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Homemade Probiotics for Dogs

15 Natural Probiotics for Dogs

Natural probiotics for dogs are foods naturally rich in beneficial microorganisms. Greek yogurt is the best natural probiotic for dogs, followed by green tripe, certain dairy products, fermented foods, and vegetables. 

Probiotics support digestion and help prevent gastrointestinal tract conditions. Probiotics for dogs boost immunity, promote oral health, control allergies, and improve mood. 

Probiotic-rich foods are readily available and mixed with canine-friendly ingredients, which are used to make homemade probiotics for dogs

Homemade dog probiotic recipes are abundant online, allowing pet owners to tailor the exact ingredients based on their dogs’ preferences and needs. 

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are a type of fruit in the berry family. Blueberries are packed with nutrients and bioactives and labeled as a “superfood.”

Fresh blueberries are rich in prebiotics, which healthy gut bacteria need to thrive and function. 

Fermented blueberries are prepared with bacteria like Lactobacillus plantarum, L. rhamnosus, and L. brevis, acting as natural probiotics for dogs.  

Blueberries are excellent nutrient sources when served alone, mixed with oats and xylitol-free peanut butter, or molded into treats. 

The recommended serving size of blueberries for dogs is between half a tablespoon and four tablespoons or a quarter of a cup, depending on the dog’s size. 

2. Goat milk

Goat milk is an alkaline dairy product produced by goats. Goat milk is thick, creamy, and rich in protein and fat while very low in lactose.

Goat milk, compared to cow milk, is lower in α‐s1‐casein, which causes allergies in dogs, and lower in lactose, which is harmful to lactose-intolerant dogs.  

Goat milk is used to prepare kefir and yogurt, which are excellent natural probiotics for dogs. Fermented goat milk products contain various Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains. 

Goat milk is best served topped over dog kibble or mixed with homemade meals. Dogs are able to consume between 2 and 8 oz of goat milk per day, based on body weight. 

3. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is finely chopped cabbage fermented with various strains of lactic acid bacteria. Sauerkraut is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

Sauerkraut contains beneficial gut bacteria that support its use among the natural probiotics for dogs. Lactobacillus brevis and L. plantarum are typically found in sauerkraut. 

Give dogs raw, plain, and unpasteurized sauerkraut (free from caraway seeds) alone or mixed with wet dog kibble. 

The recommended amount of sauerkraut for dogs is one tablespoon per 20 pounds of body weight a day. 

4. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a type of winter squash from the Cucurbita family. Pumpkin contains plenty of nutrients and promotes healthy digestion and excretion. 

Pumpkin is not a natural probiotic for dogs but is rich in dietary fiber. The dog’s healthy gut bacteria require dietary fiber as a fuel source. 

Give raw or lightly steamed pumpkin flesh to dogs. Pumpkin makes an excellent puree and is easy to mix with other dog-friendly ingredients. 

The general recommendation is to give dogs between one and four pumpkin tablespoons per meal, depending on size. 

5. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with yeasts and bacteria cultures. Kefir contains a variety of microorganisms that support gut health and is suitable for lactose-intolerant dogs.  

Kefir is one the best natural probiotics for dogs, rich in more than 60 probiotic strains, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactococcus lactis, and Saccharomyces species.

Serve kefir to dogs alone or mixed with high-quality dog food or fresh fruits and vegetables. Serve one to four teaspoons of kefir daily, depending on the dog’s size. 

6. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a creamy, mild-flavored curdled milk product. Cottage cheese is high in calcium for bone support and probiotics for gut health. 

Cottage cheese is among the healthy natural probiotics for dogs. It contains two important strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum

Cottage cheese is a flavorful meal combined with plain boiled rice or meat to create dog ball treats. 

The recommended serving size of plain cottage cheese is around 3 ounces for a 25-pound dog. 

7. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are starchy, sweet-tasting rooty vegetables. They are a known superfood and offer various benefits, from gut health to digestion support. 

Sweet potatoes are rich in oligosaccharides, a type of prebiotic that healthy gut bacteria use as a food source. The prebiotics in sweet potatoes are used by Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species in the gut. 

Boil sweet potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes and serve them alone or mixed with rice, plain chicken meat, or other ingredients. Sweet potatoes pair perfectly with natural probiotics for dogs, such as yogurt or sauerkraut.  

The recommended serving size of sweet potatoes is two to three teaspoons for small dogs and up to one or two ounces for large dogs. 

8. Green tripe

Tripe is the stomach lining of ruminants (cows or sheep) that is typically green when raw and bleached when cleaned and processed. 

Raw green tripe is health-boosting and supports digestion because it contains probiotics and enzymes. The main probiotic in green tripe is Lactobacillus acidophilus.

Green tripe is given as a treat or mixed with dog food. Green tripe has a distinct smell that is off-putting to people but enticing to dogs. 

The serving size is limited to a few chunks daily and only for dogs over six months old, as green tripe is too rich for puppies.  

9. Pickles

Pickles are fermented cucumbers. Pickles are rich in probiotics, which support gut health and keep the microbiome in balance. 

Pickles are underrated natural probiotics for dogs. Pickles contain Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, and Enterococcus bacteria.  

Add low-sodium and vinegar-free pickles to the dog’s food or mix them with Greek yogurt to make a dog-friendly probiotic treat. 

Low-sodium pickles are still high in salt for dogs. Keep the serving size to one teaspoon of finely chopped pickles per portion once or twice a week. 

10. Fermented vegetables

Fermented vegetables have undergone a lacto-fermentation process and are rich in probiotics. 

Fermented vegetables, like carrots, cabbage, and cauliflower, are excellent natural probiotics for dogs and contain various Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus strains

Fermented vegetables for dogs are best served plain or combined with homemade meals or kibble to neutralize the sour taste. 

Always introduce fermented vegetables gradually, starting with half a teaspoon for smaller and one teaspoon for larger dogs. 

11. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a product made of de-husked, steamed, and flattened oats. Plain, cooked oatmeal is an excellent dog food, rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

Oats feature beta-glucan, a dietary fiber with a potent prebiotic effect. Oatmeal increases the population of certain strains of healthy gut bacteria. 

Prepare oats by soaking them in natural probiotics for dogs, like Greek yogurt, goat milk, or kefir. 

The safe amount of cooked oatmeal for dogs is one tablespoon ( around 15 grams) for every 20 pounds of body weight.

12. Carrots

Carrots are root vegetables rich in beta-carotene, antioxidants, and prebiotics that support healthy gut and digestion. 

Carrots contain prebiotics or dietary fiber. The healthy microorganisms in the dog’s gut use fiber to develop and function properly. 

Carrots are fermentable and mixed with live cultures that serve as natural dog probiotics. 

Fermented carrots must be low in sodium if served to dogs. Medium-sized dogs safely consume around two to three baby carrots per day. 

13. Yogurt

Yogurt is a dairy product made through bacterial fermentation of milk. Yogurt is packed with healthy gut bacteria and is low in lactose. 

Yogurt is one of the best natural probiotics for dogs. The two most commonly found healthy bacteria in yogurt are Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus

Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein and lower sugar levels than regular yogurt, making it a healthier dog choice. 

Give dogs plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt daily, alone, as a food topper, or mixed with fresh fruits. 

The recommended serving portion of Greek yogurt for dogs is between one and three large tablespoons, based on body weight. 

14. Broccoli

Broccoli is an edible cruciferous green veggie from the cabbage family. Broccoli is rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber, supporting gastrointestinal (GI) tract health and digestion. 

Fresh broccoli is dense in prebiotics and provides nutrients for beneficial gut bacteria, while fermented broccoli, based on the preparation method, contains various strains of live cultures. 

Give dogs fresh, lightly steamed, or fermented broccoli as a treat, food topper, or mixed with rice and chicken. 

The recommended daily portion of broccoli as natural probiotics for dogs is roughly a handful of chunks for a medium-sized dog. 

15. Bananas

Bananas are a fruit from the berry family. Bananas are rich in potassium and contain plenty of prebiotics or dietary fiber. 

The dietary fiber in bananas supports the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and promotes the production of short-chain fatty acids in the stomach. 

Bananas are ideal for dogs to combine with natural probiotics. Bananas are fermentable at home to make probiotic-rich dog treats. 

Small dogs safely consume two to three banana chunks daily, while large dogs eat up to half a banana. 

What are Natural Probiotics for Dogs?

Natural probiotics for dogs are foods naturally rich in probiotics or healthy gut bacteria and yeasts. Greek yogurt is the best natural dog probiotic

Other examples include green tripe, kefir, cottage cheese, mildly lacto-fermented foods (like sauerkraut or shredded carrots with ginger), and certain veggies. Natural probiotics are readily available and straightforward to use. 

Dogs eating foods rich in probiotics do not require supplementation unless a veterinarian recommends otherwise. Consult a vet before introducing probiotic-rich meals into the dog’s daily feeding regimen.  

How does Natural Probiotics Help Dogs?

Natural probiotics help dogs by enhancing digestion, increasing the production and absorption of nutrients in the gut, and supporting a robust immune system. 

Natural probiotics for dogs maintain the gut microbiome in balance. A balanced microbiome is vital for efficient GI tract function and preventing digestive problems in dogs. 

What are the Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs?

The benefits of probiotics for dogs are listed below. 

  • Digestive Health Support: The administration of probiotics has shown positive effects on gut health and can alleviate some intestinal diseases and disorders in dogs,reports a paper titled “Gut Probiotics and Health of Dogs and Cats: Benefits, Applications, and Underlying Mechanisms” published in Microorganisms in 2023. 
  • Reduced GI Tract Issues: Probiotics have been demonstrated to ameliorate clinical signs of gastrointestinal diseases in dogs, says a study “The Microbiota of Healthy Dogs Demonstrates Individualized Responses to Synbiotic Supplementation in a Randomized Controlled Trial” issued in Animal Microbiome in 2021. 
  • Intestinal Worm Control: Lactobacillus species help control some intestinal worms in dogs, according to a study, “Probiotic Therapy: A Promising Strategy for the Control of Canine Hookworm,” published in the Journal of Parasitology Research in 2013. 
  • Body Weight Management: Specific strains of probiotics promote weight loss, reports a study, “Probiotics Promote Weight Loss in Obese Dogs,” issued in the American Society for Microbiology in 2024. 
  • Improved Oral Wellness: Probiotics reduce the risk of periodontal disease in dogs, according to a study titled “Improving the Health of Teeth in Cats and Dogs with Live Probiotic Bacteria,” published in the Journal of Cosmetics Dermatological Sciences and Applications in 2019. 
  • Stronger Immunity: Probiotics strengthen the immune system, according to a study titled “Pre- and Probiotics to Increase the Immune Power of Colostrum in Dogs,” published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science in 2020. 
  • Allergy Control and Relief: Probiotics modulate the immune response and may have protective effects against atopic dermatitis,” according to a paper titled “Early Exposure to Probiotics in a Canine Model of Atopic Dermatitis (AD) has Long-Term Clinical and Immunological Effects” issued in Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology in 2012. 
  • Better Mood and Relaxation: Probiotics modulate the gut microbiota where gut microbiota is a central player in the gut-brain axis,reports a paper “Gut-Brain Axis Impact on Canine Anxiety Disorders: New Challenges for Behavioral Veterinary Medicine” issued in Veterinary Medicine International in 2024. 

Are Homemade Probiotic Dog Treats Less Effective?

No, homemade probiotic dog treats are not less effective. The only drawback of making natural probiotics or probiotic foods for dogs is their short shelf-life. 

Probiotics are live microorganisms that live for a limited period and under specific conditions. Homemade treats for dogs made with natural probiotics must be properly stored to ensure efficacy. 

Natural probiotics help reduce allergies without risking flare-ups in sensitive dogs. Commercially available dog probiotics feature multiple ingredients. Certain ingredients have the ability to trigger dog allergy issues.

Homemade probiotic dog treats have strictly controlled ingredients, allowing pet owners to tailor the recipe based on their dogs’ sensitivities and allergies. 

What are the Risks of Probiotics in Dogs?

The risks of probiotics in dogs are listed below. 

  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea presents with loose or frequent stool and is a common side effect of probiotics for dogs. Natural probiotics upset the stomach if eaten excessively. 
  • Constipation: Dogs experience constipation due to probiotic supplementation, contrary to the expected relief from diarrhea. Signs of constipation in dogs typically include difficulty or straining during bowel movements. 
  • Gassiness: Probiotics alter the dog’s gut microbiome, causing increased gas production. The medical term for gassiness is flatulence.  
  • Bloating: The increased gas production in the gut makes the dog bloated. Bloating is usually accompanied by abdominal pain and flatulence. 

How Much Natural Probiotics is Best for Dogs?

Natural probiotics between a teaspoon and three teaspoons are best for dogs. The general rule is that small dogs need one teaspoon, medium-sized dogs need two, and large dogs need three teaspoons. 

Dosing natural probiotics for dogs is challenging because natural options are more unstable than the commercially available best probiotics for dogs. Consult the vet when determining the daily dose of probiotics for dogs. 

Are Plain Yogurt a Good Source of Probiotics for Dogs?

Yes, plain yogurt is a good source of probiotics for dogs. Greek yogurt is the best among natural dog probiotics because it contains many live cultures. 

Yogurt is high in protein and calcium and is a natural dog probiotic. Plain yogurt is the safest choice since added natural or artificial sweeteners are hazardous for pets. 

Is pumpkin a probiotic for dogs?

No, pumpkin is not a probiotic for dogs. Pumpkins lack natural probiotics for dogs but contain prebiotics, dietary fibers that feed the gut’s beneficial bacteria. 

Pumpkin is rich in prebiotics that support a healthy gut microbiome. Pumpkin complements probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, carrots, or honey when preparing homemade and natural dog probiotics

Can Dog Probiotics Prevent Autoimmune Diseases?

No, dog probiotics cannot prevent autoimmune diseases. Probiotics are promising solutions for treating human immune-mediated diseases, according to a study, “Probiotics and Prebiotics in the Suppression of Autoimmune Diseases,” issued in Scientific Perspective in 2022. 

Commercial and natural probiotics for dogs are not well-established. Current research shows pet probiotics do not prevent autoimmune disease in dogs.