Probiotics For Dogs: What You Should Know

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The gastrointestinal (GI) tract  is the largest immune organ in the body. There is a large and diverse population of GI bacteria that influences the health in many ways. A healthy level of good bacteria is not only necessary for maintaining the function of the gastrointestinal tract but also to keep the immune system strong and promote overall wellness.

When the balance of intestinal flora is disrupted by excessive bad bacteria, this can cause GI tract problems and reduce your dog’s resistance to diseases.

What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live micro-organisms, when administered in adequate amounts, provide a health benefit to the host. Probiotics that have been clinically tested are Lactobacillus species, Bifidobacterium species, Enterococcus faecium and Saccharomyces boulardii (yeast).

Role Of Probiotics
1. Regulate immune system
Probiotics modulate immune response by:

  • increasing production of IgA, an antibody critical for protecting the intestines against bacteria and viruses
  • modulating cytokine responses and reducing inflammation

2. Prevent overgrowth of pathogenic (harmful) bacteria
Probiotics can regulate harmful bacteria by:

  • producing anti-pathogenic substances
  • inhibiting intestinal absorption of toxins produced by pathogenic bacteria
  • competing with pathogenic bacteria for nutrients and preventing them from attaching to the digestive tract epithelium

Benefits Of Probiotics
Probiotics can be beneficial for:

  • preventing or reversing inflammatory bowel disease
  • preventing or treating diarrhea due to changes in intestinal microflora composition
  • immunocompromised dogs that come from shelter, sold in pet shops or live in large colony
  • boosting immune system of puppies and senior dogs
  • improving stool quality

Why Supplement With Probiotics
There are many factors that can cause improper balance of intestinal microflora. They include dietary changes, stress, old age, weaning, travel, boarding, antibiotics and steroids. When your dog’s intestinal tract is overloaded with bad bacteria, this can result in diarrhea, poor nutrient absorption, allergies, autoimmune disease and other health problems. Supplementing with probiotics can help to restore the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your dog’s system.

Choosing A High Quality Probiotic Supplement
Dogs have specific strains of good bacteria in their GI tract. A high quality probiotic supplement contains viable count of strains designated for dogs. They must  meet the following 3 requirements:

  1. Safety – non-toxic and non-pathogenic (do not cause disease)
  2. Stability – must remain stable from processing, transport and  storage until administered to your dog
  3. Effectiveness – must be able to survive in highly acidic environment in the stomach, adhere to intestinal epithelium and colonize in the gut to be beneficial for your dog

FortiFlora For Dogs (FortiFlora Canine)
Fortiflora Canine is a probiotic supplement for dogs. It has been clinically shown to increase beneficial bacteria, reduce potential pathogens, improve stool quaity, stabilise intestinal flora and enhance faecal IgA production in puppies and elderly dogs.

FortiFlora Canine is recommended for management and prevention of:

  • acute infectious and non-infectious enteritis (such as food intolerance, dietary indiscretion)
  • diarrhea due to GI microbial imbalance (such as stress, antibiotics, diet change)
  • poor stool quality in puppies

It may also help in:

  • chronic enteropathies such as inflammatory bowel disease
  • promoting optimal immune responses in health and disease

Discover more about FortiFlora for dogs here

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