Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Enzymes, oh my!

Dog Food Advisor Forums Dog Supplements Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Enzymes, oh my!

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  • #22594 Report Abuse

    EHubbman
    Participant

    Complete newbie here! Reading the forums, I see so many things on prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, digestive enzymes, fish oil, krill oil, emu(?) oil, cod liver oil, fish body oil, coconut oils, etc, the list goes on and on! (What the heck is spirulina?)

    What are these things, and what do they do? What are the pros/cons of giving them? Where do they come from (supplements v. naturally occurring, such as in a specific part of a raw diet)? When is it appropriate to give them, and how much per day per weight of dog?

    Sorry for all the questions! Like I said, complete newbie, and looking in to starting a raw diet with my little guy. Some people say “yes, supplement!” While others say “Yes, but only THESE supplements,” while still others say “no, don’t supplement! If you feed raw right, you don’t have to!”

    There’s so much info out there and this fourm has been such a wonderful help on other issues, I thought I’d throw this one out there.

    Thank you for the help!

    #22608 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    WOW!! That is a lot of questions. Some of them HDM is the best source for answers, but I can tackle a few.

    Probiotics are the good micro-organisms in the gut and they are a huge part of the immune system, because they compete with bad micro-organisms and thereby keep their numbers small. They are naturally occurring in tripe.

    Prebiotics are food for probiotics, they are fibers that the probiotics love, they aren’t all created equal though, some prebiotics feed the bad stuff just as well as the good.

    Enzymes carry nutrients where they need to go in the body and aid in digestion. There are already enzymes in raw meat, but in processing for kibble they are destroyed. Dogs make enzymes, but some do not make enough, because they were made to get them out of their food. And the body adjusts enzyme production to match the diet, so if a dog was getting a high carb, low protein diet for a long time, it may take a while for its body to get used to the different need for enzymes when the diet is changed. Digestive enzymes are the ones that are specific to digestion.

    Spirulina is a blue green algae that is chockful of micronutrients, which are all the little things that a body probably needs, but science hasn’t determined how much of what or what for, so dog food companies don’t have to add them back into the food.

    Fish oil, fish body oil are sources of omega 3s and need to be fresh so putting it in a bag of kibble may not be a good thing. Krill are little shrimp, otherwise the same applies to fish oil. Krill oil is supposed to be better. It has some of those micronutritents in it and a higher level of quality omega 3s.

    As for why some say use them, don’t use them etc. There are what I consider raw food purists, that don’t feed anything except whole carcass raw prey. Period. They believe that since that is how wolves evolved, that is what you should feed dogs. Then there are those that recognize that we don’t live in that world anymore. That the world we do live in has pollution and food animals that were not raised as prefectly as we could want and therefore are lacking some of those things that if we lived in a perfect world they would have. They feed antioxidant rich foods to help rid the body of toxins and other foods to help make up for the perceived lack in the prey animals. And then there is every shade in between.

    My fingers hurt, someone else will have to provide more. Or I will later.

    #22609 Report Abuse

    EHubbman
    Participant

    Ha, sorry, but thank you for all the info! I really appreciate it! There’s just so much info out there that I end up running in circles.

    #22611 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I know what you mean. I couldn’t keep up either and I kept getting certain things mixed up(still do) so I started an index card file to tell me what certain supplements are good for and what dose to give. I still have to go back through a couple threads and pick out th info I wanted to save. Like cod liver oil, I think you give it for the Vit D, but I’m not sure. And You have to be careful to get the right brand(I don’t remember which) or don’t give it very often, because it has too much vit A, again I think. That is one I don’t worry about because I only feed part raw. But one of these days…

    BTW, cocnut oil is digested differently because it is a medium chain triglyceride, so it isn’t taxing to the pancreas if you find you need to add more fats to your dogs diet for some reason. It has both antibacterial and antifungal activity and it is good for the coat.

    #22612 Report Abuse

    pugmomsandy
    Participant

    coconut oil:

    http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/the-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/

    Pet products: krill, probiotics, digestive enzymes, spirugreen

    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/krill-oil-for-pets.aspx

    http://probiotics.mercola.com/probiotics-for-pets.html

    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/digestive-enzymes-for-pet.aspx

    http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/8_10/features/15752-1.html

    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/spirugreen.aspx

    It’s hard to get enough vit E from the diet so I supplement with a soy-free E capsule.

    I also give a glandular supplement since my dogs don’t get to eat various organs.

    http://mypetsfriend.com/pet-go-4.html

    Human products are cheaper! I buy Mercola and SwansonVitamins products and both the humans and dogs get all these supplements! Not everyday though, just a couple days a week maybe since I buy the human products and have small dogs.

    Also garlic and apple cider vinegar have health benefits too.

    http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/garlic-for-dogs-poison-or-medicine/

    http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/2_6/features/5220-1.html

    http://b-naturals.com/index.php?main_page=index&main_page=newsletters

    #22613 Report Abuse

    EHubbman
    Participant

    Thank you so much, Sandy! I’ll have to check these out!

    #22630 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi EHubbman –

    It’s all pretty confusing when you start out isn’t it?

    I would like to start out by saying I strongly disagree with those that say supplements aren’t necessary for a raw diet. The thing is, if a dog was eating whole wild prey daily this may be true but that’s not practical in real life. It would be next to impossible to feed an actual prey model diet so people approximate it by feeding ratios of muscle meat, organ meat and bone (80:10:10) that mimic the ratios found in a whole prey animal. While this is a good estimate of the dog’s natural diet, it’s not going to provide all the nutrients a dog needs for various reasons: 1) Your dog isn’t getting the whole animal. When a dog eats prey in the wild it eats everything – all the organs, the glands, the brain, eyeballs, fur, feathers, sinew, some intestines and intestinal content, it even picks up some dirt of the ground where it’s eating. 2) Commercially raised meat such as what is available to us in the supermarket is not as mineral dense as wild prey. 3) Domestic dogs are bombarded with toxins on a daily basis that their wild relatives aren’t – i.e.) flea treatments, heart worm treatments, vaccines, exhaust fumes, cleaning chemicals, etc. etc. – and for this reason benefit from additional antioxidants in their diet that are provides through fruits, vegetables and whole super foods.

    You do not need to supplement with enzymes when feeding a raw diet. Raw food contains enzymes. These enzymes are destroyed when the food is cooked and this is why kibble and canned foods should be supplemented with enzymes. Probiotic supplements are also a waste of money unless you have a dog with serious digestive issues. Feeding green tripe and/or plain yogurt and/or kefir at least a few times a week will maintain a healthy population of gut flora in a healthy dog.

    You will need to add supplemental omega 3’s. You can do this by adding a quality fish body oil, cage free eggs or feeding a fatty fish such as sardines. If you want to feed sardines the recommend servings are (based on 3.75 oz. tin): 5 lbs. 1/4 tin, 15 lbs. 1/2 tin, 25 lbs. 5/8 tin, 50 lbs. 1 tin, 100 lbs. 1 3/4 tin – per week. If giving fish oil you want to add enough to provide about 100 mg. combined EPA and DHA per 10 lbs. of body weight. While the majority of a dog’s omega 3’s should come from animal sources, some plant based omega 3’s can be beneficial as well. If you’re feeding predominantly poultry, flax should be given to balance the fats and if you’re feeding predominantly red meat hemp seed should be given to balance the fats. My dogs get a cage free egg 3 days per week, Carlson brand salmon oil complete (with astaxanthin) daily and I also give small amounts of sprouted flax, sprouted chia, etc. If not supplementing with vitamin d, you should give cod liver oil as well. Carlson makes the highest quality cod liver oil – my girls each get 1 capsule of Carlson Super Cod Liver Oil daily which provides 250 IU vitamin d. If giving fish oil it’s very important not to skimp on quality – fish oil is one supplement you don’t want to find a bargain on. The cheaper brands are often rancid at purchase and don’t contain enough antioxidants to prevent oxidation. Coconut oil, as Patty pointed out, is comprised of MCT’s. Coconut oil can be given in addition to (but not instead of) omega 3’s. Coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties. You can give up to 1/2 tsp. per 10 lbs. of body weight daily. My girls get coconut oil daily, I find it’s a healthy way to increase the fat level of their meals.

    As Sandy pointed out, vitamin e is also necessary to add – this is especially important when supplementing with omega 3’s as vitamin e prevents the delicate fats from oxidizing in the body. For dogs <25 add 50 – 100 IU per day, 25 – 50 lbs. 100 – 200 IU per day, 50 – 75 lbs. 200 – 300 IU per day, 75 – 100 lbs. 300 – 400 IU per day, >100 lbs. 400 IU per day. I use NOW Foods Gamma E Complex – it has all 8 tocopherols and tocotrienols.

    Other supplements my dogs get:

    -A homemade super food mix. I generally use 1 part kelp, 1 part alfalfa, 1 part spirulina, 1 part wheat grass and 1 part bee pollen although I’ll sometimes sub in a different ingredient for variety. I buy most of my ingredients from Swanson or Starwest Botanicals in 1 lb. bags. This provides vital trace nutrients to the diet. I’d recommend about 1 tsp per 25 – 30 lbs. (roughly) for a supplement such as this.

    -I give my dogs colostrum 3 days per week. Colostrum is high in immunoglobulins which helps strengthen the immune system.

    -They get a glandular 3 days per week (opposite the colostrum). I use Natural Sources Raw Multiple.

    If you read through the raw menu section I have my dog’s full menus (with supplements) posted.

    I prefer to balance my dog’s diets using whole foods versus adding synthetic supplements. The nutrients from whole foods are more efficiently assimilated by the body and contain all the necessary co-factors for optimal absorption and utilization. There’s also a much lower chance of overdosing on nutrients when using whole foods.

    If you have any more questions don’t be afraid to ask. 🙂

    #22635 Report Abuse

    EHubbman
    Participant

    Thank you so so much for all the info! Are there any special considerations I need to take with a growing large breed pup?

    I’ve seen a few forums mention that cod liver oil can be bad for a pup, even though it aids in brain development.

    #22639 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    I’ve never heard of cod liver oil being bad for any dog. You just can’t give too much because it’s rich in vitamins a and d (both fat soluble). The special considerations would just be to keep the calcium to phosphorus ratio low but balanced until the pup is at least 8 months old. A good way to achieve this is by feeding a lot of green tripe. Mabel ate about 25% of her diet as green tripe until she was 8 months old. Green tripe has a naturally balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1:1 but very low concentrations of each mineral – only about 0.3%. It’s also loaded with digestive enzymes and probiotics.

    #22644 Report Abuse

    EHubbman
    Participant

    I’ll have to see if I can find the specific links, but the basic jist was that it had too high of Vitamin A which can build up and cause some sort of damage. Some mentioned using fish or fish body oil instead.

    #22652 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Now you see why I keep a card file!!

    #22653 Report Abuse

    EHubbman
    Participant

    Lol, yeah I do!

    #22659 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Vitamin A can be harmful in excess because it’s a fat soluble vitamin – however you need to feed too much of it in order for it to build up. A capsule of cod liver oil per day would not come anywhere near toxic vitamin a doses. One capsule of Carlson Super Cod Liver Oil provides 2,000 IU vitamin a – the toxic dose (which needs to be given daily for months to create toxicity) is 113,600 IU per pound of food consumed on a dry matter basis. So assuming your dog eats one pound of food per day (dry matter) the dog would have to eat 50+ capsules of cod liver oil per day to result in vitamin a toxicity. I’ve ran a full nutrient analysis on my raw menus and they are well below the AAFCO’s safe upper limit for vitamin a levels. One of my menus I analyzed came out to 52,412 IU/kg and the other to 78,326 IU/kg – the AAFCO’s upper limit is 250,000 IU/kg. The problems arise when people substitute cod liver oil for fish body oil and use it to meet their dog’s omega 3 needs. Cod liver oil should not be used as an omega 3 supplement – it should be used in small doses as a whole food source of vitamin d. One of the reasons I use Carlson, in addition to the fact that their products are stringently tested for contaminants and contain high levels of vitamin e to preserve the fats, is that their cod liver oil is lower in vitamin a than many other brands.

    #22686 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    HDM, I’m feeding a combo of dry, pre made raw and THK. How often should mine get probiotics and digestive enzymes?

    #22687 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Assuming your dogs don’t have any health issues that would warrant frequent and higher doses of probiotics and enzymes, if it were me I would just supplement with enzymes on the days I fed kibble and give a high quality probiotic supplement every 2 – 3 days.

    #22688 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    I probably should have been specific. Gemma gets Darwin’s 4-5 dys a week for breakfast; the other days is THK. Darwin’s for dinner. The other two are the same for breakfast but almost lays kibble for dinner.

    #22689 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I can tell you what I do. When mine get half kibble and half raw, I give them a half dose of enzymes. When I give the raw seperately, I still give the half dose with the kibble.

    #22691 Report Abuse

    Oh my- I need a flip chart just to READ this thread! I’m lost & clueless! Advice please..
    I’m feeding kibble in the AM and kibble mixed w/ premade grinds (meat,organ,bone, & tripe) in the PM
    I add in:
    Ground sardines 2-3 meals per week
    Crused egg w/shell 2-3 meals/week
    Kefir 4-5 meals/week
    Vitamin E cap (400 IU) when I remember to AM meal.
    I have the Dr Stephen Langer 15 strain Probiotic coming in the mail tomorrow.
    Salmon oil is not tolerated by Harry AT ALL.
    Suggestions please would be appreciated!
    We’re just starting out on the raw mix ins & trying to figure out supplements.

    #22693 Report Abuse

    somebodysme
    Participant

    Thanks for asking these questions ehubbman! In the morning when I’m not sleep walking, I’m going to get a cup of coffee and read all this! These are a lot of questions I wanted to ask but just got tired of asking so many questions…HAHAHA!

    #22695 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi Freeholdhound –

    How many oz. of sardines and you feeding and how much does your dog weigh? Depending on how many oz you’re giving him 2 – 3 days per week may be too much.

    If you’re feeding kefir 4 – 5 meals per week there’s no reason to give a probiotic supplement. It’s not going to hurt anything, but it’s just kind of a waste of money imo. You’d be better off getting an enzyme supplement and giving him enzymes with his kibble meals.

    If you’re feeding kibble (balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio) and meat/organ/bone/tripe grinds (balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio) there’s not need to add ground eggshell and, in fact, you shouldn’t. You’ll throw off the calcium to phosphorus ratio. Supplemental calcium should only be added to meals consisting of only boneless meat at the rate of 800 – 1,000 mg. per pound of meat fed.

    If your dog is getting kibble at both meals there shouldn’t be a need for supplemental vitamin e – the kibble should have adequate amounts. If you do wish to continue adding e (which may provide some benefit given the fact that you’re feeding sardines a few times a week) you definitely don’t need to give 400 IU per day. My girls eat a completely homemade diet with no dietary source of vitamin e other than their supplement and still don’t get anywhere near that much – I give them 200 – 300 IU per day (they’re both around 70 lbs.) I would say 400 IU once per week would be plenty. While vitamin e toxicity is rare – it is a fat soluble vitamin so you don’t want to go overboard.

    I hope that helps!

    #22697 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi Marie –

    I agree with Patty’s recommendations for the enzymes – it’s fine to give a half dose to healthy dogs. I would just give the enzymes whenever you feed a kibble meal.

    #22701 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    Thanks Lydia and Patty, much appreciated!

    #22705 Report Abuse

    somebodysme
    Participant

    I have a few questions to clarify a few things:

    I feed kibble only right now and I see mentioned that it’s good to feed cage free eggs. My question that always comes to my mind when eggs are mentioned is this; do you feed the entire egg shell and all and if so do you food process it or just crack it and put it in the bowl to eat raw shell and all? Also, do you wash the eggs off if you give the shell? She weights 50 lbs, so ONE a day?

    Another question: She LOVES to eat this one particular grass that in a runner type grass but I don’t know what it’s called, I live in Ohio so something native to our area. I’d rather give her my own grass that I know is safe so I saw HDM mention both wheat grass and sprouted flax…my question is; would one of these give her what she’s seeking out and which one? How do you sprout flax and how much would I give? If wheat grass would be the better option, where do you get that and how much to feed?

    Not trying to highjack the thread…these are probably questions on others minds as well. A lot of dogs eat grass I think…

    #22706 Report Abuse

    EHubbman
    Participant

    I don’t see it as hijacking the thread at all! Good questions! 🙂

    #22708 Report Abuse

    EHubbman
    Participant

    And lol, somebodysme! Knowing the coffee feeling today (from your first post)! I figured since these forums are such a wealth of.info, might as well ask this one!

    Thanks for the great info on cod liver oil, HDM! I’ve got a few books on raw that I need to get reading and figure out where Dominic needs to be as far as supplements/add-ins.

    Typing this on mobile, please excuse any weird typing!

    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by  EHubbman.
    #22711 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Hi sombodysme –

    I wouldn’t feed the shell with the egg. Eggshell contains a lot of calcium and could throw of the calcium to phosphorus ratio of the meal. 1 tsp. of eggshell contains a whopping 1,000 mg. calcium where an egg (without the shell) only contains around 100 mg. phosphorus. To get the full benefit of the omega 3’s and the glutathione pre-cursors in the egg white the eggs should be fed raw. I wouldn’t feed eggs daily as there is a glycoprotein present in raw egg whites called avidin that binds to biotin and inhibits absorption – there’s controversy over whether or not feeding raw eggs frequently can result in a biotin deficiency. I feed my girls raw a raw egg every other day.

    You can find directions on how to sprout flax on a lot of websites. You’ll need flax seed and a sprouter. Although I have a sprouter I still buy mine – Nativas Naturals from Swanson’s. I wouldn’t think sprouted flax would be a substitute for a green food. I add about 1 tbs. per dog on the days I feed it. Flax is good to add on days you feed poultry as it balances the fats in the poultry. I buy wheatgrass from Swanson’s – I use Starwest Botanicals. I would say maybe 1/2 tsp. for small dogs, 1 tsp for medium/large dogs and 1 1/2 – 2 tsp. for large/giant dogs. You can also grow fresh wheat grass for pets to graze on. Bell Rock has some kits.

    #22713 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    My grass eater has pretty much stopped eating grass since I started giving green superfoods. I use different super greens mixes from the health food store or I make my own, kind of like HDMs. I change it up every time I make it, but an example would be 1 part alfalfa powder, 1 part wheatgrass powder, 1 part barleygrass powder, 1 part kelp powder, 1 part spirulina powder, 1 part bee pollen. I might leave out the wheatgrass one time and the barleygrass another. I sometimes use chlorella instead or spirulina. I might use another macroalgae instead of kelp(I can’t think of the name of the one I have now other than it is obviously Japanese). I use 1 oz of each ingredient at a time when I’m mixing a batch and I rarely have 2 batches in a row the same.

    #22714 Report Abuse

    EHubbman
    Participant

    Kind of in the same vein as feeding green things- I’m noticing some raw diet resources are mentioning the feeding of fruits and veggies. You guys’ thoughts on this? I personally think I’ll be sticking more with prey model raw, but just curious on what you guys have to say.

    #22719 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I strongly believe in antioxidants. I feed brightly colored fruits and vegetables, but only small amounts. I definitely limit my dogs carbs, so if I’m adding something with carbs, I make it count. I make a fruit/veggie mix for my dogs that has either spinach, kale, romaine, or bok choy, and some red/orange/yellow veg. plus a cruciferous veg. I blanch them and blenderize. Then I throw in a handful of a couple different berries and usually a bit of another fruit, peach, cantelope, honeydew or something else. I blenderize some more and then I freeze it in these candy molds that I have that hold about 3/4 of an oz. They are gingerbread men and I cut their heads off for my JRT and give the bodies to the Border Collies.

    #22725 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    EHubbman –

    If you decide to go the strict prey model route be very careful. Most strict prey model diets are deficient in key nutrients unless synthetic supplements are added – there’s a reason why there are no meat/bone/organ grinds that conform to AAFCO standards (to my knowledge), they’re all labeled for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. The thing is, it’s not very difficult to conform to the AAFCO nutrient profiles either. Also if you’re visiting prey model forums take everything you read with a grain of salt – there is a lot of misinformation thrown around on these forums. As someone just starting out I would strongly recommend picking up a copy of “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” by Steve Brown and “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” by Dr. Karen Becker. I also second everything Patty posted concerning the importance of antioxidants.

    #22727 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    To feed prey model correctly, you have to feed whole animals that are naturally raised. Most prey model commercial grinds have a good proportion of muscle meat to bone and the right amount of liver, but they usually only have one other organ and that leaves out a whole lot of the animal and a whole lot of micronutrients. Even Hare Today’s whole rabbits aren’t really good prey model, because they were raised on only one type of food, and they are about as good as it gets.

    #22731 Report Abuse

    EHubbman
    Participant

    I should clarify a bit, haha! The things I was reading were more along the lines of 50% meat/bone/organ and 50% raw fruit and veg (or other ratios around those amounts), which is why I was wanting to stay away from those, because that kinda seems like an obnoxious amount of fruit/veg. I was finding these ratios on pages for the BARF diet, where prey model raw pages were more towards meat/bone/organs with supplements.

    More what I mean by feeling more towards prey model is what I’m seeing more frequently here and among those I know that feed raw. The main majority of the meal is meat/bone/organ, but they do supplement with good stuff. (Am I calling it the wrong thing by saying prey model?)

    Patty, that mix sounds like a good treat! I’m sure Dom would love it, he loves frozen treats.

    HDM, Thanks! I’ll definitely be checking in on those books. A good friend just recommended “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals” by Lew Olson, so I’ve been trying to read that.

    Random thought, since I’ve seen it a few times on forums: Garlic for dogs? I would think that since it’s a member of the allium family, wouldn’t it be bad for dogs? Yet I see people saying “add it to the food to make your dog eat it!”

    #22732 Report Abuse

    EHubbman
    Participant

    P.s. My name is Emily! 😀 (So you don’t have to type out the whole username) *waves hi* 😀

    #22734 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Okay gotcha. No, what we feed wouldn’t be considered “prey model.” Those that follow prey model believe dogs should eat meat, bones and organs only – nothing else. Many refer to ground raw meat and veggie diets as “BARF” style. I would consider my feeding style to be a BARF/Prey Model Hybrid. My dogs get a prey model style dinner each night (RMBs and whole offal) but their breakfast is ground with veggies and whole food supplements.

    As far as garlic it’s very beneficial if given in small quantities but I’m not sure how much it would increase the palatability. My girls get a couple cloves three days per week. Garlic is a natural broad-spectrum antibiotic. Garlic is also a prebiotic and contains antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-carcinogenic properties. The sulfur content also acts as a natural insect repellent. You’d want to give the following amounts 3 – 4 days per week: under 10 lbs – 1/4 clove; 10 to 20 lbs. – half a clove; 20 to 50 lbs. – 1 clove; 50 to 75 lbs. – 2 cloves; 75 to 100 lbs. – 2 and a half cloves; 100 lbs. and over – 3 cloves.

    #22745 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Hi Emily

    The things I add to my raw are less than 20%, so nothing like 50%, and I try to keep my mix low carb too.

    About garlic, while it can be problematic in large doses, it has so many positives that I feel it is worth it. To get the most out of your garlic, you should always use fresh, crush or chop within a half hour of feeding.

    #22763 Report Abuse

    Thank you!! Glad I’ve been lax in supplements the last 2 wks LOL. Will be copy/pasting this 🙂

    #22767 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    Hi Emily, nice to know your name. I’m Marie!

    #22768 Report Abuse

    EHubbman
    Participant

    Hi Marie! 😀

    #22769 Report Abuse

    somebodysme
    Participant

    This has turned into a wonderful informative thread! Thanks!

    #22774 Report Abuse

    Oh yes – this forum great!

    #22784 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Emily is much easier than Ehubbman! 🙂

    #23198 Report Abuse

    pacer1978
    Participant

    Hello All,

    HDM..you answered some questions I had in another thread. You had mentioned probiotics to me in that thread, but after reading this one here, since I feed my dogs kibble, would you recommend probiotics or enzymes for them instead?

    My dogs also want to eat grass. What does that mean? Should I start them on a “green” supplement as you mentioned? Is there one that you recommend?

    Thank you!

    #23199 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I’m not HDM, but I believe she will tell you that every time you feed kibble you should use enzymes. They don’t replace probiotics though. Your dogs still need a source of probiotics a few times a week under normal circumstances and daily when under stress. Some dogs just seem to like eating grass and it doesn’t mean anything, but if the habit changes as the food changes, it may mean that they need something in their diet that is missing. Green superfoods are most likely to have whatever grass would be replacing and more of it in a less polluted form.

    #23204 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom
    Participant

    Patty you’ve got me figured out – lol!

    Pacer –

    When feeding any cooked food, such as kibble, I recommend supplementing with enzymes. Raw foods naturally contain enzymes however these enzymes are destroyed during the cooking process. For a healthy dog it would be fine to give enzymes at half the recommended dose. Unless there is a certain health issue, I don’t believe dogs fed raw foods need supplemental enzymes.

    I believe all dogs should receive probiotics. For a healthy dog, giving a probiotic supplement or feeding a serving or plain yogurt, kefir or raw tripe two or three times a week should be adequate to maintain a healthy and diverse population of microflora in the gut. My dogs get raw green tripe three days per week and a little bit of plain kefir several times per week. For dogs with certain health issues (particularly digestive issues or systemic candidiasis) it may be advisable to give supplemental probiotics daily.

    As Patty pointed out, eating grass doesn’t always mean there’s a nutritional issue – it’s actually a fairly normal behavior. You could certainly try adding a green supplement to see if it helps and even if it doesn’t help green supplements are a healthy source of whole food trace nutrients.

    #23207 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    It’s only what I do myself.

    #23309 Report Abuse

    pacer1978
    Participant

    Thanks again. Do you recommend any particular brand of Enzymes? I purchased the probiotics you had recommended and I’m going to start giving it to them 3 days a week. They don’t have any major digestive issues to warrant everyday. But, if you recommend enzymes…which brand and how much should I give? That would be daily, correct?

    #23310 Report Abuse

    pacer1978
    Participant

    Also, just out of curiosity..I hear that some vitamins/supplements don’t absorb as they should and aren’t high quality. I purchased the 15 strain brand that was recommended from Swanson’s and then read afterward in a review somewhere that it only had 3 billion of the bacteria versus some other high number that it should be. How can you tell a quality brand from another? What makes Swanson’s recommendable?

    #23317 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I would do the Swansons enzymes too. What makes them recommendable is that they have 15 strains, I prefer a smaller number of CFUs from a larger number of strains more than more CFUs from fewer strains. They also contain FOS, which is probiotic food, and trace minerals, which are needed to support those CFUs. Without a lab, you really don’t know, even batch to batch, with probiotics, because they are very sensitive to environmental factors. That is just another good argument for rotating even probiotics.

    #23368 Report Abuse

    pacer1978
    Participant

    It seems that both of you recommended Swanson’s brand for Probiotic and Enzymes. I’m also thinking of trying a green food of some sort. I guess I’m still a little concerned with going to human supplements since I know there are some ingredients out there that are toxic to pets and I don’t know all of them. If I add the three below supplements, these should be helpful, correct? I can finish up the Dasuquin and Nordic Naturals supplements (designed for pets) before trying the below options. What are your thoughts? Also, if they have been on Dasuquin and it seems to agree with them (no joint issues), should I just keep them on that? The only issue is cost…they are fairly expensive to give to my three dogs. Thanks again!!

    http://www.swansonvitamins.com/swanson-ultra-spirulina-il-4-natural-blue-green-algae-6-phycocyanin-500-mg-180-caps

    http://www.swansonvitamins.com/swanson-premium-digestive-enzymes-180-tabs

    http://www.swansonvitamins.com/swanson-premium-glucosamine-chondroitin-msm-500-400-200-mg-240-tabs

    #23369 Report Abuse

    pacer1978
    Participant

    Sorry…forgot one more question….what is your thoughts on Dr. Mercola products? Can you get the same results on Swansons? Swansons seems to be cheaper.

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