6 Important Questions about Your Dog’s Gut Microbiome
- WHAT IS A DOG’S MICROBIOME
Your dog’s microbiome are all the microorganisms living on or inside of a dog’s body. All microorganisms include bacteria, fungi (yeasts), protozoa and viruses
- WHAT IS THE DOG’S GUT MICROBIOME?
When it comes to the GUT microbiome that means the digestive tract. More precisely the large intestine (or, the colon) receives the most attention because it contains the highest concentration and greatest diversity of microbes in the dog’s entire body. We call this the dog’s gut microbiome.
- WHY IS A DOG’S GUT MICROBIOME IMPORTANT?
A dog’s gut microbiome has trillions of microorganisms also known as “gut flora” of up to 1,000 different species, and most of these species are bacteria that work hard to aid in the digestion of food, fight off harmful bacteria (like E. coli), fungi (like Candida), viruses (like Parvo.) and protozoa (like Giardia) as well as supporting the dog’s immune system.
- WHAT CAN AFFECT A DOG’S GUT MICROBIOME?
Just like humans, with dogs there are several factors that can lead to a compromised gut microbiome, such as age, diet, activity level, stress, use of antibiotics, and environmental conditions.
When the canine digestive system is disrupted or compromised, this is referred to as “dysbiosis”. When the microorganisms become imbalanced it typically causes digestive issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, or a range of other wellness or immune issues.
- HOW CAN ANTIBIOTICS HARM MY DOG’S MICROBIOME?
Antibiotics are antimicrobial substances that are designed to kill bacteria or slow their growth. Antibiotics are indiscriminate killers so they can’t distinguish between good bacteria or bad bacteria. Antibiotics often kill “friendly” bacteria causing the microorganisms in the microbiome to become imbalanced and leaving the immune system depleted and vulnerable. This imbalance can leave your dog susceptible to other diseases and serious issues, or contribute to serious digestive issues like diarrhea, vomiting or constipation.
The antibiotics most commonly prescribed by veterinarians are Metronidazole, Enrofloxacin, Amoxicillin, and Clindamycin.
- CAN PROBIOTICS SUPPORT A DOG’S MICROBIOME
Short answer – ABSOLUTELY!
When using a canine probiotic to support the dog’s microbiome, especially in cases of digestive distress, it’s important to use a high-count, multi-strain army of “good” bacteria to help tilt the balance in favor of good bacteria. Remember, there are millions of other microorganisms in a dog’s gut already, so a higher dose of beneficial bacteria is essential to strengthening the gut-immune barrier by promoting a healthy gut mucosa/lining, supporting healthy bowels, better digestion, and increasing the population of healthy bacteria following microbial imbalance.
So, in a dog’s gut already containing trillions of microbes, what can help increase the population of a healthy gut following a microflora imbalance? A high-dose, multi-strain probiotic of course!
While the research supporting high count probiotic success in humans, especially for GI disorders such as IBD, is far more robust than for animals, research has found that supplementation with large numbers of a combination of probiotic strains helps maximize intestinal colonization and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. When your dog’s digestive system is compromised, you’d probably want to know that multi-billions of bacterial competitors are working hard to help restore balance and order. High-dose probiotic therapy works to influence GI immune health in ways lower-dose probiotics may not.
The word “pro-biotic” literally means “for-life,” and probiotics perform better when they are live microorganisms (bacteria and yeasts) and are administered in adequate amounts (to a dog), conferring a health benefit to that animal. Probiotics for dogs should state the CFU count (colony forming units) that represents the number of viable (living) bacteria in a serving, and can range from 1 million all the way to 100 billion CFUs per dose or serving.
When using a canine probiotic to support the dog’s microbiome, especially in cases of digestive distress, it’s important to use a high-count, multi-strain army of “good” bacteria to help tilt the balance in favor of good bacteria. Remember, there are millions of other microorganisms in a dog’s gut already, so a higher dose of beneficial bacteria is essential to strengthening the gut-immune barrier by promoting a healthy gut mucosa, supporting healthy bowel function, supporting digestion, and increasing the population of healthy bacteria following microbial imbalance.
Here at The Microbial LLC we believe in leveraging the power of the animal microbiome to develop next-generation products in animal health supplements. We’ve created Profauna 100 a high-count canine probiotic for multiple digestive issues and microbiome support delivering 100 billion live bacteria per serving for cases of digestive distress in dogs.