As with humans, probiotics may support the balance of healthy bacteria in pets and animals. An animal’s gut houses trillions of different species of bacteria–often referred to as the “gut flora” or “gut microbiota.”
A balanced gut flora may offer many health benefits for animals, such as digestive and immune function support. Highly sensitive to diet, maintaining healthy gut flora can help support digestive health for your furry friend. Probiotics may effectively assist with maintaining the healthy balance of gut flora in pets, birds, and other animals.
It’s important to note that Probulin products are not intended for animals, and should not be used for pets. If you’re considering probiotics for your pets, you should discuss with your veterinarian if you should be giving probiotics to your pets or animals, especially since there are different strains of probiotics that may provide better support than others.
How to Pick the Right Probiotics for Your Pets
Probiotics for pets are often prepared by using the same bacteria that occur in their guts. The major types of pet probiotics are Bifidobacterium animalis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium breve, Enterococcus faecium, and Lactobacillus casei.
Probiotics may provide the following support for your pets:
- Support healthy intestinal balance
- Provide support with occasional digestive upset
- Maintain balanced bacteria
Probiotics for your pets come in many forms including probiotic-rich foods, treats, and supplements. It’s important to consider the kind of bacteria that supplements contain when selecting the right probiotics for your pet, as different beneficial bacteria play specific roles and affect pet health differently.
Probiotics that are advertised as broad-spectrum probiotics or multi-probiotics combine several kinds of bacteria in the same product. Your vet can help you choose beneficial strains of bacteria to feed your pet based on their health history.
Probiotics for Horses: A Good Idea or Bad?
While there is limited available data pertaining to probiotics for horses, certain strains such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Enterococcus, may be helpful. In addition, some horses may find themselves better able to cope with being transported and in competition with the help of probiotics.
The Best Probiotics for Farm Animals
The daily use of probiotics for fowl is becoming increasingly popular–especially during and after antibiotic treatments as antibiotics may affect the delicate balance of the gut flora.
Probiotics for birds may help promote better digestive health and colonize their guts with good bacteria. Research has also indicated that probiotic dietary supplements may increase feed and weight gain, egg production, and quality in poultry.
Fowl may really benefit from probiotics during different times of occasional stress, like breeding, injury, infections, and more. During these times, giving birds probiotics may help support digestion.
Several bacteria strains are used in birds’ probiotic products, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium, and Escherichia coli.
When choosing probiotics for fowl, you should first talk to your veterinarian, as it’s generally best to choose a bird-specific probiotic. You should additionally consider your bird’s diet and overall health.
There has been evidence that balanced gut microflora supports digestive health/wellness in pets and other farm animals.
There are a wide variety of probiotics for other farm animals available in the market. Most supplements use lactic acid bacteria, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus casei, and Lactobacillus plantarum. The health benefits of probiotics for farm animals may include:
- Immune function support
- Possible increased growth rate and improved feed conversion
- They may help improve the quality and yield of milk in farm animals
The Bottom Line
Probiotics may offer health benefits to several different household pets and livestock that may surprise you. It is always wise to consult your veterinarian for advice on probiotic supplements and wellness support.
If you’re looking for more information about probiotics, check out our post on everything you need to know about taking probiotics.