Protecting animal immunity is key amidst the rising healthcare costs of pets

Published: 2-Apr-2024

With expensive vet bills and the mounting costs of medicines for pets, protecting and supporting the health of companion animals has never been more important

In the UK, with the Competition and Markets Authority watchdog launching a formal probe into high medicine prices, the extent of the issue is marked by speculation that price caps on vet prescription fees could be introduced.

In the meantime, the fact is that nearly half (46%) of all European households — equating to 90 million homes with an animal companion — own a “senior” pet that’s 7 years of age or older and suffers from a compromised immune system.1 

The immune system is an animal’s major defence mechanism. It develops early in life and identifies harmful stimuli including micro-organisms. The gut microbiota also plays a key role in terms of training the immune system and its proper function.

As pets age, their gut microbiota changes and the efficacy of the immune response declines. This result in increased vulnerability to infectious diseases, reduced responses to vaccination and a higher susceptibility to age-related inflammatory conditions.

The incline in the number of senior pets has triggered increased demand and a more pressing need for products that reinforce and strengthen their natural defences … both in the run up to and during their later years.

Mitigating the declining health of pets 

After several years of industry research, development and testing, we believe that part of the solution to boosting pet health lies with innovating their food supplement options. For instance, our recently launched Profeed ADVANCED is a complementary compound feed that helps pets to stay healthier for longer.

Protecting animal immunity is key amidst the rising healthcare costs of pets

Clinically proven to stimulate and enhance the immune systems of senior and immuno-compromised dogs, Profeed ADVANCED signals a genuine step forward for the animal health industry by targeting many of the health problems that animals face in their later years.

Manufactured at Tereos’ facility in Chevrieres, France, the premium neutral-tasting powder can be added to any existing wet or dry food by pet food manufacturers throughout Europe.

In addition to our presence in the animal health space, as a prominent player in the sugar, alcohol and starch market, we have been able to observe the parallels between both the pet nutrition and the food and beverage (F&B) industries.

Often, human health trends are mirrored in the pet sector. It is therefore inevitable that the health credentials of pet food will continue to come under increased scrutiny from customers, just as there has been a greater consumer push towards avoiding certain itesm — such as ultra-processed foods (UPFs) — in favour of championing products that are better for us and more sustainable. 

A deeper dive into the science behind the solution  

At Tereos, our short-chain FOS prebiotic known as Profeed has been a long-established product leader in the animal health sector, encouraging the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

Produced to the highest EU quality standards, it has been used in more than 100 animal nutrition studies for more than three decades demonstrating health benefits. 

With immunity in mind and to further enhance Profeed’s health benefits, we combined our prebiotic fibre with postbiotics comprising selected yeast fractions. Together, a synergistic effect is achieved, producing a unique solution that tackles gut microbiota changes and counteracts declining immunity in older dogs.

This symbiotic pairing is the result of our partnership with Lallemand Animal Nutrition, a global leader in the development of yeast, bacteria and derivative ingredients, enabling us to pool our expertise and create the optimum compound feed for immune system enhancement.

Currently, Profeed ADVANCED is available to dog food manufacturers, but we also have ambitions to demonstrate benefits in other senior animals in the pet sector, such as cats, thereby helping to improve the health of animals in multiple geographies. 



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