Probiotics for Dogs
Our comprehensive and expert written guide on dog probiotics.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are made from natural friendly bacteria that have the sole purpose of strengthening the gut microbiome. In this case, probiotics for dogs will help increase the dog's natural good bacteria population. Increasing the good & beneficial biome helps overcome the 'bad' bacteria that may cause infections or otherwise cause other health problems in your dog, such as a bad tummy.
As a dog behaviourist, I can't advocate for probiotics strongly enough. The general research so far has only shown that they will benefit a dog's gut and brain as well. Regular probiotic use may help your dog's cognition and brain agility as he or she ages.
Our probiotic supplement
This natural all in one pre and probiotic powder is one of our best selling food toppers.
Made in the UK (Norfolk to be exact), it is 100% natural, veterinarian endorsed and science backed!
Gut & Brain + Digestion contains pre, post and probiotics to improve your dog's overall wellbeing. The combination is just right and has been expertly formulated for dogs of all breeds and sizes.
It is designed for daily use and contains natural ingredients and probiotic strains that have been scientifically shown to work in dogs.
By improving your dog's gut health with extra probiotics, you are also improving every other aspect of their health.
Did you know?
Did you know that probiotics can help to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections in dogs?
Urinary tract infections are a common problem in dogs. By adding probiotics to your dog's food, this can strengthen their immune system. Probiotics can therefore help to keep the urinary tract healthy by preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.
In both humans and dogs, the gastrointestinal tract is home to trillions of bacteria, both good and bad.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide numerous health benefits when consumed in appropriate amounts. This concept of administering probiotics to dogs is not new. What is new however, is their widespread availability nowadays, whereas they were more confined to veterinary uses in the past.
In dogs, these friendly bacteria have a myriad of benefits. Here are just a few of them:
Probiotics Strengthen the Immune System: Around 70-80% of a dog’s immune system resides in the gut. Probiotics support this crucial system.
Probiotics also Improve Digestion: They assist in breaking down food, which can lead to better nutrient absorption and less gastrointestinal upset. Probiotics become especially important if your dog has eaten something they shouldn't! Recovery from an upset tummy can be sped up by taking the right strain of good bacteria.
Thirdly, Probiotics Combat Allergies: Some strains of probiotics have been shown to help alleviate symptoms of allergies. These symptoms can vary from itchy skin to sneezing, thus relieving your dog's discomfort.
Last but not least, probiotics can help improve the mind and reduce stress and anxiety at the same time. More on this in our probiotic guide for puppies, but the gut-brain axis explains why the gut flora has a direct impact on the brain. This is exactly the reason why we named our product Gut & Brain + Digestion.
The Science Behind Probiotics
To understand the benefits of probiotics, let's delve into the science.
Our gut, and that of our dogs, is populated by billions of bacteria known as the microbiome. This complex ecosystem plays a significant role in extracting nutrients from food, synthesizing essential vitamins, and protecting against harmful pathogens (the bad bacteria present all around us). These bad bacteria, viruses or parasites include the flu, parvovirus, worms, etc.
An imbalance in this gut microbiome system can lead to a host of issues, from indigestion and bloating to more severe conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
A dog's gut is constantly attacked by pathogens and the role of the 'good bacteria' is to overwhelm these and help the immune system eradicate them. This prevents a simple infection from spreading.
Watch Dr Michael Lazaris, veterinarian explain this in more detail in this Youtube video.
What time of day should I give my dog probiotics?
Dog probiotics can be given at any time, but ideally with your dog's main meal. As most dogs get fed twice a day, morning and evening, you could pick either of these. For me, if I were to choose I would sprinkle the probiotics over my dog's food in the morning. This is in fact what we do with Charlie, our labrador, at home. And he loves.
One thing to consider is whether you are giving your dog any other supplements or even prescription medication. All of our dog supplements and food toppers can be mixed. However, I always prefer to give one at a time. So if you also give your dog collagen, then I would give that in the evening and the probiotics in the morning. Same applies with other supplements or superfoods.
Can I give my dog human probiotics?
Some natural probiotics that are found in human food, such as in yogurts, can also be given to dogs. However, it is best not to give your dog human supplements.
The probiotics made especially for dogs will have certain bacteria strains that are most suitable to them. They will also be present in the right concentration. For example, our own probiotics contain Bacillus subtilis C-3102/ Bacillus velezensis. This is the most well researched probiotic strain in animals, so we know it's going to improve your dog's gut flora, unlike other unproven strains.
Written by Tudor Nikolas - Dog Behaviourist and Nutritionist. Updated 18 Nov 2023.
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