Probiotics, the friendly beneficial gut microflora, for pets can have many uses, especially in times of stress.  A primary use of probiotics in pets is to restore the normal balance of gut microflora in the intestines that often occurs because of the stresses of infections, diarrhea, the use of antibiotics, changes in diet, or even seemingly simple things such as traveling or kenneling. Bacteria, viral or fungal infections can result in an imbalance of beneficial microflora and even diarrhea when the infections get out of control and start growing faster than the beneficial gut microflora.  When antibiotics are used to fight these infections, not only are the pathogens killed, but the beneficial microflora can be killed as well.  This situation requires the use of probiotics to replace the beneficial gut microflora that was killed by the antibiotics.  Changes in diet sometimes leads to diarrhea and can also change the balance of gut microflora as different nutrients in the food might be utilized by different microflora, thus leading to imbalances.  This is a situation where adding probiotics to the diet can help restore the normal balance.  Simpler stress in pets from various sources such as traveling or kenneling can also result in imbalances of beneficial gut microflora.  Adding probiotics to the diet can help restore the balance in these simpler stress situations.

There are many reputable probiotics than can be used to replace the missing beneficial gut microflora in pets. They come in a variety of formats including powders, tablets, pastes and gels. Choose a high profile brand such as Fortiflora, Probios®, Horses Prefer or Bene-Bac that can back up their label claims of viable organisms count.  For dogs, Probios Dispersible Powder, Probios Daily Digestive Dogs Tabs and Probios Probiocin Oral Pet Gel are excellent examples of probiotics for dogs.  For cats, Bene-Bac Cat Gel is a great source of probiotics.  For horses, Horses Prefer DFM-Eq Powder is another excellent source of probiotics.  All of these products are outstanding examples of probiotics that help restore the normal balance of gut microflora in pets in times of stress.

Dr. Dan DuBourdieu

Dr. Dan holds a Ph.D. and M.S. degree from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. from Macalester College.  He has been involved in basic cell biology, biochemistry and immunology research at Hoffmann La Roche Inc., ImmuCell Inc. and other research companies.  He has worked with Bomac Vet-Plus Inc for a number of years doing animal nutrition product research and development.