Probiotics are ‘friendly’ microorganisms often referred to as digestive boosters. These microorganisms, which can be found in probiotic fortified foods and supplements, help prevent digestive and gastrointestinal ailments as well as strengthen general immunity. We, humans, ingest probiotics to protect our gut. But our pets can also benefit from probiotics, especially dogs. Why there are probiotics for dogs, you may ask? To help improve the health of your beloved pooches, of course! Find out which ingredients is the best probiotics for dogs and the right probiotic supplement for them.
Giving probiotics to dogs
Many foods contain probiotics such as yogurt, water kefir or fermented vegetables. And while your dogs can benefit from probiotic-enriched grub, let’s first understand why certain bacteria are good for dogs.
Healthy bacteria that reside within the intestinal tract work as a main function for your pup by establishing bodily defenses against disease-causing organisms. The balance between the harmful and healthy bacteria must be kept in check.
In the typical pet life cycle, their systems perform a great job of normalizing this balance and preventing a bacteria-induced tug of war in their bodies. But there are several things that enter your pet’s body that cause imbalance. That’s where probiotics for dogs come to play a vital role in maintaining that crucial bacteria balance.
Ordinary everyday situations that may cause imbalances to your pet include poor or insufficient diets, stress, chemicals, the environment, and aging. Each of these situations may or may not inflict problems, but they do exist. Thus, as pet owners, we handle preventing, treating or fixing these pet problems. Probiotics are often an effective remedy for disease prevention.
So what can we expect if we give probiotics to our pet dogs? Probiotics control yeast-related infections, maintain healthy digestion, treat diarrhea and constipation, eliminate foul body odors, reduce bad breath, counteract antibiotic side effects, prevent shedding, treat skin rashes, and increase energy levels. Indeed, probiotics keep a dog’s gut healthy and maintain proper levels of friendly microorganisms.
Also, have you ever wondered why older pets have a more difficult time maintaining appropriate weight despite the fact that they consume the same amount of food?
By affording your dogs probiotics, the beneficial bacteria in their system are better equipped to combat unhealthy organism growth that impedes weight gain. So, if you want to keep your dogs healthy and robust, you can supplement their diet with a high-quality pet probiotic.
Best Canine Probiotics
But before throwing a chunk of your money for lavish probiotic-enriched doggie treats and supplements, it’s good to know that not all probiotics are alike. There are some cheap pet probiotics being sold in the market, which are clinically studied to be unstable. Don’t buy probiotics that quickly lose their beneficial properties once they reach your dog’s tummy. A dog’s stomach has harsh acidity, and good quality probiotics should be stable and robust enough to withstand stomach acidity to reach the intestine. Your dog’s intestinal tract is the place where probiotics need to plant to colonize it with healthy flora.
Take note that some probiotic formulas claim they’re designed for pets (there are probiotic for cats, too!) but are just human formulated with pet labels. Since bacteria is host-specific, offering your dog a random probiotic supplement may be a mistake.
What your dog needs is a dry probiotic supplement blended with stabilized bacteria strains. Dry probiotics for dogs doesn’t require refrigeration and won’t react to exposure easily, unlike a liquid or mutable probiotic. They customarily come in powder, chewables, tablet or capsule. They can all be added and sprinkled into the dog food.
Other effective probiotic supplements for dogs include a slight amount of prebiotics such as FOS (fructooligosaccharides). FOS is a natural plant fiber proven to have health benefits, acting as fertilizer for friendly bacteria.
Furthermore, you check the label’s colony forming units (CFUs). The recommended serving size of CFUs in probiotics for dogs must contain at least 20 million from multiple probiotic strains. Lower doses will not be as effective, and a higher dosage may contribute to possible health harm to your dog.
Below is a short list of probiotics for dogs that you can try.
Mercola – Complete Probiotics For Pets
Formulated by a team behind Dr. Joseph Mercola, an alternative medicine advocate, the Complete Probiotics for Pets is a dietary supplement geared for dogs and cats. It comes in gluten-free, non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) probiotic powder.
- 58 billion live bacteria in every serving
- 14 effective beneficial bacteria strains
- Strengthens immune system function
- Supports B and K vitamins production
- Promotes healthy digestive tract
- Improves bowel health
- Boosts energy levels
- Not for external fur problems
- May cause diarrhea
- Expensive price tag
Nusentia Probiotic Miracle
This probiotic powder supplement hailed as the “only probiotic researched for dogs”.
- Two billion CFUs per serving
- Proprietary blend of six stable bacteria strains for dogs
- Gluten-, wheat-, and dairy-free
- No fillers, preservatives, and animal products
- Acid and bile resistant
- Produces Lactase (natural enzyme) and acidophilin
- Boosts natural immune health
- Promotes B vitamin production
- Subdues pathogenic bacteria (E.coli and salmonella)
- GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) facility-manufactured
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- Increase in gas during initial intake
- May cause loose stool
Paw Choice – Probiotics for Dogs with Prebiotics
Paw Choice’s Probiotics for Dogs come in chewable bites that will surely appeal to your dog’s appetite. The product contains prebiotics and patented strain of Bacillus Coagulans.
- 100 million CFUs
- 60 bone-shaped chews
- Duck flavored
- Contains prebiotics (FOS)
- Contains Bacillus Coagulans
- Supports digestive tract health
- Boosts immunity
- Maintains microbial balance
- Regulates bowel movement
- Aids in vital nutrient absorption
- Very affordable
- 30-day satisfaction guarantee
- May cause diarrhea or constipation during preliminary consumption
This brief list aims to help you narrow down your dog probiotics options. Also, some but not all dog probiotics entail refrigeration to maintain bacteria stabilization. Remember to read the label first and look for products that guarantee to supply a specific number of live, beneficial bacteria. You can also peruse ratings and reviews online on what are the best probiotics for dogs.