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Do Probiotics Help Dogs with Itchy Skin?

Do Probiotics Help Dogs with Itchy Skin?

Yes, probiotics help dogs with itchy skin by promoting a healthy skin microbiome, supporting a healthy gut, and reducing the inflammation that causes skin discomfort.

Probiotics are live microorganisms, primarily bacteria and yeasts, that promote dog health when consumed daily and in adequate amounts. Probiotics for dogs' skin have been studied, and itchy skin in dogs is often caused by allergies or imbalances in the immune system. The best probiotics for dog skin allergies contain between 1 and 10 billion colony-forming units (CFU). 

Probiotics for dogs with allergies and itchy skin help alleviate symptoms by modulating the immune response and reducing inflammation, according to several studies. Probiotic effectiveness varies in every dog, and more research is needed to fully understand the role of probiotics for dog's itchy skin and the allergies experienced by dogs.

What is Itchy Skin in Dogs?

Itchy skin in dogs is where a dog experiences discomfort, irritation, or scratching on its skin, provoking a desire to scratch. Common causes of itchy skin or pruritis in dogs include parasites, allergies, and infections. 

Itchy skin in dogs manifests with constant licking, biting, or rubbing areas of their body, redness, flakiness, or hair loss. Dogs develop hot spots or localized, inflamed patches on the skin caused by excessive scratching. A healthy skin regime and probiotics for dog skin help prevent itchy skin in dogs.

What causes dogs to experience itchiness in their skin?

The causes of dogs to experience itchiness in their skin are listed below.

  • Food or shampoo allergies: Dogs have allergic reactions to ingredients in food or grooming products, leading to skin irritation and itchiness.
  • Environmental allergies: Pollen, mold, dust mites, weeds, and grasses trigger allergic reactions in dogs, causing itchiness, redness, and skin inflammation. 
  • Flea bites: Flea infestations cause skin itchiness in dogs. Flea bites provoke intense itching and discomfort, leading to scratching, biting, and skin irritation.
  • Bacterial skin infections: Bacterial overgrowth on the skin leads to infections, which cause itchiness, redness, and inflammation. Common bacterial skin infections in dogs include pyoderma and hot spots. Administering probiotics for allergies helps minimize the skin sensation causing the dog to itch.

1. Food or shampoo allergies

Food or shampoo allergies are adverse reactions caused by a dog's immune system mistakenly identifying certain ingredients in its food or grooming products as harmful invaders. The ingredients trigger an immune response, leading to various symptoms, including hot spots and itchiness in the skin.

The dog’s immune system produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies after consuming food or exposure to grooming products containing allergenic ingredients. The antibodies trigger the release of histamines and other inflammatory substances, which cause irritation and inflammation of the skin.

Probiotics help dogs with itchy skin caused by food or shampoo allergies by improving the volume of good bacteria in the gut, which helps the dog develop immunity to allergens.

2. Environmental allergies

Environmental allergies in dogs, known as atopic dermatitis or atopy, are allergic reactions triggered by exposure to environmental allergens such as pollen, mold, dust mites, and certain grasses or trees. 

The immune system reacts abnormally when a dog with environmental allergies is exposed to environmental allergens. The immune system produces an inflammatory response and releases histamines, which cause an unpleasant skin sensation that triggers itchiness and scratching. Probiotics help dogs with itchy skin caused by environmental allergens by restoring a healthy microbiome and minimizing the skin sensation triggering itching. 

3. Flea bites

Flea bites are bites inflicted by fleas that feed on the blood of animals, including dogs. Fleas are tiny, wingless insects found in dog fur in warm and humid environments.  

A flea bite pierces the skin and injects saliva into the bite site. Flea saliva contains anticoagulants to facilitate feeding when it bites a dog. Dogs allergic to flea saliva experience an exaggerated immune response and release histamines and inflammatory chemicals that trigger itchiness, swelling, and skin inflammation. Probiotics help dogs with itchy skin caused by flea bites by decreasing the sensitivity of allergen-specific IgE, a protein indicating the presence of an allergy.                                    

4. Bacterial skin infections

Bacterial skin infections in dogs are caused by pathogenic bacteria that colonize the skin, leading to inflammation and irritation. Bacterial skin infections are secondary to underlying conditions such as allergies, hormonal imbalances, or skin trauma. Bacterial skin infections manifest in various forms, including pyoderma (superficial bacterial infection of the skin) and cellulitis (deeper tissue infection).

Bacterial skin infections cause itchiness in dogs by triggering inflammation, producing toxins, promoting scratching, damaging the skin, and leading to secondary complications such as hair loss and skin lesions. 

Probiotics help dogs with itching caused by bacterial skin infections by promoting a healthy balance of gut bacteria and helping the immune system fight harmful bacteria is the answer for pet owners wondering,” How do probiotics help dogs with itching caused by bacterial skin infections?”

How can you help your Dog Overcome Skin Itchiness?

You can help your dog overcome skin itchiness in the ways listed below.

  • Visit a veterinarian: Veterinarians diagnose the cause of the skin itchiness and prescribe appropriate treatment to help your dog overcome it. 
  • Use CBD products for your dog: CBD oil and supplements alleviate pain and reduce inflammation, relieving skin itchiness symptoms in dogs. Consult a veterinarian to determine the cause of skin itchiness before introducing CBD supplementation. 
  • Apply home remedies to soothe your dog: Home remedies, such as oatmeal baths or cool compresses, provide temporary relief from itching and soothe irritated skin. Use home remedies in conjunction with veterinary treatment because home remedies do not cure the underlying cause of the itchiness.
  • Offer your dog probiotics: Probiotics support gut health and modulate the immune system, which helps alleviate itching in some dogs, particularly dogs with allergies or immune-related skin conditions. Probiotics are effective as part of a multimodal veterinary treatment plan that addresses the underlying cause of skin itching. 

1. Visit your veterinarian

Visit your veterinarian to determine the cause of a dog’s skin itchiness. The veterinarian provides a clinical diagnosis and prescribes suitable treatments and advice.

Professional veterinary care is essential to managing skin issues in dogs. Veterinarians assess complete dog health because skin health is linked to the immune system. The vet prescribes appropriate medications, topical treatments, or dietary adjustments to alleviate and cure skin itchiness. Timely intervention by a veterinarian prevents skin itchiness from developing into serious health concerns.

2. Use CBD products for your dog

Use CBD products for your dog to relieve skin itchiness. Cannabidiol (CBD) is an oil extracted from cannabis sativa plants. Hemp does not contain a significant amount of THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. CBD products like oil, dog treats, and topical creams interact with a dog’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system regulates bodily functions, including mental health, appetite, sleep, the immune response, and skin health.

CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation, soothe skin irritation, and promote dog wellness. CBD products help address the root cause of skin itchiness, providing long-term relief when used with dog probiotics for allergies.

3. Apply home remedies to soothe your dog

Apply home remedies to soothe your dog, relieve skin itchiness, promote skin health, and support the growth of healthy bacteria on their skin.

Common home remedies, such as oatmeal baths and topical coconut oil applications, help alleviate dogs' itchiness and inflammation.

Include probiotics in a dog’s diet to help balance the skin microbiome. Probiotics increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut, supporting healthy, itch-free skin.

4. Offer your dog probiotics

Offer your dog probiotics to support their immune system, improve gut health, and alleviate skin itchiness associated with atopic dermatitis.

Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria and yeasts found in the digestive system. The microorganisms in probiotics work to restore and maintain a healthy balance of gut flora, which is essential for digestion and nutrient absorption. Probiotics strengthen the immune system by promoting a robust gut environment and helping dogs effectively ward off infections and illnesses.

Probiotics are crucial in managing skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, by reducing inflammation and boosting the skin's natural defenses. Reducing inflammation and optimizing the skin’s natural defenses decreases skin itching, redness, and discomfort.

What are Dog Probiotics?

Dog probiotics are “good bacteria” or “beneficial bacteria” for dogs. “Probiotics are microbial cell preparations or components of microbial cells that have a beneficial effect on the health and well-being of the host” is a definition of probiotics offered by Salminen, S., Ouwehand, A., Benno, Y., & Lee, Y. 1999 

Probiotics work in colony-forming units or CFUs that colonize the intestinal tract and crowd out harmful bacteria, aiding digestion and absorption of nutrients. A key factor in determining the effectiveness of probiotics is the colony-forming units (CFU) count, which indicates the number of viable bacterial cells present in the supplement. The recommended daily CFU count for dogs is between 1 and 10 billion. The best dog probiotics for allergies have at least 5 million CFU.

Do Probiotics Help Dogs With Itchy Skin?

Yes, probiotics help dogs with itchy skin by promoting a healthy skin microbiome, supporting a healthy gut, and reducing inflammation that causes skin discomfort. 

Probiotic strain Lactobacillus sakei probio-65 significantly reduced the disease severity index in dogs diagnosed with canine atopic dermatitis,” according to the study by Kim, H., Rather, I., Kim, H., Kim, S., Kim, T., Jang, J., Seo, J., Lim, J., & Park, Y. titled “A Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled-Trial of a Probiotic Strain Lactobacillus sakei Probio-65 for the Prevention of Canine Atopic Dermatitis,” 2015. 

Probiotics help enhance the skin microbiome by replenishing the microorganisms inside the allergic dog, helping to reduce skin allergies and reactions to allergies. Probiotics build a diversity of microorganisms on the skin, creating a protective barrier is the answer to “ Do probiotics help dogs with itching and “Are probiotics good for dogs with allergies?”

How do Probiotics Help Dogs With Itchy Skin?

Probiotics help dogs with itchy skin by modulating the immune response, enhancing the skin's barrier function, and promoting health by balancing beneficial microorganisms in the body. 

Probiotic enema with Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus paracasei significantly reduces itching in dogs with atopic dermatitis,” according to the study by Ural, K., Erdoğan, S., Balikçi, C., Erdoğan, H., & Içaçan, Ş. titled “Inovatif Gastroentero-Dermatoloji Kapsamında Muhtelif Yöntem Geliştirme I: Lactobacillus plantarum ve Lactobacillus paracasei ile Probiyotik Eneması Atopik Dermatitli Köpeklerde Anti-Pruritik Etkinlik Sağlar Mı?,” 2021. 

Probiotics play a crucial role in alleviating skin itchiness in dogs by fostering a healthy microbiome, which boosts the immune system's ability to ward off inflammatory responses.

Where to Get the Best Probiotics Supplements

Where to get the best probiotic supplements are listed below.

  • Pharmacies: Most pharmacies carry a variety of probiotic supplements, ranging from basic to more specialized formulations, such as Honest Paws Well Pre+Probiotics supplements with chicken flavor. Honest Paws probiotics for dogs are considered one of the best probiotics for dog skin allergies
  • Health Food Stores: Stores specializing in natural and organic products offer a wide selection of probiotic supplements, such as capsules, powders, and liquids, catering to different preferences and dietary restrictions.
  • Online Retailers: Probiotic supplements are sold on online marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, and Vitacost. Shopping online provides convenience and allows buyers to compare products, read reviews, and access a broader selection than locally.
  • Specialty Health Stores: Specialty health stores selling vitamins, supplements, and wellness products and carry high-quality probiotic supplements for dogs with itchiness. These stores have knowledgeable staff who offer advice on selecting the right probiotic.
  • Veterinarians: Veterinarians recommend specific probiotic supplements tailored to individual health goals and dietary preferences. 
  • Functional Medicine Practitioners: Functional medicine practitioners, such as naturopathic doctors or integrative veterinarians, recommend probiotic supplements as part of a holistic approach to health and wellness. 
  • Direct from Manufacturers: Some probiotic supplement brands sell probiotics directly to consumers through their websites or authorized online retailers. Purchasing directly from the manufacturer ensures product authenticity and offers access to exclusive deals or subscription options.

Is it okay to give probiotics to your dog every day?

Yes, it is okay to give probiotics to your dog every day. “A daily dose of 20 billion CFU of probiotics (L. reuteri, P. acidilactici, E. faecium, L. acidophilus, B. animalis, L. fermentum, L. rhamnosus) can improve gut health in healthy dogs,” according to Tanprasertsuk, J., Shmalberg, J., Jha, A., Perry, L., & Honaker, R. titled “The Effect of Probiotics Supplementation on the Gut Microbiome of Healthy Dogs Assessed Using Metagenomic Sequencing: A Randomized Control Trial,” 2020.

Daily probiotic supplementation is safe for dogs, provided owners follow the recommended guidelines and dosages. Regularly using probiotics, such as Enterococcus faecium, helps maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria over time.

Do probiotics help dogs with itchy skin?

Yes, probiotics help dogs with itchy skin. A significant portion of a dog's immune system resides in the gut. Maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria positively impacts skin health. “Probiotics show potential in preventing and treating skin diseases like eczema, atopic dermatitis, acne, and allergic inflammation, as well as improving skin hypersensitivity, UV-induced damage, wound protection, and cosmetic products,” according to the study by Roudsari, M., Karimi, R., Sohrabvandi, S., & Mortazavian, A. titled “Health Effects of Probiotics on the Skin,” 2015.

Skin probiotics for dogs benefit some dogs with itchy skin, but they are not a cure-all solution. Consult a veterinarian before starting any new supplement regimen for dogs to ensure probiotics are suitable for the underlying cause of skin itchiness. 

Can Probiotics help dog Allergies?

Yes, probiotics can help dog allergies. Probiotics relieve dogs with allergies caused by environmental factors or food sensitivities. Probiotics for allergies in dogs support the immune system and promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which help to modulate the body's response to allergens. “Probiotics can decrease allergen-specific IgE production in animal models of allergen sensitization and asthma,” according to the study by Borchers, A., Selmi, C., Selmi, C., Meyers, F., Keen, C., & Gershwin, M. titled “Probiotics and immunity,” 2009.

Probiotics positively impact allergic reactions in dogs by reducing inflammation and improving immune function according to studies. The effectiveness of probiotics for allergy experienced by dogs varies from one dog to another, and they do not work for all cases or types of allergies.