How Long Should You Give Your Dog Probiotics
Purchase a fresh product and store it as directed on the label. Make sure to check the products expiration date and discard it after that. In most cases, I recommend these supplements be used for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Most dogs with chronic health problems like skin allergies, urinary tract inflammation, and chronic digestive issues benefit from taking the supplement for 30-90 days. Dogs with acute diarrhea probably only need to take probiotics for 7 to 10 days to improve gut health.
How To Give Probiotics To Dogs
Probiotics come in different forms for dogs, including powders, capsules, and chews. And certain dog foods have probiotics in them: these include well-regarded brands like Nulo, i and love and you, Taste of the Wild, and Wellness CORE. Even Purina has an affordable probiotics-enhanced formula emphasizing digestive health.
To give probiotics to your dog, you can sprinkle the recommended amount of powder in your dogs regular food, or you can give them chews, which are essentially very healthful treats.
If youre giving probiotics to your dog in a pill form, try to give it to your dog the same way you would another medication either by slipping it inside a tasty treat or putting it in their food.
Is There A Downside To Giving My Dog A Probiotic
Some dogs develop constipation or loose stools after receiving a probiotic or prebiotic. This typically can be resolved after adjusting the dose.
Some animals may also experience flatulence or loose stools for a few days, particular with the higher dose multi strain probiotics. In this case, reduce the dose for a few days until the symptoms resolve. After that you can often readjust back up the recommended therapeutic dose
Serious side effects from probiotics are very rare. However, there have been a limited number of documented cases of translocation of probiotics causing blood borne bacterial infections in hospitalized human patients.
It may be recommended to use probiotics cautiously in immunocompromised dogs. However, there have been positive reports on the use of probiotics in dogs with severe diarrheal diseases such as parvovirus and dogs with acute hemorrhagic diarrhea (acute bloody diarrhea.
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What Are Dog Probiotics
Probiotics have been a known entity since the 1900s, but scientists have recently learned more about their benefits. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that reside in the small and large intestines of various mammals. There are hundreds of strains of probiotics, some of which are especially helpful for canines. These strains include:
- Bifidobacterium animalis
- Lactobacillus casei
- Bacillus subtilis
What do probiotics do, exactly? Probiotics for dogs help balance the good bacteria in your dogs gut. If the gut is unhealthy, it can result in digestive issues and even illness. That’s where probiotics come in to give your dog’s gut some extra help.
How Can I Give My Dog Probiotics
First of all, we should note that some commercial dog food formulas contain added probiotics. However, if your dog needs an additional boost, the number of live cultures in the dog food is not enough.
In such cases, you need to consider probiotics for dogs in the form of supplements. Luckily, there are different forms of probiotics for dogs powders, capsules, liquids, soft chews, and treats. This gives you the freedom to choose which option is best for you and your pup.
You can also use some natural sources of probiotics for dogs like yogurt and kefir. For optimal results, add a supplement product to your dogs regimen and occasionally enrich its meals with natural probiotics for dogs.
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How To Maximize Probiotics For Your Dog
Just as diet has a profound effect on a dogâs health, several factors can radically affect the extent to which probiotics are able to win the war in your dogâs GI system. For example, a dog whoâs undergone antibiotic therapy needs support to recover at the microbiotic level. These therapies make no distinction between beneficial and harmful microorganisms they destroy them all. Many experts suggest that the harmful strains, being more opportunistic, are quicker to re-colonize and exploit the bodyâs vulnerabilities. Travel and other environmental changes can be overwhelming, literally altering an animalâs body chemistry.
Everyday stresses and the effects of a sedentary lifestyle throw off balance as well. Aging, while inevitable, can also influence the normal balance of microflora in the intestinal tract. Your dog depends on you to protect them from undue stress and thus, improve their chances of long-term wellness.
So itâs true â I follow trends. I give my dog homemade yogurt probiotic . I have offered her homemade fermented veggies . And I even include green tripe in her menus from time to time. What we call fads today can become tomorrowâs conventional wisdom when they prove to be legitimate practices that advance our health and happiness. The bottom line is, itâs healthy to take probiotics into account. And judging from my dogâs response when the tripe hits the bowl, I have the happiness part covered, too.
How To Find The Best Probiotic Supplement For Your Dog
If youre interested in finding the best probiotic supplements for your dog, then we have a few things that you should look at. It is important to note the probiotic strain so you know what type of bacteria are found in these supplements. Keep in mind that each strain of bacteria perform different functions. Some strain has strong anti-inflammatory properties, while others are known for their immune stimulants.
The next thing to look for is the guaranteed analysis, which is how many bacteria will exist at the end of the shelf-life. This is important because there could be a possibility that by the time you have purchased the supplements, the microorganisms may have already died in the probiotic. This would be completely useless if that were to have happened.
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How To Choose Probiotics For Your Dog
Depending on how long your dog has been a member of your family, you might be very familiar with their tastes and preferences. Knowing those preferences can help you pick the right probiotic to give them. For example, if your dog refuses to take pills, then you know that a probiotic capsule is most likely out of the question.
Another thing to consider when choosing the right probiotic for your dog is the type of beneficial bacteria it contains. Ideally, the packaging will list the strains of bacteria found in the probiotic and will include a description of the reported benefits of those strains. It’s important to remember that it might take some trial and error when it comes to choosing the right type for your dog. If you try one probiotic formula and it’s not helpful, another might be. Always talk to your dog’s vet first before trying a new type of probiotic, though.
One last thing to remember when choosing a probiotic for your pet: Make sure the probiotic actually contains live bacteria. The packaging should state how many bacteria will still be alive by the end of the product’s shelf life. Some products state how many bacteria were alive at the beginning, but there’s a chance that the microorganisms could die while the probiotic sits on a store’s shelf. Also look for a use by or expiration date to make sure the probiotic will still be viable.
When Are Probiotics Used
Probiotics are most often prescribed for maintaining a desirable intestinal microbial balance, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual. When an animal is stressed or sick, the balance between the healthy and disease-causing microbes may be disrupted. This can lead to diarrhea, gas, cramping, and bad breath.
Some of the triggers for such digestive disorders include:
- Infection or bacterial imbalance
- Stress: As in humans, changes that cause emotional stress, such as boarding, moving, or losing a home, can result in colitis. Thats one reason why many dogs in shelters suffer from diarrhea. Some studies have suggested that probiotics work as well as antibiotics in clearing up diarrhea in shelter dogs.
- Diet: This can include abrupt changes in the menu, or eating food that is spoiled or that just doesnt agree with the dog.
- Old age
- Medications: Antibiotics and long-term steroids are known culprits in causing diarrhea by killing good bacteria.
You might consider giving your healthy dog a probiotic if he is prone to developing diarrhea in stressful situations. For example, if you are planning to take your dog to a show or to board the dog, it may make sense to give probiotics for a few days in advance. Also, puppies who tend to get diarrhea after training classes of visits to the vet, for example, might benefit from a few days of probiotics in preparation for the stressful event.
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Lack Of Diverse Bacteria
Sometimes probiotics dont colonize for more than a few days in dogs. Or, they arent the right strains for your dog. Your dogs microbiome is as individual as he or she is. Your dogs digestive system needs to be a diverse community of thousands of different bacteria, fungi and viruses, all working together to maintain a healthy immune system.
For this reason, its important to use diet to bolster gut bacteria, include prebiotics and polyphenols. Polyphenols can be found in bright yellow, orange and red colored vegetables, such as chlorella, Jerusalem artichokes, mushrooms, dandelion, burdock root and apples.
Benefits For The Whole Dog
In fact, mental health is one of the most exciting revelations about probiotics. Your dogs gastrointestinal tract and brain are in constant contact, and proper microorganisms in the intestines can help with mental and emotional regulation.
The bacterium called bifidobacterium longum, commonly known as BL999, is at the forefront of this discovery. Dr. Ragen T.S. McGowan, a pet behavior researcher for Nestlé Purina, reported that dogs who took BL999 were less likely to bark, jump, spin or pace in situations that normally caused them distress. They were also more likely to explore a new environment.
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Myth : All Probiotics Are The Same
The amount and variety of bacteria that inhabit our pets microbiomes is simply staggering. As such, not all probiotics are the same, and different strains of bacteria have different effects on the host.
Heres just one illustration of how that translates to the real world: There have been multiple studies in the veterinary literature that have assessed the use of probiotics for different health conditions in cats and dogs, Burns DeMarle says. Enterococcus faecium has been shown to increase the diversity of bacteria in dogs with inflammatory bowel disease . Other potential uses include canine atopic dermatitis, feline herpes virus infections, and chronic kidney disease.
While many veterinarians, like Burns DeMarle, may agree that it is worth pet probiotics a try, that doesnt mean just any probiotic will do. Pet parents can research the specific strains that address their pets health issues or ask their veterinarian for recommendations. As with medications, be sure to monitor time and amount of the probiotic dose, and track any health changes to measure impact.
What Kind Of Probiotics Are Best For Dogs
When you choose probiotics for dogs, the type you use really depends on his individual health and needs. Here are some of the best researched and most effective probiotic strains for dogs .
Lactic Acid Probiotics
The vast majority of probiotics for dogs are lactic acid bacteria, usually made from fermented milk. Youll see their strain names on the supplement label, along with the species name. The Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species are often shown as B. Or L. So you might see B. Longum or L. acidophilus.
Lactobacillus species convert milk sugar to lactic acid, which inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestine. Like Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium species produce lactic acid but theyre not considered a lactic acid bacteria. Bifidobacterium live in the colon and can interact with immune cells. They can crowd out harmful bacteria and help support the immune system. Low numbers of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium have been linked to anxiety.
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotics are pretty fragile and they typically only last about 24 hours before theyre eliminated from the gut. But even though theyre unlikely to colonize, their DNA remains and they can still offer many health benefits. Overall, theyre useful probiotics for dogs with diarrhea.
Individual lactic acid probiotic strains include:
Lactobacillus CaseiThis probiotic lives in the mucus membrane of animals. Its an important part of the gut-brain axis and can affect mood and emotions.
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What Foods Have Probiotics For Dogs
Natural Probiotics For Dogs
Plenty of foods in your home contain probiotics naturally such as yogurt, kefir, onions, bananas, garlic, honey, leeks, kimchi, and Jerusalem artichokes. Some of these foods are not ideal for dogs though for example, onions and large quantities of garlic are dangerous and should be avoided.
The Purina Fortiflora Canine Nutritional Supplement Is Our Top Choice For Dogs
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Purina Fortiflora Canine Nutritional Supplement is our top choice, thanks to its ease of use. We also like PetVitalityPro Probiotic Chews.
When it comes to canine wellness, your dog may be missing a crucial element: good bacteria. A healthy gut contains good bacteria that breaks down food and can help with digestion. But if the gut becomes unbalanced, bad bacteria may overtake the healthy microorganisms that should be in your dogs stomach and intestines. A probiotic can help restore and maintain this balance of good and bad bacteria. Probiotics for dogs come in many forms, and some brands even claim to address other canine health concerns, like joint pain and allergies.
We researched the market to find the best probiotics for dogs.
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Why Shouldnt Dogs Take Human Probiotics
Before we answer that, itâs helpful to know why dogs should take probiotics in the first place.
First, as a preventative measure, probiotics can be added to your pupâs daily diet to stop digestive issues from arising.
More commonly, however, probiotics are suggested when your dog is unwell, undergoing antibiotic treatment, or eating an unbalanced diet. These can all cause your petâs gut bacteria to become depleted, resulting in inflammation, diarrhea, and lowered immunity.
So, probiotics are good for dogs â but why canât they share yours?
Well, for the simple reason that your dogâs digestive system is very different from your own. The probiotics we take contain very specific strains of âgoodâ bacteria to help make us feel healthy. Many of these are also effective for dogs, but if your designed-for-human probiotic hasnât been clinically tested on dogs, thereâs a chance it could upset your pupâs gut.
This may result in nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea â perhaps the very things youâre trying to prevent by giving them a probiotic in the first place.
Thatâs why itâs always better to err on the side of caution and give your pooch dog probiotics, or probiotics that are proven to be safe for dogs. Doing so means theyâre getting the species-friendly probiotic strains they need for a healthy gut.
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When given in the appropriate dosage, probiotics typically don’t cause many side effects.
However, too many probiotics can throw your dogs system out of whack.
If too large of a probiotic supplement is given, extreme diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting may occur.
I recommend following the instructions on your dog’s probiotic supplement for at least a month or two to determine what the maximal benefits might be. Then play around a bit to see if you can get away with giving it every other day or just a couple of times a week.
The same is probably true for dogs.
I recommend following The instructions on your dog’s probiotic supplement for at least a month or two to determine what The maximal benefits might be.
Then play around a bit to see if you can get away with giving it every other day or just a couple of times a week.
The Benefits of Probiotics.
All dogs can benefit from probiotics, which aid digestion and modulate The immune system.
Human studies have documented The effectiveness of certain strains in treating diarrhea, irritable bowel, and intestinal inflammation .
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Is A Probiotic For Dogs Worth It Yes For The Most Part
For the most part, probiotics have benefits in dogs just like they do in humans. While the evidence can feel a little inconclusive at times, studies show some benefits for digestive health in canines. That alone makes probiotics worth considering if your pup has digestive issues .
If you think your dog might benefit from probiotics, consider picking up a powder, chew, or probiotic dog food today!
If you’re also looking into giving your dogs different types of supplement, check out our article about Omega 3 and salmon oil for dogs!
How Often Should Your Dog Take Probiotics
Almost all dogs would be healthy if they take probiotics daily. However, this depends on the breed of your dog. According to Veterinarians.org, dogs that take meals with high starch or kibble can take probiotics daily.
Those that have excessive gas or an overgrowth of small intestinal bacteria should not be fed with probiotics every day. This does not mean that they should not take probiotics, but they have to be limited to ensure that their health is not affected in any way.
The best way of handling this is to consult your veterinarian. They will advise you on what is good for your dog and even provide the right probiotics for you to use.
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