FALLBROOK – Many pet owners may be surprised to hear that their cats and dogs need supplemental enzymes if they are being fed dry foods. According to Mark Jay, manager of Creature Comforts, animals need the bacteria in uncooked meat, unlike their human caregivers. When dry pet food is made, the bacteria are killed, making it harder for animals’ systems to digest it.
The original owner of Creature Comforts, Scott Garman, now manufactures supplements for pets including digestive enzymes with pro and pre-biotics. Garman said that because the heat processing of popular dry or canned commercial pet food destroys nearly all the naturally occurring enzymes, the body will then draw these necessary enzymes from the small reserves of other organs which, after time, can lead to debilitating conditions. He added, “Digestive enzymes assist in the breakdown of food, enabling nutrients, essential for all cellular functions, to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Also, undigested commercial pet food in the stomach builds up toxins that can weaken, and may leave the body open to disease.”
Garman explained that enzymes are not live cultures. They are extracted from bacteria and then processed into powder form by spray drying or by freeze drying. Neither process damages the integrity of the enzymes.
As with humans, stress, diet, infections, lifestyle changes, medication, and illness, cause the normal bacteria in a pet’s intestinal tract to become depleted. Supplementation becomes necessary to maintain proper health, as gut micro flora is involved in resistance to disease.
Garman said probiotics are live and are added to the enzyme powder in dry form. The spores are activated in the stomach (stomach acid and moisture both play a role) and germinate and reproduce in the intestine. Pre-biotics help B. coagulans and other beneficial bacteria in the gut by providing a food source. Pre-biotics are actually preferred by good bacteria over bad.
Pet owners who would like more information on pet food and supplements can stop in at Creature Comforts, 720 E. Mission Rd. or call (760)