Probiotics are basically the friendly viable, living microbial cells linked to several health benefits, including improved digestion, weight loss, enhanced immune function, healthier skin, and reduced risk of many chronic diseases. Just like us humans, it can be equally important for pets to also receive probiotics from external supplements to improve the gut environment and long term digestive and overall health. Of the two types of bacteria used in probiotic products, spore forming ones (Bacillus coaulans and Bacillus subtilis etc.) are far superior to vegetative types (Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Enterococcus etc.). Besides the bacteria, other vital components of a probiotic product include prebiotics (food for the microbes themselves), digestive enzymes, important Ayurvedic and other herbs, and powerful antioxidants, such as astaxanthin from krill powder.
There are two types of probiotic bacteria, vegetative and spore forming; former being much more susceptible to environmental factors as well as stomach acid. Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Enterococcus, etc. come under vegetative group, while bacteria of Bacillus genus are the most common among spore forming ones used in probiotic industry. Vegetative species are much more economical than spore forming ones and therefore, extensively used in the pet food industry. Science4Pets (www.science4pets.com) is among only a few pet food companies that use two Bacillus species in their probiotic and other relevant products.