Probiotic is the general term applied to a group of live bacteria that are normally found in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy dogs and are thought to have a beneficial effect on GI health. The two main beneficial bacteria for dogs are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Enterococcus faecium (previously known as Streptococcus faecium). These beneficial bacteria can out-compete some of the bad bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) and prevent them from colonizing in the GI tract. In addition, L. Acidophilus and E. Faecium produce lactic acid. Lactic acid, in turn, stimulates the development of L. Acidophilus and E. Faecium and increases acidity in the large intestine, which is unfavourable for some pathogenic bacteria and good for increased enzyme activity.

Probiotics are believed to be useful in improving digestion and are reputed to help improve immune function. Adding probiotics to your dog’s diet may be most useful if your dog:

• has had antibiotic treatment

• has changed to a new food

• has a food allergy

• has inflammatory bowel disease

• is a senior or a puppy.


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