Optimising Your Pets Digestive Health: The Power of Probiotics For Dogs, Prebiotics and Digestive Enzymes
In the fast-paced world of pet nutrition, it’s crucial to understand what goes into the food and supplements we provide our furry friends. So today, we’re taking a closer look at NutriFlex FloraMax and NutriFlex DigestiMax, probiotics for dogs thoughtfully formulated to promote optimal digestive health in cats and dogs.
These probiotics for dogs are power-packed with five key ingredients: Bacillus Coagulans, Pumpkin Powder, Inulin, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), and L-Glutamine. Each natural element plays a unique role in maintaining your dog’s digestive system and overall health. In addition to these ingredients, NutriFlex DigestiMax extra-strength probiotic supplement has a unique component – DigeZyme®, a blend of specific digestive enzymes.
In this article, we will explore the benefits of probiotics for dogs, and the unique benefits these functional ingredients provide, from the probiotic properties of Bacillus Coagulans to the fibre-rich benefits of Pumpkin Powder and the prebiotic effects of Inulin and FOS down to the gut-healing potential of L-Glutamine. Additionally, we’ll discuss how DigeZyme® in NutriFlex DigestiMax probiotic supplement enhances the digestive process by facilitating the breakdown of food components.
Our goal is to give you a comprehensive understanding of why these ingredients matter in your dog’s diet and how they contribute to keeping your cats and dogs healthy and happy. So, stick around as we unpack the science behind NutriFlex FloraMax and NutriFlex DigestiMax probiotics for dogs.
Bacillus Coagulans Probiotic: Never Dead On Arrival
Bacillus coagulans is a potent strain of probiotic bacteria effective against infectious diarrhoea, such as rotaviral gastroenteritis, antibiotic-caused and “traveller’s” diarrhoea. Bacillus coagulans also reduces instances of general digestive problems in dogs, and the benefits of probiotics help prevent:
- Irritable bowel syndrome/inflammatory bowel disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Clostridium difficile (inflammation of the colon and large intestine)
Although Bacillus coagulans promotes lactic acid production, it is not a lactic acid bacteria. Unlike lactobacillus, Bacilla coagulans form spores (reproductive structures) that distinguish it from lactic acid bacteria. To veterinarians examining bacteria cultures taken from sick dogs, this is an important feature that facilitates diagnosing and treating illnesses involving the GI tract.
The European Food Safety Authority has added Bacilla coagulans to their Qualified Presumption of Safety list. This probiotic was also approved for veterinary use by the European Union and the U.S. Food Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine over a decade ago. Moreover, Bacilla coagulans are regularly given to livestock to improve overall health and to female cows, pigs and poultry to prevent yeast infections from harming their reproductive systems.
Bacillus coagulans are soil-based bacteria that are thermostable and resistant to destruction from stomach acid. A potent probiotic supplement for dogs and cats shown to help with stool quality, nutrient absorption, diarrhoea, gas, and overall intestinal and immune health in pets.
Spore Forming Probiotics
Unlike Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, the Bacilli strains of probiotics are spore-forming. As a result, these bacteria have the ability to form a hard coating that protects them from heat, harsh stomach acids and most antibiotics. Many antibiotics are made from soil-based probiotics for this reason.
Often referred to as soil-based probiotics for dogs, Bacilli are typically found in environments such as soil and water. One of the most frequently utilised strains is Bacillus Coagulans.
B. coagulans is a lactic acid-producing bacterium which can suppress the growth of harmful bacteria and replace them with good bacteria. Bacillus coagulans possess anti-inflammatory properties, making them particularly beneficial for dogs suffering from inflammatory digestive diseases, including diarrhoea. In addition, a 2009 study shows that Bacillus coagulans significantly improved bloating and abdominal pain in patients with IBS, while a 2010 study indicates that it improved rheumatoid arthritis in humans.
The pancreas plays an essential role in your dog’s digestion by producing crucial enzymes that break down food for optimal nutrient absorption. This process is especially significant for dogs that tend to gulp down their food within seconds, as this poses a substantial task for these digestive enzymes.
Once the food undergoes initial digestion in your dog’s stomach with the help of gastric acid, it proceeds to the small intestine. Here, the pancreas secretes additional digestive enzymes that latch onto the food particles, breaking them down further for efficient nutrient extraction.
There are three primary enzymes integral to your dog’s digestion:
- Protease: This enzyme breaks down proteins into their constituent amino acids. These amino acids serve various critical functions, including providing energy, supporting growth, and maintaining body tissue.
- Amylase: This enzyme breaks down carbohydrates and starches in food. Since dogs and cats are inherently carnivorous, they naturally produce less amylase than humans.
- Lipases: These enzymes aid the canine body in digesting fat molecules, enabling the absorption of fatty acids and glycerol.
For humans and dogs, these enzymes are indispensable to survival, playing a pivotal role in the effective digestion and assimilation of nutrients from food.
Why Your Dog Needs a Probiotic Supplement with Added Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are essential for your dog’s health as they help to break down food into manageable pieces, allowing for the absorption of crucial nutrients and proteins. These essential nutrients and proteins fuel your dog’s energy and overall vitality.
There are specific scenarios where your dog could significantly benefit from a probiotic supplement with digestive enzymes:
1. Your Senior Dog’s Digestive Enzymes Are Depleted
As dogs age, their bodies can face numerous challenges, including a decline in the production of digestive enzymes. This reduction can hinder their once efficient digestive system, making the digestion of food more difficult.
This insufficient enzyme production can lead to improper digestion and inadequate nutrient absorption. While this isn’t typically a concern for healthy dogs, those in their senior years or with existing health issues may experience these difficulties.
In such cases, a probiotic supplement with digestive enzymes could benefit your dog significantly. These probiotic supplements may help replenish the enzyme levels in your older dog’s digestive system, thereby enhancing your dog’s digestion and improving nutrient absorption.
2. You Feed Your Pup A Processed Diet
Your dog’s dietary needs play a crucial role in their overall health, and there are better choices than a diet heavy in starch, often found in processed kibble. Here’s why: An enzyme called amylase, produced in the pancreas, is vital in breaking down starches. It is also present in human saliva but not in that of dogs or cats.
Only a small amount of amylase is secreted from the pancreas of dogs and cats due to their carnivorous evolutionary background. Before being domesticated as our companions, dogs were wild creatures whose diet was predominantly protein-rich.
Their diet has transformed considerably with domestication and the roles dogs have taken on as companions, work animals, or hunting partners. Instead of a diet rich in raw, protein-heavy foods, modern dog diets – particularly processed kibble – are primarily composed of starches and refined carbohydrates.
However, research suggests that domesticated dogs have adapted to this starch-dense diet over time. Compared to their wild counterparts, such as wolves, domestic dogs have shown increased amylase activity. Increased amylase activity means that while our pet dogs have adapted to manage with a starch-rich diet – even one based primarily on processed kibble – their wild relatives wouldn’t fare as well. But despite this adaptability, it’s important to remember that starch shouldn’t be the primary food group in your dog’s diet. Instead, ensuring a balanced diet that aligns more closely with their natural dietary needs for optimal health is crucial.
Symptoms of Canine Digestive Enzyme Deficiency
Canine digestive enzyme deficiency, or Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI), is when a dog’s pancreas doesn’t produce enough digestive enzymes. This deficiency can lead to malabsorption and malnutrition since the dog’s body can’t properly break down and absorb nutrients from food. Here are some common symptoms associated with EPI:
- Chronic Diarrhoea: One of the most common signs of EPI is loose, greasy stools that are often foul-smelling. This is due to undigested fats in the food.
- Weight Loss: Despite having a normal or even increased appetite, dogs with EPI often lose weight. This is because they can’t absorb the necessary calories and nutrients from their food.
- Increased Appetite: Dogs with EPI are often hungry and may start eating their stools (coprophagia) or other inappropriate things due to nutrient deficiencies.
- Flatulence: Excessive gas can occur due to the improper digestion of food.
- Lethargy: Lack of nutrients can cause your dog to be less energetic than usual.
- Change in Coat Condition: The dog’s coat may become dull and brittle due to the lack of nutrients.
- Abdominal Discomfort: Some dogs may show signs of discomfort or pain in the abdominal area.
If you recognise any of these symptoms in your dog, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian. They can conduct the necessary tests to confirm a diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment options. EPI is typically managed with dietary changes and digestive enzyme supplements such as NutriFlex DigestiMax.
Can Healthy Dogs Benefit From Digestive Enzyme Supplements?
For otherwise healthy dogs, digestive enzymes supplements are nonessential, but here are some scenarios in which healthy dogs could benefit from digestive enzyme supplements:
- Diet: If your dog consumes a heavily processed diet, such as commercial kibble, they might benefit from digestive enzyme supplements as the food processing can destroy natural enzymes in the ingredients.
- Ageing: As dogs age, their bodies might produce fewer digestive enzymes, making digestion less efficient. Supplementing your dog with digestive enzymes may help older dogs break down food and absorb nutrients better.
- Stress and Health Changes: Situational stress or changes in health, even in otherwise healthy dogs, can sometimes disrupt normal digestion. Enzyme supplementation could help support digestive health during these periods.
- Improved Nutrient Absorption: Digestive enzymes can assist in breaking down food more thoroughly, potentially increasing the absorption of nutrients and, thus, overall health.
It’s essential, however, to understand that while digestive enzyme supplements may offer potential benefits, they are not a substitute for a balanced, high-quality diet and routine veterinary care. In addition, overuse of these supplements can also lead to potential issues such as digestive imbalance or nutrient excess.
NutriFlex DigestiMax Extra-Strength Probiotics For Dogs and Cats
Digestive enzymes are crucial in breaking down and digesting vital nutrients, ensuring your dog can benefit from optimal nutrition. With DigestiMax, you can provide your pet with a unique blend of five digestive enzymes carefully formulated to support their nutrient absorption.
- Protease: This enzyme assists in the digestion of proteins, which are essential components of every active pet’s diet. Protease facilitates their absorption and utilisation by breaking down proteins into smaller amino acids.
- Amylase: Essential for carbohydrate digestion, amylase helps break down complex carbohydrates into simpler sugars, allowing for better absorption and utilisation of this vital nutrient.
- Lipase: This enzyme breaks down fats into their building blocks, namely fatty acids and glycerol. Through this process, lipase facilitates the absorption of fats, allowing your pet to harness the energy and other essential functions these nutrients provide.
- Lactase: For pets that consume lactose-containing products, lactase provides the necessary enzyme to break down lactose, the sugar in milk and dairy products. This supports better digestion of lactose and minimises the potential discomfort associated with lactose intolerance.
- Cellulase: In a healthy diet, fruits and vegetables should be abundant. Cellulase specifically aids in the digestion of plant fibres, breaking down cellulose and hemicellulose to unlock valuable nutrients in plant-based foods.
By incorporating DigestiMax probiotic supplement with its unique blend of digestive enzymes into your dog’s diet, you can help ensure they have the necessary tools to break down and absorb essential nutrients, promoting their overall health and well-being.
Inulin and Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are both types of dietary fibre and belong to a larger class of compounds known as fructans. While they are similar in many ways, there are a few key differences between them:
- Molecular Structure: The main difference between inulin and FOS is their molecular structure, primarily the length of their carbohydrate chains. Inulin is a long-chain fructan, meaning it has a longer chain of fructose molecules, typically between 10 and 60 units long. On the other hand, FOS is a short-chain fructan with a chain of fructose molecules typically between 2 and 8 units long.
- Digestibility: Because of its longer carbohydrate chain, inulin is not as quickly fermented by the bacteria in the gut as FOS. This means that it passes further down the digestive tract before being fermented, potentially benefiting the bacteria in the lower gut to a greater extent.
In terms of health benefits, both inulin and FOS function as prebiotics, which promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your dogs’ gut. They can aid digestion, support immune function, improve bowel regularity, and assist in maintaining a healthy weight. However, due to their slightly different characteristics, they may exert these effects to varying degrees or in differing areas of the gut.
Benefits of Inulin For Canine Digestive Health
Inulin is a type of dietary fibre known as a fructan or a fructooligosaccharide (FOS), which has several benefits for canine digestive health:
- Prebiotic Effect: Inulin serves as a food source for beneficial bacteria in the gut, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. This essential food source helps to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria, which is crucial for overall digestive health.
- Improved Digestion: By promoting a healthy gut environment, inulin can help to improve the overall digestion process. This includes more efficient nutrient absorption, enhancing your dog’s health and well-being.
- SSupports Immune System: The gut plays a significant role in the immune system, and a balanced gut microbiota can lead to a more robust immune response. Inulin can help bolster your dog’s immune defences by promoting beneficial bacteria.
- Healthy Bowel Movements: Inulin’s fibre content can help regulate bowel movements, aiding in constipation and diarrhoea. It adds bulk to the stool, making it easier for your pet to pass.
- Weight Management: Inulin can help manage your dog’s weight. It’s a low-calorie fibre that gives a feeling of fullness, which can help to reduce overeating.
- Blood Sugar Control: Some studies suggest that inulin can help regulate blood sugar levels, making it potentially beneficial for dogs with diabetes.
Benefits of FOS For Canine Digestive Health
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are prebiotics that offers several benefits for canine digestive health. Here are some of the main advantages:
- Promotes Beneficial Bacteria: FOS serves as food for beneficial bacteria in your dog’s gut, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. By promoting the growth of these bacteria, FOS can help to improve overall digestive health and function.
- Boosts Immune System: A healthy gut microbiome can boost your dog’s immune system. By promoting a balance of good bacteria, FOS can help to strengthen your dog’s natural defences.
- Improves Nutrient Absorption: A balanced gut microbiota aids in better digestion and nutrient absorption. Thus, FOS can help your dog get the most out of their food, contributing to their overall health and well-being.
- Promotes Healthy Bowel Movements: FOS can also help regulate your dog’s bowel movements. This is due to its dietary fibre content, which can aid in preventing constipation.
- Improves Stool Quality: By promoting healthy digestion, FOS can help improve your dog’s stool quality. This is beneficial not only for your dog’s comfort but also for easy clean-up.
Benefits of L-Glutamine For Your Dog’s Digestive Health
L-Glutamine is an amino acid, which is a building block of protein. L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the bloodstream. It’s considered a conditionally essential amino acid because the body can produce it, but in certain situations, the body’s demand exceeds its production capacity. For pet gut health, L-Glutamine provides several benefits:
- Gut Lining Repair: L-Glutamine is a crucial nutrient for the cells lining the gut wall. It helps maintain the barrier between the inside of the intestines and the rest of the body, preventing a leaky gut. Leaky gut is a condition that can lead to various health problems, such as allergies and autoimmune diseases.
- Promotes Digestive Health: L-Glutamine helps maintain proper digestive functions by nourishing the intestinal cells. It aids nutrient absorption and helps ensure your pet’s digestion is smooth and healthy.
- Supports Immune System: Most of the immune system resides in the gut, and L-Glutamine plays a significant role in maintaining the health of the immune cells. Thus, it can help bolster your pet’s immune response.
- Helps Manage Stress: Stress can negatively impact gut health. L-Glutamine can aid in managing stress in the digestive system, which is particularly beneficial for pets with stress-related digestive issues.
- Aids in Recovery: If your pet has undergone surgery or suffered from illness or injury, L-Glutamine can aid in recovery, especially since the body’s demand for it increases under these conditions.
Pumpkin Powder Benefits For Dogs
Organically grown, air-dried pumpkin powder is a concentrated source of many essential nutrients that contribute to your pet’s digestive health and overall well-being. Here are some of the key nutrients found in pumpkin powder:
- Dietary Fibre: Pumpkin powder is rich in dietary fibre, which is crucial for promoting a healthy digestive system. Fibre helps regulate bowel movements and can aid in managing constipation and diarrhoea.
- Vitamins: Pumpkin powder is an excellent source of vitamin A (as beta-carotene), which supports vision, growth, and immune health. It also contains vitamin C, essential for immune function and the synthesis of collagen, a protein that supports skin, joint, and gut health. Additionally, it provides smaller amounts of vitamin E and B vitamins, including folate.
- Minerals: Pumpkin powder contains various essential minerals, including potassium, vital for maintaining healthy heart and muscle function, and smaller amounts of calcium and magnesium, both of which contribute to bone health.
- Antioxidants: The bright orange of pumpkin indicates its high beta-carotene content, an antioxidant that the body can convert into vitamin A. Antioxidants help neutralise harmful free radicals, supporting overall health.
- Amino Acids: Pumpkin seeds provide valuable plant-based protein and amino acids if included in the powder.
NutriFlex FloraMax and DigestiMax Offer Distinct Advantages Over Multistrain Probiotics Without Prebiotics
NutriFlex FloraMax and DigestiMax offer distinct advantages over a multistrain probiotic without supporting ingredients when it comes to promoting digestive health in dogs. Here’s why:
1. Comprehensive Gut Support:
While a multistrain probiotic may provide beneficial bacteria, NutriFlex FloraMax and DigestiMax go beyond that by combining probiotics with additional supporting ingredients. These formulations include Bacillus Coagulans, Pumpkin Powder, Inulin, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), and L-Glutamine. These ingredients offer a range of benefits, such as prebiotic support, fibre richness, and gut-healing properties, which work synergistically with probiotics to promote a healthy digestive system.
2. Prebiotic Support:
NutriFlex FloraMax and DigestiMax contain prebiotics like Inulin and FOS. Prebiotics serve as food for beneficial bacteria, helping them thrive and multiply in the gut. In addition, prebiotics enhances their effectiveness and long-term survival.
3. Rich in Fibre:
Pumpkin Powder, a key ingredient in NutriFlex FloraMax and DigestiMax probiotics for dogs, is rich in dietary fibre. Fibre plays a crucial role in soothing the gut and maintaining digestive health by promoting regular bowel movements, preventing constipation, and supporting overall gut function.
4. Gut Healing:
L-Glutamine, present in NutriFlex FloraMax and DigestiMax, is an amino acid known for its gut-healing properties. It helps repair and maintain the integrity of the intestinal lining, supporting overall gut health. This extra support for gut healing sets NutriFlex FloraMax and DigestiMax probiotic supplements apart from multi-strain probiotics that lack supporting ingredients.