Q: I’ve heard that some animals can be allergic to animal protein, since pancreatin is from porcine (pig) sources, should I be concerned?
A: Quite honestly, in my practice, I’ve never seen one case of an allergy to pancreatin.– it’s that rare. However, if your pet has a known allergy to pork products, then they shouldn’t take this product. Moreover, if your pet displays any kind of reaction to this or any enzyme product, you should immediately stop feeding them the product and contact your veterinarian.
Q: Can animal-based enzymes cause diarrhea and vomiting?
A: It’s important to realize that ANY enzyme supplement can cause vomiting and diarrhea if given in too high a dose, especially fungus-derived enzymes. If your pet has digestive issues, I advise you to start slowly. This is easy to do with Healthy Pets Digestive Enzymes as they come in powdered form. You can begin with very small amounts and work up to the recommended amount over time, according to your pet’s response.
Q: I’ve read that plant sourced enzymes are better. Is that true?
A: In one word, no. I do not believe that to be true for dogs and cats. The key to optimal digestion is to mimic, as closely as possible, what you would find in their prey’s GI tract. You want to recreate the enzymes found in the prey’s digestive tract and throughout its body. Plant-derived enzymes are great for rabbits (and other vegetarian pets) but are typically not strong enough for your carnivorous pet.
Q: I see vegetarian fungal-based enzymes for sale in my health food store. Are these good for my pet?
A: Microbial – or fungal, to be exact – enzymes are sometimes recommended for human use, especially for vegetarians. However, for cats and dogs, who consume diets high in meat protein, I believe a pancreatic derived enzyme works far more efficiently. Fungal enzymes are just not as perfect a match for our furry friends’ bodies as pancreatic enzymes. Plus, fungal enzymes can be particularly troublesome for animals with allergies, yeast problems, and weakened digestive systems.
Q: My pet eats a diet of raw meat, vegetables, and fruits. Do I need to give him supplemental enzymes?
A: Congratulations for making the switch to a real food diet! Remember the prey your pet’s ancestor eats – it’s teeming with living, fresh enzymes found in parts we don’t feed: raw pancreas tissue and entrails (raw, unclean intestines). So even pets on raw diets may benefit from supplemental enzymes. Any time you can spare your pet from dipping into his enzyme stores, you’re supporting his other metabolic functions and good health.
Q: I’ve heard that stomach acid destroys pancreatic enzymes. Isn’t that a problem if I sprinkle this on my pet’s food?
A: Because our pancreatic enzymes are animal-sourced, their ability to withstand stomach acidity on their way to the small intestine is naturally much greater than with plant or fungal enzymes.
Q: Is there ever a time you don’t recommend enzymes for pets?
A: Yes. If your pet has recently undergone GI surgery or is currently being treated for a GI ulcer, I recommend you wait until your pet has recovered before instituting enzyme supplementation.