Bifidobacterium is a live gram-positive anaerobe that is capable of improving the balance of the intestinal microflora of animals. Newborns that are breast-fed are colonized with Bifidobacteria within days after birth.

Bifidobacterium species are less prevalent in the gut of the dog and cat compared to Lactobacillus; however, the effect that Bifidobacterium has on digestion, absorption and utilization is quite similar.

Populations of Bifidobacterium usually remain stable until advanced age when the numbers decline. Bifidobacteria populations can be influenced by a number of factors including diet, antibiotics and stress.

The balance of Bifidobacterium is higher in the cat than the dog. The exact mapping of intestinal bacteria in the dog and cat and the extent to which they colonize different portions of the gut has shown veterinarians much over the past ten years. Further studies need to be conducted to determine the extent to which pre and probiotics help control many of the important health functions in our pets.