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I ♥ My Golden
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! I went on a research binge and wanted to share my results with you on Probiotics and Prebiotics.

Probiotic - "Good Bacteria" or live microorganisms that are found naturally in the human or animal gut. Basically when taken as a supplement it adds to the stuff already occuring in your body that helps kill the bad bacteria and build up (like that Whooper you had for lunch). The stuff can aid in maintaining a good digestive track. You will find probiotics in dairy foods like cheese, milk, and more commonly in yogurt. However, I must add that you don’t want to add a probiotic “friendly bacteria” when taking an antibiotic “bacteria killer”, because they will fight to the death leaving the bad bacteria to wreak havoc.

So what the heck is a Prebiotic? Does the PRE come before the PRO? No. Prebiotics are also known as “fermentable fiber”. Yeah, I didn’t know what that meant either. Now I do, and so shall you. A prebiotic is a non-digestible food ingredient that lives in your or your dog’s colon. So really it’s an ingredient in a food that you don’t digest fully. Why is this good? It’s what the probiotic eats. Probiotics are technically alive so they eat the prebiotic to survive long enough to out-multiply the bad bacteria and destroy them – leaving you and your pet healthy. I might point out here that without the probiotic that non-digestible food could pile up and clog the colon, perhaps causing constipation or diarrhea. You can find prebiotics in certain fiber foods and vegetables.

Now that we understand how Probiotics and Prebiotics work we can learn about how they come together to create Synbiotic. I swear I’m not making this up. Essentially a Synbiotic is both a probiotic and prebiotic like you would find in a culture or…yogurt.

I’d like to add that since probiotics are live bacteria they can be killed by extreme heat (such as in cooking dog food) unless a special process is done. Now there are dog food companies who insist that the don’t bake out the good stuff but since I’m not standing over them while they are cooking food in a lab coat I can’t tell if they are lying or not. But I can say that I find it hard to cook out a prebiotic (or fiber food) so it’s pretty safe to say trust them when they use the word prebiotic in their packaging. Most supplements you apply directly to the dog food before ingestion. Be sure to follow the packaging for keeping because again bacteria are alive and without the prebiotic it will expire.

What to take from this research?
For your dog: Feed your dog a food with a prebiotic already in it then putting a probiotic supplement on the food will help promote a healthy digestive track.
For you: Eat a yogurt. It’s good for you.

Resources:
http://www.medicinenet.com/probiotics/article.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/prebiotics/AN02032
http://www.innvista.com/health/nutrition/biotics/synbiot.htm
http://nutrition.about.com/od/therapeuticnutrition1/p/pro_prebiotics.htm
An article from BMC Microbiology on a study of the effects of Synbiotics:
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2180/10/4
 

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In the Moment
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20,515 Posts
Dogzymes Digestive enhancer is a great enzyme and probiotic supp that is very stable ( no refrigeration needed) and has been discussed at length on here. Not only super for digestive issues, but also for helping them break down and utilize their food. Some studies have linked gut health to reducing risk of bloat.
 

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In the Moment
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20,515 Posts
Bloat is a very serious condition. No one really knows the exact cause although large deep chested dogs seem to be at greater risk. It is when gas gets trapped in the stomach and cannot be expelled. Sometimes the stomach "flips" and this can cut off blood supply and quickly become a dangerous and potentially fatal condition. Here is a bloat chart that is a sticky in the health section. Please study it and have it handy if you ever notice symptoms. I always keep a liquid simethicone in my dog first aid kit along with some Gas-X strips, just in case.

Oops... here's the link. http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/showthread.php?t=68880
 
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