If you’re unfamiliar with probiotics for dogs, I bet your favorite canine spends a quarter a year in a sickbed. Probiotics are crucial to the digestive system, thereby preventing typical issues like allergies and diarrhea. Some classes of probiotics strengthen your dog’s immune system. Think of them as a Vitamin D supplement.
But what are probiotics?
How are they obtained?
Probiotics are the good cops among bacteria, that is, the ones that get promotions, medals, and great honor. In scientific language, they are beneficial to gut bacteria. Probiotics perform pretty similar functions in humans and animals. They care for your gut and intestines and support the body’s systems.
Research credits probiotics with several functions in the gut. For instance, a common breed of probiotics stops the growth of dangerous bacteria in the belly. These corrupt cops take bribes, form crime syndicates, and commit several health crimes, some of which are intestinal inflammation, porousness, increased allergies, and recurring diarrhea. Apart from its health benefits, probiotics also improve the mood and appearance of your dog.
Some classes of probiotics do not benefit your dog. As such, only feed your animal buddy with recommended strains.
Whole Dog Journal recently published an article listing the known species of probiotics that support the health of your canine. Some of these are:
- Bifidobacterium animalis (strain AHC7)
- Bifidobacterium breve
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG)
- Enterococcus faecium (strain SF68)
Additionally, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirms the benefits of these four bacteria strains in probiotics for dogs.
They are Bifidobacterium sp. animalis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and two strains of Enterococcus faecium, namely, E. faecium NCIMB 10415 E1707 and E. faecium NCIMB 10415 E1705.
5 Likely Uses of Probiotics For Dogs
A probiotic supplement reduces symptoms of allergies, such as bad breath, gas itching, and GI distress. According to studies, the two most recommended probiotics for dogs with dysfunctional immune systems or allergies are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. It has been established that these strains increase nutrient absorption, ward off allergies, support the immune system, and reduce diarrhea among dogs.
Consult a vet if your dog is starting to show symptoms of allergies. Non-dairy probiotics are usually the ideal recommendation as they are made with safe formulas.
May Treat Constipation and Diarrhea
Probiotics support the digestive system in many animal species. They control inflammation, reduce permeability in the intestines, and keep the gut in good condition. Probiotics offer several more benefits to your dog.
They are helpful treatments for yeast-associated disorders and acute diarrhea, prevent GI upset suffered due to allergies, regulate bowel function, and, by so doing, reduce the intake of antibiotics. Also, one may treat dogs that suffer diarrhea when stressed or in awkward situations with probiotics.
Some strains of bacteria help to reduce how long it takes to cure diarrhea in dogs. Two of these strains are Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain (LGG) and Bifidobacterium animalis. They may also lead to improved stool frequency and quality, thereby helping constipation through regulated bowel movements.
In 2010, a study conducted on this topic realized that daily usage of Bifidobacterium animalis decreased the duration of diarrhea in dogs from 7 – 4 days as well as the need for antibiotics.
Another study subjected puppies to a daily intake of B. animalis as soon as they were 6-months-old. After 12 weeks, the dogs showed remarkable health and had developed highly resistant immune systems.
May Bolster Immune Function and Prevent Infections
Probiotics supplements have yielded great success in the treatment of unique anomalies. Examples include gastroenteritis, obesity, inflammatory bowel diseases, and parasitic infections. Some other probiotics prevent the growth and activities of certain harmful bacteria like Clostridium perfringens and coli.
Probiotics prevent urinary tract and intestinal infections, such as autoimmune responses, irritable bowel, and diarrhea. Constant usage of probiotics also helps to cure GI infections and liver diseases.
May Enhance Dog Skin and Coat Appearance
Although some don’t count this function as relevant as others, it is also very much important. Looking good is good business, isn’t it?
A daily probiotic supplement helps to improve your pet’s breath and appearance. Probiotics ease skin irritation and dryness as well as give shinier and thicker coats.
Can Improve Dog’s Behaviors and Moods
Your pet’s mood and behavior are affected by its brain and overall health. With a healthy gut, your dog absorbs nutrients well, digests food more easily, reduces inflammation, and regulates moods. A healthy dog is a happy pet, don’t you agree? When your dog starts to spend his days happily and healthily, its moods and behaviors will be enhanced.
What Are The Available Probiotics For Dogs?
Probiotics for dogs are available in different forms and are obtainable in pet food shops and online stores. These forms are:
- Probiotic chews
- Refrigerated liquid or capsules, which you may break open and add to your pet’s homemade treats or dog meals.
- Powdered probiotics, for your dog’s drinkables.
- Freeze-dried probiotics.
- Commercially packed probiotics. They are maintained by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and also known as “direct-fed microbial.”
Can I Feed My Pet “Human Probiotics”?
In 100 cases, the answer is yes. Human probiotics are considered safe for animals, as they contain no harmful component. You may, however, have to adjust the dosage according to the size and age of the dog. You know what they say about cutting your coat to your size, right?
The typical recommendation is to give a full dosage to adult dogs weighing above 40 pounds while feeding puppies with a lesser dosage. You should check with a vet to determine the appropriate dosage for your canine. A typical side-effect of probiotic overdose is unnecessary diarrhea and loose stools.
However, the best thing is to settle for probiotics specifically for dogs as they are likely to contain all essential bacterial strains.
When picking probiotics for dogs, choose brands that have a considerable quantity of live bacteria. You can study labels to know the right products to get.