This Halloween, Don’t Forget The Probiotics!

Halloween can be a time when your children load up on treats. It can also be a time when you load your furry kids up on treats as well since you don’t want them to feel left out. An increase in treats—even ones that are safe for pets—can cause tummy troubles. Add to that the stress of Halloween night, and your pet might suffer from gas or diarrhea.

Golden with a treat in his mouth.

What are Probiotics?

One thing that can help get your pets system back to normal is the use of probiotics. The word probiotic means “for health” and was derived from the Latin word “pro” meaning “for” and the Greek word “bios” meaning life.

The intestinal tracts of pets are full of both healthy and disease-causing bacteria. Both are ever present and both are necessary to good health. But when the balance is thrown off, pets can suffer.

This balance can be thrown off by a number of factors including infections, parasites, medications, and even old age. But diet and stress can also be factors. And holidays like Halloween which can be treat-heavy and stressful, can be a double-whammy.

Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that live in your pets’ intestinal tracts. Dogs and cats produce probiotics naturally, but the natural balance can be thrown off. And this imbalance can cause not only intestinal troubles, but also lead to food allergies and even skin and coat allergies.

Fortunately, you can help your pet get back in balance with supplements. The Honest Kitchen’s Pro Bloom Dehydrated Goat’s Milk is one such supplement.

What are Prebiotics?

Another option which provides similar results is InClover’s Optagest. This supplement is a prebiotic supplement. What’s the difference between a prebiotic and a probiotic? Well, a probiotic contains bacteria, usually living, often in dairy form from goats, cows, or sheep. It introduces the living beneficial bacteria into your pet’s system. Prebiotic are a food source for your pets’ naturally occurring probiotics.

Prebiotics double your pet’s healthy (good) bacteria every twenty minutes, but will not feed the unhealthy (bad) bacteria. The good bacteria live, multiply, and thrive while the bad bacteria starve and are flushed out through the system.

As the bacterial balance in your pets’ intestines levels out to a healthy balance, your pets’ gastrointestinal problems ease. Not only that, but since the intestinal tract is the largest organ providing immunity support in your pet’s body, improving intestinal health can help keep you pet healthy overall. As a result, adding a probiotic or prebiotic to your pet’s diet can be beneficial year-round.

As with any supplement, talk with your vet about the benefits and proper amount for your particular pet. Puppies or kittens and pets with compromised immune systems are probably the ones most likely to be at risk of complications from these supplements, but any individual pet could be sensitive to a specific supplement even if generally there are no problems.

Pets enrich our lives in so many ways. Adding a probiotic or prebiotic to your pet’s daily diet might be something you can do to enrich your pet’s life for years to come.

By: Pam Hair

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