No Gut, No Glory

How Do Probiotics Work?

By Nathan Dewsbury

Ready for a big, positive impact on your dog’s health? In this installment of the Gut Health article series, I want to bring a new perspective based on confirmed science.

To really understand the relationship between probiotics and their canine host, topics get real dirty real fast. Why? Because most research about association between probiotic organisms and benefits deals with fecal samples (usually diarrhea samples).

Is it magic or is it a mystery? Probiotics are microbes that live throughout your dog’s digestive tract, even in the stomach. The generally recognized good microbes (i.e. Probiotics) produce beneficial waste products that are extremely useful. Sounds odd I know, just stay with me! The probiotics convert fiber- and plant-based sugars (FOS, MOS, GOS) pulled from the dog’s diet. Ideal microbe populations are found in those dogs fed a primary or heavily supplemented with raw or B.A.R.F style diets.

So, in fact, these waste products are like gold to your dog’s body, enriching its biochemistry if they are able to thrive. Vitamins. Amino Acids. Short chain fatty acids (Butyric Acid). Stuff your dog could never create on its own. All these help in the feedback mechanisms of the body organ systems, cell wall strength, and immune system support.

A Little Science Lesson!
When we think about any parameter we wish to track, the importance of establishing a baseline or “natural state” needs to be determined. In the matter of gut microbe population in an animal we call this state ‘normobiosis.’ This normal condition means that microorganisms with potential health benefits dominate in number over potentially harmful ones. This is, in contrast to ‘dysbiosis’, where a few potentially harmful micro-organisms are dominant, thus creating a disease-prone situation.

How Probiotics Affect Animals
1) Immunity:
Early development has been proven as critical immune system development. A poultry study is currently examining the effect of pre-& probiotic inoculation into embryos to better understand early animal development and how that informs food formulas. Ever heard of pet food companies putting this much interest into developing puppy dry food formulas? Nope.

2) Infections. Prevents UTI & bladder infections, bovine respiratory infection from Mannheima and Salmonella infection in poultry.

3) Vaccination. Promising oral applications have been studied showing 1) oral immunization demonstrated 80% protection against E.coli 0157:H7 infection in mice and 2) a probiotic infused toothpaste increases inhibition oral infections from yeast, staph and strep strains.

4) Cat Poop? Researchers have even looked into feline feces microbes’ impacts on canine gut health. Maybe we will finally understand if cat poop really is bad for dogs!

Food For Thought
Not interested in feeding probiotics? So, on-going research confirms microbe diversity in young animals promotes good growth and physical development. Research also proves that early development of a young animal’s gut microbe population is critical for faster immune system development. Both of these statements, when combined into better diet diversity, are proven to raise healthy and hardy young animals (Day 1 to 365) that need less medical attention. What are we losing by not addressing puppy and young dog gut health needs by feeding kibble based puppy food? It’s not much different from regular adult food. It certainly doesn’t have anything special in it to address any issues raised in this article. Additionally, what sacrifices are we making to long term health and development in our dogs (puppy, adult, senior, and athlete) by not addressing gut microbe populations?

It’s time to take action. We need to take back control of our pet’s health!

You can purchase Origins 5-in-1 Canine today by heading over to

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