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The Role of Prebiotics in Supporting Your Dog's Health

Written by: Helena Lawrence

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Time to read 4 min

What Are Prebiotics for dogs?

Dog prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates that promote the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. They act as food for these good bacteria, helping them thrive and maintain a healthy balance in the gut. By supporting a healthy gut, prebiotics can improve digestion, boost the immune system and enhance nutrient absorption for your dog.

Types of Dog Prebiotics

There are different types of prebiotics commonly used in dog nutrition:

  • Fructooligosaccharides (FOS): Natural carbs in fruits and veggies, made of short fructose chains.
  • Inulin: Soluble fibre found in plants like chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, and dandelion greens, made of long fructose chains.
  • Galactooligosaccharides (GOS): Prebiotic carbs from legumes like lentils and chickpeas, made of galactose molecules.
  • Mannan oligosaccharides (MOS): Derived from yeast cell walls, help good bacteria grow and prevent bad bacteria from sticking.

Benefits of Prebiotics for Dogs

Including prebiotics in your dog's diet can provide several health benefits:


1. Improved Digestive Health

Prebiotics for dogs helps good bacteria grow in their gut. These bacteria break down food, absorb nutrients better and make helpful substances called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), like butyrate. SCFAs give energy to the gut's lining cells, keeping them healthy and strong.


2. Enhanced Immune Function

A healthy gut is important for a strong immune system. Natural prebiotics for dogs help good bacteria grow, and these bacteria help control the immune system so they can fight off germs effectively (meaning fewer vet bills).


3. Reduction in Gastrointestinal Disorders

Dog prebiotics can help with tummy troubles like diarrhoea, constipation and tummy inflammation. They can also make the poop more regular and bring back balance to digestion. They do this by helping good bacteria grow and keeping the gut healthy.


4. Improved Nutrient Absorption

A healthy gut is important for getting nutrients from food. Prebiotics help keep the right balance of helpful microbes in the gut. This makes it easier for your dog’s body to break down and absorb nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and proteins.

Choosing the Right Prebiotics for Dog

When choosing prebiotics for your dog, you must consider their needs and dietary requirements. Below are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Dog's Age and Size: The right prebiotics for dogs can vary depending on whether you have puppies, adult dogs, or senior dogs, as they have different nutritional needs. Additionally, the size and breed of your dog can influence its digestive system and nutrient needs.
  • Type of Prebiotic: Different types of prebiotics may have different effects on your dog's digestive system. For example, some respond better to FOS, while other dogs may benefit more from inulin or GOS. We recommend introducing prebiotics gradually and monitoring your dog's response to determine the most effective type for them.
  • Quality and Source: Ensure that the prebiotic product you choose is of high quality and comes from a reliable source. Look for reputable pet food manufacturers prioritising quality control and using natural, non-GMO ingredients.
  • Additional Ingredients: Consider the overall nutritional information of the prebiotic product. Selecting prebiotics combined with other essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, is beneficial to provide comprehensive support for your dog's health.
  • Consult with a Vet: Consulting with a vet is crucial when choosing the right prebiotics for dogs. They can assess your dog's needs and make specific recommendations based on their health condition, age, and dietary requirements.

How do you add prebiotics to your dog's diet?

Prebiotic Supplements

If your dog's regular diet does not provide sufficient prebiotics, you should consider supplementing their diet with prebiotic supplements. These supplements are available in a number of forms, such as powder, chews, and tablets. Always make sure to follow the manufacturer's recommended dosage instructions, or consult your vet.


Natural foods

Certain fruits and vegetables naturally contain prebiotic fibres. You can incorporate small amounts of these foods into your dog's diet, but ensure they are safe and suitable for dogs. Dog-friendly prebiotic-rich foods include:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes

However, remember to introduce new foods gradually and in moderation to avoid digestive upset.


Wondering what the difference is between prebiotics and probiotics? Find out here.

The best natural prebiotics for dogs

Super Tummy Daily

Prebiotic: Inulin

Supplement type: Powder


Introducing Super Tummy Daily!


Get daily support for your dog’s digestive health with a simple supplement that combines prebiotics and billions of beneficial probiotics. Simply sprinkle it on your dog’s meal - the perfect hassle-free addition to your daily routine!


Benefits:


Supports Digestive Balance: This powder contains a blend of prebiotics, which nourish the beneficial bacteria in your dog's gut and helps restore and maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms, supporting optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.


Boosts Immune Function: A robust immune system needs a healthy gut. The prebiotics and probiotics in Super Tummy Daily help support a balanced and robust immune response, aiding in the defence against infections and diseases.


Easy to Use: It comes in a convenient powdered form, making it simple to administer to your dog. You can sprinkle it on your dog's meal, ensuring a hassle-free addition to the daily routine.

Things to Consider

Prebiotics for dogs are generally safe and well-tolerated, but it's important to be aware of potential side effects and take precautions when adding them to your dog's diet:

  • Introduce prebiotics gradually - Start with small doses and gradually increase over a few days. Monitor your dog's response, paying attention to changes in stool consistency or digestive comfort. If persistent diarrhoea, excessive gas, or other unusual symptoms occur, consult your vet to rule out any underlying issues.
  • Follow the recommended dosage - This is important for maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria and preventing digestive problems. If your dog has pre-existing health conditions, is on medication, or has specific dietary restrictions or allergies, consult with a vet before introducing prebiotics for personalised recommendations.
  • Consider trying different types - If a particular prebiotic doesn't improve your dog’s gut health as you’d like. When purchasing prebiotic supplements, choose products from reputable manufacturers that prioritise natural, high-quality ingredients.

Let's Recap

Prebiotics for dogs helps keep the right balance of microbes in the gut, so they can absorb nutrients better, digest food well, and maintain a strong immune system. You’ll need to consider their age, size and the type of prebiotic they need. It’s best to discuss with a vet first, but once you’ve found one that works - the benefits are endless! You’ll keep them healthy, happy and full of energy.