What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms research has shown to provide health benefits when consumed. They can be found in yogurt and other fermented foods, dietary supplements, and beauty products.

Probiotics are generally defined as a living organism, often bacteria, derived from the intestine, fermented dairy or plants as well as from soil, which are used to promote digestive and overall health.

Calsporin® - Bacillus subtilis C-3102 is a spore-forming bacterium found in soils that is used as a probiotic for humans and animals.

It was approved for use in dog food in 2017 after extensive research into its safety and efficacy by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).  

Probiotics are often used to treat pets with inflammatory digestive diseases, to counteract stress related stomach disorders, and to treat diarrhoea.

Probiotics can also be helpful in reducing gut disorders resulting from switching diets or after antibiotic treatment.

What are the benefits of probiotics for dogs?

Probiotics support the development of a healthy microbiota in the digestive tract of the dog. As a result, probiotics have a beneficial effect on the health and well-being of the dog and improve various faecal characteristics.

Research studies on health benefits Calsporin® - Bacillus subtilis C-3102 probiotic for dogs.

The Papp et al study, published in 2016, found that that a well-formulated dog food supplemented with Bacillus subtilis C-3102 may optimally support faecal and coat quality.

Research published in Animal Feed Science and Technology in 2020 found dietary supplementation with Bacillus subtilis C-3102 increased gut bacterial diversity, improved the abundance of bacteria considered beneficial for gut health and improved the faecal score (consistency and firmness) and reduced the faecal odour and ammonia.

A study, published in Cambridge University Press in 2019 showed dog food supplemented with the Calsporin®, probiotic for dogs, improved faecal quality, enhanced fat, fibre and carbohydrate digestibility, and contributed to the gut health of dogs by reducing gut ammonia and increasing SCFA content.

Additional research published in Research Opinions in Animal and Veterinary Sciences in 2016 found that dogs with severe diarrhoea at the start of the trial, showed the best improvements on faecal consistency during the trial period when receiving Bacillus subtilis C-3102 in a supplement. The probiotic also positively influenced the coat condition, resulting in a more shiny and bright coat in the Calsporin® treated group.

How stable are probiotics in dog food?

To provide dogs with adequate amounts of the probiotic, it is not enough to only incorporate a minimum level of the probiotic during production of a petfood, treat or supplement. This implies that the probiotic would survive the production process and the long shelf-life expected of pet products. Additionally, the probiotic must stay alive in the complete gastro-intestinal tract of the animal.

Spore-forming probiotics, like Calsporin®; have the major advantage of being highly stable. The spore is a natural protecting shield of the microorganism itself. This makes spore-forming probiotics less sensitive to the acidic gastric fluid and the harsh conditions during the petfood manufacturing processes. Also, they are better able to maintain their viability in pet products over a long shelf-life.

Probiotics are highly heat sensitive and start to degrade at temperatures above 48.88889 °C. Most dry dog foods are subjected to temperatures in excess of 105°C meaning little, if any, survival of probiotics in the food after processing.

Research on survivability of probiotics subjected to heat processing shows that Calsporin, a spore-forming probiotic for dogs, was unaffected and the EU-commission concludes that it is heat stable to a temperature of 90°C, and viable for more than one year in petfood.

Bonza is processed at a temperature of 70°C or less using a cold-extrusion process, further helping preserve the integrity and efficacy of the probiotic included in your dog’s food to optimise the benefits its provides for your dog’s very best digestive health and microbiome.

After researching the many probiotics available we concluded that Calsporin® was the best probiotic for dogs from both stability and efficacy viewpoints and included it in the Bonza formulation to support their digestive health and overall wellbeing..

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