Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Postbiotics for Dogs and Cats

All disease begins in the gut  - Hippocrates

Much has changed since ancient Greece, but time and modern science have taught us that Hippocrates was right; gut health is one of the most critical aspects of overall health. With over 70% of your pet's immune system residing in their digestive tract, one of the most impactful things we can do is support their gut.

BUT HOW DO WE SUPPORT THE GUT?

Gut health relies on the community of microorganisms, called the microbiome, residing in your pet's digestive tract. High quantities of friendly bacteria are necessary to keep harmful bacteria in check. Enter Probiotics!

WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?

Probiotics are live microorganisms (good bacteria and yeasts) that help to fight off harmful bacteria to keep your pet's gut microbiome balanced. They contribute to many aspects of your pet's health that you may not even realize are gut-related. Probiotics may help reduce inflammation, regulate hormones, better absorb nutrients, prevent diarrhea or constipation, and boost your pet's immune system

Gut health = overall health! 

Here are a few easy probiotic-rich options you can add to your pet’s bowl:

  • Fresh raw food: raw dog food like Steve’s Real Food that has not been sterilized or processed with heat is naturally rich in probiotics.
  • Raw goat milk: raw dairy products are a great natural source of probiotics and digestive enzymes; for an even bigger boost of probiotics, you can culture them!
  • Fermented foods: fermentation is an effective method to increase the probiotic content in foods; for more info, check out our blog on fermentation

WHAT ARE PREBIOTICS?

Now that we know probiotics support our pets' health, we must ask how we support probiotics—the answer: Prebiotics. If probiotics are the worker bees of the digestive tract, prebiotics is the nectar on which they feed. Prebiotics are the plant fibers that probiotics use as a food source.

Excellent sources of prebiotics found in Steve’s Real Food products:

  • Inulin
  • Apples
  • Collard greens
  • Flaxseed
  • Kelp

Feeding a fresh diet incorporating high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and natural supplements is the best way to ensure your pet gets the prebiotics their microbiome needs to thrive!

WHAT ARE POSTBIOTICS?

Postbiotics is a term that few people are familiar with; even in the conversation of pre and probiotics, it seldom makes a debut. Probiotics feeding on prebiotics create postbiotics. When we talk about the benefits of adding probiotics and prebiotics to your pet's diet, we’re often actually talking about the benefits of creating postbiotics! Many of the health benefits associated with the consumption of probiotics are also due to specific postbiotics. For example, the boost to your pet's immune system when taking probiotics can stem from creating short-chain fatty acids like butyric acid, a postbiotic that can help regulate immune responses. Postbiotics also include vitamins B, K, and amino acids, essential nutrients for overall health.

A SOLUTION: PROTEIN BITES

Let food be thy medicine - Hippocrates

Another quote from the “father of medicine” resonated strongly with us here at Steve’s Real Food and influenced our newest product! We’ve partnered with the fantastic people at Gussy’s Gut, a supplement company based in Colorado that specializes in wild fermentation, and chief advisor Dr.Ian Billinghurst, the “Father of Raw Food.” This freeze-dried treat uses meat as the ultimate delivery system for prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics. Our shelf-stable Protein Bites utilize 20% wild-fermented superfoods, making them a gut health powerhouse! The fruits, vegetables, herbs, and botanicals we have chosen are naturally high in prebiotic fiber, and the fermentation process increases their natural probiotic content and creates postbiotics! 

Check out our new fermented treats for dogs and cats - Protein Bites!

Food Safety Program Update

Our company is driven by five core values and accountability is one of them. We are accountable to the distributor, retailer, and customer. The decisions we make must ensure that we have everyone’s best interests in hand while not compromising on our mission of creating a pet food that is convenient, affordable, and of the highest quality.

Feeding Picky Cats, Food Rotation & Introducing New Foods

You’re at your local independent pet retailer to pick up cat food. These days you don’t bother with dry kibble and speed past it straight to the canned food, nothing but the best for your kitty (you’ve heard great things about raw, maybe next time). A new canned food catches your eye and even though it’s a little more expensive than you’re used to, you spring for a few cans in various flavors like “beef wellington” and “chicken a la king” because your cat is going to LOVE it!

The Difference in Nutritional Requirements for Cats and Dogs

It’s undeniable; dogs and cats have captured the hearts of millions. Whether you pair ‘em together or think of them as opposites, the two undoubtedly go hand in hand. Or do they? Even though they have many similarities, they have less in common than one might realize. That’s because many of their differences are hiding beneath the surface and these differences impact many things. Today, we’re going to highlight nutritional requirements for cats and dogs. Understanding nutritional differences allow us to make better choices when deciding what to feed our pets. This is important because, despite their differences, their whole health is what matters - inside and out.

Benefits of Chia Seeds for Your Pet!

Walk into any health food store, or shop the natural food section of your local grocer and you will find many products that contain chia seeds. They are sold in bulk bins, added to yogurts, baked into desserts, included in drinks, and often found in granolas and cereals. With so many products made for humans that include chia seeds, it only makes sense that we would also see them show up in pet foods. But why? What does this little blackish seed have going for it that makes so many people, and pets, want to add it to their diet?

Give Your Dog a Bone!

Dogs have both a physical and psychological need to chew. If not provided with a safe, approved chewing option, they will seek out and find things that we may not want them to!

Puppies start exploring their world with their mouths and will chew on almost anything they can find. As they grow, chewing can help with pain caused by incoming teeth. The action of chewing is also a great exercise for the jaw and helps the teeth grow in proper alignment.

Cats Need Moisture

My cat is fine, he drinks a lot of water”. I have heard this so many times when I bring up cats and their unique need for moisture in their diet. If a cat is constantly at the water bowl, that is a pretty good indicator he is dehydrated!

Our modern house cat is a direct descendent of the African Wildcat. In fact, they have indistinguishable DNA, so we know our cats developed in a very arid climate where freshwater wasn’t easy to come by. They evolved to get their moisture needs met through diet rather than by drinking water.

Emu Gotta Hear About This!

Steve’s Real Food now offers an Emu diet as part of the Quest line of cat-specific formulas and as part of Lamu, our new complete and balanced diet! Why emu, you ask? Let’s take a closer look at the flightless “bird” to see why it is such a good choice for your pets.

Why Kelp is Great for Dogs

Benefits of Kelp for Dogs

The bounty of the sea has long provided humans with much-needed nutrients and supplementation. Fisheries and aquaculture produce over 140 million tons of plants and animals for consumption annually. We consume everything from fish, to mollusks, to shellfish, to sea plants. While it has long been known the many benefits of an aquatic diet for humans. We are now recognizing their benefits for our pets. 

One of the aquatic foods that have the most benefit for our pets is dried sea kelp. It is rich in iodine, natural salts, amino acids, and a variety of helpful vitamins and minerals. Sea kelp is easy to digest, low in fat, and rich in protein.