Showing posts with label microbiota. Show all posts
Showing posts with label microbiota. Show all posts

Monday 22 April 2024

Improving your pet's gut microbiota

The health of a cat or dog's gut microbiota is important for their health. A healthy gut microbiota supports the animal's immune system. It affects the animal's hormonal system and affects general welfare. This is about good bacteria in the stomach and how it is vital to both the health of people and their companion animals. It is something that I believe cat and dog caregivers should think about both in the interests of their health and the health of their companion animal.

So how can a cat or dog caregiver improve their cat's gut microbiota? It is also referred to as "microbiome" . The word refers to the microorganisms, including bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses, that live in the digestive tracts of animals.

A balanced diet is obviously important and you can buy cat foods that feature probiotics and prebiotics in order to support the health of the animal's gut.

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that help your cat's digestive system to function well and they aid overall immune function. They support vitamin production and they help to balance the good and bad bacteria within the cat's gut.

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres. They promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and act as a food for probiotics and encourage the growth and activity.

You can create a calm and pleasant environment for your companion animal which helps to reduce stress which helps to avoid a negative impact that stress can have on gut health.

You can make sure that you minimise the use of antibiotics in treating your dog or cat because antibiotics kill bacteria in the gut and therefore disrupt the gut microbiome. A veterinarian should use them judiciously but I must add that sometimes veterinarians tend to overuse antibiotics as a precaution because they sometimes can't tell whether a companion animal is suffering from a viral or bacterial infection. A cat owner should question their vet if they think antibiotics are being overprescribed.

My research indicates that a minimally processed raw or gently cooked diet is good for cat health. These diets are made from whole food ingredients.

Cats with chronic digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease should be tested for their gut health by a veterinarian. They can then decide how best to intervene.

There are some probiotic supplements on the market designed specifically for cats to support their cat health and they are listed below.

  • Purina Pro Plan FortiFlora for Cats: This liver-flavored powder contains probiotics and yeast. It’s beneficial for cats prone to diarrhea and provides extra gut support. You can sprinkle it on your cat’s food or mix it with a liquid.
  • VetriScience Laboratories Probiotic Everyday Gut Health Supplement for Cats Soft Chews: These soft chews are easy to administer and help maintain gut health. They’re suitable for daily use.
  • Pet Naturals of Vermont Daily Probiotic for Cats: A budget-friendly option, these probiotics come in chew form. They support digestive health and can be given to cats of all ages.
  • PetUltimates Probiotics for Cats: Ideal for cats dealing with constipation, this supplement promotes a healthy gut. It’s available in capsule form.
  • Fera Pet Organics Probiotics with Prebiotics: Specifically formulated for cats with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), this supplement contains both probiotics and prebiotics.
  • Purina Calming Care Veterinary Supplements: While primarily calming, this supplement also supports gut health. It’s suitable for stressed-out kitties.
  • Skout’s Honor Probiotic Deodorizer: Not only does it help with odor control, but it also contains probiotics for gut health.
  • Healthy Kidney Inc. Kidney Restore: Designed for cats with kidney disease, this supplement includes probiotics to support overall health.
  • Vital Planet Flora Cat Probiotic: Boosts immune support and maintains gut balance. Suitable for cats of all ages.
  • Nutramax Proviable-DC: Especially beneficial for kittens, this probiotic supplement supports overall digestive health.
A healthy gut microbiome is important in maintaining overall health. It helps break down complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Also beneficial bacteria produce enzymes that aid in nutrient absorption. This make sure that your companion animal receives all the nutrients that they need.

About 70% of our cat and dog's immune cells live in the gut. A well functioning microbiome help to regulate immune responses. And good bacteria prevent harmful pathogens from taking over which reduces the risk of infections.

There is a thing called the "gut-brain axis". It connects the gut and the brain. A healthy microbiome influences neurotransmitter production and mood regulation. Also, some gut bacteria produce compounds which affect stress levels, depression and anxiety.

Weight gain and loss can also be linked to certain gut microbes. A balanced microbiome help to prevent obesity as it affects metabolism and appetite regulation.

Good gut bacteria helps to prevent autoimmune responses and therefore help to prevent inflammation inside the body. It also affects the condition of the cat's coat.

Lastly, some good bacteria metabolises dietary fibres into compounds that can help lower cholesterol levels.

What I have said above applies to people and pets.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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