Prebiotics for dogs and cats.

Prebiotics for dogs and cats

It is easy to confuse prebiotics with probiotics, but these are two different categories of substances that play an important role in maintaining a healthy microbiota (bacterial flora) in our pets. Prebiotics have a huge impact on the proper functioning of the digestive system, strengthening the immunity and the general condition of dogs and cats. In today's entry, you will learn what prebiotics really are, what benefits they can bring to your pet and how to properly introduce them into their daily diet. If you are cat's or dog's guardian and care about its health, be sure to read the article!

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What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics, as defined by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics, are non-digestible ingredients that provide health benefits to the body. To qualify an ingredient as a prebiotic, certain criteria must be met, i.e.:

  • Resistance to acidic stomach’s pH,
  • Possibility of fermentation by intestinal microbiota,
  • Possibility to stimulate the activity of intestinal bacteria.

What types of prebiotics are there?

The simplest division:

  • Oligosaccharides,
  • Polysaccharides
  • Polyols,
  • Polyphenolic compounds.

Oligosaccharides include, among others, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and mannanoligosaccharides (MOS).

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are found in many products that we know – tomatoes, bananas and Jerusalem artichokes. They are also added to many pet supplements as well as commercial foods. Mannanoligosaccharides (MOS) occur in yeast cell walls. Polysaccharides – inulin and β-glucans can be found in chicory root and potatoes. We can find polyphenol compounds in berries, green tea and parsley root. Polyols include many sweeteners (e.g. erythritol), but pet owners most often encounter lactulose (sometimes recommended for constipation).

What prebiotics do?

Prebiotics have a positive effect on the bacterial flora, which translates into the health and well-being of dogs and cats. They strengthen the immune system, additionally they regulate bowel movements in dogs and cats and their regular use makes it easier to get rid of the constipation problems. It is also worth mentioning that prebiotics are a good source of energy for malnourished animals. In summary, prebiotics have multiple benefits for the health of dogs and cats, so it is worth considering adding them to our pets’ diet to ensure their better health and well-being.

When to give your dog or cat prebiotics?

Giving your dog or cat prebiotics can be helpful in a variety of situations, such as:

  • antibiotic therapy,
  • digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, flatulence or vomiting,
  • stress,
  • general strengthening of the immune system

Before administering prebiotics, it is worth consulting with an animal nutritionist, as to which prebiotic will be best in a given situation and what dose to give to the dog or cat.

I hope this post was useful for you. Please follow the blog and my social media to stay up to date with the latest content. And if you are interested in the topic and would like to introduce prebiotics to your dog or cat’s diet, but you don’t know how – make an appointment with me and we will choose something together!

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