The Advantages Outweigh The Risks
In addition to antibiotics causing GI tract disorders, chronic diarrhea, flatulence and appetite loss, other factors such as poor diet, stress, environmental changes and non-antibiotic prescription drugs can also deplete beneficial bacteria in the dogs intestines. Probiotics not only promote growth of good bacteria in your dogs intestines but will also:
- Improve digestive processes by facilitating breakdown of consumed food, absorption of vitamins and minerals and removal of toxic waste products
- May help reduce minor food intolerances and their side effects
- Reduces inflammation in the GI tract to relieve diarrhea or constipation
- Increases energy levels by eliminating some chronic health conditions
- Promotes manufacturing of folic acid, biotin and B vitamins
- Stimulates and regulates all components of the canine immune system
- Helps degrade and neutralize food toxins and carcinogens
- Keeps hormone levels balanced and regulated
- May reduce the risk of female dogs suffering urinary tract infections
Symptoms Accompanying Diarrhea In Dogs
Dogs that have only one or two loose stools generally do not exhibit other symptoms. When dogs experience diarrhea for more than two days, the risk of dehydration dramatically increases. Although a dog with diarrhea may continue to drink water, the amount of fluids lost is greater than the fluid taken in. Signs of dehydration and other complications resulting from untreated diarrhea include:
- Lack of energy, lethargy
- Fast breathing and/or excessive panting
- Rapid weight loss
- Attitude changes
- Dry nose, gums and mouth
- Loss of skin hydration and elasticity .
- Has a rectal temperature greater than 105° F
- Unsteady gait or inability to rise from a prone position
Are Diy Probiotics Safe For My Dog
Yes, homemade probiotics for dogs are safe. DIY, homemade probiotics for dogs are prepared with ingredients that are safe and health-boosting for dogs.
Probiotics help with digestion, improve overall gut health, manage bad breath, and strengthen the immune system. On the modern market, there are many probiotic supplements and dog food with probiotics.
Homemade probiotics for dogs are an excellent alternative to those products. They allow owners to get creative and decide on the exact ingredients to include in the recipe.
- Helps maintain proper gut flora
- Immune system support
Also Check: What Does Probiotics Do For Kids
Are There Natural Probiotics For Dogs
A natural source of natural probiotics for dogs is yogurt or kefir. Youll want a product high in live cultures with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Added sugars arent healthy for dogs, and some artificial sweeteners, like xylitol, are toxic for dogs. Also, plain, Greek-style yogurt is better because it has lower levels of lactose, which can cause digestive issues in some dogs.
Fermented vegetables can also be a healthy source of natural probiotics for dogs, but you want to ensure they dont contain any onions, garlic, or chives, as these are toxic for dogs. See which foods are and arent safe for dogs.
Are Human Probiotics The Same As Dog Probiotics
No, human probiotics for dogs are not the same as dog probiotics.
The main differences between human and dog probiotics are the type of bacteria and the number of live bacteria. This is becuase the dogs gut bacteria is different than the humans.
Specific probiotics or bacterial strains are present in both dogs and humans. However, they will be present in much higher numbers in the human supplement than they would be in dog probiotics.
Another difference is in the added ingredients. Namely, human probiotics often feature ingredients that are harmful to dogs. Human supplements may contain xylitol an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs.
Also Check: Will Taking Probiotics Help With Bv
Other Ways To Remedy Digestive Problems
Besides adding probiotics to your dogs diet, there are other things you can do to treat your dog if hes suffering from chronic GI problems. First, check out our tips to cure a dogs upset stomach.
You may also want to consider switching your dogs diet. Several companies specialize in all-natural, high-quality dog food blends formulated to address GI problems and allergies. And they deliver right to your door. Read our reviews of the best dog food subscriptions to learn more.
Can Dogs Take Human Probiotics
Yes, dogs can take human probiotics as long as they do not contain ingredients that are dangerous to dogs. However, when it comes to human probiotics for dogs, they are not as effective as dog probiotics.
Other benefits of probiotics for dogs also include adequate digestive tract function, strengthened immune system, and reduced stress.
To ensure these benefits, your dog needs the right probiotic. Supporting gut health and preventing digestive issues is harder if using human probiotics for dogs instead of dog probiotics.
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What Are Probiotics For Dogs And What Do They Do
Probiotics are strains of beneficial bacteria that colonize and grow in the bodys intestinal tract in humans and animals.
They are part of the microbiome, a more extensive system of bacteria and microbes contributing to body functions.
Research has shown that these good bacteria are essential to both the digestive and immune systems.
Health problems, both major and minor, can occur when there is an imbalance in the types of bacteria in the intestinal tract.
The medical term for this is dysbiosis when there are more harmful bacteria than beneficial.
There are three prevalent causes of dysbiosis in dogs:
- Processed dog food high in carbs and harmful ingredients
- Antibiotics and steroids
Each of these decreases the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Now imagine what they can do together.
When a dog has dysbiosis, it can develop intestinal permeability more commonly known as leaky gut.
And because leaky gut allows foreign bodies to enter the bloodstream from the intestinal tract, inflammation happens.
As you know, inflammation connects to a wide range of illnesses in both humans and dogs.
These illnesses include but are not limited to:
- Diarrhea, gas, bloating, and other digestive issues
- Ear, skin, and urinary tract infections
- Flea, food, and seasonal allergies
We believe that leaky gut is the reason for many ailments in dogs today, and dog owners dont know it.
But you suspect it, and it is why you want to add probiotics to your dogs diet.
Types Of Probiotics For Dogs
Probiotics for dogs come in several forms. Some dog foods even include probiotics in the list of ingredients.
If you look at the guaranteed analysis section on a package of dog food with probiotics, you will see the type and quantity of bacteria added.
Species-specific strains include Enterococcus faecium and Bacillus coagulans. Other probiotic strains that have helped improve stool quality and consistency in dogs include Bifidobacterium animalis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
Dog probiotic supplements are produced as powders, capsules, and chews. Each are labeled with recommendations on dosage and frequency of use.
Recommended Reading: Does Taking A Probiotic Prevent Yeast Infections
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.
- 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.
How Long Should Dogs Be On Probiotics
If youre giving probiotics for dogs as part of a preventative health plan, then you can give them most days. Soil based probiotics are typically a better choice for everyday probiotics since they are less likely to cause SIBO.
If your dog has diarrhea, then a high CFU lactic acid probiotic should help within a few days. Some studies show that probiotics can cut the recovery time roughly in half. Its best to continue the probiotics for a few weeks, to help resolve the underlying gut issues.
If your dog has chronic diarrhea or a digestive disorder, then a good multi-strain probiotic with gut-soothing herbs is a good choice. In this case, youll want to keep your dog on the probiotics long-term or until the diarrhea completely resolves.
Minamoto Y et al. Prevalence of Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin and dysbiosis in fecal samples of dogs with diarrhea. Vet Microbiol. 2014 Dec 5 174:463-473.
Baillon MLA et al. Effects of probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus strain DSM13241 in healthy adult dogs. Am J Vet Res. 2004 Mar 65:338-43.
Fernandez L et al. Characterization of Lactobacillus rhamnosus MP01 and Lactobacillus plantarum MP02 and assessment of their potential for the prevention of gastrointestinal infections in an experimental canine model. Front. Microbiol. 24 May 2019.
Kirchoff NS et al. The gut microbiome correlates with conspecific aggression in a small population of rescued dogs . PeerJ. 2019 7:e6103.
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Why Trust The Spruce Pets
Sophie is a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce Pets. For this article, she consulted Dr. Patrick Carney, assistant professor of Community Practice at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, regarding what to look for when shopping for a probiotic for dogs and whether probiotics made for dogs are substantially supported by scientific evidence.
A previous version of this article was written by Erica Puisis, a freelance writer who has contributed to The Spruce since 2017. To make this list, she considered each pick’s recommended age, type, and use.
Can You Use Probiotics For Dog Diarrhea
Yes, probiotics can be used to improve dog diarrhea caused by:
Stress colitis from boarding, moving, or any disruption in routine
Sudden changes to your dogs diet, like eating a new or unusual food
A bacterial imbalance from long-term antibiotic use
Infections that cause a bacterial overgrowth may clear with probiotic use as well.
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Yogurt Treats With Parsley And Carrots
This is a quick frozen recipe with plant-based probiotics. Parsley and carrots add vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to the recipe, while the yogurt adds probiotics.
- 1 cups plain yogurt
- cup freshly chopped parsley
- cup finely shredded carrots
- Add all the chopped veggies and the measured yogurt to a mixing bowl
- Mix the ingredients in the bowl using a spoon
- Spoon the mixture into an ice cube tray/silicone mold in your shape of choice
- Put the tray/molds into the freezer
- Allow the mixture to freeze for a couple of hours
- Serve these as chilled probiotic treats to your dog.
When To Give Your Dog Probiotics
Not all dogs need probiotics, but most can benefit from them as the good bacteria support their immune system. If your canine companion suffers from stomach problems, such as constipation or diarrhea, your veterinarian might recommend a higher dosage of probiotics.
However, theres a number of health problems probiotics can help with:
- Yeast overgrowth
- Allergy symptoms
All of these health issues are caused by shifts in the bacterial population structure in the microbiome, i.e. the community of bacteria and other microorganisms living in your pups gut. Bacteria shifts occur all the time and can be caused by aging, high-fat diets, high-starch diets, medications like antibiotics, toxins, etc. However, if your pet has enough good bacteria in the gut, such shifts are less likely to occur.
Pro Tip: Having pet insurance allows you to choose the best treatment option available without having to worry about your family finances. Pet insurance provides an easy way to budget pet care costs and can reimburse up to 90% of your vet bills.
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Probiotic Support From Nomnomnow
Like Probiotics for Dogs from Tails N Tummies, Probiotic Support from NomNomNow contains minimal ingredients.
As mentioned above, probiotics that contain few ingredients are great for dogs with food sensitivities.
It makes it easy for the probiotics to do their job inside of your dogs intestinal tract.
However, Probiotic Supports strength may be its weakness because it may be too bare minimum for dogs and their owners.
It has no flavor at all, and it comes in powder form that you have to add to your dogs food.
You may know this its not easy to give dogs powered medicine, and they may stare at their food suspiciously.
But you will have to determine how picky your dog is and if they will be receptive to it.
If you want to make it work, a favorite trick among dog parents is to add it to peanut butter to disguise it.
NomNomNow makes good products, and this probiotic is no exception.
Dont Forget To Keep Your Vet In The Loop
While probiotics are largely considered safe for healthy dogs, you always want to discuss their use with your vet first.
This will not only help ensure you dont make any of your dogs existing stomach discomfort or digestive difficulties worse, itll also help you with things like dosage. For example, your vet can help you decide things like how many chews per day your dog should have.
Your vet can also help you determine which types of bacteria will be most helpful for your dogs stomach and bowel health.
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Digestive Health & Probiotics For Dogs
Frequently Asked Questions aboutDigestive Health & Probiotics for Dogs
Should dogs take probiotics?
Some dogs should take probiotics, while others may not need them. Probiotics can help with a variety of digestive ailments and help with other conditions, as well. Some experts suggest they can be beneficial for overall health, too. Talk to your vet about whether probiotics may be a good idea for your dog and seek guidance on which ones might be best.
What are the best probiotics for dogs?
The best probiotics for dogs are those that are easy to administer and full of beneficial strains for your pup. Be sure to get probiotics made specifically for dogs, as human probiotics may have ingredients that are dangerous or inappropriate for your canine. Formulas without too many fillers or additives may be better for dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies, as well.
How long should dogs take probiotics?
Dogs should take probiotics for as long as a vet recommends. Probiotics may be recommended after a course of antibiotics or when diarrhea is present, and these are usually shorter courses that last for a few weeks to a month. Dogs with ongoing or recurrent health issues may be put on a probiotic indefinitely or have to take them whenever certain symptoms occur.
How do I give my dog a probiotic?
What Foods Are High In Probiotics For Dogs
Several dairy products, green tripe and sauerkraut, are high in probiotics. Fruits and vegetables do not contain live bacteria but are rich in prebiotics dietary fibers that serve as a food source for the healthy bacteria in the dogs gut.
Here is a closer look at the foods that can be used for homemade probiotics for dogs:
These probiotic foods can safely be added to the dogs diet. In fact, many commercially available dog foods and treats list these foods as ingredients.
Weakened Immune System In Dogs
Research into lactobacillus included in probiotic supplements has found that L. bacillus may thrive too much in a dogs immune system weakened by disease, malnutrition or even old age. Although a rare occurrence, overgrowth of lactobacillus may allow bacteria to spill over into the dogs bloodstream and produce a systemic infection or inflammation.
Winner: Nom Nom Probiotic Support Review
We chose Nom Nom Probiotic Support as the best dog probiotic for its combination of blends, reasonable price, and fantastic customer reviews. Nom Nom, a popular fresh dog food delivery service, has two different probiotic blends for dogs and a probiotic for cats. Their blends are formulated by their expert team of veterinary nutritionists and microbiologists. The company also offers a gut health test for dogs and cats that can help you determine if they need a probiotic.
The full-spectrum probiotic formula includes a prebiotic and seven strains of live bacteria to help maintain normal digestive and immune function and intestinal tract health.
The GI-targeted formula includes Saccharomyces boulardii, which can help treat diarrhea, Clostridium difficile, and inflammatory bowel disease in dogs. S. boulardii is also beneficial if your dog is taking antibiotics. Its a healthy yeast thats also considered a probiotic rather than a bacteria so that it wont be killed by antibiotic use.
- Mix one level scoop of the powder into food once daily
- Protect from light, high temperatures, and moisture
- Refrigerate for optimal preservation
Probiotics included in Full Spectrum Blend:Inulin , Bifidobacterium animalis, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. reuteri, L. fermentum, L. rhamnosus, and Pediococcus acidilactici.
- Starts at $25.99 for one 44g jar
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