If the composition of the bacteria in the intestine gets out of balance, this has serious consequences for your Dog. Diarrhea, allergies, skin diseases and other inflammations occur more frequently.
To bring the Gut Microbiome (beneficial microorganisms) in the intestine back into a healthy balance, pre- or probiotics are often administered.
A Healthy Intestinal Flora is Vital for your Dog
- The bacteria in the intestine help to process the food pulp more quickly and to better absorb vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
- They produce essential fatty acids and amino acids that cannot be absorbed from food.
- This fermentation process produces short-chain fatty acids that protect the body’s cells from free radicals.
- Active intestinal bacteria clean the intestinal villi from fermenting substances.
- Without bacteria (germs), the intestinal barrier becomes porous.
- Harmful substances pass from the intestine directly into the blood.
Which Bacteria form a Healthy Intestinal Flora?
There are up to 100 trillion bacteria in one gram of stool:
Healthy germs: most germs are anaerobes; they do not need oxygen to survive. Bifidobacteria, lactobacilli, enterococci and Escherichia coli are among the healthy germs.
Pathogenic germs: if the intestinal flora gets out of balance (e.g., during antibiotic therapy), pathogenic germs, in particular, such as Klebsiella, Clostridia and Proteus, proliferate.
Prebiotics are Dietary Fibers and Food for “Healthy Germs”
Prebiotics are special indigestible dietary fibers (oligofructose, inulin) that are absorbed into the intestine with food. In the lower intestinal tract, prebiotics serve to nourish desirable bacteria.
The most important prebiotics include:
If the intestine is already damaged, only small amounts of prebiotics should be fed at the beginning; otherwise, flatulence may occur.
Probiotics are Beneficial Bacteria for Intestinal Cleansing
- Probiotics are beneficial bacteria designed to colonize the intestinal mucosa.
- In order for the germs to pass through the stomach into the intestine, bacteria have been bred that are resistant to the effects of stomach acid.
- In foods, probiotics are found primarily in dairy products.
- Since many animals have lactose intolerance, preparations in powder form can also be used.
Effects of Probiotics
- The accumulation of carcinogenic substances in the colon is said to decrease
- Diarrhea occurs less frequently
- Probiotics also influence the immune system. Here, however, the exact mechanism of action is still being researched
How Probiotics Work?
The bacteria contained in the probiotic preparations do not settle in the intestine permanently. Three months after the last administration, the bacteria have entirely disappeared from the body. However, this period is usually sufficient for your pet’s body to rebuild its healthy intestinal flora.
A permanent administration of probiotics is not recommended because, in this case also, undesirable side effects can occur.
Probiotics Side Effects
Probiotics in dogs should only be administered in consultation with a veterinarian:
- Excessive use causes lactobacilli (lactic acid bacteria) to colonize the stomach and small intestine.
- While lactobacilli are among the most desirable germs in the large intestine, they cause massive problems in other parts of the intestine.
- They produce D-lactic acid from sugar, which is toxic to neurons in the brain:
– the ability to concentrate decreases
– learning processes can no longer be carried out
– depressive moods and behavioral changes occur more frequently
Probiotics are not a safe dietary supplement. They can be used to rebuild the intestinal flora after the use of antibiotics. However, the preparations should only be used preventively with reason.
Maintaining a healthy intestinal flora is essential for a dog’s overall health and well-being; the use of pro- and prebiotics can help bring the gut-microbiome back into balance and prevent issues such as diarrhea, allergies, and skin diseases.
Prebiotics, such as artichokes, oats, and salsify, act as food for “healthy germs” and probiotics, beneficial bacteria, aid in intestinal cleansing. However, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before administering probiotics and to not overuse them as it can lead to undesirable side effects. A temporary administration of probiotics is recommended – but a permanent use can cause problems.