I believe that probiotic bacteria are a missing nutrient in the diets of our pets. Think about it, the ancestors of dogs and cats were regularly exposed to bacteria in their food from the intestines of their prey. Here’s more information on the benefits of probiotics. With all the health benefits of probiotics, it makes sense that pets need them as a regular part of their diets.
The Answers Raw Pet Food Company has recently proven the benefits of probiotics. In the past few years the FDA has been policing the pet food industry to be sure they are free of disease-causing bacteria. (You may have noticed the recent uptick in pet food recalls.) Since food made with raw meat is prone to bacterial contamination, the raw pet food industry has been a favorite target of the FDA.
For this reason, raw pet food companies have been forced clean up their foods. For many this has meant resorting to High Pressure Pasteurization (HPP). HPP basically is the use of very high pressures to kill the bad bacteria. The concern I have about that strategy is that if there is enough pressure to kill bacteria then there may be enough to damage nutrients.
Answers has taken a different strategy to fight disease-causing bacteria. They use fermentation to culture probiotic bacteria in their foods. These good bacteria compete with the bad bacteria for resources and overwhelm them. That sounds good in theory, but does it work?
Recently the FDA cultured salmonella from a batch of Answers’ food. (The culture technique the FDA used killed off all the probiotic bacteria). The agency then tried to force Answers to do a recall on their food. But Answers fought back.
Answers took a sample of the supposedly contaminated food and incubated it at 80o F for 48 hours. This would cause the bad bacteria to greatly multiply in any other raw food. But just the opposite happened. As the people at Answers anticipated, the “spoiled” food tested negative for salmonella. The good guys won. The mighty FDA was forced to back down.
Does your pet get probiotics?