Pets and Probiotics
I fondly refer to him as my ‘Muttador' - this half Lab-half don't-quite-know-what all-black dog that walked into our lives on Valentine's Day this year. He was a Christmas dog - born on the 25th of December 2007 and the day we brought him home, he was a tiny little bundle of sleek black fur. And we named him Smokey as in Robinson because he made our hearts sing.
Six months later, he was huge and powerful. He still thought of himself as a pup and nothing, no one seemed to faze him. He looked on the world as one huge playground, made for his enjoyment. Though he was so very fit otherwise, he had this problem - and it was a huge problem. His flatulence. I tried everything - changing his food, his timings, his brand of vitamins....nothing worked. His vet laughed, brushed it off as no big deal and I could almost read what was going through his mind.... ‘Grin and bear it, people!'
Of course, whenever he thought no one was looking, into that mouth went a bit of string, part of a chewed up sock or shoe, a bit of plastic....he was one bottomless dustbin. What was worse, this changing the odor of the environment usually happened in his sleep and we were fast coming to recognize the signs. There was this look of blissful ecstasy as though he were dreaming of that great big bone in Doggie Heaven - then we knew we'd have to evacuate the vicinity - and fast! He blissfully slept through it all. There were a couple of times when he sleepily opened one eye and stared at whoever was around - if there was someone around - as though to say, ‘Hey guys, can't a guy sleep in peace without you people going and stinking the place up?' We'd all just read Marley & Me and loved the book - thank you John Grogan - but the malodorous future that stretched out before us was not in the least bit inviting - never mind that we loved the mutt to death.
Well, things changed. And all it took was a dose of probiotics every day. No more waves of odor that made you want to run for your life. We can actually smell once again the sweet scent of the roses in the garden that wafts through the open windows. Suddenly, his jet black coat has an even better sheen, he's even more energetic - wish he'd wind down sometimes - and of course, best of all, no more stink!
The probiotics market today in the US alone has grown at a tremendous pace in the last few years and is expected to cross $1.7 billion in the next five years. Well, it's not just great for humans, it's great for pets as well - to cure a lot of ailments they might be suffering from and to prevent the ones that could come their way. Is it a miracle supplement that promises eternal life? No! Does it help in keeping your pet as well as possible? Yes! Take most of the diarrhea, the skin problems, the indigestion problems and flatulence out of your pet's life and don't you think that's great news for you and your pet? Just one dose of probiotics a day acts as a preventive, general good health pill.
What exactly are probiotics and what do they do? Our gut -your pet's as well - is made up of intestinal flora - both good bacteria and bad. A course of antibiotics, an illness or any kind of weakness can flush out the good bacteria from the gut. Since good bacteria equals immunity, when the good bacteria get depleted, it means that infection can strike at any time. Put that good bacteria back and your pet is fighting fit again - at least his gut is. And it's natural and safe.
When you give your pet a probiotic supplement, make sure that it has been stored according to the instructions on the pack. Each tablet or serving has to contain millions of live bacteria for it to work. Once they get into the gut, they set about doing their work like good soldiers, clearing the area of toxins, reducing inflammation, making the digestive process better. It all adds up to a happier, healthier pet.
What our pup had was merely an inconvenience that led to our discovering the power of probiotics for pets. I'd like to think that it's helping him steer clear of the other regular ailments that most pets are prone to. He's happy and we're happy too.