FAQ - Generel questions

ProBiotic LIVE is a patented (EP patent 2124607 – Pet Food) functional Super Premium food for pets, containing a live and highly concentrated probiotic bacteria, which occur naturally in the intestines of all healthy animals. These microorganisms colonize the immature gut, reestablish the disrupted intestines, or support the digestive system thus promoting the mechanism of competitive exclusion against potential pathogenic bacteria.
The probiotic microorganism, Enterococcus faecium, contained within ProBiotic LIVE is recovered from the internationally recognized culture collection NCIMB (National Collections of Industrial and Marine Bacteria) and is chosen for its beneficial effects within the digestive tract of the host – in this case the dog and the cat.

When it comes to quality of pet food the same rules as for everything else applies, which is that quality and price correlates. In other words, you get what you pay for.
ProBiotic LIVE is a high-quality pet food and we have high requirements for both ingredients and production to make sure we live up to the high quality of the feed. The ingredients are chosen carefully, and are not selected because they are cheapest. We only use ingredients of human quality in order to make sure we can vouch for the product. We emphasize only to use high-quality natural ingredients and avoid artificial additives. ProBiotic LIVE is a unique pet food on the market, especially because of the high quality and the functional and health-promoting ingredients.

Proteins are the “building blocks” of all living creatures. Many elements of the body eg. muscles, hair, feather and nails are made up of proteins and can be used as protein-sources in pet-food. Some plants also contain various amounts of protein.
The quality of a protein is defined by the digestibility within the animal consuming it. This means the protein needs to be broken down and absorbed from the intestines as well as containing the amino acids the animal requires. The quality of protein sources varies a great deal. For instance, meat is a better source of protein than feathers, bone and grain.

As ProBiotic LIVE contains only super premium ingredients, which have proven their effect over the years, ProBiotic LIVE is formulated as a super-premium pet food.
Only natural ingredients are used in ProBiotic LIVE order to meet the high quality standards. Usage of chicken, lamb, fish, duck, rice, maize, animal fat, fish oil, vitamins, minerals and other raw materials meet the demands of a complete pet food of the highest standard. Exclusive mixes of oils and fats provide an important advantage in palatability. All the ingredients are specially prepared in order to obtain the highest level of digestibility.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are “parents” of a whole family of fatty acids that are important for the health of our pets. Both the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important because they have various functions in the immune system of dogs and cats.
Omega-3 fatty acids:
- Are required for brain and retinal function
- Contribute to cell membrane fluidity and skin health
- Help fight joint inflammation
- Aid reproduction
- Improve the cardiovascular system
- Help fight allergies and inflammatory skin diseases
Omega-6 fatty acids:
- Are required for growth and reproduction
- Keep hormone levels in balance
- Contribute to cell membrane structure and fluidity
- Keep skin and coat healthy
- Promote proper development of the nervous system
- Increase food efficiency during growth,
- Keep skin in good condition
- Are essential for the normal development of retina and nervous system

Lecithin contains a substrate called phosphatidylcholine. Phosphatidylcholine is a major part of the membranes surrounding cells. It is also used to make acetylcholine - a nerve chemical essential for proper brain function. Lecithin helps the body safely utilize fat and cholesterol. It also „emulsifies“ fats by breaking them into smaller droplets. Lecithin and its derivatives are very useful for animals that are overweight, because it helps the body safely utilize fat. For this reason, it is also useful in pets with liver disease. Additionally, lecithin is an excellent addition to the diet of any elderly pet, since it helps to protect against cardiovascular disease.

A functional feed is a feed, who is enriched with extra beneficial effects. Often it refers to health-promoting aspects. ProBiotic LIVE can be called a functional food, hence the containing of both probiotics and hydrolyzed protein.

Meat is an important source of proteins for dogs and especially for cats. Cats require protein (meat) via their food in order to get the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Animal proteins add taste and energy to the food, and in addition are a good source of vitamins and minerals. As long as the protein requirements are met it is not the amount as much as the quality that is the important question.
The sources of protein in ProBiotic LIVE are for instance high-quality chicken, lamb and duck. These are used to ensure the best bioavailability and utilizing of nutrients.

Even though maize and rice are also grains, it is however usually the four regular grains wheat, oat, barley and rye one refers to when talking about grain-free products. If a dog or cat is allergic to gluten it is one of the four above-mentioned grains it will react against. In this case maize is not an allergen.
By using rice and maize instead of potatoes a better fraction of fibers are guaranteed which promotes a better peristalsis of the gut, thus ensuring a better digestion.

It is misunderstood that you are being good to a pet by feeding it leftovers instead of kibble and often it is far more cumbersome. Scraps often contain too much fat or salt and can often lead to overweight. It is therefore far safer to use dry food and it will often be a cheaper solution. If you want to give your pet something on the side use specialized treats instead of leftovers.

We can vouch for the feed and the fact that it meets the nutritional and statutory demands for pet-foods. The probiotic microorganism contained in the food, Enterococcus Faecium NCIMB 10415 is approved within the EU to be used for dogs and cats. The many pet owners who use ProBiotic LIVE today is very satisfied with especially the palatability and the general well-being of their pet.

A unique feature of ProBiotic LIVE is the fact that it contains both pre- and probiotics. These ingredients support the health of the pet as well as maintaining a healthy digestion by ensuring a well-balanced intestinal microflora. The composition of ProBiotic LIVE is patented (EP patent 2124607 – Pet Food), and this means there are no other products on the market with the same functional quality.

Probiotics are beneficial living protective bacteria present in the intestinal system. These microorganisms are necessary for the digestion of nutrients and the balance of the intestinal microflora.
Prebiotics (eg. FOS) are ingredients promoting the propagation of probiotics. In other words they are considered food for the probiotic bacteria. Prebiotics are often non-digestible complex carbohydrates, found in different types of plants, vegetables and grains. These carbohydrates resist digestion by salivary and intestinal enzymes in the stomach and enter the intestines where they are fermented by probiotic bacteria. The most beneficial effect of fructo-oligosaccarides (FOS) is the selective stimulation of the growth of probiotic bacteria, thus significantly enhancing the composition of the intestinal microflora and reducing the number of potential pathogenic bacteria.
Inulin are a group of naturally occurring polysaccharides (several simple sugars linked together) produced by many types of plants. Inulin is used increasingly in foods because it has unusual nutritional characteristics. Inulin contains a third to a quarter of the energy found in sugar or other carbohydrates and a sixth to a ninth of the energy of fat. Another feature of inulin is that it increases calcium absorption.

All animals are born with a relatively sterile intestine. Thus the newborn animal will be more susceptible to pathogenic microorganisms, as there, at this life stage, are no protective microflora to reduce the colonization of pathogens.
Soon after birth, the newborn animal acquires a complex collection of microorganisms within the intestinal tract. This collection of microorganisms is termed the microflora. The intestinal microflora contains a variety of different bacteria and fungi of which there are typically ~ 400 different types of microorganisms with a total population of ~ 1014 throughout the length of the intestinal tract.

The microflora forms a symbiotic relationship with the animal and benefits the animal – aiding digestion by producing various enzymes that are involved in the breakdown of nutrients. .
The bacteria in the intestines also stimulate the immune response. Therefore, a balanced microflora is crucial for optimal digestion.

Dr. Roy Fuller defined probiotic as “a live microbial feed supplement, which beneficially affects the host by improving its intestinal microbial balance”. This definition emphasizes the importance of the probiotics as being live cells. The awareness of probiotics has grown throughout the world during the last couple of years. Many pet owners already know the advantages of using probiotic products and are aware that a daily supply of probiotics has many healthy advantages for their pet.
The probiotic microorganisms support the beneficial bacteria already present in the intestines of the animal thereby occupying the space for potentially pathogenic bacteria. Additionally the microflora is balanced so that a healthy and well-functioning digestive system is maintained.

Probiotics have been shown to work by the following mechanisms:
- Competition for nutrients:
Within the gut, beneficial as well as pathogenic microorganisms will be utilizing the same type of nutrients. Therefore there is a general competition for these nutrients which the bacteria needs to grow and reproduce. Hence, the more the intestines are flooded with beneficial microorganisms, the more competition is created between beneficial and pathogenic microorganisms.
- Competition for adhesion sites:
Adhering to adhesion sites along the wall of the intestines is an important colonization factor and many intestinal pathogens rely on adhesion to the gut wall to prevent them from being removed by peristaltic movements along the intestinal tract. As there are only a limited number of “sites” the bacteria can adhere to, an increased number of beneficial bacteria will result in decreased adhesion of pathogenic bacteria.
- Stimulation of immunity:
- Probiotics stimulate antibody production (local and systemic).
- Increase macrophage activity.
- Increase gamma interferon levels.
- Increase the production of cytokines.
Direct antimicrobial effect:
This can either operate via bacteriocins, known to be produced by many species of Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB), but also by the production of organic acids (lactic acid etc.) which crate a hostile environment for pathogens by reducing the intestinal pH.
Improvement of digestion:
Probiotic microorganisms supports and acts like the healthy microflora by producing enzymes, which aid in the breakdown of polysaccharide molecules. As a result, a larger amount of nutrients from the diet is utilized. The microflora also produces vitamins, which then acts as a secondary source of vitamins to the host.

Some of the ways in which probiotics can benefit the host animal are:
- Reduction of the effects of stress
- Reduction of diarrhea and other digestive upset
- Improvement of immunity and resistance to disease
- Improvement of digestion
- Improvement of skin and coat condition
- Reduction of the risk of allergies
- Maintenance of a balanced microflora

No, animals cannot develop resistance towards probiotic bacteria. Only pathogenic bacteria can become overpopulated within the intestines. A daily supply of probiotics limits the risk of developing diarrhea because of the pathogenic bacteria becoming too many. In addition to this probiotics helps to keep the microflora balanced and keeps the pet healthy.

The intestine is one of the most important components of the immune system, since about 70 % of the immune response happens here (Vighny G., et al., 2008). If the resistance towards pathogens from the outside is weakened, there is a greater risk of an infection manifesting within the body. By supplying your pet with probiotics every day, optimal conditions in the intestinal system is secured, and a healthy and well- functioning immune system is maintained.

Safety: the probiotic microorganism must be non-pathogenic and non-toxic.
Viability: a probiotic can only work if the probiotic microorganisms remain viable during storage of the product and through the entire intestinal system. This is the only way to ensure colonization of these beneficial microorganisms.
Minimum dose: the concentration of a probiotic must be such that in average a minimum of 1 x 109 CFU/ kg of complete feed is provided.
Quality assurance: it is essential that a probiotic does not become contaminated with any other microorganism at any stage eg. during fermentation, the manufacturing process or storage.

To obtain the desirable probiotic effect, a minimum concentration of microorganisms must be able to survive and grow in the intestine. Many trials and researches have shown that probiotic effect is achieved with an average concentration of 1 x 109 CFU (Colony Forming Units) of viable probiotic bacteria per kilogram of complete feed for dogs, whereas cats need an average concentration of 7 x 109 CFU (Colony Forming Units) in order to obtain a beneficial effect. It has been suggested that particular microorganisms will not carry out any probiotic effect if above mentioned average concentration is less, and it remains below this level at all times. Thus, ProBiotic LIVE products contain exactly the correct concentration of probiotics per kilogram of complete feed in average, in order to guarantee survival and growth of particular probiotic microorganisms.

The very acidic, low pH of the stomach in most animals is nature's way of attempting to remove some of the load of infection present in food. It is however not a completely effective process, as made apparent by the fact that the oral/intestinal route is the commonest way for infectious agents to enter the body.
The microorganism contained within ProBiotic LIVE is a Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB). By definition, these bacteria produce lactic acid. This ensures the growth of the beneficial bacteria in an optimum acidic environment. By creating this acidic environment, LABs are able to prevent the growth of coliforms such as E. coli as they prefer a more alkaline pH for growth.
ProBiotic LIVE is also able to overcome the problem of stomach sterilization by containing billions of microorganisms, so that some will always pass the pylorus and be able to colonize the intestines. In addition, the freeze-drying process, which is used to preserve the microorganisms present in ProBiotic LIVE, causes an encapsulation, which protects the probiotics against stomach acid.

The intestinal microflora in newborn germfree animals is more readily susceptible for colonization and infection by gastrointestinal tract pathogens than older more “experienced” animals.
For instance, the newly born animal shows greater susceptibility to oral infection by food-poisoning pathogens such as salmonellas than the adult does. By feeding kittens and puppies a food containing probiotics one makes sure the intestinal system is supplied with beneficial bacteria to help create a resilient microflora thereby making the young animal less susceptible to infections.

ProBiotic LIVE can be used at any time in the animal’s life, but will bring extra support for your pet in the following situations:
- Immediately after birth to establish a correct microflora
- After weaning
- Pre and post anesthesia
- During and after antibiotic therapy
- After vaccination
- In preparation for, during and after periods of stress

Since the aim of using probiotics is to restore and maintain normal intestinal function, probiotics should be used whenever the balance of the microflora is upset. Situations likely to cause intestinal imbalance are:
- Infections
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Antibiotic therapy
- Stress (travel, change of housing etc.)
- Athletic competition
- Following surgery and anesthesia
- Poor appetite
Strategic use of ProBiotic LIVE during times of stress (vaccination, rehoming), nutritional changes (weaning), or after antibiotic use is very beneficial and an excellent way of introducing the concept of probiotic use.

There are NO disadvantages of using ProBiotic LIVE at any time!
ProBiotic LIVE contains live microorganisms normaly found in all healthy pets. Probiotics have never been found to be toxic. Even more than 100 times the recommended level does not cause any problems. None of the ingredients used in the manufacturing of ProBiotic LIVE will cause irritations or allergic reactions. Probiotics are inert organisms, and does not persist in the environment. There are no known adverse effects of ProBiotic LIVE on aquatic life, soil fauna or terrestrial plants.
However, there are a great number of advantages using ProBiotic LIVE:
- Completely safe and free from dangers of probiotic overdose
- Enhances the animal's own natural defense mechanisms and enhance the animals ability
to cope with opportunistic infections
- Highly effective under a wide variety of conditions

Millions of microorganisms colonize the digestive tract of any animal. When the animal is healthy, the majority of these microorganisms will be beneficial. However, even when the animal is healthy, there is still the potential of disease-causing pathogens colonizing the intestines. These pathogens are normally so low in concentration that disease will not develop until the animal’s general health and immune status is affected.
By stimulating the immune system of the animal, ProBiotic LIVE helps to enhance the animal’s defense mechanism. Furthermore, the beneficial probiotic microorganisms contained within ProBiotic LIVE will act to exclude potentially pathogenic microorganisms within the intestinal system competitively. ProBiotic LIVE contains Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB), which produces lactic acid that has a low pH and effectively produces the optimum conditions required for the growth of beneficial microorganisms. This action helps to prevent the colonization of coliforms such as E. coli, which prefer a more alkaline pH.

Stress affects the intestinal microflora by reducing the concentration of probiotic bacteria. All stressful situations to which an animal is exposed cause an increased intestinal pH. When this happens the gastrointestinal tract is likely to favor the development of pathogenic species (bad bacteria), at the expense of beneficial species (good bacteria).
Vaccination, antibiotic therapy, weaning, travel, rehoming or illness are a few of the factors considered stressors that may result in a change of balance in the intestinal flora in favor of pathogenic species.
Stress can depress the immune response of animals, which results in alterations and breakdown of the regulatory mechanism in the gastrointestinal tract ecosystem allowing easier establishment of pathogens within the tract, which can lead to the development of diarrhea.

Whenever antibiotics are used, especially orally, the normal population of the intestinal flora is disturbed and when antibiotic therapy is prolonged, the effect on the intestines can be profound. Probiotics will of course help to restore the normal population of intestinal microflora and this is one of the primary indications for their use.

Whilst the restoration of the intestinal microflora will be most beneficiary when antibiotic therapy has finished, it is logical to give probiotics at the same time as antibiotics. This is because the intestinal system is a dynamic place with waves of microfloral activity occurring depending on the presence of food and the antibiotic concentration at any specific time. Therefore, repeated boosts to normal microbial activity by using probiotics will be beneficial to the animal.

Hydrolyzing proteins means that the protein molecules are broken down into smaller pieces, often into amino acids, which are the “building blocks” for proteins. When the proteins are broken into smaller pieces, they are not recognizable to the immune system, and thereby cannot cause an allergic reaction. ProBiotic LIVE is a complete balanced diet based on healthy and high-quality ingredients and is suitable for animals with allergies or food intolerances because of the hydrolyzed protein sources.

  • Check the skin on a regular basis and contact the vet if signs of irritation occurs. These symptoms can be alopecia (hair loss), erythema (redness of the skin), scales and crusts, and tiny inflamed eruptions that evolve into additional crusty patches.
  • Avoid contact with pollen (e.g. grass or birch) as much as possible and limit the amounts of dust within the house. Vacuum the house often and avoid carpets and rugs.
  • During periods with pruritus and dry coat, regular baths with a soothing shampoo can be very helpful.
  • If the problem is food-related, it is very important only to feed the animal with the diet proscribed by the vet. The animal should not be given leftovers or treats of any kind. Other than that, the food should be stored in an airtight container.
  • If the animal is very affected in the skin, it can be very beneficial to choose a feed with a high content of fatty acids, since these help to increase the skins natural defense mechanisms. ProBiotic LIVE is high in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and would be an obvious choice in this situation.

Live yoghurt can be used to provide some live microorganisms to the animal's digestive tract. However, it has some distinct disadvantages when compared to ProBiotic LIVE:
- The concentration of live microorganisms present in yoghurt is unknown but will tend to
be relatively low and will depend on the freshness of the yoghurt and the conditions
under which it has been stored. After opening, the microbial concentration can become
depleted.
- The actual strains of microorganisms contained within live yoghurts are often chosen
for taste and textural properties rather than any actual probiotic benefits.
Hence, the microorganisms contained within live yoghurts may not provide any probiotic benefits. This is not the case with ProBiotic LIVE, since the amount of probiotics are accurately adapted to have a positive effect on the host.

We recommend that ProBiotic LIVE is stored under dry, cool and clean conditions, out of direct sunlight and kept sealed once the original sack has been opened in order to exclude moisture and thermal decomposition. ProBiotic LIVE is stable at room temperature for 18 months (Dog food) and 15 months (Cat food). This has been determined by long-term studies.