The Holidays, Stress & Probiotics for Animals

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Holiday Stress and Probiotics! 

The holidays present a lot of stress for animals and it’s the perfect storm with guests (sometimes family and often times strangers!) in the house.  A lot of new treats are being introduced throughout the month (gifts from dog loving friends) causing digestive upset. Not to mention leftovers (more turkey please!) that shouldn’t be given to animals in the first place by a cousin or someone that doesn’t live with companion animals and isn’t following your rules.

I’ve written a lot about probiotics these past few months so I wanted to close out the year with some research that talks about probiotics as the first line of defense, as it increases the beneficial microflora and plays a major role so digestive upset is prevented when these holiday scenarios occur.

In a recent post I wrote about Halloween related stress. Adding Probiotics to your dog and cat’s daily routine during a month that may be considered “stressful” is smart. There are numerous studies that show probiotics (reminder! the majority of immune cells live in your gut) help with the impact of stress on our animals – according to MitoMax manufacturer, Imagilin.

The type of stress I’m referencing in this post is twofold: general stress and “leftovers” — strange food and treats that cause digestive upset. There is extensive research that shows probiotics help:

According to these two studies-

Study 1: “Application of Pediococcus-based probiotics in the treatments of intractable medical cases in veterinary medicine.” 

  •  “When adequate amounts of P. acidilactici and S. boulardii were administered to cats and dogs, the animals experienced accelerated recoveries from acute digestive disorders as well as chronic diseases such as Inflammation Bowel Diseases (IBD) (10,14). Moreover, it is reported that Pediococcus based probiotics can be used together with antibiotics to accelerate recoveries of dogs and cats (8-10). The effects of P. acidilactici and S. boulardii on cats and dogs with chronic digestive diseases attract the most attention because drugs that are effective in treating chronic diseases may have severe side effects when used for long term.”

Given the above, if dogs and cats with sensitive digestive systems are given leftovers, probiotics will help prevent medical cases like Inflammation Bowel Diseases.

Study 2: “Effectiveness of Pediococcus- and Saccharomyces- probiotics to reduce stress related digestive disorders in dogs.” 

  •  According to this study, “It has been reported that the beneficial microorganisms found in the in gastrointestinal (GI) tracts are decreased when the animals have been placed under various stress. The disruption of their micro-ecosystems may be the possible cause of stress related digestive disorders.”

So “maintenance” probiotics are a proactive measure all pet parents should consider.

Pediococcus based probiotics help the body deal with the stress of “overeating” so when your dog or cat has too many treats (thanks to a guest not following strict rules), the probiotics help decrease the inflammation happening in the gut.

Recent years of research show that Pediococcus based probiotics not only help maintain the digestive health, but also reduce inflammatory cytokines. (Cytokines are any of a number of substances, such as interferon, interleukin, and growth factors, that are secreted by certain cells of the immune system and have an effect on other cells).

This study also talks about the administration of adequate amounts of probiotics as a possible approach to alleviate stress-related digestive disorders like diarrhea, loose stool or loss of appetite (Lutgendorff et al, 2008).

*it’s SO easy to add to their food, below I’m breaking up a simple capsule and dumping it in their food bowls before I add food.


 Resources: (I can send anyone the white papers as they’re not online yet, please leave me a comment) 

  • “Application of Pediococcus-based probiotics in the treatments of intractable medical cases in veterinary medicine.” -white paper
  • “Effectiveness of Pediococcus- and Saccharomyces- probiotics to reduce stress related digestive disorders in dogs.” -white paper
  • Myths about Probiotics
  • Halloween is stressful too!
  • MitoMax’s site  

Disclaimer: We receive a discount off our supplements from Imagilin as part of their blogger program in exchange for an honest review.  I only share information about products that I believe in and already fit into our doggie lifestyle and routine. I was compensated for this post and the above discount code is an affiliate link.

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There are 12 Comments

  1. Joey says:

    Thank you for all the helpful information, could you send me the white paper please? Would like to read some more about this subject. 😀

  2. So true how the holiday stress of having people constantly over and strange or excess amounts of food can leave you feeling horrible. I give Kilo plain non-fat sugar-free yogurt sometimes to help him out. Very smart product, I like that you can hide it easily too.

    • I know and that’s for sure me – I overeat all week and just feel bloated and full all the time… it’s super easy to hide in their regular food and I’ve tasted it – there isn’t a bitter taste which I’ve found to be the case with others so it’s easy to add into the mix. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for such an informative post on probiotics for your dog. I suffer from acid reflux, so I know how uncomfortable it is to have digestive issues. I feel even worse for our pets who can’t tell us that they’re feeling unwell, poor things. It’s a great idea to give probiotics as a preventive. Thanks for sharing.

    • I also suffer from digestive issues and take Florastor – and I think it helps me a ton. It can only help these guys and strengthen that immune system so I think it’s a good idea! Thank you!

  4. Ruth Epstein says:

    I use as a probiotic for Layla a great Lebanese white cheese called Labane, she gets a spoonful every day and it works wonders

  5. Sonja says:

    I give our little dude some of ours…. but I am not certain it does much. But we do it. He can’t do any lactose so yogurt is a no go so …

  6. Great post! I recommend probiotics for my dog training clients too. Everything is ruled by the gut!