If your dog ate probiotics and you are wondering about the benefits and side effects he will experience, this guide is just for you. One of the best ways to ensure your dog stays healthier and happier is to feed a good-quality probiotic supplement from a reputed brand to your pup.
What can Probiotics do for Dogs?
Probiotics refer to live organisms that offer a host of health benefits for both humans and animals. Good gut bacteria are present in our digestive tract, fermented foods, and in supplements.
Beneficial bacteria play a crucial role in an animal’s body. Here are a few benefits of probiotics for your puppies.
- Promotes good digestion
- Improves mood to reduce stress since it produces serotonin
- Produces essential vitamins (such as B vitamins and Vitamin K)
- Reduce the gut pH
- Produce fatty acids that prevent the growth of harmful bacteria
- Supports the immune system
What Are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are the essential carbohydrates that your dog needs for utilizing the probiotics he is consuming. You can improve your dog’s health by maintaining a good balance of both probiotics and prebiotics in your pet’s gut. That will create a beneficial environment internally to allow good bacteria to flourish, thereby improving your dog’s digestion.
Beet pulp, fructooligosaccharides, arabinogalactan, chicory, and inulin are commonly used prebiotics for dogs. You can incorporate prebiotics in your dog’s diet through mushrooms, leafy vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and legumes. However, you can also feed a credible prebiotic supplement to your pet.
What is The Role of Probiotics for Dogs?
Did you know that 70% of your dog’s immune system is in his gut? That’s because bacteria are essential for maintaining good gut health of your dog.
Not only do they improve your dog’s digestive tract to improve digestion, but they also support the immunity to protect your pet from infections and viruses. Many times factors such as medication, old age, illness, or consuming a poor diet can throw off the natural balance of your dog’s gut. That’s when probiotics for dogs come into the picture.
Here is how these healthy bacteria can help your dog.
- Friendly bacteria prevents the growth of harmful bacteria
- Strengthen the protective mucus layer in the gut
- Reduce glucose levels for protection against obesity and metabolic disease
- Develop important T-cells in the immune system for reducing chronic inflammation
- Shield against food allergens and yeast infections
- Promote the body’s abilities to absorb magnesium, calcium, and other nutrients
Why Should You Give Your Dog Probiotics?
Minor changes to the bacteria species present in your pet’s gut can significantly impact their host. The diseases we listed above relate to the bacterial populations in the microbiome.
When your pet cat or dog has a diverse bacteria population in its gut, there is less probability of these changes occurring. However, bacterial changes can happen due to many reasons at any time. Some of these include:
- High fat or high-starch diet
- Old age
It’s never too late to realize that you could protect your canine friend from so many viruses and infections through healthy bacteria. Here are some more medical conditions that you can prevent with healthy bacteria.
- Urinary tract infections
- Irritable bowel diseases
- Side effects of chemotherapy and cancer treatments
- Mood disorders
Dosing Guidelines for Probiotics
The administration and dosage of probiotics for dogs vary according to the type and form of the probiotic supplement you choose for your pet. That’s one reason why you should always ask your veterinarian for approval before you start a new supplement. In addition to your doctor’s recommendations for dosage, you should also follow the directions on the label of any probiotic supplement you buy for your cats and dogs.
All dog owners like feeding foods containing healthy bacteria to their pets. For example, yogurt and green leafy vegetables have an abundance of healthy bacteria to keep your dog’s gut area healthy. Whether you are feeding probiotic-rich foods or a probiotic supplement as a part of your dog’s diet at home, make sure that it contains a good number of live cultures.
CFUs or colony-forming units in a formula will represent the total of all bacterium included in the supplement. If you read the ad or label of the supplement you are purchasing, each species/strain of the probiotic would be there with its individual CFU. Some supplements may offer a value that comprises all strains combined into one total CFU count/serving.
Doctors recommend lower CFU’s if you want a supplement for daily use. However, you can opt for a higher dosage of CFU’s to treat various digestive issues. Generally, dogs require 1 to 4 billion CFUs, which breaks down to 1 to 3 billion daily for smaller breeds and 3 to 5 million for dogs with bodyweight over 50 pounds.
Possible Probiotics Side Effects
You should be aware of a few possible side effects when feeding dog supplements to your canine friend. Although these side effects are uncommon in dogs, you should always consider your dog’s medical history and consult your doctor before introducing a new product as a part of their dog’s diet.
Your dog may have an allergic reaction to the supplement, such as hives, swelling or troubled breathing in rare cases. Some dogs may also experience other side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and digestive discomfort.
Remember, your dog’s digestion may become worse before it improves over time. If these symptoms don’t subside within a few days, consult with your doctor immediately.
What to Look for When Buying Probiotics
Many factors come into play when you are looking for a reliable probiotic supplement. Here are some of the things you must consider for choosing the best dog probiotic for your pet.
Buy a Supplement that Features Multiple Probiotic Strains
Although we don’t completely understand each kind of probiotic’s benefits and properties, every strain offers unique advantages. That’s one reason why you should choose a product that has multiple strains instead of just one.
You can check whether the powder, pills, or capsules you are buying contain saccharomyces boulardii, lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus rhamnosus, and bacillus coagulans for treating various digestive disorders.
Check the CFUs of the Dog Probiotic
Probiotics should survive passing through your dog’s acidic stomach to offer any benefits. Keeping that in mind, make sure the dog probiotic you choose contains a high number of CFUs, no less than three billion.
If you have no idea about CFUs, don’t buy cheap supplements from unknown brands because these supplements generally contain fewer CFU’s that fail to provide any significant benefits.
Choose the Best Probiotic Form
Some puppies like chewable supplements, while others prefer a probiotic powder. However, soft chews may lose their potency once you open the packaging. The powdered form is more popular because you can easily mix the ingredients into your dog’s food and drinks.
Check the Quality of Flavorings
Typically, probiotics alone are not palatable enough for dogs, so brands add flavorings to their supplements. However, some flavorings are listed as questionable ingredients on the labels of these products.
For instance, some brands name flavoring agents as ‘animal digest’, which does not indicate any specific flavor or ingredient. Choosing a dog supplement with a single ingredient flavor booster such as chicken liver or beef is a great way to be safe from undefined proteins.
Look for Prebiotics
If you want the probiotic supplement to do its job well, make sure you choose things that also contain strains of prebiotics. Although we can feed our dog natural sources of prebiotics for foods such as peas and beans, not every dog loves eating these foods. The safest bet is to buy a product that also features a prebiotic ingredient, for example, inulin.
Choose Healthy Bacteria Supplements with Digestive Enzymes
If your dog’s digestive system is not functioning correctly, your dog will fail to digest the nutrients in its food or supplements. That’s where enzymes come into the picture. Whenever you are shopping for dog food or dog probiotics, check for items containing digestive enzymes to balance the dog’s digestive tract.
When buying a supplement for your dog, remember to choose a product that offers complete information on the label. Your local veterinarian can also help you choose a good brand that manufactures safe and reliable probiotic products for pets such as cats and dogs. FDA and vet approval guarantees that you are using nothing but the safest and best types of supplements for your dog.
Using popular and good-quality probiotics for dogs can help you improve your pet’s immune system, gut health, and anything related to digestion. Just make sure the content of the supplement you choose does not contain any artificial or hazardous ingredients. If you want to know how to take care of your canine friend, explore our website for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Probiotics toxic to Dogs?
Generally, probiotics do not pose any harmful effects on your dog’s health. The only issue you will encounter when buying a probiotic for your puppy is that many products are not FDA approved, which means you don’t know whether they are safe for animals.
You should also consult your vet before buying any supplement, especially if you are introducing it for treating a digestive disease. Low-quality or cheap supplements can worsen your pet’s health, leading to any further problem.
How long does it take for a dog to get sick from eating something?
Your puppy can get sick immediately after eating something poisonous or harmful. Many people mistake the common signs of food poisoning for other health issues such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some of the foods that can be harmful to your dog’s health include raisins, chocolate, grapes, and onions.
Many types of household cleaners can also be toxic for your dog. If your dog has food allergies, don’t feed him ingredients he is allergic to for taking care of his health. Here are some common signs that can indicate if your dog is sick or needs medical assistance.
- Stomach pain and cramping
- Loss of appetite
- Low-grade fever
- Whimpering or hiding
Since these signs can be scary for every dog owner, call your vet immediately to determine the next steps for saving your dog’s life and internal organs.
Can A Dog Overdose On Probiotics?
When the body receives an adequate amount of probiotics, it automatically eliminates the rest, causing any temporary problem of the digestive system such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating. However, there are no severe consequences of overdosing.
Are Probiotics Good for Dogs?
Numerous benefits of probiotics make them essential for your dog’s health. From reducing inflammation in the bowels to preventing urinary tract infections, probiotics combat harmful bacteria and prevent urinary and digestive tract infections.
Different types of probiotics can tackle other issues. For example, Bifidobacterium animalis help with diarrhea, and Lactobacillus acidophilus promotes your pet’s good bowel health.
Probiotics also help your dog recover from illness and boost the immune system. People who feed these supplements to their dogs also report other noticeable improvements such as good dental health and improved coat quality.
What are the Different Types of Probiotics for Dogs?
Probiotics are available in various forms. However, experts reveal that probiotics for humans are different than those for animals.
You can choose from these popular forms of probiotics.
Using these dog probiotics is simple. Just sprinkle the recommended dosage or amount in your dog’s food or follow the instructions on the label. Your vet can also suggest you the correct dosage according to your dog’s needs and weight, making a lot of difference.
Chewable Dog Probiotic Supplements
Since all dogs love treats, you can choose chewable probiotics for dogs containing essential strains such as bifidobacterium, enterococcus faecium, and lactobacillus. Remember that human probiotic capsules and chewable may not suit your dog’s digestive system.
Liquid supplements are also easy to use and are widely available on the market. You can buy a spray formula to spray on your puppy’s regular food.
Popular dog food brands manufacture blends that contain natural ingredients and probiotic strains. These delicious dog food products can take care of your pet’s bad breath, constipation, diarrhea, and tummy troubles.
How can Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium Help your Dogs?
If your pet is vulnerable to digestive issues, such as diarrhea and bloating, these healthy bacteria can significantly help. Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium animalis can reduce the severity of diarrhea and improve stool quality.