Digging the Dirt on Soil-Based Probiotics

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Dogs and soil-based probiotics

Soil-based probiotics for dogs are all the rage right now and for very good reason. Pet parents have come to realise that since dogs stopped eating dirt, their health has declined massively. Suddenly the world has woken up to the importance of good dog gut health. With it has come a renewed interest in soil-based probiotics for our companion animals. It’s hard to turn on the TV or open a newspaper and not read of the benefits of soil-based probiotics and how they contribute towards the building of a healthy human microbiome. But that doesn’t only apply to human beings. We have to remember that for at least 12,000 years, dogs and human beings ate exactly the same food. They and we benefited from the goodness of the soil to a far greater extent than we do today.

But what are soil-based probiotics? What is this microbiome thing we’re reading so much about? And just what, pray tell, does all this have to do with man’s best friend?

So what are soil-based probiotics?

Bacterial organisms found in the soil were once a natural part of the human diet. Vegetables grew in healthy soil, free from chemicals and herbicides. People ate fresh food straight from that soil, allowing human beings to benefit from their fair share of soil-based organisms (SBOs). Lightly rinsed at best, their fruit and veg wasn’t sanitised to within an inch of its life the way our food is today. The bacteria they contained helped support gut bacteria and boost the immune system. For thousands of years people and dogs ate the same food. Both man and beast were healthier as a result of it!

Today we live in a different world. Soil is viewed as a bad thing. Bacteria is seen as the enemy. Our fruit and vegetables come to us in plastic bags with not a speck of dirt in sight. We’ve lost sight of where our fruit and veg actually comes from. We tend to overlook the fact that human beings evolved with soil-based probiotics. They helped make us, and our dogs, what we are today.

Diversity is key

In total, there are more than 100 types of soil-based probiotics. The most studied of these are species is the genus Bacillus. Soil-based probiotics differ from normal probiotics. Normal probiotics as found in the likes of live yogurt and kefir, are fragile little souls. They tend to be short-lived. They tend to expire in the upper part of the digestive tract, long before they reach the place they’re really needed. The colon.

But soil-based probiotics are spore-forming probiotics. They have a tough outer shell. This enables them to survive the treacherous journey through the gut until they reach the colon. They don’t feed bacteria in the small intestine where they can actually do more harm than good. The feed good bacteria where it really matters. In your dog’s colon.

My dietary consultation will provide you with a customised feeding plan for your dog's individual requirements.

The importance of gut health

Good digestive health, a healthy gut, helps maintain overall good health in our dogs. It also helps maintain a healthy immune system, 80% of which in any case is in the gut. This helps protect the lining of the gut, ensuring that your dog benefits from the nutrients in its food.

Benefits of soil-based probiotics

The benefit of gut health this something the medical world is still only now coming to terms with. What we do know though is that soil-based probiotics for dogs:

Ensure good gut health
Control bad bacteria
Help manage conditions such as allergies, gut dysbiosis, leaky gut syndrome and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
Help promote good cognitive health via the gut-brain axis
Strengthen the immmune system
Help manage stress
Help re-populate the gut with good bacteria following antibiotics
Fight parasites
Protect against yeast overgrowth
Control inflammation
Protect and repair cells from oxidative damage
Help fight cancer

Gerald Pepin

Gerald Pepin

Canine Nutritionist

Gerald Pepin is a qualified canine nutritionist, writer, speaker and homemade dog food advocate. Gerald believes that good nutrition can improve or cure most canine health problems and that the natural way is always the best way when it comes to healing man's best friend. A life-long lover of German Shepherds, Gerald and his wife The Dog Chef have two GSDs and live in rural Somerset.

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