Updated: Apr 19
In July of this year (2018) we added a unique species-specific (canine) probiotic and prebiotic mix to our products because we strongly believe that a healthy microflora is essential to overall health. The bacteria in our pets’ microbiome play a very important role in optimal health, including:
1) Bolstering the immune system 2) Keeping the gastrointestinal tract calm during times of stress 3) Improving bio-availability of nutrients in the diet 4) Improving production of neurotransmitters in the brain 5) Inhibiting the growth of a number of pathogenic strains of Salmonella, E. Coli, and Listeria
While many pets are thriving as a result of this addition, a small number of cats and dogs have experienced reactions to this mixture.
Reactions to Probiotics Explained
If any of your customers’ have noticed any changes after feeding their pets the batches produced on or after July 1, 2018, here are some possible scenarios:
Pet won’t try the food with probiotics (especially cats)
Some pets are very sensitive to even minor changes in the smell of their food and may need a short transition period (similar to the transition for switching to raw) to help them adapt. Check our brochure or website for transitioning tips
Pet has a reaction to the food sometime after consuming it. (May include itchiness, loose stool, etc.)
One possibility is your pet is going through a “detox”. If the pet’s gut microflora is not balanced and lacks diversity or has an excessive amount of non-beneficial bacteria, the added probiotics in the diet will cause a die-off of the non-beneficial bacteria as it moves towards a healthy microflora balance. When bacteria die, they release toxins that can cause allergy-like symptoms.
Here is what to look for:
Reaction occurs within a short period of starting to feed the probiotic food.
Symptoms will increase in severity for first 1-2 days and then begin to decrease.
Symptoms will fully subside within 2 weeks.
Pet has a reaction to the food immediately after eating it.
The pet may be having an allergic reaction to the prebiotic, as some pets with wheat allergies could react to the small amount of chamomile in the prebiotic mix.
If the pet has a previous history of allergies to wheat and gluten and shows symptoms immediately after eating, this is likely the case.
We Care and are Adapting to Your Feedback, Here is What We are Doing:
Our goal is always to help pets live longer and healthier lives and we want to ensure that we are supporting pets that are having reactions (as well as the pets that are thriving on RDBK food). To facilitate both, we have temporarily removed or reduced the probiotic inclusion in certain meals. The reduction of probiotics will reduce detox reactions due to the high viability of these probiotic strains. We are also assessing different prebiotic options that are less likely to cause allergies or “pickiness” due to smell/taste.
Following Are The Specific Changes We Have Made:
Reduced the probiotic inclusion by 75% (all batches after October 9, 2018)
Removed probiotics from all meals except Beef and Chicken (batches on or after October 29, 2018)
Base and Dog Meals:
Reduced the probiotic inclusion by 50% (all batches after October 9, 2018)
Removed probiotics from Herring, Turkey, and Lamb (batches on or after October 29, 2018)
We Need Your Feedback
We are conducting research into the probiotic inclusion amounts, the prebiotic recipe, and the specific strains in order to determine how to best ensure that we can continue to provide the healthiest food possible without causing any stress or discomfort for pets (or their parents).
If any of your customers are seeing any reactions (positive or negative) we would love to hear from them!
We have created a survey to make connecting with us even easier. Every submission will be entered into a draw to win RDBK treats! We will also connect directly with a number of pet guardians that are willing to help us with our research.
We recognize that changes – even those that improve a product or brand – may create new successes and challenges or concerns. We are here to answer any questions that you or your customers may have.
Thank you so much for being an important part of the Red Dog Blue Kat journey – we value your partnership!
Warm regards, Inna Shekhtman Chief Executive Officer / Top Dog