Ahhh, summertime and a pet parent’s thoughts turn to “who is going to take care of my fur baby while I am on vacation?”  Or, if you are the lucky sort who can travel with your pet, “how will I deal with the stress that goes along with travel?”    

Travel, separation, and kenneling can be stressful on you and your pet and that stress often affect your pet’s digestive system. Having an upset stomach away from home can lead to a messy situation.  But there is help.    

A dog and cat’s digestive tract is shorter than a person’s.  Food moves quickly through and is often not completely digested.  There are many things that complicate digestion and the stress of summer is one of them.  Here is where a complete digestive supplement will make for a healthier pet and help avoid a messy and uncomfortable situation.  Complete digestive supplements provide the enzymes necessary to absorb the nutrients in the food and feed the good bacteria in the digestive tract, which gets rid of the toxin-making organisms that can live in a dog or cat’s intestine.    

Here are some of the cues that your dog or cat could use a digestive supplement:     

We are going through a stressful time, such as travel, kenneling, separation.    

I have made a food change.    

My pet is on antibiotics.    

Gas, diarrhea or constipation are problems.    

My cat has hairballs.    

My pet is over 6 years old.    

I feed kibble or wet food.    

If you answered yes to one or more of these, it is time to consider a digestive supplement.  As a scientist and dog and cat mom, I look at just three important parameters.    

 Plant based digestive enzymes.     

Plant based enzymes work from the tongue to the tail    

The key enzymes include Protease to break down the protein in the diet, Amylase breaks down starch, Lipase breaks down fats, such as Omega-3s, and Cellulase breaks down plant fibers.    

Clinically tested levels of PreBiotics.    

PreBiotics are the food for the good bacterial that are NATURALLY in your pet’s digestive system.  Clinically tested levels of PreBiotic, 700 mg per cup of food, will selectively feed the good bacteria.  It is more specific to healing than feeding a probiotic which is an actual, often dairy strain, bacteria.    

No dairy, sugars, grains.     

These are extras that are not part of what the supplement does to help the digestive process and may even cause unwanted complications.    

Sounds pretty simple but what a powerful wellness tool you are giving your pet when you think about the fact that at least 70% of the immune system is housed in the digestive tract.  A pet with a healthy digestive tract will be able to face the car, hotel, kennel or pet sitter with a happy, comfortable tummy and a healthier system over all.  Watch how digestive enzymes work in this fun oatmeal video.    

Rebecca Rose is a Biochemist and the developer of OptaGest Digestive Supplement.