Did you know that a dog’s gut is the largest immune organ in their body and contains, on average, about 70% of immune cells? Pretty cool, isn’t it? That is why it is super important to have probiotics for dogs! Your furry friend’s digestive system needs to run smoothly so that they stay healthy, active, and live and full and happy life.
You may be wondering how you achieve that, and the answer is quite simple.
Like humans, dogs can take probiotic supplements to improve their overall health. It is completely safe and recommended by veterinarians to put good bacteria in your pet’s body in order to fight the bad bacteria.
If you aren’t sure what probiotic products to look for, or you aren’t sure what probiotics are, then we have you covered!
What Are Probiotics?
All dogs have beneficial microbes in their bodies, but sometimes they can get damaged or destroyed.
When this occurs, your dog may suffer from an upset stomach or you may see a general decline in health. As this affects the digestive health of your dog and their immune system, they may suffer from diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, or other related issues, or just get sick for no apparent reason.
Your first thought might be that they need antibiotics; however, most veterinarians recommend probiotics for pets.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that live throughout a dog’s body. Areas that they tend to live include the gastrointestinal tract, nasal cavity, oral cavity, respiratory organs, vagina, and even on your dog’s skin.
The ‘live microorganisms’ part might sound a little scary to you, but probiotics are often referred to as ‘good bacteria’ or ‘friendly bacteria’ as it works to keep your dog healthy.
Pawesome Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs
Not sure whether you should give your dog probiotics? Here are some potential benefits of probiotic supplements and other products:
- Giving your dog probiotics has been proven to improve digestive health and the intestinal tract.
- Research has discovered that probiotics positively impact obesity, liver disease, and behavior disorders.
- Pet probiotics taken daily can also provide ancillary benefits like your dog’s coat, improved breath, or a reduction in gas.
Good Bacteria vs. Bad Bacteria: The 411 on Probiotics for Dogs
When pet owners think of living microorganisms entering their dogs gut they can tend to get a little worried. That is absolutely understandable. The important thing to remember is that probiotic bacteria is a beneficial bacteria and will help to improve your dog’s overall health.
So, what are the five strains of bacteria? And what are beneficial bacteria and harmful bacteria to your dog? We’ve got all the information you need below.
The 5 Strains of Bacteria
Like we’ve stated before, all dogs have good bacteria and bad bacteria in their gut.
When the good bacteria has been depleted, it can make your dog unwell. Probiotic supplements and products put this good bacteria back into the gut, digestive tract, and relevant intestinal organs and help their immune system heal them.
The 5 probiotic strains include:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Enterococcus Faecium
- Bifidobacterium Lactis
- Lactobacillus Casei
- Bifidobacterium Breve
Beneficial bacteria are strains that are good for your dog and improve their overall health by supporting and strengthening the immune system and the digestive system. The 5 probiotic strains above are beneficial bacteria, as well as other strains including Lactobacillus Plantarum, Bifidobacterium animalis, and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
Unfortunately, dogs have also got harmful bacteria in their bodies or can contract harmful bacteria from dog food, human food, or other animals like dogs or cats. Harmful bacteria attack the GI tract and cause illnesses like diarrhea.
The GI tract can be healed by finding a balance between good and bad bacteria.
When Does Your Dog Need Probiotics?
If you are thinking of giving your dog probiotics then you should know when to give it to them. Probiotics are often prescribed to dogs when they are sick or stressed, and this has caused an imbalance between healthy and disease-causing microbes. Signs to look for are diarrhea, cramping, gas, or bad breath.
You might also consider giving your dog, who is healthy, probiotic supplements if they have a history of developing diarrhea in stressful situations or if they are getting enough probiotics in their food.
6 Facts You Didn’t Know About Dog’s Digestive Health
- Dogs and humans share a similar digestive system. Their small intestine occupies about 25% of their total gastrointestinal volume, similar to humans.
- Dogs get heartburn, just like humans! They can also benefit from antacid medication to get rid of that nasty feeling it causes.
- Since dogs have become domesticated, research has proven that they have adopted the ability to digest and absorb carbs.
- Unlike humans, a dog cannot be affected by cholesterol. A dog’s digestive system was actually designed to accommodate fat so that it doesn’t put any strain on their heart.
- Digestive problems are actually really common in dogs and account for around 10% of veterinarian visits.
- It’s all about the poo! Your dog’s poo can actually tell you a lot about their health and whether or not they are suffering bacterial problems.
Human Probiotics for Dogs: Can Your Pup Take it?
If a dog can have probiotics, then they can have human probiotics, right?
While there aren’t any studies or research that states human probiotics can harm a dog, veterinarians recommend that you should give your dog probiotic supplements or products that are made for dogs.
The reason for this recommendation is that, though we are surprisingly similar, the biology of dogs and humans are different. Factors to take into consideration include stomach fluids, digestive enzymes, and gastrointestinal tract features.
As no studies have been conducted, it’s impossible to say how your dog will respond if you give them human probiotics.
Supplements and Dog Food: How to Help Your Doggos Gut
If you are thinking of giving your dog probiotics then there are a number of different ways you can introduce it to your dog.
The most popular forms of probiotics come in supplements and dog food.
Probiotic supplements have to be taken orally and can come in either the form of a tablet or a chew. There are many supplements on the market and all range in price, however, it’s best to look for a supplement that fights multiple strains of bad bacteria.
If your dog isn’t a massive fan of taking supplements, then there are many dog foods on the market that already have probiotics in them. As every dog is different, it’s best to do some research and talk to your veterinarian about the best dog food to help your dog fight bad bacteria.
5 Best Probiotics for Dog
We’ve given you the 5 probiotic strains to look for in good bacteria, and now we are going to provide you with the 5 best probiotics to give your dog and help them get strong and healthy.
Purina Fortiflora Canine Probiotics
Purina Fortiflora Canine Probiotics are probiotic supplements that aid the dietary management of puppies and adult dogs who are suffering from diarrhea. The supplements increase the levels of beneficial bacteria in your dog and strengthen their immune system.
VetriScience Laboratories Mega Probiotic for Dogs and Cats
VetriScience Laboratories Mega Probiotic for Dogs and Cats are probiotic capsules that are all natural and have a beneficial source of microorganisms. This product is usually recommended for digestion, poor diet, food intolerances, and supporting the regularity of the gastrointestinal tract and immune system.
Pet Vitality Probiotics for Dogs with Natural Digestive Enzymes
Pet Vitality Probiotics for Dogs with Natural Digestive Enzymes are probiotic soft chews that are an all-natural health booster for your dog’s diet. With natural digestive enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this brand of probiotic chews works to correct and support the gastrointestinal tract and immune system.
Pet Ultimates Probiotics for Dogs
Pet Ultimates Probiotics for Dogs is a probiotic powder that contains two billion forms of bacteria that are known to fight bad bacteria as well as restore regular digestion, healthy skin, and renewed vitality. It also helps defend the colon against infections caused by bacteria, yeast, and other bad microorganisms.
Nusentia Probiotic Miracle Dog Probiotics for Dogs
Nusentia Probiotic Miracle Dog Probiotics for Dogs is a probiotic powder that helps to improve your dog’s immune system, digestive function, diarrhea, and loose stools. With no fillers, flavors, or byproducts, the probiotic powder is all-natural.
Yummy & Creamy! Goats Milk for Dogs
Can you really give your dog goats milk?
Goats milk, especially when it’s raw, is rich and high in natural probiotics. Another added benefit of giving your dog goats milk is that it has very little lactose (sugar that is in cows milk), therefore it doesn’t cause any digestive issues if you give it to your dog daily.
Not sure that goats milk is enough? It’s safe to combine probiotic supplements when giving your dog goats milk for that extra probiotic benefit.
Check out our Goats Milk for Dogs guide here!
Keep Your Pups Gut Happy with Probiotics for Dogs!
If your furry friend is still a little puppy then there is no better time to get in and help support their digestive system and immune system with probiotics. The great thing is that probiotics are absolutely safe to introduce to your dog at any age, and most probiotic supplements or products cater for puppies.
If you aren’t sure which product is best for your puppy, it’s always best to consult a vet just to be sure!
Nobody likes an upset tummy and a runny bum, especially dogs! Probiotics are natural and healthy bacteria’s that helps to fight the bad and harmful bacteria that causes dogs to get digestive problems. With probiotics, you can strengthen your dog’s digestive system, immune system, and give them a better quality of life.