Prebiotics for dogs are a growing trend that they are given as supplements in your pet’s diet, but do you really know what they are?
Whether it’s our pets or ourselves, food and health are generally linked. Scientific advances have allowed us to discover and develop numerous supplements to enhance this relationship, as is the case with prebiotics. Read on to find out when to administer dog prebiotics.
Prebiotics vs probiotics
Since their benefits were discovered, microorganisms have been very useful in both medicine and diet . These advances have been gradually applied in both human and veterinary medicine, and that is why today we talk about probiotics and prebiotics also with regard to the animal world.
But before we get into the details, it will be helpful to remember the difference between the two. Although both are focused on the same goal – the beneficial microorganisms that live inside the animal – the way of acting is different. Probiotics are living organisms , primarily bacteria, which have beneficial effects when administered properly.
Prebiotics are foods themselves, not living organisms. The curious thing about prebiotics is that the ingredients of which they are composed are not tolerated by the digestive system, but are a source of food for the microorganisms present in the intestine .
Prebiotics for dogs, a good option?
Once the difference is cleared, it is clear that at first glance , prebiotics have a potentially beneficial role in your dog’s intestinal health . Once the bacteria break down the prebiotics, they release a series of compounds that have a positive influence, since:
- They promote proper bowel movement by providing energy to cells.
- They prevent the proliferation of unwanted microorganisms .
Today it is possible to find high quality foods on the market that contain prebiotics, such as fructooligosaccharides or the natural fibers of some plants. If you are considering giving your pet prebiotics, these are the components you should look for in the ingredients.
Precautions related to prebiotics
However, certain precautions must be taken when it comes to prebiotics for dogs. In fact, despite their beneficial properties, particular attention must be paid, since not all animals react in the same way. So when to administer prebiotics for dogs?
One of the troubling aspects of prebiotics is their double effect. While it is true that the different ingredients they contain are useful for the “good” microorganisms, there are studies that claim that the “bad” microorganisms also benefit.
This can be a problem in dogs with gastrointestinal disorders. If you encourage harmful bacteria through prebiotics, you will make your pet’s digestive problems worse. Therefore, the ideal is to give him prebiotics once you are sure that your dog’s digestive system is functioning properly.
As you can see, the benefits of prebiotics are numerous, but it is best to consult with your veterinarian or a veterinarian nutritionist before deciding to administer them.