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  • Writer's pictureBernadette Beadle

Species-Specific Probiotics: What’s all the hype?

Updated: May 19, 2023

If you know us at all or have come across us online, then you know CanBiocin ( is synonymous with species-specific probiotics. It’s a term you hear more and more about these days, but really, what does it mean?

After all, aren’t all probiotics the same? We are told probiotics are good for us so does it really matter which ones you take or where they originated from?

These are all good questions we regularly get asked and thought what better way to welcome you to our first blog then by talking about a subject that is at the very core of CanBiocin.

Not all probiotics are the same.

Truth is that probiotics aren’t regulated in the same manner as medications. They are not required to pass through a quality control check to ensure that they are safe to use, viable, or are shelf stable. Global probiotic manufacturers believe that this is not good enough, a sentiment that we embrace.

Afterall, to deliver on their health benefits probiotics need to be:

· Safe for the intended host,

· Used at the optimal concentration (product based),

· Efficacious,

· And stay viable throughout the product’s shelf life.

If it is good enough for us, shouldn’t it be good enough for our pets?

Most probiotics on the market today were originally isolated from human sources (breast milk, the human gut, or faeces). The probiotics added to products for humans are the same ones that are added into some pet foods. Does it really matter which host specific strains your pets consume? If the probiotics we consume show benefits to our overall health, then shouldn’t we see the same benefits to our pet’s health?

Enter species-specific probiotics.

What makes these probiotics different than the rest? Species-specific probiotics are “good bacteria” that have been isolated from a healthy, specific host like a dog or a cat. The diverse microbial population present in each of these hosts can differ dramatically due to having different basal body temperatures, dietary habits, and immune systems. This in turn favors a unique microbial community that is specifically able to survive and proliferate within its host’s gut. The bacteria present in this gut microbiome are host-optimized thereby making them the perfect candidates for species-specific probiotics.

So how exactly do you isolate these species-specific probiotics from its host?

By getting our hands dirty. First, we have to wait for nature to take its course. Then, we find a willing candidate (rock, paper, scissors) to collect the faeces. Through safe, routine microbiology-based techniques, we are left with different strains of bacteria which can be isolated from single colonies. Each potential probiotic candidate is then subjected to an exhaustive list of assessments that need to be met before they are added to our premium species-specific probiotic product offerings.

Backed by science.

An effective species-specific probiotic first and foremost must be able to survive the extreme environment of the host’s gut (low pH, highly acidic, presence of bile salt) in order for it to proliferate and adhere to the epithelial cells of the intestine. It is here that they benefit the host though regulation of the gut microbiome by inhibiting the growth of “bad bacteria” and modulating the immune system though the production of postbiotic metabolites (short chain fatty acids, bacteriocins, enzymes).

We use science to show that our probiotics meet all these specific criteria through assessments set forth by The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics.

Did you know?

Did you know that CanBiocin is continually expanding its species-specific probiotic product lines? We have new probiotic strains currently in development for our ancestral collection line for both companion animals and livestock. Stay tuned for more information and articles relating to the vast world of probiotics! #speciesspecificprobiotics #animalhealth #microbiome #dogprobiotics #companionanimals #probiotics #digestivehealth


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