Your dog needs a balanced diet and healthy gut just like you. Without proper nutrition, your dog’s immune system can suffer and expose them to the risk of disease or illness. Luckily, there are probiotics specifically formulated to help re-build your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
Just like in most cases, not all probiotics are created equal. It is important to review the package or read customer reviews to determine which probiotic is going to give your dog the best nutrition. Here are a few things to look for when purchasing a probiotic for dogs.
- CFUs per scoop is over 1 billion
- No unnecessary ingredients or chemicals
- Vet approved and/or recommended.
- Ease of administering
- Multiple strains of gut-friendly bacteria
If you are unsure of what are good, gut-friendly bacteria are, here are a few to keep your eye out for on the packaging:
- Enterococcus faecium
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Bacillus coagulans
- Bifidobactrerium animalis
- Lactobacillus casei
- Bifodobactrerium bifidum
- Lactobacillus platarum
Be careful of giving your dog too many different beneficial bacteria at one time however. Loading up on new bacteria can cause infighting among the species and undermine the effectiveness.
Benefits of Bacteria
Building a healthy gut will promote overall wellbeing and provide a healthy boost in the immune system. The gut is linked directly with the lymphatic system and carries a variety of disease-fighting cells. Keeping a healthy gut will improve your dog’s ability to fight off viruses as well as prevent other infections.
Probiotics aid in digestion and help to improve the immune system. They also produce short-chain fatty acids which inhibit the growth and activity of harmful bacteria. Some of these harmful bacteria include E.Coli, Salmonella, and Clostridium. They are also shown to prevent urinary tract infections and reduce allergic reactions.
Most dog probiotics will have a suggested dosage for your pets’ weight. Some pet owners opt for the human probiotics which makes figuring out the dosage a bit harder. A good rule of thumb is that if you see a loose stool than you are giving your dog too much.
GI Tract and Well-Being
More research is coming out for both humans and dogs that shows how GI health effects overall health. People have made a connection for a long time about “gut feelings” or “being sick to the stomach” when something is not right.
These feelings are unique as start to make more sense as we better understand the GI tract. Just as you feel poorly when your stomach isn’t feeling well, your dog is the same way. If they have an imbalance in their gut than their mood will be affected.
Friendly bacteria, like what you will get from probiotics, is a great way to balance out your dog’s GI system and improve their overall mood. The digestive tracts in dogs is different in that it has evolved to handle much more bacteria from the raw foods that they consume.
It is important to maintain a healthy level of good bacteria because populations of bad bacteria grow if not controlled with good bacteria [probiotics].
Research has also shown that a healthy gut in your dog will alleviate moving and kenneling stress in dogs. In a study with over a hundred dogs, researchers monitored the poop and tracked “fecal scores”. It was shown that dogs with a healthier GI system did better than dogs that were not taking any probiotics.
The study also monitored the anxiety of the dogs. Again, dogs with a healthy gut were less anxious and less stressed than the dogs that did not have any probiotics administered. The numbers were so staggeringly obvious that probiotics were improving dog’s health that the medical community and press community started to notice! Over 90% of dogs in the test had reduced anxiety just by having a healthy gut.
Where to Purchase Probiotics for Dogs
As we mentioned before, not all probiotics are created equal and some have much better blends of bacteria than others. If you are looking for our most trusted product, you can find it here.
Keep in mind that this article is written from the writer’s perspective and is not intended to help diagnose or treat any illness or disease. These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA or any other government body. Ask a vet before giving your dog any supplement.