Probiotics and Prebiotics

A healthy digestive system is essential for happy and thriving pet.

Created: 26/11/2018 Updated: 02/07/2021 - Shelley Audis-Riddell

diet, Diet & Nutrition, digestion, dogs

OSCAR is packed with head to tail nutrition we only add supplements that are from a natural source and that are proven to be beneficial to your pet family's health and well-being. Learn more about how Probiotics and Prebiotics support a healthy digestive system.

Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms such as bacteria. The most commonly used bacteria are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. The beauty of these bacteria is that they can withstand the digestive mechanisms of the gastrointestinal tract, and thus provide the intestine with healthy/good bacteria to support and supplement the natural microflora of the gut.

The ingestion of these valuable bacteria enables colonisation of the gut with additional bacterial strains to those already, naturally, existing ones. This strengthens the gastrointestinal tract’s mucosal barrier to disease and helps prevent the spread of pathogenic microbes. In addition, probiotics promote cellular repair of the epithelial cells of the gut wall and boost the immune system and general health not only of the gastrointestinal tract, but also throughout the body.

The gut microflora can be adversely affected by digestive upsets and stressful situations; supplementation with probiotics can minimise the damage and maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

Happy Dalmatian

Prebiotics

Prebiotics promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the colon. There can be several types of molecules; however, the majority are soluble, fermentable fibre (a type of non-digestible carbohydrate) also called resistant starch. Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are the most common, but others include oligosaccharides, arabinogalactans and lactulose.

Prebiotics travel undigested to the colon where their principal role is to provide an energy source to the microbiota of the colon. If no dietary fibre is present in the colon, anaerobic bacteria can only obtain their energy from the fermentation of protein. This metabolism produces toxic compounds (such as ammonia). By contrast, the fermentation of dietary fibre produces short-chain fatty acids, which are non-toxic and provide not only fuel for the epithelial cells of the colon, but also inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, and control electrolytes, fluid balance, and motility.

Do you need further advice?

If you need any further advice, please contact the OSCAR Helpline Team on our freephone number 0800 195 8000 or email helpline@oscars.co.uk.