The bacteria that reside in the small intestine and colon of the dog and cat play an all-important
role in their overall health. These bacteria constitute a metabolically active system that acts as a significant barrier to infection and disease. It is important to note that the gastrointestinal tract is an animal’s primary barrier to disease.
Besides digestion and absorption, the GI tract is also the largest immune reactive surface in your pet’s body. The GI tract contains both protective and potentially harmful disease-causing organisms. These bacteria constantly fluctuate in numbers. What we feed our pets and the stress they undergo can alter the balance of the residing bacteria. It can also alter the immune defense mechanisms that occur in the lining of the GI tract.
Conditions that can reduce the number of GI bacteria include poor diet, antibiotics, certain medications, steroids, and intestinal parasites. The types of beneficial bacteria found in the dog and cat are primary lactobacillus species and Bifidobacterium. We call these good bacteria or probiotics. Research has shown us that feeding probiotics to an animal can lead to increased numbers of good bacteria and a decrease in the number of harmful bacteria. It has also been shown that probiotics can affect the immune system in a positive way.
Prebiotics are non-digestible nutrients that are selectively metabolized by the probiotic bacteria. Science has shown us that providing both pre and probiotics together actually increases the overall positive effect they have on gut health. My Canine and Feline Digestive Support products are highly palatable powders that provide a proprietary complex of pre and probiotics along with my personal enzyme blend that assists in maintaining digestive health in the dog and cat. Remember, without a healthy GI system, optimum nutrition and optimum immune health cannot exist.