When you first hear bacteria, you may think of the kind that makes you sick and those that cause recalls in food. But the tiny little organisms do have a good side, and one that can make your pet’s body and immune health beam – all from within the gut!


Over 80% of the immune system is found in the gut. Neglecting its needs can bring on unwanted health issues. All we need to do is to bring in good tenants like probiotics to create a happy and healthy living situation. Probiotics are live microorganisms intended to provide health benefits when consumed, generally by improving or restoring the gut flora1 . Healthy gut flora is necessary for the digestion and absorption of food, preventing cancer, a healthy urinary tract and maintaining the mucosal integrity.  In order for probiotics to stay happy and well fed, they need prebiotics which are indigestible food ingredients and are found in foods such as bananas, asparagus, garlic and in processed foods under the words guar gum, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and chicory.


Kibble, canned and even commercial raw diets undergo a process called High Pressure Pasteurization which kills the beneficial bacteria in the food so it can be shelf stable. Diets high in starch and fat can also disrupt the microbiome (immune function). In order to maintain a healthy gut and microbiome, we must supplement back with good bacteria.

You may have a bag of kibble in your pantry that has probiotics listed on the ingredient panel. However, a study published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal tested 19 bags of food with added probiotics and NONE of them contained the organisms listed! Only 12 of the bags contained any type of organism (but in such small numbers). You should never rely on a packaged food for probiotics, you want to add them in fresh daily.

Keep in mind, there is no probiotic supplement that can ever come close to replacing the enormous amount of microorganisms found in a dog or cats natural environment, but we can come close with a few of the best ones that include:



  • Can help heal IBS & IBD symptoms by reducing bowel inflammation.
  • Improves the healthy bacteria ratio in the gut.
  • Treats diarrhea, especially after antibiotic therapy.
  • Has many vitamins and minerals.
  • Can help prevent and treat urinary tract infections.
  • Can inhibit cancer growth.

Fermented Vegetables

  • Produces beneficial microbes (probiotics).
  • Produces 10 trillion CFU’s (colony forming units).
  • Potent detoxifiers (including heavy metals).
  • Makes nutrients more bioavailable.
  • Produces vitamins and enzymes in the gut.
  • Lactic acid produced from fermentation fights cancer cells.
  • Introduce slowly and in small quantities (½ tsp to 1-3 tsp per day for every 20 lbs of weight).
  • Kimchi and sauerkraut are great examples.

Fermented fish stock

  • Contains GAG’s (glycosaminoglycans) which is a major component of joint cartilage, glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid.
  • Anti Inflammatory benefits – can help with joint issues.
  • Beneficial for pets with kidney issues. Can help reduce dogs need for protein (on a kibble diet) by 50%. Contains high amounts of arginine which is responsible for metabolizing waste proteins.
  • Natural source of iodine – beneficial for for pets with thyroid issues.
  • Reduces blood pressure.
  • Contains gelatin which acts as a barrier to the digestive system and can help digestive issues such as leaky gut, colitis.
  • Increases nutrient absorption.
  • Increases skin and coat health.
  • It is high in magnesium which is beneficial to diabetic pets.
  • Answers Pet Foods provides a wonderful product.




Raw Fermented Goat Milk

  • Contains 200 different probiotic strains
  • Can survive stomach acid better due to the proteins that accompany them
  • Answers Pet Food & Primal supply wonderful products




Soil-Based Probiotics

Most probiotics you find on the market are dairy based and if your pet has a sensitivity to dairy, they can aggravate allergies. Soil-based probiotics are a better choice. Soil-based probiotics are well-adapted to the environment of the gut, and have been shown to remain in the digestive tract where they can provide long term benefit. Today’s pets don’t have access to soil like their ancestors do and our soil is becoming highly deficient in naturally occurring organisms.




Adding probiotics and fermented foods to your pets daily diet will increase B vitamin production, digestive enzymes, antioxidants and lactic acid which aids in boosting immunity. Your pets diet and gut will not be complete without them!


1 Wikipedia contributors. “Probiotic.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 Jan. 2019. Web. 10 Jan. 2019.