Your pet's microbiome needs a probiotic too

Your pet's microbiome needs a probiotic too

Pets are a part of our everyday lives and families. Looking after our pet's health is as important as looking after our own.

Every animals has it's own unique microbiome: a universe of trillions of microbes that help to maintain their overall health - just like humans. This microbiome can be responsible for your pet's happiness, so looking after it is a big deal.

80% of your pets immune system starts in their gut - or more specifically the gastrointestinal tract. This has a very important role within the digestive system. It's responsible for keeping the toxins and pathogenic (bad) bacteria from entering the bloodstream and ensuring that your pet can absorb the nutrients from their food.

Pets, like babies, are sterile until they are born. When they pass through the birth canal they get their first dose of microbes. Microbes are experts at converting vitamins and minerals into whatever your pet needs to be healthy. They shape your pet's microbiome for the rest of their lives and only with specific diet changes will that microbiome shift. The gut simply couldn't function properly without microbes, so in supporting this vital ecosystem you are supporting your pet to live it's happiest and healthiest life.

What can cause imbalance in your pet's microbiome? There are many factors. Some of these are:

Antibiotics - they kill both the good and the bad bacteria and by killing off the good, increase your pet's risk of infection and yeast overgrowth.  

Steroids - like antibiotics, steroids can affect your pet's gut and cause vomiting, diarrhoea, ulceration and suppress the immune system. This gives pathogenic bacteria the chance to settle and cause health issues.

Stress - a change in environment can have an emotional impact on your pet. Visits to the vet, time away from the family, a move of house and even a new addition to the family can cause stress which can weaken their immune system and cause a loss of appetite and behavioural problems.

Diet - an inadequate diet can impact your pet's overall health and can cause them to suffer from numerous health problems, like dental problems, yeast infections and allergies. Foods with too many grains can cause an overgrowth of yeast and foods that are high in fibre can reduce nutrient absorption.

How do you know when your pet's microbiome is out of balance? Your pet's gut works very similarly to yours. Their intestines are lined with a mucous membrane, which is looked after by trillions of microbes. The mucous wall along with the microbes, is the barrier between the external environment and the bloodstream. This thin wall of mucous and microbes has tiny spaces which enables very small digested food particles to travel through. If toxins, pathogenic bacteria and undigested food escapes from the intestine and get into the bloodstream, this will set off an immune response and can cause inflammation such as leaky gut. Leaky gut can cause your pet to feel less than their best. Here are some signs that will let you know when they are at their most vulnerable:

  • Food allergies and sensitivities such as itching, hot spots and skin irritations
  • Diabetes
  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Poor coat quality
  • Bad breath
  • Yeast infections
  • Joint conditions and pain
  • Low energy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea and constipation
  • Autoimmune issues such as cancer and allergies
What can you do to help your pet? You can help your pet be happy and healthy by making one small change - introduce a probiotic. A healthy balanced microbiome can be maintained with specific strains of gut friendly bacteria found in a good probiotic, which work to create a balanced gut and strengthen your pets immune system. Other benefits of taking a probiotic can include:
  • Less stress - beneficial bacteria can lower levels of cortisol, known as the 'stress' hormone, and produce feel-good chemical messengers that can improve mood.
  • A balanced belly - introducing a probiotic will help keep your pet's gut microbiome balanced and filled with good bacteria, so they are ready for any foods.
  • Keeping them happy and healthy - Probiotics help pets to get the most nutrients from the foods they eat, so they have just the right amount of energy.
  • Appearance - beneficial bacteria help pet's fur and teeth to be healthier. They can also support a healthy blood sugar balance and optimise digestion which can ensure your pet does not gain any unnecessary weight; even as they get older.
  • Better bone and joint health - certain herbs, such as rosemary that is included in microbz fermentation broth (previously Microbz NutritionBooster), helps pets to process calcium to strengthen their bones.
At microbz we know how important pets are - we have plenty of furry friends running around the office - and we're looking for good ways to keep them healthy. That's why we created a range of bio live cultures for dogs and cats, as well as horses and chickens. You can find out more about them here. We'd love to hear your stories about using probiotics with your pets. Why not post your photos to our facebook page or get in touch.

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