Pet probiotics - are they worth it? - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Pet probiotics - are they worth it?

Probiotics aren't just for humans anymore. (Photo: FOX19 NOW) Probiotics aren't just for humans anymore. (Photo: FOX19 NOW)

Probiotics aren't just for humans anymore.

Probiotic pills, powders and pastes claim to help animals by easing digestive ailments and stress related to stomach problems.

Dog owner Mary Piro has made probiotics a staple in her furry friend's diet, saying they ease the dog's stomach ailments.

"Feeding probiotics has helped in a lot of different ways,” she said.

Dr. Jan Suchodolski said doctors are just now starting to understand how probiotics work in animals. They can be useful for certain conditions

Experts claim studies show probiotics seem to help pets who have “stressed out stomach problems.”

"We found was that the animals, the dogs that were put on the probiotic, actually resolved faster and improved to a more significant and greater degree than those animals that were put on a traditional antibiotic,” said Dr. Korinn Saker.

Hundreds of pet probiotics line shelves and online stores, but does their popularity mean they help all problems? Not all pet probiotics measure up to their ingredient claims, according to researchers.

One study found that four out of 15 supplements met or exceeded the product's claim for the amount of “viable organisms” or good bacteria.

"In order to have probiotic effect we need to have a product that contains live microorganisms and also should probably have in a very high amount of bacteria industrially it's very challenging to manufacturer it,” said Dr. Suchodolski.

Conclusive research of the benefits of animal probiotics is still out and studies to uncover which animal ailments they could improve are ongoing.

Side effects from pets taking probiotics are rare, but ask your veterinarian before purchasing.

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