As pet food allergies become more prevalent, it is crucial to be vigilant about what goes into your dog’s food. Part of that includes going over the pet food label with a fine-tooth comb to ensure it does not contain an ingredient that could harm your beloved animal.
Nevertheless, you cannot know whether a particular ingredient is safe for your pup if you know little about it. What do you know about Enterococcus faecium? What is it, and what role does it play in dog food?
What Is Enterococcus Faecium?
Good gastrointestinal (GI) health is one of the most important facets of our overall wellbeing. The agents responsible for good GI health are good gut bacteria known as gut microbiota. Scientists sometimes refer to gut microbiota as the “forgotten organ” in our bodies.
Similarly, your dog requires an optimal balance of good gut bacteria in its GI tract to maintain a healthy gut environment.
Enterococcus faecium is a type of good gut bacteria that appears naturally in your dog’s gut. However, since the levels of these bacteria tend to fluctuate, pet food manufacturers add Enterococcus faecium to their foods to help maintain a healthy balance.
Benefits of Enterococcus Faecium
Is this probiotic really necessary in dog food? The following is a breakdown of the benefits Enterococcus faecium provides to dogs.
1. Alleviates Digestive Issues Due to Illness or Stress
When your pup is ill or under stress, the balance between good and bad gut bacteria becomes disrupted, leading to issues such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, gas, and bad breath. By feeding it food containing Enterococcus faecium, you will help alleviate the severity and duration of those symptoms.
This probiotic is also beneficial to dogs suffering from chronic intestinal distress, as it replenishes their guts with healthy bacteria.
2. Allows Safe Changes in Diet
If your pooch has been eating a particular food for a long time, you can almost count on the dog to suffer from an upset stomach when you switch to another food. Fortunately, if the new food has Enterococcus faecium in it, there is a good chance the dog will not experience gastrointestinal distress.
3. Promotes Better Skin, Coat, and Dental Health
An imbalance of bacteria in the stomach is one of the main causes of skin allergies. That is because gut health and a robust immune system are intertwined entities. Therefore, by improving your pup’s gut health, you will reduce its susceptibility to skin allergies, resulting in better skin and coat.
Additionally, probiotics such as Enterococcus faecium support dental health by inhibiting the actions of bad bacteria.
4. Improves Quality of Life for Senior Dogs
One of the effects of aging is a weakened immune system. And don’t forget; up to 70% of the immune system is housed in the gut. Therefore, keeping the gastrointestinal tract in good condition is arguably the best way of maintaining a robust immune system; as such, feeding your aging dog food containing Enterococcus faecium might help it remain healthier for longer.
5. Promotes Better Behavior
One of the signs of an ailing dog is behavior change. Just as it is the case with humans, sick pups also experience emotional issues, resulting in behaviors such as excessive licking, irritability, and other obsessive-compulsive actions.
Therefore, by supporting their overall health through maintaining a healthy gut, your dog will be less likely to develop bad behaviors.
What Are the Side Effects of Enterococcus Faecium?
The main reason Enterococcus faecium is the probiotic of choice in most pet foods is its ability to withstand extreme conditions, making it remarkably effective at maintaining good gut health.
Unfortunately, the resilient nature of Enterococcus faecium can reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics. This is because antibiotics do not discriminate between bad and good bacteria; they fight them all.
As such, elevated levels of Enterococcus faecium in the dog’s body can make the animal resistant to antibiotics. Therefore, while promoting good bacteria is not a bad idea, it is crucial to practice moderation to avoid making your pooch resistant to medication.
Enterococcus faecium is not a bad ingredient. It is essential for keeping your pet’s digestive system in good condition. As mentioned, the strength of your pup’s immune system is dependent upon the state of their gut health. As such, diets with Enterococcus faecium are highly recommended for all dogs.
However, it might be important to discuss this with your vet, especially if your dog is on antibiotics.
Featured Image Credit: Hebi B., Pixabay