A lot of people might not know this, but if probiotics have helped you get over gut problems in the past, they could be good for your dog too!
Since you’re a dog owner, there’s no doubt you try to control your pup’s diet to be the healthiest it could be for him/her, and for you to avoid any problems that could arise with their health. But problems happen – your dog could end up eating something off the floor.
Even without any problems, probiotics for dogs are a wonderful thing! In this article, we’ll talk all about how probiotics work for dogs.
What Are Probiotics For Dogs?
Probiotics are friendly gut bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal system of animals. They promote excellent gut health by fighting infections, making the immune system stronger, helping with food digestion, and offering vitamins and nutrients.
That community of bacteria and other microorganisms is called the microbiome.
When Would My Dog Need Probiotics?
In theory, it would help to give your dog probiotics at times when their body is compromised and has lost some of that good bacteria or isn’t producing as much.
Stress, illness, or malnutrition can produce such imbalance by making changes in the microbiome, which can be caused by:
- Spoiled food
- Change in diet or a high carb diet
If you notice your dog has diarrhea, an upset stomach, gas or bloating, bad breath, or a general decline in health, those could be symptoms of a compromised microbiome.
Benefits and Side Effects of Probiotics For Dogs
The amazing thing about probiotics is that their benefits are both preventative and treatment-based. They can:
- Manage yeast and modulate the immune system
- Prevent anxiety and reduce stress
- Prevent UTIs
- Treats and controls inflammation, diarrhea, and IBS
- Reduces allergies
- Positively affect mood and emotions
Another benefit of probiotics is that they won’t cause your dog any harmful side effects! But it’s important to provide them the correct dosage in moderation with a vet. Though probiotics are safe, a wrong or extra dose could cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Best Probiotics For Dogs
As we’ve mentioned earlier, these friendly bacteria are already present in dogs’ intestines. These types of bacteria include:
- Lactobacillus Acidophilus
- Lactobacillus Casei
- Bifidobacterium Breve
- Enterococcus Faecium
- Bifidobacterium Lactis
Why should I know about the different complicated bacteria names, you might be wondering?
Each strain of bacteria performs a different function. Some have anti-inflammatory properties, while others serve better as immune stimulants.
When choosing to give your dog probiotics, it’s important to take note of the strain present in the supplement. Depending on which area your dog needs help improving or what they need to be treated, a strain is chosen accordingly. You can also look for supplements that have more than one strain to maximize the benefits of probiotics.
Probiotic supplements for dogs are available in powder, capsule, and chew form. The supplements should be labeled with the recommended dose and frequency of use.
Are There Natural Probiotics For Dogs?
You can give your dog a probiotic supplement, but since they’re healthy bacteria, the best thing about probiotics is that they can be found in natural foods that are safe for your dog to consume in certain amounts.
Yogurt is a good example of fermented food that contains probiotics (namely Lactobacillus) which is good for the digestive system. Be wary of feeding your dog too much yogurt, though as too much of it can cause inflammation as well as changes to his/her gut.
Kimchi and kefir, also fermented foods, can too make a good addition to your dog’s diet. The fermentation process in these foods promotes the growth of the type of healthy bacteria that can protect your dog from harmful bacteria.
The takeaway from adding probiotics to your dog’s diet is that it could significantly improve his/her health, whether in supplement form or as natural foods in moderation.
If the dose is right, probiotics will do good for your four-legged friend’s digestive system, as well as help with the absorption of nutrients and strengthening their immune system.