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The Gut: The Key to Health
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Contain multiple bacterial strains. Different strains of bacteria exert different biological activities. Look for a product containing at least 10 different strains.

Is potent. When it comes to a probiotic, the more potent the better. While some products contain 1 billion beneficial bacteria per serving, I advise looking for a product containing at least 30 billion or more beneficial bacteria per serving.

Is pure. A probiotic is designed to increase gut health. The last thing you want is a product that contains artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, sugar, salt, corn, wheat, soy or other undesirable ingredients.

And please don’t share your probiotic with your pet. An animal’s intestinal tract contains species-specific microflora, so a probiotic that’s beneficial for you isn’t necessarily beneficial for your companion animal. Opt instead for a probiotic targeted specifically to your pet’s species.

Supplementing your companion animal’s diet with a probiotic is a simple, safe and effective way to optimize gut health. You might just be amazed at the positive improvements these “gut bugs” can make!

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 75: Fall 2013

W. Jean Dodds, DVM, is known for her groundbreaking work in the field of inherited and acquired bleeding diseases in animals. Dr. Dodds, who established Hemopet, the first nonprofit national blood bank program for animals, in 1986, consults in clinical pathology nationally and internationally, and is the editor of the series Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine.

Dr. Jean Dodd's Pet Health Resource

Photograph by S. Kápl

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