probiotics for dogs with pancreatitis

Probiotics For Dogs With Pancreatitis: Everything You Need to Know

Veterinarians.org Team
By Veterinarians.org Team
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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What are the Best Probiotics for Dogs With Pancreatitis?

  • Best Overall Probiotics for Dogs with Pancreatitis: Honest Paws Pre+Probiotics
    An all-rounder prebiotic and probiotic mix for improved gut and digestive health.
  • Best Single-Strain Probiotics for Dogs with Pancreatitis: Purina FortiFlora Probiotics for Dogs
    A supplement boosted with probiotics to relieve issues of diarrhea and flatulence.
  • Best Affordable Probiotics for Dogs with Pancreatitis: Doggie Dailies Probiotics for Dogs
    A probiotic supplement with added antioxidants that improve immunity strength and longevity.
  • Best Multi-Strain Probiotics for Dogs with Pancreatitis: PetLab Co. Probiotics for Dogs
    A probiotic supplement with added honey for relieving skin allergies and a better coat.
  • Best Chewable Probiotics for Dogs with Pancreatitis: PetHonesty Digestive Probiotic Soft Chews
    A probiotic with a digestible enzyme blend for maintaining the stomach balance.
Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotics
  • Supports healthy digestion
  • Helps maintain proper gut flora
  • Immune system support

Are Probiotics Good for Dogs With Pancreatitis?

Yes, probiotics for dogs with pancreatitis are good.

Probiotics are good for your dog’s gut health when suffering from acute and chronic pancreatitis. Probiotics for dogs with pancreatitis are essentially cultures of live bacteria introduced in dog food that aid in digestion and improve gut health.

Research from the Cornell Margaret and Richard Riney Canine Health Center claims that probiotics are a powerhouse of goodness for your dog’s gut. Here are a few of the benefits of probiotics:

  • Digestive Health. Probiotics are proven to promote “good bacteria” and pancreatic enzymes and improve digestive health in dogs.
  • Immune Health. As is true for any health condition, a healthy immune system is very important for combating the condition and healing from it. Your dog’s gut contains 70% of its immune strength. Probiotics are well-known immune-strengtheners.
  • Diarrhea. It is a common symptom of dogs suffering from pancreatitis; probiotics are good for preventing diarrhea and hence can aid in pancreatitis-related diarrhea.

Can Probiotics Make Pancreatitis Worse in Dogs?

Yes, probiotics for dogs with pancreatitis can make the situation worse. However, this is possible if the probiotics are misused or contain an ingredient that the dog is sensitive to.

In a human study conducted on 296 patients with acute pancreatitis, 30% of patients experienced bowel ischemia after admission of probiotics (10 billion probiotic bacteria per day).

Researchers state that this may be due to the increased local oxygen demand resulting from higher numbers of live bacteria in the body.

Therefore, it is best to consult a veterinarian before adding using probiotics for dogs with pancreatitis. 

How do Probiotics for Dog Pancreatitis Work?

Prebiotics for dogs with pancreatitis work by supporting gut health (which is compromised in dogs with pancreatitis). They do this by promoting the growth of good bacteria in the digestive system. Plus, they help manage the inflammatory response, which is essential since the basis of pancreatitis is inflammation.

Pancreatitis in dogs is inflammation of the pancreas that occurs when digestive enzymes (lipase & amylase) secreted in the exocrine, glandular tissue of the pancreas are activated within the pancreas (normally they should be activated in the intestines).

Dogs with severe acute pancreatitis experience stomach pain. Other symptoms of pancreatitis are loss of appetite, diarrhea, and lethargy. One of the most common causes of pancreatitis in dogs is a high-fat diet (adding table scraps and other fatty foods to the dog’s diet).

Canine pancreatitis is more common in certain breeds like Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Schnauzers, Terriers, and Poodles.

The Best Probiotics for Dog Pancreatitis Reviewed

There are different probiotics for dogs with pancreatitis. To help dog owners find the best products for their pets, we have reviewed several probiotics for dogs with pancreatitis.

Honest Paws Pre+Probiotics

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Summary: A prebiotic and probiotic mix that has an all-around effect in improving gut health and digestion in dogs with pancreatitis. This product has six different probiotic strains that are clinically tested. These probiotic strains improve digestion, promote the growth of healthy gut flora, and boost immune strength. This product comes in chewable sticks, which your dog can enjoy as a treat. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Recommended Uses: Overall health and wellbeing

Ingredient Analysis

  • Inulin: Derived from chicory root, this starchy substance stays in the bowels and helps certain beneficial bacteria grow
  • Solarplast: Spinach lead extract that offers several health benefits, including healthy aging and cellular restoration
  • Rice Hull & Rice Extract Blend: Adds carbs and fiber to the formula but may cause issues in sensitive dogs

Probiotics Strains: Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, Bifidobacterium animalis lactis, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus plantarum

Pros

  • Promotes immune strength
  • Supports digestive and gut health
  • With prebiotics for maximum benefits
  • Clinically tested probiotic strains
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Often out of stock due to high demand

Review: Based on reviews from 17 long-term customers, this product has an average rating of 4.8 / 5 stars. Customers claim that this product has great taste and is very effective for their dogs with pancreatitis.

Purina FortiFlora Probiotics for Dogs

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Summary: A vet-recommended probiotic supplement, which comes in a powder form. This supplement contains microflora that aids in the formation of natural microflora in the gut. It helps manage a puppy’s diest, abdominal pain, flatulence issues, bloating, and diarrhea in adult dogs.

Recommended Uses: Gut and intestinal health, diarrhea

Ingredient Analysis

  • Liver Flavor: Makes the supplement more palatable but can cause allergies in some dogs
  • Vitamin E Supplement: Helps improve skin health, and eye health, and also builds immunity to fight off common diseases.
  • Zinc Proteinate: Helps to maintain adequate levels of zinc in your dog’s body.

Probiotics Strains: Enterococcus faecium

Pros

  • Reduces diarrhea and flatulence
  • Vet recommended formula
  • Proprietary microencapsulation
  • Liver-flavored powder for easy use
  • Suitable for puppies

Cons

  • Single-strain probiotic formula

Review: Based on 27,763 global ratings, this supplement has an average of 4.7 / 5 stars on Amazon. Customers “highly recommend” this for improving dog health, especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Doggie Dailies Probiotics for Dogs

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Summary: A pumpkin-flavored chewable probiotic made with real pumpkin and boosted with five different probiotic strains. This supplement supports overall gut health, healthifies digestive tract, and especially helps elevate immunity strength. The soft chewable capsules make it suitable for puppies as well.

Recommended Uses: Gut health

Ingredient Analysis

  • Sweet Potatoes: This is a great source of carbohydrates and also contains fiber for improved digestion
  • Carrots: Carrots are great for your pet’s vision health and also contain various nutrients that offer beneficial results
  • Dried Eggs: An excellent source of protein, eggs can be great for flavor and texture that some dogs might love

Probiotics Strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Lactobacillus lactis

Pros

  • For gut health and intestinal wellbeing
  • Promotes strong immune system
  • Grain-free, duck-flavored soft chews
  • Support overall health
  • Made in the USA in a GMP facility

Cons

  • Often out of stock due to high demand

Review: Based on 6,747 global ratings, this probiotic has an average rating of 4.4 / 5. Customers highly recommend this for helping acid reflux and bowel movements of dogs.

PetLab Co. Probiotics for Dogs

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Summary: A probiotic supplement that also works for allergies and itchy skin, improves gut health and detoxifies the GI tract. This supplement also contains real pumpkin and honey that improves skin and coat health and deals with pancreatic insufficiency. It comes in the form of pork-flavored chews.

Recommended Uses: Gut health, sensitive stomach, skin issues

Ingredient Analysis

  • Salmon Oil: Has anti-inflammatory features and is a great source of essential fatty acids
  • Honey: Great for boosting overall immunity and fighting off infections
  • Inulin: This is a starchy substance that stays in the bowel and helps beneficial bacteria grow
  • Pumpkin: Adds dietary fiber and supports the growth of healthy bacteria and yeasts

Probiotics Strains: Bacillus coagulans, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus brevis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Streptococcus thermophilus

Pros

  • Helps allergic conditions
  • Improves gut health
  • Assists immune system function
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • For all dog breeds

Cons

  • Not suitable for puppies below six months of age

Review: Based on 13,681 global ratings, this supplement has an average rating of 4.1 / 5 stars. Customers claim that it is particularly useful for relieving itchy skin and infections in dogs.

PetHonesty Digestive Probiotic Soft Chews

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Summary: A pumpkin-flavored probiotic for the case of pancreatitis that comes in soft chewable form. This supplement consists of dog-specific Lactobacillus strains and a special enzyme blend for better digestion. This supplement works best for relieving stomach disbalances that result in constipation or diarrhea by promoting the growth of gut microflora.

Recommended Uses: Gut health

Ingredient Analysis

  • Carrot: Offers antioxidants and fiber that improve digestive function
  • Sweet Potatoes: Contains fiber which leads to a better digestion
  • Flaxseed: This contains several vitamins and minerals that boost immunity

Probiotics Strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus fermentum, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Enterococcus faecium

Pros

  • With seven strains
  • Promotes a healthy gut
  • Improves stomach balance
  • With digestive enzymes
  • Delicious pumpkin flavor

Cons

  • Contains palm oil

Review: Based on 9,228 global ratings, this product has an average rating of 4.4 / 5. Customers highly recommend the probiotics for dogs with pancreatitis and say it also works for stomach and obesity issues and claim that their dogs love the flavor.

How Long does it Take for Probiotics to Work in Dogs with Pancreatitis?

Generally, probiotics for dogs with pancreatitis start working as soon as they reach the intestines. However, in dogs with severe acute pancreatitis, it usually takes a couple of days and additional treatment for the improvement to become visible.

How do I Use Probiotics for My Dog’s Pancreatitis?

Even if you opt for probiotic supplements to help your dog’s pancreatitis, you should keep in mind that it is not a treatment in itself.

Probiotics for dogs with pancreatitis reduce the symptoms and add the effect of other treatments for pancreatitis, such as:

  • Low-Fat Diet. Dogs prone to pancreatitis should be fed low-fat kibble and canned food. Low-fat diets can have adverse effects, in the long run, meaning you should consult with a vet.
  • Raw Diet. Commercial foods are linked with pancreatitis since they are high in carbohydrates and lack the enzymes found in raw meat. Therefore, it could be helpful to try raw foods.
  • Fish Oil. Despite the high-fat content of fish oil, such supplements are helpful for dogs with pancreatitis. Fish oil also has omega fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Digestive Enzymes. Depending on the cause of pancreatitis, some dogs benefit from digestive enzyme supplements. The supplementation aids digestion while allowing the pancreas to rest.
  • Milk Thistle. Milk thistle is helpful for dogs with pancreatitis as it helps protect the gallbladder and liver. There are many dog supplements with milk thistle as an active ingredient.

How do I Choose the Best Probiotic for Dog Pancreatitis?

Here are the things to consider with choosing probiotics for dogs with pancreatitis:

  • Good Bacteria. Choose probiotics for dogs with pancreatitis that have Lactobacillus spp strains as the primary strain. It is the most helpful bacteria in the gut and small intestine.
  • Colony-Forming Units: Ensure that the colony-forming units (CFU) in the probiotics for dogs with pancreatitis are high enough as these good bacteria are rapidly degraded in the pancreatic duct.
  • No Harmful Ingredients. Double-check that the probiotics for dogs with pancreatitis are free from fillers, artificial preservatives, and potential allergens.