More and more pet guardians are discovering the health benefits of probiotics and enzymes for their cats and dogs. In recent years supplements including these natural biologic substances have become very popular. During that same period, many pet food manufacturers began adding probiotics and enzymes directly to their formulas, reducing the need to add separate supplements to a pet’s diet.
Pets Benefit from Probiotics and Enzymes
Probiotics and enzymes are naturally present in our pets. They are normal occupants of the digestive tracts of dogs and cats and support healthy digestion. However, several factors can lead to insufficient natural levels of probiotics and enzymes. Theseinclude stress, genetic predisposition, advanced age, rigorous exercise, infection, or illness. Adding more through a pet’s diet can help ensure a balanced digestive system and all the health benefits that includes.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria naturally present as part of the pet’s normal, healthy digestive system. By competing for space and nutrients with the organisms that can make your pet sick, these healthy microorganisms keep any pathogens present in check. Probiotics also support the absorption of nutrients and contribute to a healthy immune response. Nature’s Logic uses a probiotic blend of four different lactobacillus strains, chosen to complement one another and work harmoniously for the maximum benefit.
Enzymes are proteins naturally present throughout our healthy pets. Enzymes speed up various processes carried out by cells in the body. Certain enzymes are required to digest the different types of foods pets eat. Proteases digest proteins, amylases digest starches, cellulases break down fibrous foods, and lipases digest fats. Nature’s Logic uses a proprietary blend of these four enzymes, specially formulated to support the digestive system of dogs and cats eating the company’s high animal-protein diets.
Probiotics and Enzymes in Pet Food
Some parties in the pet industry question the effectiveness of probiotics and enzymes when they are supplied in the form of pet food. They claim that the high temperatures used to extrude and bake dry pet food would kill the organisms or inactivate the enzymes. As “proof” of their argument, it has been suggested that if these substances were still viable and active, wouldn’t they be digesting the food right there in the bag, when it’s sitting on the shelf? This argument shows a lack of knowledge of the stability of probiotics and enzymes used, how they are activated in the pet, and when pet food makers generally add them to the foods during production.
Probiotics and enzymes used in pet foods have been developed for this very purpose. They are dehydrated for stability and remain viable or active for long periods. Nature’s Logic uses probiotics developed by Star Labs, Inc. using a proprietary process that creates their thermo positive probiotics. “Since microorganisms slowly adapt to their environment, we’ve developed strains that grow and multiply in higher temperatures,” explains Chad Nold, Sales Manager at Star Labs. “This makes them stable at higher temperatures, so heat does not affect them the way it does other bacteria.” These thermo positive probiotics remain viable for up to two years, without refrigeration. Probiotics can also be microencapsulated, a term that generally describes the process of adding a protective coating or other stabilizing feature to ensure they remain viable, or alive, when they reach their destination — your pet’s digestive tract.
Probiotics and Enzymes are Activated with Moisture
Dry pet food has very low water content. It is baked to reduce moisture which allows the food to stay fresh without refrigeration. The probiotics and enzymes have also been dehydrated and processed in a manner to ensure activity. Inside the bag of dry pet food, they are stable and inactive. When they come into contact with saliva and the moisture of the cat or dog’s gastrointestinal tract, they are rehydrated and begin their beneficial roles in aiding digestion. They only become active when they come in contact with moisture.
Probiotics and Enzymes Added After Heat
These specially-prepared probiotics and enzymes are applied to the dry pet food after the heat and drying steps. This ensures that they remain viable and active when pets eat the food containing them. They remain dormant until the right conditions for them to activate. The dried enzymes need moisture to become active, while probiotics require a source of food, optimal temperature and pH, as well as moisture to grow.
There is little dispute that probiotics and enzymes are beneficial for pets. They support digestion and immune function, as well as ensuring that pets fully-utilize all the nutrients available in the pet food. However, these natural substances need optimal conditions to do their best work — food, temperature, specific pH, and moisture — and all of these conditions are present when probiotics and enzymes are added to a pet’s food.
Nature’s Logic guarantees their kibble and All Food Fortifier at 100,000,000 CFU/lb. CFU is commonly seen on products containing probiotics. It stands for “colony forming unit” and is a measurement of the probiotics inside.