Prebiotics, probiotics, postbiotics, digestive enzymes – what is the difference?

Why are they important? We get questions all the time here at Pets Plus on these overwhelming terms! And for good reason, you’ll see variations of these terms all over pet foods, treats, and supplements across the nation; but what do they mean? How do they benefit our pets?

All of these terms are a part of an important process in the body that are responsible for your pet’s ability to break down and utilize the nutrients in what they eat. When properly functioning it aids in protecting your pet from illness or infection, promotes healthy hair and skin, improves energy, reduces inflammation, supports consistency of stools,reduces gas, and so much more! There are lots of ways to help your pet achieve overall wellness by supporting their digestive system, but first let’s learn how it all works.

Let’s start from the beginning. PREbiotics are plant fibers that are the food for PRObiotics. Prebiotics also have an important function of altering the composition of the gut to help prevent disease! Probiotics can’t do their job without food, so having a healthy supply of prebiotics is crucial. Supplements like our In Clover – Optagest powder, Nootie Pre and Probiotic soft chews, pumpkin and squash, carrots, and our frozen raw Primal Fresh Toppers are just a few examples rich in these important prebiotic fibers.

Now moving onto Probiotics, who have lots of important roles. Probiotics consist of healthy bacteria that not only aid in the healthy functioning of the GI tract, but also help regulate hormones, absorb nutrients, and help with having a healthy immune system. With so many benefits it’s easy to see how having a healthy supply of probiotics can help with a wide array of common health issues.

So what happens next in this important process? POSTbiotics! Postbiotics are the byproduct of healthy probiotics and gut fermentation. Postbiotics consist of important amino acids, vitamins, and short-chain fatty acids, and is an important anti-inflammatory that nurse the walls of the intestinal tract. Supplementing with products like Nutrisource Come-Pooch-A bone broth provide postbiotics that can get right to work aiding your pets digestion.

So where does the term digestive enzymes come into play?

Digestive Enzymes are made naturally throughout the body, and they are the ones actually breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats to make nutrients out of the foods that are consumed. Unique digestive enzymes are made everywhere from their saliva, pancreas, and even in the small intestine- each with their own specific job. And they cannot do their particular roles without probiotics providing the healthy bacteria to support them!

So as you can see all these components are vitally important for the body and for the productivity of each other! Foods like our North Winds Premium incorporate both prebiotics AND probiotics to aid in the optimal digestion and nutrient absorption for your pet! There’s no end to the possibilities of having a healthy functioning digestive system; from boosting immunity to helping fight off harmful bacteria and viruses – to even helping prevent allergies. There are so many ways to help your pet achieve their optimal overall wellness by supporting their digestive system, and some pets may need a little more help then others. Knowing what these terms mean and how they function can help you navigate the confusing world of labels to decide on the most beneficial products for your pet!