Food and health are usually linked, whether it is a pet or our health. Scientific advances have allowed us to discover and develop supplements to enhance this relationship, as is the case with dog prebiotics. If you want to know more about them, be sure to read what comes next.
Prebiotics vs. probiotics
Since we discovered its benefits, microorganisms have been beneficial in both medicine and nutrition. These advances have been applied gradually in both human and veterinary medicine, and that is why today we can talk about probiotics and prebiotics focused on the animal world.
But before we go into detail, we should remember the difference between the two. Although the two products are focused on the same target – the beneficial microorganisms that live inside the animal – the method of action is different. Probiotics are living organisms themselves, primarily bacteria, that have beneficial effects when they are supplied reasonably.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are foods themselves, not living organisms. The curious thing about prebiotics is that the ingredients of which they are composed are not digestible by the digestive system. Still, they are a source of food for the microorganisms present in the intestine.
Prebiotics for dogs, a good option?
Once the difference is clarified, it is clear that at first sight, prebiotics has a potentially beneficial role in the intestinal health of our dog. Once bacteria degrade this prebiotics, they release a series of compounds that positively influence:
- They promote the correct movement of the intestine while providing energy to the cells.
- They prevent the proliferation of undesirable microorganisms.
Today, there are high-quality commercial foods that incorporate prebiotics such as fructooligosaccharides or natural fiber from some plants. If you are thinking of integrating probiotics into your pet’s diet, these are the compounds you should look for in the ingredient list.
Precautions regarding prebiotics
However, not everything is good news when we refer to dog prebiotics. And, despite its beneficial properties, we must take special care before providing prebiotics, since not all animals react the same to them.
One of the aspects that are becoming more evident regarding prebiotics is its double effect. Although the different ingredients it contains are indeed useful for ‘good’ microorganisms, there are studies that claim that ‘bad’ organisms also benefit from them.
This can be a problem in dogs with gastrointestinal disorders. If we encourage harmful bacteria to be strengthened through prebiotics, we will be making our pet’s digestive issues worse. Therefore, the idea is to apply this prebiotics once we are sure that the digestive tract of our dog works perfectly.
As you can see, the benefits of prebiotics are numerous. Still, it is best to have the help and advice of a veterinarian or animal nutrition expert before deciding to administer them.