Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Enzymes, oh my!

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

Viewing 21 posts - 101 through 121 (of 121 total)
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  • #24549 Report Abuse

    Seems like the people on here have done a great job covering things, but I also wanted to share that I have a blog specifically about enzymes for animals, and am always looking for additional topics that people would like covered. So- if there are things you would like clarified, topics like what specific enzymes help with specific issues, what levels of enzymes are necessary, etc., I would love to cover those things and help out.

    One thing I would like to note, enzymes are measured by their ACTIVITY levels (whereas probiotics are measured in CFUs- colony-forming units). Enzyme activity tells you the enzyme’s ability to break down a substrate, or the material that it acts on. 1 gram of an enzyme could have 10,000 activity units or it could have 500 units, so not all enzyme products are equivalent. If they have activities listed on the label, definitely check them and compare! Also check which enzymes are in the product. For dogs, you are feeding primarily protein, so you want something with high levels of proteases to help break that protein down. You also may want some cellulase and xylanase, which will help break down plant material that they can’t otherwise digest. Amylase will help them digest starches. The blog also has links to Twitter and Facebook pages where I always try to share any interesting articles, new studies, etc for anyone interested!

    #24644 Report Abuse

    Enzymes for pets can you reccomend a good probiotic with a high amount of cfu. I was looking at the probiotic miracle but I was not sure if all of the cultures were high enough in quantity. I am feeding my dog currently a digestive enzyme from swarnsons. Please advise what is a good enyme. I wss looking at naturvrt but it has a low cfu of the probiotics.

    #24652 Report Abuse

    I am going to jump in here, as my company BiostarEQ, which is a whole food equine supplement company, recently launched our Canine line.

    Probiotic Miracle appears to have a very good CFU content (2 Billion CFU’s per serving) and are using a nice variety of microorganisms, particularly L. Salivarius (specific to the oral cavity) and L. Reuteri, which is getting a lot of action in European studies for its benefits to the small intestine. The formula does include prebiotics as well. Probiotic Miracle claims to be GMO Free (hopefully they will submit their formula for GMO free certification).

    Naturvet, has a much lower CFU of microorganisms, and only lists one active microorganism: Bacillus Coagulans. However, it does contain digestive enzymes, and I would wait for Enzymesforpet to chime in on how therapeutically active the count is on the enzymes in this product.

    If you are at all concerned with GMOs, you would probably not want to feed Naturvet, as it has several GMO ingredients in the base (vegetable oil, brewers yeast, papaya,lecithin). The dried fermentation product and solubles are possibly GMO. and the Bacillus Coagulans might be GMO, depending on if it was cultured from GMO yeast, or GMO bovine milk source.

    While I am no expert on the micro biome, the research on the micro biota at large is pointing to the necessity of multi strains, capable of colonizing the entire GI tract, oral cavity, and respiratory tract. Colonization rates for canines is still speculative, but the range appears to be 1 billion CFUs to 5 billion CFUs (depending on the health or GI tract imbalance). Each dog, like each person, and each horse, has its own unique blend of micro biota, which is why one probiotic formula doesn’t work the same in every dog.

    #24685 Report Abuse

    Yes it is true that different formulas may work better for different dogs, just like different foods may work better for different dogs. A lot of these companies mentioned have great products, it may just depend on your dog and your preferences (if you prefer non-GMO, etc). Not sure if they have been mentioned, but another one to look at would be The Wholistic Pet.

    Companies that follow AAFCO’s labeling requirements should be very easy to compare enzyme activities. They should say something like “Papain…. 350mcg amino acid liberated/min/g”, and you can compare that to another one that says “Papain…. 300mcg amino acid liberated/min/g”. Papain is one of your proteases, along with Bromelain. They also may have another enzyme listed just as “Protease”- this is probably a protease from a fungal source (whereas Papain is from papaya and Bromelain is from pineapples). But, all of these have protease activity. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions about the enzymes and how they work, etc.

    #24699 Report Abuse

    I guess just to clarify for anyone coming across this thread. What are digestive enzymes and how can they help your dog? Enzymes also help the absorption of nutrients correct?

    #24701 Report Abuse

    Yes, enzymes are proteins which are isolated from different sources (bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals). Enzymes work to “speed up” a chemical reaction. You have them all throughout your body doing different functions, including helping digestion to take place. Each enzyme has a particular substrate, which is the specific material that it acts upon. That is why we use multiple different enzymes in a digestive blend, because each enzyme only acts on one component of food. Proteases act on proteins, Amylases act on starch (carbohydrates), Cellulases act on cellulose, etc. Also- when I say they “act on” these materials, in the case of digestive enzymes, they are acting to break them down into smaller components. Proteases take a polypeptide (protein) and break it down into its components. This is important because larger molecules are not as easily absorbed by the body (generally the small intestine). Also, in the case of some components of food, like plant material, dogs do not have the enzymes needed to break down cellulose. Adding cellulose provides the enzyme which is needed to get some nutritional value out of these plant materials.

    So, shorter answer- yes, they help the absorption of nutrients by breaking things down into components which are more easily absorbed by your dog.

    I hope this makes sense, please let me know if there is anything I could clarify. Also, thanks for the idea, I should probably write a blog topic on this and elaborate a little more! I’ll add it on there soon! (I think there is a small amount of info about digestive enzymes for dogs on there already).

    #25189 Report Abuse

    OK..I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but going back to the “supergreen” question I had earlier. I am making my own mix based on a previous post by PattyV. Because of cost (and to see if my dogs would even eat it), I’m introducing my dogs to the supergreens slowly, using only three items. I took PattyV’s suggestion form above and started them on Kelp (for the algae), Wheat Grass (for the grass part), and Tart Cherries (for the “superfood” part) this morning. I mixed 1c Kelp with 1c Wheat grass into a bigger back. Now, I know dosage depends on the size of the dog. Two are the same weight, but I have a smaller (40-ish lb) dog, Lucy. My problem is the Tart Cherries. Since that is in pill form, it is my understanding that I should give 1/2 a human dose for my bigger dogs which are 50-60 lbs and 1/4 dosage for Lucy. However, I can’t really measure it so I just guess as best as I can to what is 1/2 dose or 1/4 dose by opening the capsule. My question is…

    1) 1/4 a human dosage doesn’t even seem significant. Is there a real benefit in giving that to my smaller dog? Will that small dose actually do anything for Lucy?
    2) Also, for convenience, would it just be OK to throw in a full capsule per dog or is it best to keep the dosage as suggested?

    Thanks again!

    #25210 Report Abuse

    I have never heard that tart cherry can be overdosed, so I wouldn’t worry about too much. However, I would just give a whole one every other day for the bigger 2 and every third day for the smaller one(or maybe every other day for her too, since 40 lbs is only a little less than 50 lbs). I would strive to give Lucy 1/3-1/2 a dose not 1/4. I give a 25 lb or less dog a quarter dose.

    #25770 Report Abuse

    Hello again,

    Just a quick question this time. Is it important to switch your digestive enzyme brand like you suggest with dog food? I am using Swanson Digestive Enzymes and about to run out. I wasn’t sure if I could continue with the same brand, or if it would be wise to switch up the brands as well. I am considering trying Dr. Mercola’s digestive enzymes for pets next if it is recommended. to switch.


    #25773 Report Abuse


    I meant to ask you about colostrum and glandulars. Do you switch that out between the bee pollen or “superfood”? Do you have a recommendation as to brand?

    Also, I researched a little about it..colostrum is for the gut and glandulars is more for energy? Is that the jist of it?
    Thanks again!

    #25788 Report Abuse

    I try to look for probiotics that might offer something different and switch between them.

    #26117 Report Abuse

    Can a dog overdose on enzymes? I give my dogs enzymes with each meal since I feed them kibble. I didn’t realize that some dog food already have enzymes in the food such as Nature’s Variety and Nature’s Logic. So, should I still give them enzymes with their meals when I feed them that brand? I switch brands now every few bags as recommended with the understanding that each brand may use specific nutrients, minerals, and vitamins more so than others. So, by switching the brands it ensures my dogs are getting a variety of those things. If I switch between brands, but maintain the same supplements and dosages, could I potentially overdose them on anything?
    This is what they get:
    Daily: Nordic Naturals Fish Oil for dogs, Swanson’s joint supplement for their hips, coconut oil, enzyme with each meal, and 1 TBS supergreens
    Every other Day: Probiotic and Tart Cherry (as part of their superfood). I sometimes will give Mattie a probiotic every day depending on how her ears are…she is kind of “yeasty”.

    #26367 Report Abuse

    The amount of enzymes you are giving between food and supplements will not harm your dog. Enzymes are just proteins- if they don’t have anything to act upon, they themselves will just get broken up into amino acids. Even at very high doses, there should not be any “overdose” effects from the enzymes. 🙂

    #26661 Report Abuse
    Nancy M


    Currently, my dog is on Hills Prescription I/D low-fat, dry and canned. He’s on that for a reason (will spare the details), and he was stabilized, until I started introducing some raw (very small beef bone with marrow in it…..a very tiny bit), but it gave him the runs pretty good. Was a big NO-NO, as it turned out. He rebounded well and ate his next meal with no issues. Thought he was over it, but it appears that he still has some pretty loose stools today.

    So……my question is this: since he has always tended to have digestive issues on and off, (food, stress, illness now) can someone recommend some digestive probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes that I should probably be using for him? I would love to eventually get him on a much better diet, but due to his illness and needing to keep him as stable as possible, I would love to get something in him that will help with his digestive system. He has always been on kibble, and I’ve always tried to feed the premiums or naturals, which as I’m learning, are just awful for dogs. Now he’s stuck on something even worse……Hills.

    I have used yogurt in the past, I do have pumpkin that I’m giving today, but I also noticed that THK has a powder mix that when mixed, is kind of a milky drink. It says it has the pros, prees, and enzymes in it. So before I get some of that just to have on hand, has anyone used it? Or can you give me other options?

    As long as he’s on this Hills, I feel like I should be giving him something extra and soothing to his gut and good for his body, so I’d like something I can use regularly.


    #26664 Report Abuse

    I use Dr Langers probiotics that I get from Swanson a Vitamins and I just got some Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra for one of mine. I use Mercola healthy pets digestive enzymes.

    #26666 Report Abuse

    I’ve been using Biostareq terra biota k9 probiotic and it has made duke totally a new puppy. His stools are pretty much completely firm even though we are still using the nv rabbit in his food. I’d look into it. It’s a powder you sprinkle on the doff and it’s lasted me a good amour of time.

    #29767 Report Abuse

    I have bought and used The Honest Kitchen Pro Bloom Goat’s Milk for Dogs & Cats for a picky eater who recently went through some digestive issues. It seems like a great product that should be gentle and beneficial to your dog.

    “Pro Bloom is a shelf-stable instant goat’s milk with digestive enzymes & probiotics. Pro Bloom is The Honest Kitchen’s very own formulation of natural goat’s milk plus probiotics and digestive enzymes, designed to nourish and nurture cats and dogs. It’s ideal for growing puppies and general immune support at the gut level. Simply mix one packet with one cup of warm water. Serve alone as a nourishing drink, pour on kibble for added moisture, or use to hydrate Honest Kitchen food. Pro Bloom is human-grade and made in the USA from pasture-raised, free-ranging goat’s milk in the Pacific Northwest. It’s naturally free of pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones and antibiotics. Ingredients: Dehydrated goat’s milk, dried aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, dried candida rugosa fermentation product, dried trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation product, dried pineapple fermentation product; dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried lactobacillus brevis fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried streptococcus thermophiles fermentation product”

    There are multiple servings in each packet depending on the weight of your animal [can be used for kittens, puppies, cats and dogs]. Only a dog 71lbs+ would get the whole cup of reconstituted milk that each packet can make in a serving.

    It reconstitutes nicely, although I just used it to rehydrate some freeze-dried food.
    As long as your dog can handle dairy, this is convenient product to have on hand to encourage good gut health and hydration.

    You may also want to try kefir instead of yogurt. It has more probiotics. You can mix it with the canned pumpkin and try freezing it for for treats.

    [I used to make my own yogurt at home, easy-peasy, with dried milk powder, yogurt and kefir. I would be interested in trying to similarly make a “dog yogurt” with the Pro Bloom product. I don’t know if it would work, but it would be a nice treat.]

    #30165 Report Abuse
    Harpers Mom

    I know supplementing is necessary for a raw food diet, but can probiotics be a benefit to dogs on kibble? i am in the processes of starting my dog on a rotational diet and was considering adding a probiotic just to give her digestive system a boost.

    What are some good probiotics?

    #30168 Report Abuse

    Yes, probiotics are beneficial to most dogs, just like they are beneficial to most humans. My favorite probiotic is from feeding raw green tripe, my second is Mercola’s, my third is Swanson’s Dr Stephen Langer’s, and fourth is kefir from the yogurt aisle at the grocery store.

    There are some other really good ones out there, but I haven’t tried them yet.

    #30181 Report Abuse

    I like prozymes, or microflora form herbsmith are very good

    #32391 Report Abuse

    I’ve been feeding my dogs raw for over 2 years now. One of my dogs suffesr from sever allergies to fleas. I will not use the spot on poison and I’ve tried every natural and or homemade remedy that has ever been thought of, nothing works. I’ve done so much research it is driving me crazy, just when I think I have the answer I see something bad about it. I started giving my dogs salmon oil and found out that no good without giving vitamin e, I spent 3 days researching digestive enzymes and probiotics then I find out its a waste, if feeding raw. I don’t know what to believe anymore. I’m going to try braggs organic acv with the mother. just looking for the missing link of why one of my dogs rips himself to pieces for hours when bitten by fleas. I think my cat bring in the bulk of the fleas he’s also allergic.

Viewing 21 posts - 101 through 121 (of 121 total)
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