The Truth About Probiotics in Pet Food
Pet food with probiotics may not deliver what they promise.
Are probiotics in pet food effective? Key studies show that probiotics will improve your dog or cat’s diet and help protect pet health, however, the government study cited below reviewed 13 probiotic dog foods claiming to contain probiotics, and 6 cat food brands claiming to provide probiotics.
The probiotic study reveals that these diets don’t measure up when it comes to delivering healthy flora or any live cultures in pet diets. We wanted to know why probiotic pet food is so ineffective, and where to get the best source of probiotics for pets.
Three Things to Know About Probiotic Pet Food
Probiotics in pet food has become a new trend in the pet food industry lately, especially in dog food. While we advocate the use of probiotics in pet food, there are concerns that we feel people should know. We have spoken to hundreds of people that have thought they were giving a food with probiotics but never got results from this change in diet. Then they added a pet probiotic supplement separately to the food and got amazing results. Why?
1. The difference between pet probiotic supplements and probiotic pet food:
- PET PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTS
- When manufactured in a certified GMP plant (USA), these probiotics are guaranteed to have exactly what is stated on the label.
- PET FOOD WITH PROBIOTICS
- Pet food labeling laws are very weak. The probiotic pet food may have had the probiotics added to the food at the time of manufacture, however, during the process or storage, the probiotics may have died off.
2. What else should I know about probiotic pet food?
The quote below is from a government study about how many dog food diets claiming to contain probiotics do not contain the bacterial species that they claim, but rather, can contain bacteria that are not proven or even listed on the package at all. Some possibly dangerous or pathogenic bacteria. And, in some cases, no living probiotics (microorganisms) were found in the pet food at all!
An excerpt from the government study on probiotic pet food:
“Nineteen diets were tested. Thirteen were for dogs and 6 were for cats. All claimed to contain specific organisms or probiotics. Two products listed 1 or more bacterial species as ingredients, while 12 listed fermentation products of probiotic species, and 5 listed both organisms and fermentation products. One product claimed to contain Streptococcus faecium, which was reclassified as Enterococcus faecium in 1984 (7). Five products misspelled 1 of the listed species. Bacterial growth was present in all products; however, as the purpose of this study was to evaluate the contents of the diets compared with those claimed on the label, no attempt was made to identify organisms that were not included on the list of ingredients.No products contained all of the claimed organisms, while 1 or more of the listed contents were isolated from 10 out of 19 (53%) products (Table 1). Eleven products contained additional, related organisms, including Pediococcus spp, which were isolated from 4 products. Five (26%) products did not contain any relevant growth. Interpretation of these results is confounded somewhat by the questionable labelling of some products. Twelve diets listed only specific bacterial fermentation products (L. acidophilus fermentation product) as ingredients, while 5 diets claimed to contain both specific organisms and fermentation products. Fermentation products of lactic acid bacteria or bacilli are typically included as a source of enzymes. This does not necessarily indicate that live organisms are present and, based on the definition provided above, these would not be considered to be probiotics.”
3. How can I get quality probiotics for my pet?
The answer is to supply pet probiotics in a separate supplement. Be sure to read the identifying features of a quality pet probiotic supplement.
4. Which probiotics are recommended as additives to my dog’s or cat’s food?
We recommend Probiotic Miracle as it is developed specifically for pets. It is guaranteed stable live bacteria, and able to pass through the pet’s stomach acid and implant in the intestine. Probiotic Miracle also passes all the identifying features of quality pet probiotics.
5. Which dog food is recommended for best dog health?
Nature intended your dog to eat a simple raw diet. We recommend our natural, raw, grain-free dog food, FullLife™. FullLife™ is offered in raw turkey or raw beef, both with produce and added minerals for great wellness. Probiotics are a great addition to this healthy dog food.
For cats, we recommend a natural, low ash, low magnesium formula with minimal grains. With any pet food, avoid diets with by-products or high corn content.