humankind’s focus on bacteria has been to control infections caused by overgrowth of disease-causing bacteria. However, for millennia, bacteria and mammals have shared a mutually beneficial relationship. For every single cell in your pet’s body, there are ten micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa) living in their gastrointestinal tract. See infographic below The microbiome The collection of micro-organisms living in the gut are called the microbiome. The microbiome has roles in immunity, breakdown of nutrients, production of vitamins and preventing ‘bad bacteria’ from colonising the intestines. Main causes of imbalance in the gut An imbalance in the micro-organisms in your pet’s gut is also called dysbiosis. Causes of dysbiosis include: Antibiotics Antibiotic use has been shown to reduce species diversity in the microbiome, with effects persisting even after the administration period is complete Illness Illness in the gut can cause changes in the microbiome and favour the growth of families of bacteria that are associated with disease Stressful events These can include kennelling or dietary change with inadequate transitioning period can cause diarrhoea What are the signs of dysbiosis? It's important to recognise the signs of dysbiosis. These may vary from dog to dog, but common signs include: diarrhoea flatulence rumbling or gurgling sounds in the abdomen vomiting How to restore the gut balance Probiotics may help restore the balance in dysbiosis. Probiotics are formulations of live organisms (bacteria) that have beneficial effects on the recipient when delivered in adequate amounts. Probiotics can: Help improve the barrier function of the intestines Increase secretion of substances which help to prevent disease causing bacteria from colonising the gut Produce substances that regulate the immune response and reduce inflammation Enhance immunity to promote tolerance to ‘good bacteria’ while maintaining protection against disease causing micro-organisms Not all probiotics are equal To be effective, probiotics must be able to survive the acidic environment of the stomach and bile acid to reach the intestines. Commercial probiotic products have large variations in quality control. Problems include viability of the probiotic, and inclusion of other species that are not listed on the label. PAW DigestiCare 60™ A multi-strain, multi-species probiotic and wholefood powder for the maintenance of everyday digestive health of pets.