Pet Care - Animal Gut Health
The health of the four-legged friend is the most important thing for every cat and dog owner – after all, everyone wants only good things for their pets. Therefore, it is advisable and important to consider the balance of the microbiome as a (co-)cause of various health problems and symptoms.
Your pet's gut flora
The microbiome – i.e. the beneficial bacteria on and in the body, especially in the intestine – is not only centrally responsible for human health. Did you know that the well-being of cats and dogs also depends to a large extent on an optimal colonisation of the intestine?
The microbiome of cats and dogs fulfils vital tasks and is very similar to that of humans in composition and function. The inhabitants in the animal’s intestine are responsible, among other things, for ensuring that food can be utilised and ensures that indigestible or harmful substances are excreted. Important vitamins, enzymes, antibiotically active substances and hormones are also produced by the intestinal bacteria, as are important short-chain fatty acids. These are particularly important for maintaining the health of the intestinal mucosa, as they supply its cells with energy. As in humans, the intestinal mucosa itself forms an effective barrier against harmful substances and pathogenic viruses, parasites and germs. In addition, up to 80% of all immune cells in the body are located in the intestine, which, together with the intestinal barrier, are of central importance for your pet’s health.
Diarrhoea - what is going on in your pet's gut
Every pet owner has experienced their four-legged friend struggling with intestinal problems, and often the result of digestive issues is diarrhoea. The animal’s body tries to get rid of foreign or harmful substances as quickly as possible. In this process, the faeces are very soft to liquid, and sometimes food residues or foreign substances are found in them. However, diarrhoea is not a disease in itself, but usually a symptom of an existing problem – and often the reason for the disturbed digestion is that the animal intestinal flora is out of balance.
What causes an imbalance in the gut?
Think about your own gut: When do you have problems with digestion? Exactly, when your diet changes (e.g. when you resort to high-fat fast food due to lack of time), when you experience increased stress, or when medication such as antibiotics kills off not only the harmful germs but also the beneficial bacteria.
It is the same with your pet!
Digestive problems from pet food
Food-related diarrhoea is one of the most common digestive problems that animals have. Abrupt changes in food often lead to diarrhoea and/or vomiting in up to 49% of cats. This is because the food also serves as food for the intestinal bacteria – and if this is changed, this deprives important microbes of their livelihood and the composition of the intestinal flora is disturbed. Food-related problems (spoiled food, too much sugar, fat or lactose) and food allergies also often cause digestive problems in four-legged friends.
New home and new owner
When the familiar environment changes, this can cause a lot of stress for pets. A change of location (e.g. due to the owner moving home, being placed in a kennel or cattery, or getting a new owner) can trigger diarrhoea in cats and dogs. In puppies and kittens, diarrhoea is more common especially after nursing, because at this time they are often separated from their mother, so they experience a new home with new owners and become accustomed to normal food – many changes and all at once, and this can cause your new pet to become stressed.
Antibiotics: Destruction in the gut
Antibiotics are a “magic bullet” for both humans and animals when it comes to fighting harmful germs. Unfortunately, however, these drugs cannot distinguish between good and bad bacteria, and so every antibiotic treatment also destroys the useful “helpers” in the animal intestine. The result: pathogenic germs (e.g. Clostridium perfringens, Salmonella) can spread almost unhindered and not only trigger diarrhoea, but also permanently change the composition of the intestinal flora, so that the intestinal bacteria are permanently impaired in carrying out their tasks.
Probiotics: Good bacteria for your pet's gut
Many digestive issues within the animal intestine are due to dysbiosis. This is the term used to describe the condition when the healthy composition of the beneficial intestinal bacteria is disturbed. In order to restore the balance in the intestine and to manage diarrhoea and co, scientifically tested probiotics with bacteria especially suited for animals are ideally suited. In acute as well as chronic intestinal diseases, probiotics are a sensible measure that has been scientifically tested in detail and is clearly classified as safe.
For cats and dogs, Enterococcus faecium DSM 10663/NCIMB 10415 and Lactobacillus acidophilus CECT 4529 are two special bacterial strains that support the animal intestine in several ways: Both bacterial strains improve the consistency of the faeces by, among other things, reducing the water content in the faeces - so their use in diarrhoea is always recommended. In addition, they are able to regulate the pH value in the intestine in such a way that an optimal habitat is created for the entire beneficial microbiome and pathogenic germs (e.g. enterotoxic Escherichia coli [ETEC], salmonella, shigella and clostridia) do not feel at home and are displaced. In this way, the bacterial balance in the intestine is regulated in a natural way - which is why these two probiotic bacterial strains are also called intestinal flora stabilisers.
Diarrhoea in Cats & Dogs
The positive effects of probiotics in animals are clearly confirmed in studies. A research study in 51 dogs showed that the administered probiotic was able to stop diarrhoea 1.6 times faster than the placebo. And probiotics also show the same effect in cats: compared to the placebo group, in which every fifth cat suffered from diarrhoea for more than 2 days, the probiotic significantly reduced the frequency of diarrhoea by 64%.
Just as for humans, it is already known for cats and dogs that the positive effect of specially selected probiotic strains is not limited to the digestive tract, but rather benefits the entire body. It has been proven that probiotics also have a positive influence on the animal’s immune system, metabolism (blood lipid and blood sugar levels) and urogenital inflammation.
Prebiotics: Dietary fibre to feed good bacteria
Animal as well as human intestines are colonised by several hundred different bacterial strains. However, a large proportion of these useful intestinal inhabitants react extremely sensitively to oxygen and can therefore not be supplemented so easily in the form of a probiotic. But there is another way to specifically promote the growth of these bacteria, namely with special dietary fibre – the food and life basis of our intestinal bacteria.
These so-called prebiotics are certain carbohydrate compounds that are not absorbed in the intestine, but are available exclusively to the intestinal bacteria as a source of energy: Dietary fibre is metabolised by the bacteria and converted, among other things, into important short-chain fatty acids (e.g. butyrate). These are particularly important for the intestinal barrier because they promote the formation of healthy intestinal cells – so the intestinal barrier remains stable and keeps harmful substances and pathogenic germs from entering the animal body. In addition, it has been clearly demonstrated that the administration of dietary fibre also promotes the growth of several beneficial bacterial species, namely bifidobacteria and lactobacilli – a valuable contribution to keeping the bacterial colonisation of the intestine in a healthy balance.
Supporting your pet's gut health
For cats and dogs, mannose oligosaccharides (called “MOS” for short) have proven to be particularly useful. The regular use of MOS causes not only the increase of important bacteria species and the production of short-chain fatty acids but also the support of the animal’s immune system: These special prebiotic dietary fibres have the special ability to prevent the adhesion of pathogenic, harmful germs, such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella strains, in the intestine – so pathogens can no longer linger in the animal’s body and are excreted with the faeces.
A good gut feeling for your four-legged friend
OMNi-BiOTiC® CAT & DOG
Just like in humans, the intestine is also the centre of health for cats and dogs. OMNi-BiOTiC® CAT & DOG is an innovative probiotic specially developed for cats and dogs to stabilise the sensitive animal gut flora. As with our products for human owners, the proven OMNi-BiOTiC® quality is paramount in OMNi-BiOTiC® CAT & DOG: two strains of bacteria specially suited and scientifically tested for cats and dogs – Enterococcus faecium DSM 10663/NCIMB 10415 and Lactobacillus acidophilus CECT 4529 – which are particularly suitable for stabilising the intestinal flora, are combined in OMNi-BiOTiC® CAT & DOG.
What makes OMNi-BiOTiC® CAT & DOG so special?
The special feature: The high number of beneficial microbes contained guarantees that even the smallest possible daily dose contains at least 1.25 billion viable and reproducible bacteria. The intestinal bacteria for cats and dogs are supplemented with the high-quality dietary fibre MOS (mannan-oligosaccharides), which serves the beneficial bacteria in the animal intestine as food and therefore as a basis for life.
How is OMNi-BiOTiC® CAT & DOG used?
You should use OMNi-BiOTiC® CAT & DOG whenever your pet’s digestion is out of balance. You will notice this in particular when the colour, odour, consistency or frequency of the faeces change – and diarrhoea especially often indicates that the animal’s intestinal flora is disturbed. The triggers for the chaos in the intestines are – just like in humans – manifold, and range from stress (due to a change of location or owner, or separation from the mother) to a change in food, to medications such as antibiotics.