What Are Probiotics For Dogs And Why Should You Use Them?

Summary: What are probiotics for dogs? And, should you use them? In this blog, we discover 5 reasons why introducing your dog to probiotics could be beneficial…   We’ve heard of probiotics for humans – every yogurt brand seems to want them in their product now! – and gut health is more widely talked about, […]

Jan 26, 2024

We’ve heard of probiotics for humans – every yogurt brand seems to want them in their product now! – and gut health is more widely talked about, but what about probiotics for dogs? What can a probiotic do for your dog? And, are they worth the hype in canines too…?

What can a probiotic do for your dog? And, are they worth the hype in canines too…?

Probiotics may be labeled on products as:

  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Bacillus coagulans
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Bifidobacterium breve
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus casei

If your dog’s gut health is out of balance, they may become generally unwell and under the weather. If this is the case, it could be that their gut needs some additional support!

Here are 6 amazing reasons why you should be considering introducing probiotics to your dog…

Probiotics have been touted as a potential way of addressing dental plaque and freshening dog breath! Encouraging healthy levels of good bacteria in the gut can promote good bacteria in your pup’s mouth, meaning you can help support canine dental health via their gut!

When a dog experiences seasonal  allergies, a trigger can cause their immune system to go into overdrive because it perceives a certain particle as a risk to the body. This may manifest in occasional skin itchiness, head shaking, or sneezing!

Having a healthy gut is essential for dogs who experience seasonal/occasional allergies because here in the GI tract, the body can help maintain a good bacterial balance. This in turn supports their immune system during allergy season!

As with humans, when dogs get older, their bodies and their functionings become slower, and can sometimes have a weaker immune system. When around 70% of immune cells are located in the gut, it’s important to stay on top of the good bacteria located there to help a maturing dog stay happy and healthy in their older years!

If your dog experiences gastrointestinal distress (caused by emotional stress, seasonal allergies or other challenges) they may be displaying some physical signs like less energy, disinterest in food, or even sadness*.

Together with good levels of water, regular exercise and the introduction of probiotics can promote a healthy gut and overall digestive health. These signs of an unhappy gut and GI tract should be addressed, as they’re as upsetting for your dog as for you, so introducing probiotics to their daily diet can help foster healthy bowel activity and ease their tummy discomforts!

*If your dog is displaying symptoms like this, always get them checked over by a vet first.

If your dog’s gut is grumpy, more often or not they’ll be grumpy too! Did you know that a change in mood is one of the first signs your pet is feeling under the weather? They might excessively lick their tummy or withdraw from socializing/playing etc. In the process of improving their gut health with probiotics, this will have a knock-on effect on their mood too! A healthy dog is a happy dog!

As mentioned above, the microbiome consists of commensal bacteria (i.e. they are always present!) and they have a symbiotic relationship with dogs, meaning they feed on the same food and don’t cause any problems. The small intestine in adult dogs can contain as many as 700 different strains of bacteria, while the canine large intestine may have as many as 5000 different strains! And, each dog has its own unique microbiome.

Probiotics are great for preventing a shift/imbalance in bacterial populations after stress. This is why probiotics are an important part of your routine, as they can help diversify the essential bacterial flora in your pup’s gut.”

Authors Zambori, Csilla and Morvay, Attila Alexandru and Sala, Claudia and Licker, Monica and Gurban, Camelia and Tanasie, Gabriela and Tirziu, Emil “Antimicrobial Effect Of Probiotics On Bacterial Species From Dental Plaque” US National Library Of Medicine, Mar 31. 2016 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27031452/

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