Probiotics 101


Keep your horse’s GI tract in balance with probiotics.

You’ve probably heard of probiotics, but what are they really? How do they work, and most importantly, what are the benefits? Simply put, probiotics are “good” bacteria that work in the digestive tract. They keep the digestive system in balance and functioning optimally. As feed progresses from the mouth into the intestinal tract, specific types of bacteria are needed to continue the digestive process so the body may absorb nutrition to maintain health and wellness. Probiotic digestive enzymes work with gastric juices to start the breakdown process, making the feed usable and absorbable.

Any microbial imbalance in the digestive tract can cause severe health problems. When beneficial bacteria are destroyed or depleted, this also alters the pH of the gut environment, further affecting proper digestion. Antibiotic treatment can have devastating long-term effects, wiping out the beneficial bacteria that keep the intestinal tract healthy. Stress related to competition, illness and abrupt dietary changes also alter the normal microbe population in a horse’s GI tract.

A healthy GI tract is vital in helping reduce gas and/or colic and protects against infection. Quality probiotics should include multiple strains of bacteria and have a high CFU (colony forming units) count in the billions.


Chris & Roger Richardson are the owners of The Holistic Horse, and have been providing natural and holistic healthcare products since 1998. They are passionate and committed to providing the best products and helping all types of animals achieve optimal health. theholistichorse.com 

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