We all know the role of probiotics in maintaining a healthy gut. But most of us don’t know that the live bacteria are not just helpful for humans but also animals. That’s why dog owners come across many forms of probiotic for dogs and other types of supplements whenever they are shopping for dog food and supplies.

What Exactly are Probiotics?

Powdered Probiotics For Dogs

They refer to live bacteria that help maintain a healthy environment in the digestive tract and the gut. In simple words, probiotics keep a lid on the bad bacteria in our stomach that can lead to several digestion problems.

What Probiotics do for Dogs

Probiotics are not just helpful for humans but also animals, including your pet cat and dog. Feeding a good quality and safe probiotic supplement to your dog will help your pet enjoy better digestion. Probiotics can prevent the onset of many diseases such as diarrhea, constipation, allergies, bad breath, and even skin conditions.

While humans can ingest probiotics through food and drink items, dogs can benefit from different types of probiotic supplements, such as probiotic powder products. Don’t forget to discuss with your vet before you starting a new formula for your pet.

Why Should you Give Probiotics to your Dogs

Why Should you Give Probiotics to your Dogs

Many dog owners believe that their dogs don’t require a probiotic supplement.  However, choosing powdered probiotics or chewable supplements can help improve your dog’s digestion if:

Your dog has a curious appetite: If your dog loves eating things off the ground, he may be at risk of developing gastrointestinal infections. A daily dose of probiotics will help him combat any such infections.

Your dog has poor digestion: Chronic digestive issues can affect your pet’s physical and mental health.  Giving a probiotic supplement every day can help your canine deal with abdominal discomfort and unpleasant symptoms.

You want to improve your dog’s overall health: Probiotics improves the performance of your dog’s digestive tract by increasing good bacteria in the gut. As a result, your dog enjoys better health and a stronger immunity.

When to Avoid Probiotic Supplements

In rare cases, powdered or liquid probiotics can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting. Check your vet if you think your cat or dog is experiencing any discomfort after you introduce a new probiotic as part of their diet.

Similarly, if you are feeding your pet with probiotic dog food, you may want to reduce the quantity of the supplement to control the probiotic dosage.

Different Types of Probiotics Supplements

There are numerous types of probiotic supplements available on the market. As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to consult with your vet before you choose any one of the following forms of probiotic supplements for your pet. In some cases, your vet may recommend a specific product or a brand and provide answers to all your queries.

Here are some of the most popular types of dog probiotics for your dogs.

Powdered Probiotics

Dog owners consider these as the best form of supplements for dogs. Feeding these supplements is quite convenient. Simply sprinkle the recommended amount in your dog’s regular food. Don’t forget to read the instructions on the label to figure out the right dosage amount according to your dog’s body weight and needs.

Numerous chicken and beef flavored probiotic supplements are available to suit your dog's taste. However, you can also choose a flavorless powder.

Chewable Probiotics

Every dog loves treats. Whether you are training your pet or want to reward him for good behavior, choosing yummy probiotic chewables offer a healthy way to show your affection.

Liquid Probiotics

Liquid supplements are also gaining popularity because they are easier to feed to your dogs. For example, you can buy a spray formula to spray on your canine’s regular food for giving your pet his daily dose of probiotics.

Probiotic Dog Food

Many credible brands offer probiotics supplement to keep your pet’s digestive system healthy. With a blend of natural ingredients such as proteins, and a probiotic blend, these dog food products are great for dogs that don’t like chewables or powdered probiotics.

If you want to end your pet’s constipation, diarrhea, bad breath, a frequently upset stomach or chronic tummy troubles; probiotic dog food can offer significant relief.

How Much do the Best Probiotics for Dogs Cost?

Different probiotic powder and other supplements are available in different price tags. Using the best formula containing all essential microorganisms can cost you up to $30 to $40 a months. However, if you have a bigger breed, you may have to spend up to $50 a month.

Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs

Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs

Choosing a premium-quality probiotic supplement for your pup can offer a multitude of benefits. Here are some of these benefits of making dog probiotics a regular part of your pet’s diet. 

  • Improved cholesterol levels

  • Better immune system

  • No bad breath

  • Decreased bloating

  • Powdered probiotics or any other form can also combat the effects of food poisoning and infections.

Dog Probiotic Supplements Vs. Natural Probiotics

Although many dog owners prefer giving natural sources by incorporating foods rich in probiotics into  their pet’s diet, probiotic supplements offer an easier and a more convenient way. Choosing premium-quality dog probiotics, especially powdered probiotics from credible brands like Pet Parents can help you treat common problems including low energy levels and fatigue. 

You won’t have to spend hours at your local grocery store to buy items like yogurt, onions, bananas, kefir, and kimchi to your canines. The truth is, your pup is less likely to make use any of these items. Kimchi is too spicy for your dog’s taste buds and onions can be dangerous when your pup consumes it in large quantities.

That’s one reason why dog owners are turning to a premium-quality probiotic for dogs, especially powdered probiotic products.

What to Look for When Buying Probiotics

According to research, using a probiotic for dogs is a great way to improve their overall health, you must consider some factors to make the best selection. Don’t forget that customer reviews can also help you buy the best product. 

Check the Label

Whenever you are buying a probiotic supplement for your dog, make sure you read the label to know if the product you are buying contains the most important microorganisms and probiotic strains for improving your canine companion’s health.

Bifidobacterium animalis: present in your dog’s large intestine. This bacteria improves the overall intestinal health and prevents any inflammatory activity to resolve diarrhea.

Enterococcus faecium: helps maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your pet’s stomach. It also offers protection against salmonella, E. coli, and other pathogens.

L. rhamnosus, L. fermantum, L. reuteri, L. saluvarius, L. casei , and L. plantarum: provide robust anti-microbial activity in the digestive tract. The bacteria are also capable of improving intestinal and gut health.

Lactobacillus acidophilus: promotes antifungal and antibacterial properties in the digestive tract of dogs. The bacteria also prevents diarrhea and reduce cholesterol levels to control your pet’s weight.

Pediococcus acidilactici: treats diarrhea and constipation in your pet. The bacteria also improve the immune response of your dog and shield the small intestine from E. coli and other pathogens.

Buy what your Dog Needs

Ideally, you should choose the right probiotic strains, according to your pet’s specific needs. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the strains you require for catering to your dog’s specific needs.

Taste

Dog owners are usually familiar of the taste requirements of their pets. For example, if your dog doesn’t like chewable treats, you may consider buying a powdered probiotic for your pet. Some dogs do not like ingesting pills and capsules. Spray or powdered probiotics can be a great alternative for fussy dogs.

Pay attention to the CFUs

Colony Forming Unit or CFU refer to the number of live bacteria in each serving. Many dog probiotics contain high number of CFUs.

However, that doesn’t always mean a better supplement. The number of CFUs will diminish over time so you want to make sure you buy a dog probiotic that has an adequate number of CFUs.

Although the labels of some products contain information about the number of live bacteria present in the dog probiotic, some products from unknown brands will not have an expiration date.

Remember to check the expiration date to have a better idea about the quality of the different dog probiotics. You should also store the product safely by following the instructions on the label. Your refrigerator may be the best place to store dog probiotics. 

Buy from Reputed Brands

Never buy cheap dog probiotics from a brand that does not provide any relevant information on the label. The role of customer review is also important when buying a supplement.

Avoid brand that do not have a customer review section on their website. You should also have other information such as an email address or information about the shipping policy of the brand. 

Dosage Instructions

You must pay attention to the dosage instructions mentioned on the product’s label to maintain good health of your pet. The right dosage depends on the body weight, size, age, breed, and condition of your dog. Remember to consult your veterinarian or follow the instructions on label to choose the right dosage for your dog or cat.

Our Final Thoughts

Owner and labrador retriever dog walking in the city

We all know how difficult it can be to see our dog dealing with complications related to digestion or other problems. Choosing a premium-quality probiotic supplement for your dog can be the best decision to improve your pet’s digestion and immunity. If you want to know more about how to protect your dog from various infections and underlying conditions, explore more on Honest Paws.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question? Here are some common FAQ’s regarding dog probiotics. 

Can dogs consume human probiotics?

A probiotic refers to a type of bacteria that supports good gut health and does not cause any harm to your body. Any imbalance of probiotic strains can lead to abdominal discomfort, inflammation, diarrhea, and skin conditions.

While dogs can consume probiotic supplements for humans, they are less likely to benefit from these formulas. That’s because probiotics for dogs are based on the distinctive microbiome of dogs. Furthermore, it is easier to decide the correct dosage of these products.

Can a dog overdose on probiotics?

According to vets and reputed manufacturers that produce good-quality probiotic supplements for dogs, a dog can’t overdose on probiotics. In fact, the higher the CFUs, the better performance you can expect out of these probiotics.

But remember, different breeds have varying requirements. Hence, following dosage instructions is very important to make sure your dog remains fit and healthy.

If you feel your dog’s symptoms are not improving, discontinue the probiotic and consult your vet immediately.

How do probiotic supplements work for dogs?

There is good evidence to support the positive effects of probiotics on improving your dog’s well being.  However, you should not consider them as miracle cures.

In some cases, probiotic supplements will not offer the desired results because he may be suffering from an underlying medical condition. In that case, you will have to take your dog to a vet for an examination.

Apart from that, if you buy cheap supplements from an unknown brand or online store, you may end up damaging your dog’s digestive tract. Remember to buy a premium-quality probiotic for dogs from credible brands such as Pet Parents.

How long will it take a probiotic supplement to work on my dog?

That’s a common question. Since every breed is different, probiotic supplements from various brands will have a different effect on your pet. Generally, you should start noticing improvements by a few weeks.

Will the probiotic supplement have any negative effects or side effects?

Probiotic supplements do not pose any risk to your dog’s digestive tract and organs. A good-quality probiotic supplement will not harm your dog’s physical or mental health.

Will probiotics interact negatively with other medication?

If your pet is on medication, you should consult with your vet before choosing a probiotic supplement for your pet. While there are no documented negative drug interactions, you should get your vet’s approval before trying out a new supplement.