Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

Viable Probiotics In Commercial Dog Food

Viable Probiotics in Commercial Dog Foods

There is considerable discussion, myth and misinformation circulating on the internet regarding two components in many commercial dog foods. One is beet pulp (see Beet Pulp Myths), and the other is the viability of probiotics cultures in commercial dog foods.

In this article I will address the viability of probiotics (friendly, yogurt-type bacteria) on many super premium dog foods (kibbles). It is said by some individuals, including competing dog food manufacturers, that companies who use probiotics cultures on their dog foods, are misleading the public.

They go on to profess "the cultures used can not withstand the processing/cooking and therefore, companies that use probitoic cultures are actually lying to the general public about "viable probiotics cultures" on their dog foods".

The truth is, some dog food manufacturers do not have the financial resources or equipment to apply these supplements to their products, and therefore attack those competitors who do have the machines to do it. It is simply marketing propaganda and individuals that circulate this untruthful information in articles and they are simply promoting their foods through scare tactics. Actually it is because they are ignorant of the process by which these supplements are applied to these natural and holistic diets.

If a company applied the probiotics during the cooking of the food, it is correct to say there would be no viable living culture that would survive the heating process. However, the probiotics are NEVER added on the food during this process, no company would ever apply one of the most expensive ingredients in their product, during the cooking process, and intentionally damage the cultures so they no longer available to the animal’s digestive tract.

For those of you who have never been to a quality facility that makes super premium kibble, let me give you a look at what really happens. First, I have had the privilege of touring 3 facilities in the past 15 years of writing about canine nutrition. All three places were spotlessly clean, very professional and it was an extremely interesting process to watch them make commercial foods. Not all facilities are like the ones I visited, which is why I provide you with a list of better foods in my Blackwatch Adult Feed Program and Blackwatch Puppy Program at this website.

Here is what happens in the process of applying of probiotics to a kibble. The food is cooked, extruded, dried and cooled (note the word cooled!) Fat is sprayed on the food then the vitamins/mineral premix supplements are then tumbled onto the kibble, clinging to the fat. At the very end of the process the probiotics and digestive enzymes, which are encapsulated (protected) are applied to the food.

Q: Is it possible that some probiotics products are more viable than others?

A: YES, there are some companies who go to great lengths to use products that provide a viable product, one that stands up in the in-house and independent laboratory lab testing, as well as meets AFFCO standards. When I have done my own laboratory tests on several of these product, the cultures were found to have viable activity.

Q:Should I use additional probiotics on my diet even though I use a kibble that has viable probiotics on the food?

A: YES - If you use any antibiotics, which destroys all the good bacteria of the gut or if you own a breed (Great Danes or Large/Giant breeds) who are prone to bloat/torsion, a life threatening digestive condition which is triggered by stress. This is why I use additional probiotics supplementation on a daily basis. These are some quality combination probiotics and digestive enzyme products that are available. These are powdered products you sprinkle on the food and the dosage is on the container. For more information on this read my article entitled The Basis Of Wellness - A Healthy Gut.


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