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How to Choose the Best Probiotic for Dogs and Cats! Plus: Why Proper Gut Health is Important for Overall Wellness!

Updated: Mar 15


Why is Gut Health So Important? The Second Brain & Immune System No One is Taking About!


Does your pet suffer from any of the following:



Gut health is not just about digesting food.

It is about overall well-being and immune support.


Gut health, immune support,  and probiotics for dogs and cats

With over 3/4 of the immune system being located in the gut, it's important to maintain a proper environment in there!


These tiny little bacteria that reside in the gut (microflora) are not only there to help assimilate nutrients... they are also known to regulate moods and behavior, such as anxiety.

But, it's all too often that microflora can be displaced, and completely out of balance (dysbiosis).

Some incidents where gut health support may be needed:

All of these scenarios can critically disrupt the GI tract.


Gut imbalance can present as:


▪️Itching

▪️Chewing on paws

▪️Loose stools

▪️Goopy eyes

▪️Food intolerances

▪️Ear infections

▪️Excess shedding

▪️Anxiety, destructive behaviors & aggression

▪️Environmental allergies



Unfortunately the microbiome is constantly being bombarded daily, and many animals are suffering from it.


Things that can wreak havoc on the GI tract:

▪️Poor-quality diet (grains, artificial dyes, preservatives, glyphosate, lack of fiber, etc)

▪️Environmental chemicals (fertilizer)

▪️Tap water consumption (chlorine, fluoride, pesticides, antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals- yes, those are often found in tap water) *Check your local water quality here.

▪️Stress/ anxiety

▪️Antibiotic use (even once)


*Test your pet for glyphosate and heavy metals with HTMA here.


As you can see, this isn't just about the food we feed! Though diet is a top factor to address when we discuss gut health! B vitamins alone have been shown to positively impact the gut in many ways. And B vitamins are also created by the healthy bacteria in our gut! How cool is that?!


Overall lifestyle and daily wellness choices influence every aspect of health... especially in the GI tract.


And, it's not enough just for the symptoms of GI problems to go away after an acute episode.

Intestinal flora needs to be rebuilt, and maintained.


Antibiotic over-use has become a huge problem in western medicine (for both humans and animals).


"Widespread antibiotic use contributes to development of resistant populations. In order to effectively prevent and control resistance, medical communities need to monitor and limit antibiotic use. In 17% of therapeutic antibiotic prescriptions there was confirmed infection, in 45% suspected infection, and in 38% there was no documented evidence of infection."

Why are veterinarians prescribing antibiotics so recklessly?!


The best tool you have to keep your pet's health in order:

Ask questions and be informed!


One study showed that after administration of a common medication called Metronidazole, crucial bacteria did not replenish even a month after use.


A balanced microbiome has been shown in extensive research studies to actually protect against, and even reverse, food allergies!


"The disruption of a balanced microbiome can lead to immunological dysregulation with diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), obesity and allergic diseases (including asthma and food allergy)."

 

What Can I Do to Help My Dog's Gut?!


You may have been recommended to give your pet a probiotic supplement... And yes, probiotics are a WONDERFUL addition to a pet's diet protocol.


The problem is, you need to know if there is an imbalance in the first place, by testing your pet's gut health! Overuse of probiotics can create even more microbiome problems!


You also need to be aware of the right strain(s) for the condition you're trying to address, and those wonderful probiotics need support also (prebiotics).

It's not uncommon that pet owners come to me asking questions about gut health:

  • Does my pet have a gut imbalance?

  • Which probiotic is best?

  • Where do I get it?

  • How do I give it?

  • For how long should it be given?

  • Should I add anything else to support the body?

  • What about my pet's food?

  • How can I improve their environment?


These questions are not usually answered. Leaving pet owners in the dark.


Choosing a high quality probiotic isn't as cut and dry as one may think.


Before recommending anything, I like to find out what the reason is that someone is seeking to use a probiotic supplement for their dog or cat:


  • Digestive health

  • Behavioral management

  • Immune support

  • Gut imbalance

  • Restoration after infection or illness


You need to know why you're giving the probiotic.


It's also really important to test your pet's gut to evaluate the balance of bacteria, and understand what needs to be corrected, if there is any imbalance.


There are many different types of probiotics, as well as brands and even more strains of bacteria. All provide different benefits.


For general well-being, Raw Goat's Milk is a wonderful addition that provides natural probiotics as well well as hydration and other vital nutrients. Adding some raw food to your pet's diet can also improve gut health by adding beneficial strains of bacteria.


Probiotics alone likely won't be the single solution you're looking for, but rather an adjunctive therapy to provide additional wellness support, while other areas are also addressed (like what type of food you feed). In fact, many people make the mistake of over-supplementing with probiotics! This can cause an overgrowth of bacteria and an overall imbalance in the microbiome. Probiotics are great gicen on occasion and for acute episodes of stomach upset.


In many instances, simply varying the diet with food rotation and adding in some raw food (contains naturally occurring healthy bacteria and enzymes) can really help diversify the microbiome!



 


A Well-Rounded Approach


Addressing gut health isn't just about giving/ recommending a probiotic as a 'quick fix.' It's so much more than that!


We need to evaluate many important areas that could negatively affect your pet's health, including the main diet, water quality, environmental factors, as well as overall stress and anxiety. All of these can impact the ever so sensitive microbiome!


What if you could have FULL CONTROL over your pet's health and well- being?


Getting individualized support is a great place to start, so you can get a full picture with waht's going on, and receive individualized recommendations.


Most pet owners come to me feeling:

  • Confused

  • Lost

  • Frustrated


Understandably so.... It can be a jungle of information out there!


With tailored (not blanketed) support from a professional who is knowledgeable in optimizing gut health, you will know which product to use, where to buy it, how and when to give it, ways to improve your pet's environment to eliminate exposure to toxins, and much MORE!!


It's truly a fantastic way to be proactive about your pet's health and wellness!


 

Where to Go From Here?

I've had a passion for many years to teach clients about nutrition, and assist pet owners with improving the health of their dogs and cats naturally.


No pet or case is the same. So, I developed a unique way to get to the root of each problem, and figure out a solution to offer.

This isn't just about switching to a novel protein, or using an anti-itch shampoo, or giving your pet a 'prescription diet or Rx medications that cause cancer down the road....


This complex area is about addressing everything the pet is exposed to, including emotional stress that impacts the microbiome.


It is so important to make educated and informed decisions in your pet's care.


 


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"Dedicated to helping, and empowering pet owners to make better decisions in order to improve the health and well-being of their pets, naturally. Because when you know better, you can do better."




pet health consultant, canine nutritionist,holistic pet wellness


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