Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

A Healthy Gut - The Basis Of Wellness


Q. Why is it so important for the environment of the gut to remain healthy with good levels of beneficial bacteria?

A. Because good levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut is the basis for disease prevention, and for helping to prevent bloat and torsion and systemic yeast infections. It is also important for the sake of keeping the immune system functioning properly to help prevent many of the degenerative diseases.

The basis of all good health starts in the environment of the gut.

Think of the environment of the gut as a place where a variety of organisms live - good organisms and bad organisms - in a continuous struggle to dominate the environment of the gut. Another word for the environment of the gut is described in terms of intestinal flora. When the good organisms win the fight for dominance, we have better health and when the bad (pathogenic) organisms win the fight for dominance, we have disease and illness. So keeping the gut replenished, or reseeded with good organisms, on a daily basis, is critical to good health for you and your dog.

The word biotic means life. So we have pro-biotics (pro-life) and anti-biotics (anti-life). There is a need for both probiotics and antibiotics in the management of disease and illness. The use and/or over-use of antibiotics can have serious side effects on the environment of the gut because in an effort to kill of the bad bacteria of the gut it also destroys the good bacteria/flora as well. When the use of an antibiotic is indicated, use judiciously and ALWAYS in conjunction with a probiotic product to keep the balance of the good bacteria continually replenished.

When we don't use a probiotic along with an antibiotic, like the domino effect, the whole system is affected, including immune suppression, which allows other opportunistic organisms to invade the system. How many times after being on antibiotics have you experienced, cold sores, diarrhea, yeast infections? The reason is the antibiotics have disrupted the "balance" of the intestinal flora of the gut and now opportunistic organisms flourish.

What we put into the gut drastically affects this "war" between the dominance of these good and bad organisms. The antibiotics are not selective and go after only one bacterium present in the gut; they tend to wipe out many bacteria, both good and bad. Then the results is opportunistic organisms, such as strains of resistance bacteria, or fungus start to flourish and our health is compromised.

The daily use of "friendly" bacteria (probiotics) in your diet, are critical to maintaining good health. It is even more critical to double and triples dose your probiotics on a daily basis, while you are on antibiotics. This will preserve the integrity of the mucosal lining of the gut and keep reseeding the gut with the good bacteria that is killed off from the antibiotic.

The Workings Of The Gut

The lining of the gut (intestines/colon) is full of these good bacteria and bad bacteria. When the system is compromised due to; stress, nutrition or medications such as antibiotics, the environment of the gut and the mucosal lining are compromised or destroyed. In other words, the mucus of the gut, which is the protective barrier, starts to break down allowing toxins to pass through it into the bloodstream and enter into the whole system. When this lining is compromised or destroyed it also allows for "other" toxins, bad bacteria or fungus, that are resistant to antibiotics, to have an environment where they can grow and live. They began to take over and flourish in the host organism, which is you or your dog. I use the following things to prevent and maintain a healthy gut for my dogs/cats.

Probiotic Products ~ help to maintain a healthy gut environment:

For normal daily maintenance for your pet use:

  • 4 in 1 Probiotics Green OR 4 in 1 Probiotics Plus

For tough Giardia, Coccidia, difficult digestive issues, prior bloat/torsion, if the dog has been on more than one antibiotic, and Systemic Yeast infections, you will want to use use BakPakPlus because it has 6 beneficial bacteria in it, two of which are microencapsulated so they do not break down totally in the stomach and they get into the digestive tract itself to reseed the gut with beneficial bacteria.

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