March 22, 2022 2 min read

Prebiotics or Probiotics for Pets

Like us, the lining of our pet’s gut is covered in microscopic creatures, mostly bacteria, which create a micro-ecosystem called the microbiome. And though we don't really notice it's there, it plays an essential role in our pet’s overall health and can even affect their mood and behaviour.

What are Prebiotics?

Prebiotics are special plant fibres that act like fertilisers, to help healthy bacteria grow in your pet’s gut, and as a result their digestive system works better. They are carbohydrates that the body cannot digest and so act as a source of food for their gut’s healthy bacteria.

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms, that are considered to have health benefits when consumed or applied to the body. A good source of natural probiotics for dogs is yogurt or kefir with live cultures, however, it is important to note that yogurt and kefir sometimes contain artificial sweeteners which can be dangerous for dog’s health.

Prebiotics vs. Probiotics

Prebiotics and probiotics are both beneficial for your pet’s guts, but they help in different ways. Prebiotics are a source of food for the gut’s healthy bacteria as they cannot be digested; they go to the lower digestive tract and act as food to help healthy bacteria to grow. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria already living in your gut without getting destroyed during digestion. Prebiotics are also generally more robust than probiotic supplements, they are shelf-stable and do not need to be refrigerated.

Probiotics are live yeasts and good bacteria that live in the body and are good for your pets digestive system. Probiotics will also compete with established good bacteria in the gut for resources, before any effect can be seen. You can give probiotics as supplements or get them through food. Although they are important, they won’t work as efficiently without prebiotics. Many probiotics die off when they come in contact with stomach acid or heat. These products should ideally be refrigerated and kept out of humidity.

Foods with Prebiotics

Popular high-fibre food sources that can act as prebiotics for your pet include  apple, banana, flaxseed, chicory root, and raw oats. The problem is that some prebiotic-rich foods can cause harm as well as good as they can contain antinutrents such as lectins, and have a high sugar content. Overindulgence can result in your pet feeling lethargic and fatigued.

How to use Prebiotics to Improve your Pet’s Gut Health

Trying to get your dog to eat vegetables may seem like an impossible task.

This is where DoggyRade steps in. DoggyRade is a prebiotic isotonic drink that supports good intestinal health in dogs. It contains natural prebiotics, electrolytes and amino acids. The natural fibre prebiotics support digestive health and good fluid intake, which is vital in order to avoid dehydration. Dogs that consume prebiotics are less likely to suffer with gastroenteritis, vomiting and diarrhea.