As part of a complete and balanced diet, some pet food ingredients can offer health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Examples of these functional ingredients include blueberries and spinach (sources of antioxidants) and flaxseed and fish oil (which contain omega fatty acids). Probiotics are another functional ingredient found in some pet food formulas that help support your pet’s digestive and immune systems and can help your cat or dog maintain an active lifestyle.
What Are Probiotics?
Cats and dogs have “good” and “bad” bacteria in their digestive systems, just like humans do. Probiotics are live microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast, that are similar to the beneficial or “good” bacteria naturally found in your pet’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract. When probiotics are administered in adequate amounts, the beneficial microbes introduced into the GI tract may provide health benefits for your pet.
The Role of the Gut Microbiota
To understand how probiotics help keep your pet healthy, let’s look at the role of microorganisms in the GI tracts of cats and dogs. The digestive system is home to a dynamic population of bacteria (predominantly), as well as viruses, fungi, protozoa and archaea — collectively called the gut microbiota. The gut microbiota helps digest food, produces nutrients (e.g., vitamins), defends against disease-causing organisms and stimulates the immune system.
It makes sense that a healthy digestive system breaks down food and distributes nutrients efficiently. However, the digestive system is also an important part of a healthy immune system, since approximately 70 percent of your pet’s immune system is in the GI tract. Therefore, supporting digestive health also supports immune health — and healthy digestive and immune systems are vital to the overall health of your pet.
Probiotics can help maintain a healthy balance in the GI tract by helping other beneficial bacteria compete with pathogenic ones for nutrients and intestinal binding sites, as well as help the immune system fight off disease-causing microbes.
Diamond’s Proprietary Probiotic Blends
The probiotics used in Diamond Pet Foods were developed specifically for use with our dry dog and cat foods to help your pet digest food more efficiently. Every Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Diamond Naturals Grain-Free*, Diamond CARE and Diamond Pro89 dry dog formula is enhanced with K9 Strain Probiotics, and every Diamond and Diamond Naturals dry cat formula, as well as the Diamond CARE Weight Management Formula for Adult Cats, is enhanced with Viables Probiotics.
K9 Strain and Viables Probiotics are species-specific probiotics developed from probiotic strains already found in the canine and feline GI tracts. Each strain of probiotics is purified and guaranteed to be free of harmful pathogens or other contaminants.
To gain maximum benefit from probiotics, the bacteria must be viable, alive and able to multiply. Because probiotics are added to our kibble after the cooking process, the beneficial bacteria are guaranteed to be live, active cultures and at a concentration of 80 million CFU per pound.
If you ever wonder about an ingredient in a Diamond-brand dog or cat food and why it’s there, be sure to check out our ingredient glossary, or reach out to a product specialist here.
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*The facility in which this food is made also makes food that may contain other ingredients, such as grains. Trace amounts of these other ingredients may be present.