Have you ever wondered what Yucca Schidigera is when reading the composition on pet food packaging?
So, what exactly is Yucca Schidigera? It is an evergreen shrub or small tree found in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of south eastern California, southern Nevada, and western Arizona, as well as Baja California and Sonora in Mexico. The plant was used in Native American traditional medicine to treat a variety of health issues, including arthritis.
In modern day pet food, the trunks of yucca schidigera trees are ground into a powder. It is then added to the composition of FourFriends dog and cat foods. The shrub is recognized as safe to eat.
Why do we add it to our cat and dog foods? Several studies have been conducted in both dogs and cats determining the effectiveness of Yucca schidigera in pet foods. Overall, it was found that Yucca ingestion generally alters the production of nasty smelling gases, namely hydrogen sulfide in the large intestine. This then reduces those stinky stools. The overall decrease in fecal offensiveness is 26%. Studies indicate that a dose of 125mg yucca schidigera preparation per kg of complete dry food is generally effective
Researchers know that the predominant compounds in yucca schidigera extract are saponins, which are natural detergents. Saponins have many nutritional benefits, including the reduction of stool odor by reducing ammonia production.
While adding yucca schidigera to pet foods may be relatively new, the plant has been used in livestock and poultry diets for decades for the same reason.
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That is why we use yucca schidigera in FourFriends.