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Ensuring Safe Probiotics for Pets

A pet suffering from digestive problems is not only unhappy, uncomfortable, and potentially unhealthy, but is also a source of worry for pet owners.  To ensure pet health, many pet owners are making pet probiotics supplements part of their pet care routine.

The growth for the pet probiotics category has been driven by an increased awareness and interest in functional pet foods and supplements. The pet probiotics market is experiencing growth of 7% per year and estimated to be valued at $7 billion by the year 2030. More and more consumers are willing make greater investments in their pets, as many view their pet as a family member.

Pet probiotics can address many conditions:

  • General Health: To promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria for optimum digestion, nutrient absorption, metabolic balance for weight management, and general well being.
  • Diarrhea and Constipation: Treating and preventing episodes of diarrhea and constipation, including restoring the natural balance of the gut after disturbances such as antibiotic treatments.
  • Immune System Boost: Promoting a healthy gut biome to help support and enhance the immune system's responses.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Pets can suffer from IBD, a condition where the intestines become inflamed: probiotics may help manage and mitigate the symptoms.
  • Compete with Harmful Bacteria: Reduce the number of harmful bacteria by competing for space and resources in the gut.

A probiotic that's beneficial for humans might not provide the same benefits for pets: for example, certain Lacticaseibacillus or Bifidobacterium strains might be common in both human and pet probiotics, but the specific subspecies or strains may differ, as benefits are strain specific. Other differences may be formulations, dosages, and testing.

Manufacturers and consumers should concern themselves with ensuring that what’s in the product matches what’s on the label.

With the prices that probiotics command, there can be opportunists selling pet probiotics that are not effective and can even be harmful. As with human probiotics, authentication testing can validate what the product contains.

Manufacturers of probiotic products have a responsibility to ensure and maintain the viable cell count of their products, not only to deliver the promised health benefits but also to uphold regulatory, ethical, and economic standards. The verification of viable cells of the specific strain ensures that the product will deliver the intended health benefits. Furthermore, the importance of strain identity testing cannot be overstated.

At Purity-IQ, our extensive library allows us to conduct identity tests for 80 different strains, ensuring that the right strain is present in the product. Strain level v-PCR testing provides companies the ability to enumerate probiotics at strain level to monitor stability of each strain, observe quantities and potential overages, and assess the impact of new protectants or additives on single or multi-strain blends.

Our precious, voiceless pets can’t tell us any details about their daily digestive health. Manufacturers and consumers alike could gain great piece of mind knowing that a probiotic product had proof of its viable formula through authentication services.

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