What are probiotics?
The term probiotics is taken from the Greek word ‘probios’, meaning ‘for life’. Today they are officially termed ‘live microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host’. We at Yöghund simply like to refer to them as the ‘Good Guys’.
Most people are familiar with the benefits of fermented (cultured) foods such as yogurt, buttermilk and sauerkraut. They contain particular strains of probiotics needed to perform the fermentation that, for example, turns milk to yogurt. Unfortunately those strains may not be the best equipped to withstand digestion. Some yogurts go a step further and add billions of Good Guys, of various hardy strains, to bring the added benefit of improved digestion and immunity to the consumer. Products such as Activia and Danactive are examples of such products for humans.
Probiotics for Dogs
A dog’s digestive system contains billions of live microorganisms or bacteria, both good and bad. Having the right balance between them is critical for maintaining a dog’s overall health. The Good Guys are essential for good digestion, metabolism, vitamin synthesis, immune system function, and defense against disease causing pathogens. They must compete for space with the bad bacteria in the intestines. If the Bad Guys push out the good, a variety of undesirable conditions may present themselves; diarrhea & gas, poor nutrient absorption, disease, overall poor health, weight loss, bad skin & coat, to name a few!
Yöghund has made it their mission to provide pet owners with a variety of snacks that offer combinations of these very important probiotics. We believe that if the Good Guys are incorporated into yummy snacks, dog owners are more likely to ensure their best friends get some every day!
The Challenge of Probiotics
The Good Guys can only do their good work in the intestines. If they arrive there alive and in numbers great enough to bestow some benefit on the dog. Some types or strains of probiotics are well equipped to withstand the acidic environment of a dog’s stomach, others are not. Heat is also ‘the enemy’ of probiotics; it is really important that probiotics not be subjected to any high heat processing.
Researchers have also found that different strains of Good Guys offer different benefits. The ideal situation is to formulate a blend of bacteria offering a multitude of benefits, in very high dosages. This helps to ensure enough bacteria will survive the travel from manufacturing to the dog, and then the digestive ‘trip’ within the dog, to actually yield benefits.
Yöghund has gone to great lengths to incorporate such a blend, we call Yobiotics. Our products offer combinations that include strains from the Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria, Bacillus, Propionibacterium and Enterococcus genera.