What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microbial feed supplements which benefit the host animal by improving the gut (gastrointestinal) microbial population and therefore resulting in improved gut health. Administration has been proven to be most effective when there is a gut challenge present. However, to be at their most effective, intake must be in sufficiently large enough quantities and administered on a daily basis.

There are three key modes of action for probiotics:

-       Competitive Exclusion: probiotics colonise sites within the GI tract and utilise nutrients which reduces availability for less favourable potentially pathogenic bacteria

-       Immunomodulation: there is a synergistic effect between probiotics and the functioning of the immune system

-       Digestive Efficiency: probiotics have a key role in aiding the digestion of more complex food nutrients 

With all this in mind it is not surprising that for a number of years now, probiotics have been added to complete diets, snacks, treats and supplements, especially those specifically targeted at or claiming to have positive benefits on gut health.

For more information on probiotics in pet foods, please request a copy of our Technical Briefing “Probiotics in Pets Foods (in Europe)” from your Premier Nutrition contact.

Approved Probiotics for Cats and Dogs

Probiotics are considered feed additives and like all other feed additives are listed on the EU Community Register of Feed Additives with restrictions governing their use.

Up until December 2017, there was only a single probiotic widely approved for use for cats and dogs and that was 4b1707 Enterococcus faecium DSM 10663 / NCIMB 10415 which has a legal minimum required content of 1 x 109 CFU/kg complete feedingstuff (88% dry matter basis).

However, December 2017 saw the authorisation of a new probiotic for dogs (authorisation excludes cats at this present time), which has been approved and widely used in other animal species for a number of years, with its publication in the EU Community Register of Feed Additives taking place in January of 2018. This probiotic, authorised as 4b1820 Bacillus subtilis DSM 15544, with a legal minimum required content 1 x 109 CFU/kg complete feedingstuff (88% dry matter basis) is now available to purchase or for inclusion into appropriate supplements from Premier Nutrition.

There is no legal maximum laid out for either of the above two probiotics for cats and dogs and dogs respectively.

Summary of Approved Probiotics for Cats and Dogs (correct at time of publication)

Category: Zootechnical Additives

Functional Group: Gut Flora Stabilisers

Summary of Approved Probiotics for Cats and Dogs (correct at time of publication)

*Probiotic approved for use in cats and dogs. However, not widely available for use due to strict restrictions relating to its usage. For more information, please contact your Premier Nutrition representative

**Category: Zootechnical Additives; Functional Group: Other Zootechnical Additives (improvement of gut conditions)

The approval of a new probiotic for dogs can only come as a welcome change to allow for some flexibility and variety when formulating our companion animal diets, snacks, treats and supplements. However, it is important to note that their use must be in line with the regulations and provisions laid out in the EU Community Register of Feed Additives. Additional consideration should also be made for the type of product and process that it undergoes and any application to dry extruded products should be made externally to preserve the live microorganisms

For further information on this article please contact your Pet Nutrition Account Manager (contact details below), or, alternatively, please e-mail info@premiernutrition.co.uk 

Andrew Miller          Andrew.Miller@premiernutrition.co.uk           +44(0)7969 246642

Sara Rowley             Sara.Rowley@premiernutrition.co.uk             +44(0)7786 436712

Cara Freeston-Smith    Cara@premiernutrition.co.uk                         +39 345 892 3860

Graham Yeo               Graham.Yeo@premiernutrition.co.uk               +44(0)7753 796215