Dogs need supplements just as much as humans do. In fact, if their primary food is commercial pet food, dogs need supplements even more!
There are basic supplements that dogs require as they get older, like digestive enzymes, and others that they need throughout life, like omega 3/6 oils, minerals, and probiotics. Why probiotics for dogs?
Your Dog may Look and Act Healthy, But …
Domesticating a dog is behavioral, but domesticating dogs' diet has led to a growing health crisis. In order for a dog to be truly healthy, it needs to be fed a diet that resembles that of his wild ancestors, who hunt and kill fresh game. They supplement their diet by eating grass and dirt! More on this in a minute.
The closest you are likely to get is a raw diet consisting of free-range chicken, and grass-fed meat that are hormone and antibiotic- free. To this basic diet add supplements that replace the grass and dirt. If you do that, your dogs will be healthier, happier and live longer!
Perhaps the most powerful medical quotes of all time is completely ignored by American doctors and veterinarians.
"Fully 90% of all chronic disease is caused by an unhealthy digestive system" The Royal Society of Medicine, Great Britain
Probiotic Supplements and Intestinal Balance
Dannons' highly successful advertising campaign, back in the seventies, suggested that the Hunzas lived well over 100 because they ate yogurt- a probiotic! Never mind that the air they breathed nor the soil that grew their fruits and vegetables and raised their meat was pollution-free, or that the yogurt the Hunzas ate had little in common with Dannon or any other commercial yogurt. Yet, today there is fierce competition for your dairy-based probiotic dollar. Buyer beware!
Briefly, commercial grade probiotics, like yogurt or acidophilus supplements, comes from cattle that are not grass-fed, do not live in open pastures where they would exercise, breathe fresh air, and get vitamin D from sun light. Instead, they live in close quarters, toxic environments: They are injected with growth hormones and antibiotics. If there ever was any nutrient value to this milk, it was destroyed when it was pasteurized and homogenized. People and pets with dairy allergies are actually suffering from the effects of the care, feeding and processing of commercial dairy cows. People who switched to organic milk find they are no longer allergic!
Resolving GI related problems that have not advanced to chronic, is often as simple as giving them a daily probiotic! Why? Digestion and elimination are time sensitive. Too short, or too long, eventually leads to a health crisis.
The more processed the food, the more difficult it is for the digestive system to break it down. This takes a huge toll on the colonies of good (probiotic) bacteria as they expend themselves in their effort to find and assimilate the small amount of nutrient value.
The good bacteria not only aid in nutrient assimilation, they provide the balance against the bad bacteria. This balance is quickly upset when your dog eats tainted food, or a bacteria laden morsel. Heat and just the slightest bit of moisture (humidity) can quickly contaminate an open bag of dry dog food.
If you pay attention to your dog, you can see the early warning signs, which may include loss of energy, bad gas, bad breath, itchy skin, constipation, bouts of diarrhea or vomiting, and loss of appetite. These are quickly resolved with just a doses of probiotic supplements, and prevented with daily use. Prevention saves you money in the long run.
Chronic health problems develop when the bad bacteria maintain the upper hand in the GI tract over a long period of time.
The Ultimate Probiotic
Some 25 years ago, researchers noticed that feral animals not only ate grass, but pulled at the grass. Delving into why, they discovered that the dirt surrounding the root structure of grasses from organic soils were teaming with microflora and bacteria that had a probiotic effect in the GI tract.
Appropriately, these microorganisms were collectively named Soil Based Organisms (SBOs).
Let Them Eat Dirt
It seems like the simple solution would be to let your dog eat grass. Most domestic dogs live in environments that do not provide these essential digestive aids. Lawns, and dog parks are treated with inorganic pesticides, fertilizers, and chlorine from municipal water. These chemicals kill SBOs.
SBOs vs Antibiotics
Doctors know that antibiotics are toxic chemicals that kill off both the good and bad bacteria, and yet they neglect to use probiotic treatments! If this is not bad enough, the side effects of antibiotic treatment to your dog are the equivalent of being kicked in the groin.
Probiotics are live organisms natural to the digestive system. SBOs are scientifically proven to resolve GI disorders and are essential to maintain intestinal balance. Since GI disorders develop as a result of bad bacteria overwhelming good (probiotic) bacteria, the first course of action should be to restore the balance by administering SBOs.
A few doses of SBOs will quickly dispatch most cases of GI upset before you could be seen by a vet. Plus, when administering SBOs there is no need to withhold food or water!
Where can you get SBOs?
SBOs are not a prescription medication. They are available on line, in a few select pet stores, and from holistic vets.
Culturing SBOs requires laboratory controlled conditions, using strict scientific protocols. Much like fermenting the finest beer or wine, the SBO culturing process cannot be rushed.
While just about any SBO formula will be beneficial, brands that consist of a variety of active SBO strains are more likely to quickly restore proper GI balance.
CAUTION: Things Can Go From Better to Worse- Temporarily!
As mentioned earlier, commercial pet food is hard to break down and digest. Consequently, it moves slowly through the intestines. Most likely some fecal plaque has adhered to your dogs intestinal walls. Once it gets a toehold, it thickens over time. Even fairly young animals can experience some blockage as a result of this build up.
Regular administration of SBOs will slowly begin to dissolve the fecal matter. During this clearing / cleansing process, pathogens and microbes that were covered up with layers of fecal matter will be exposed and can cause episodes of diarrhea or vomiting. Depending on the buildup, it may take a few months before it is completely removed.
During this time you are likely to see your dog reach new plateaus of happiness and energy. It can overwhelm them until they adjust.
Most cases of diarrhea or vomiting are the result of long-term food choices that are not probiotic friendly, or gulping down a pathogenic laden morsel. If you administer SBOs and your dog does not show noticeable improvement within 12 hours, take them to the vet immediately!