Saturday, January 7, 2012
Probiotics and Prebiotics in Dog Food?
Are prebiotics and probiotics worthwile food additives
in dog food?
Probiotics are microorganisms that help tip the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract toward the types of bacteria that maintain a healthy internal environment in the gut. They are popular supplements in both the human and veterinary markets, and more dog food companies are adding them to their kibble.
Prebiotics are fibers that stimulate the growth and function of the good bacteria and also rank as popular additions to food and supplements.
According to most veterinarians, the problem with adding them to food is that they are hard to quantify. There is no way to know how many are in one diet versus another, or whether the bacteria have survived processing, storage, and stomach acid. Since the amount and efficacy of probiotics in food is hard to measure, pet owners who what to give their dogs probiotics may look to giving them in supplement form.
Sounds similar to our unregulated vitamins issue. How do you know what is on the vitamin label is what is in the bottle or in the right quantities as well as good quality?
Research from Nestle Purina suggest that probiotics boost immunity in young puppies and dogs under great stress, such as working and performance dogs in harsh climates.
Apparently, no one know for sure if the probiotics in dog food are effective.