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The Best 6 Probiotics For Dogs According to a Veterinarian

Katelyn Son

By

Medically reviewed by

Ivana Crnec,DVM

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The products featured on this page are from our partners. We may be compensated for purchases made through these links. However, this does not influence our reviews and ratings. We independently research and test the products we recommend and our opinions are our own.

What are the Best Probiotics for Dogs?

Below is our best probiotics for dogs summary with top picks and reviews.

  • Best Overall Probiotic for Dogs:Honest Paws Pre+Probiotics
    Health-boosting blend of probiotics and prebiotics that support overall health and has a dog-friendly flavor. 
  • Best Vet-Formulated Probiotic for Dogs: Vet’s Preferred Probiotic Supplement for Dogs
    USA-made supplements with healthy bacteria and dietary fiber that supports digestion and immunity. 
  • Most Options in a Probiotic for Dogs: Four Leaf Rover Probiotics
    Ethically made and vet-formulated powder with soil-based probiotics and yeasts that support gut health.  
  • Best Chewable Probiotic for Dogs: PetLab Co. Probiotics
    High-quality and pork-flavored probiotic chews enriched with agave, honey, and salmon oil for maximum benefits.      
  • Best Cost to Value Probiotic for Dogs: NUSENTIA Probiotic
    Concentrated, gluten-free, and dairy-free probiotic and prebiotic formula available at a budget-friendly price.   
  • Best Probiotic for Dogs for Digestion: Purina FortiFlora Probiotics 
    Delicious, vet-recommended, single-strain probiotic that supports gut health and reduces flatulence.                                                          
Top Pick
Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotics
10/10Our Score
  • Specially formulated with both dog probiotics and prebiotics.
  • Avoid diarrhea, loss of appetite, constipation, and many other problems.
  • Helps promote the production of natural antibodies, fight free radicals, and support a healthy immune system in your dog.

What are Probiotics for Dogs?

“Probiotics are living microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host” – this definition from the World Health Organization depicts the true nature of probiotics and their tribute to health.

Basically, the dog’s digestive system is inhabited by billions of microorganisms – primarily bacteria but also yeasts. Some of them are good, and others are potential pathogens. Together these microorganisms are collectively called the microbiome, and under normal circumstances, they are in balance.

Sadly, many conditions and medications can throw this balance out of order for your dog. This is where probiotics for dogs prove beneficial. They support the growth of good bacteria and prevent the potential pathogens from overgrowing and compromising digestive health and overall wellbeing.

Are Probiotics Safe for Dogs? 

Yes, probiotics are perfectly safe for dogs. Using probiotics for your dog can help promote healthy bacteria and strengthen their immune system. It’s important to use high-quality pet-specific probiotics for your dog to ensure their efficiency and safety.

What are the Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs?

The benefits of probiotics for dogs are diverse and promising. Depending on the strains of bacteria included in the product, probiotics for dogs can help with the following:

  • GI tract health and improved digestion. Probiotics for dogs help manage and prevent various digestive tract issues, improve the digestion processes, absorption of nutrients, and vitamin synthesis.
  • Better stool quality. Probiotics for dogs are the ideal anti-diarrhea supplements as they reduce both their duration and intensity. They can even reduce or eliminate the need for antibiotics for diarrhea management.
  • Decreased risk of intestinal worms. Studies suggest that probiotics for dogs can be used to control hookworm infestations and are currently studied to examine their effect on other parasites.
  • Oral health and better breath. Certain probiotic strains help prevent common oral issues, and others have proven antimicrobial effects. This leads to better oral hygiene and prevents bad breath.
  • Stronger immune system. Probiotics for dogs have powerful immune-boosting features. When given to pregnant dogs, they can increase the immune power of the colostrum.
  • Skin issues and allergies. Probiotics for dogs offer a novel perspective for managing dermatological conditions. They can relieve the symptoms linked with food allergies and atopic dermatitis.
  • Ear infections. Probiotics for dogs can help with ear infections because they release anti-inflammatory substances and can relieve skin itchiness.
  • Better mood and relaxation. The presence of a gut-brain axis gave birth to the so-called behavioral probiotics or specific strains of bacteria that can improve the dog’s mood and prevent anxiety issues.

The Best Probiotics for Dogs Reviewed

We understand that labels can be confusing and manufacturer claims often exaggerated. Therefore, we have thoroughly reviewed various probiotic supplements and selected the following products as the top five probiotics for dogs. 

Honest Paws Pre+Probiotics

Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotics

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Summary: The Honest Paws Pre + Probiotic is the Best Probiotics for Dogs because it checks all boxes for quality, efficacy, safety, and ease of use.

The Honest Paws Pre + Probiotic is a custom formula featuring five different strains of live cultures, inulin derived from chicory root, and spinach leaf extract. The probiotic prevents bacterial imbalances in the gut and helps with bad breath, food allergies, skin issues, and weakened immune systems. It comes in pre-measured sachets, and each contains 5 billion Colony Forming Units.

Recommended Uses:

  • Supporting healthy digestion 
  • Helping support the immune system 
  • Helping maintain proper gut flora 

Ingredient Analysis:

  • Inulin
  • Solarplast (spinach leaf extract)
  • Bacillus subtilis DE111
  • Bacillus coagulans
  • Bifidobacterium animalis lactis
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus plantarum

This is a potent blend consisting of different types of dietary fiber and beneficial bacteria. The dietary fiber serves as a food source for the bacteria thus boosting the overall efficacy of the supplement. The formula is free from allergens, fillers, grains, and GMO ingredients.  

Pros

  • Healthy blend of probiotics and prebiotics
  • No fillers, allergens, and artificial additives
  • Natural roasted chicken flavor
  • Can be used for both dogs and cats 
  • Made in the USA 

Cons

  • Contains rice hull and rice extract blend
  • Relatively new product

Review: Satisfied customers say that the Honest Paws Pre + Probiotic helps with various GI tract issues and consistent use yields more efficient results. They are also happy about the product’s taste and that the powder dissolves quickly, allowing perfect mixing with the regular dog food.

Vet’s Preferred Probiotic Supplement for Dogs

Vets Preferred Probiotics supplement

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Summary: The Vet’s Preferred probiotic and prebiotic supplement is on our top list because it is formulated and recommended by veterinary professionals. 

A vet-formulated blend of healthy bacteria and dietary fiber that helps support optimal digestion and a strong immune system. The supplement is made in the USA, lab-tested, and grain-free. For easy use, it comes in a powder form that is packed in individual single-use sachets. The chicken flavor of the powder is dog-friendly. 

Recommended Uses:

  • Supporting healthy gut
  • Maintaining healthy intestines
  • Supporting normal digestive function 

Ingredient Analysis:

  • Inulin
  • Solarplast (spinach leaf extract)
  • Bacillus subtilis DE111
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Bacillus coagulans
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Bifidobacterium animalis lactis

Rich in six probiotic strains and two different dietary fiber sources, the formula supports overall health on several levels. The custom blend probiotic is fortified by the presence of probiotics. The ingredients are of premium quality and do not feature any harmful additions. 

Pros

  • Premium, veterinarian-grade formula
  • With inulin and spinach leaf extract 
  • Non-GMO and grain-free 
  • Chicken-flavored, easy-use powder form 
  • Lab-tested and made in the USA

Cons

  • Often out of stock due to high demand 
  • Made with globally sourced ingredients 

Review: Customers say that the Vet’s Preferred blend is good for their dogs – it is beneficial and dogs love the taste which makes the supplement easy to use. They also love the fact that the probiotic is suitable for dogs of different breeds, sizes, and ages. Plus, the individual sachets prevent overdosing.  

Four Leaf Rover Probiotics

four leaf rover protect

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Summary: Four Leaf Rover is our top pick for Most Options as it offers formulas for all dogs regardless of their unique needs and preferences.

The Four Leaf Rover Protect is not a traditional probiotic since it lacks live cultures. However, it features soil-based probiotics and nutrients like blueberry powder, bentonite clay, chlorella, dandelion root, and burdock root, which support gut health. They are also suitable for slowing down mental aging, giving the immune system a boost, and removing heavy metals from the body.

Recommended Uses:

  • Supporting healthy gut
  • Enhancing brain function 
  • Supporting detoxification 

Ingredient Analysis:

  • Organic wild blueberry powder
  • Bentonite clay 
  • Chlorella pyrenoidosa 
  • Organic dandelion root powder
  • Organic burdock root powder
  • Humic and fulvic acid
  • Saccharomyces boulardii 
  • Bacillus coagulans and subtilis 

Blueberries are high in antioxidants which support cognition and bentonite promotes detoxication and potent allergy relief. The root powders are used as dietary fiber sources and the three probiotics (two bacteria and one yeast) support gut health. 

Pros

  • All-natural and unique ingredients
  • Soil-based probiotics
  • Features yeasts like Saccharomyces boulardii 
  • Supports the dog’s GI tract and brain 
  • Vet-formulated and ethically made 

Cons

  • Does not contain traditional live cultures
  • No measuring spoon in the package

Review: Customers are happy with the uniquely combined all-natural ingredients. They say the product is excellent for managing various digestive tract issues, and it helps improve stool quality and increase appetite. Customers also mention the black shade the dog poop gets after using the Four Leaf Rover Protect supplement.

PetLab Co. Probiotics

PetLab-Co.-Dog-Probiotic

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Summary: The PetLab Co. Dog Probiotic comes in the form of dog-friendly, pork-flavored soft chews that are suitable for all dogs over six months of age which is why it deserves a spot on our list. 

The PetLab Co. Dog Probiotic features eight strains of live, beneficial bacteria. The product is loaded with antioxidants and has health-boosting ingredients like agave, honey, and salmon oil. In addition to promoting gut health and digestion, the probiotic also supports heart function, boosts natural defenses, and may help with occasional allergies. 

Recommended Uses:

  • Promoting gut health 
  • Aiding optimum heart function 
  • Supporting natural defenses
  • Helping with occasional allergies 

Ingredient Analysis:

  • 8 blend probiotic
  • Inulin
  • Pumpkin
  • Agave
  • Honey
  • Salmon oil 

The combination of eight different bacteria strains support gut health and help with allergies. The added inulin and pumpkin are high in prebiotics. The remaining ingredients (honey, salmon oil, and agave) enrich the formula with omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. 

Pros

  • Eight strains of beneficial bacteria
  • Added salmon oil, honey, and agave 
  • Rich in antioxidants 
  • Delicious pork-flavored chews 
  • Made with world-class ingredients 

Cons

  • On the higher end of the price range 
  • Some dogs may dislike the pork scent 

Review: Customers say that the PetLab Co. is an excellent product and are really impressed with it. Some pet owners even describe the probiotic blend as a “life-saver.” However, despite most dog owners agreeing on the quality of the product, there are some complaints about the hefty price tag. 

NUSENTIA Probiotic

NUSENTIA probiotics miracle dog probiotics for dog

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Summary: NUSENTIA is a high-quality probiotic available at a budget-friendly price which is why we rate it as the Best Value probiotic for dogs.

The NUSENTIA Probiotic is a potent mix of six live bacteria strains from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium family and FOS (inulin) prebiotic. It supports a healthy gut and digestion, but it also helps with bad breath, skin issues, coat quality, and yeast infections. The NUSENTIA Probiotic is affordable and an excellent choice for multi-dog households.

Recommended Uses:

  • Supporting digestion and GI tract health
  • Helping with allergies and skin issues
  • Promoting the natural defenses and immunity

Ingredient Analysis:

  • Inulin 
  • Bifidobacterium animalis lactis
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus salivarius
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus reuteri

Inulin is one of the best dietary fiber sources and is used as food for the six different bacteria strains in the supplement. This premium quality probiotic formula is free from gluten, dairy, fillers, flavors, byproducts, and additives. 

Pros

  • Several probiotics strains and a prebiotic
  • Excellent cost to value ratio
  • No wheat, soy, and artificial sweeteners
  • Reputable and vet-recommended brand
  • Suitable for dogs and cats of all ages 

Cons

  • Some dogs can detect the powder
  • The powder can get lumpy over time

Review: Happy customers say that the NUSENTIA Probiotic helps dogs with GI tract issues after as little as several days of use and that the positive impact on gut health is not limited to a specific age category. Some customers also say that the supplement proved beneficial for dogs with ear infections.

Purina FortiFlora Probiotics

purina proplan veterinary supplements

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Summary: Purina FortiFlora is Best for Digestion because it contains good bacteria that help with food processing, thus ensuring proper GI tract functioning.

The Purina FortiFlora Probiotic was the number one vet-recommended formula in 2019. It contains guaranteed levels of good bacteria (Enterococcus faecium), vitamins, and minerals. The product is conveniently packed in single-dose sachets, and one box will satisfy your dog’s need for probiotics for one full month.

Recommended Uses:

  • Promoting healthy gut and intestines
  • Supporting the immune system 

Ingredient Analysis:

  • Enterococcus faecium 
  • Brewers dried yeast
  • Vitamins and minerals 

As a single-strain probiotic, the supplement has only one beneficial bacteria that supports gut health and proper digestion. The patent pending formula is enriched with brewers yeast and various types of essential vitamins and minerals. 

Pros

  • Vet-recommended beneficial bacteria
  • Microencapsulated formula for maximum stability
  • Quick and encouraging results
  • Dog-friendly liver flavor
  • Suitable for puppies and adult dogs 

Cons

  • Contains only one probiotic strain and no prebiotics
  • More expensive than most products

Review: Satisfied customers say that the Purina FortiFlora Probiotic supplement is a miracle worker. According to them, a single dose offers relief and improvement for various GI issues, including loose stool, gassiness, and diarrhea. Customers also say that the powder is easy to use, and even picky eaters like its flavor.

When Should You Give Your Dog Probiotics?

when to give probiotics to dogs

You can give probiotics to dogs when there is an ongoing imbalance in the gut microbiome or preventively before the imbalance occurs. In other terms, you should give your dog probiotics in the scenarios listed below:

  • There are gastrointestinal issues that can benefit from good bacteria
  • If your pup has diarrhea or you suspect it will develop it soon
  • In the case of allergy-triggered skin issues and ear infections
  • When the dog’s immune system needs a healthy and natural boost
  • During long-term use of antibiotics.

Are Probiotics Good for Senior Dogs?

Yes, probiotics are good for senior dogs. A 2019 study by Frontiers “Oral Administration of Compound Probiotics Improved Canine Feed Intake, Weight Gain, Immunity and Intestinal Microbiota” showed that probiotics improve food intake in elderly dogs and contribute to weight gain. 

What are the Types of Probiotics for Dogs?

how to choose the best probiotics for dogs

Which probiotics for dogs are best for your pup depends on its unique needs. Different probiotic strains come with different health perks. Therefore, it might be best to get a formula that involves various strains of probiotics for dogs, including some of the following:

  • Enterococcus faecium helps manage stress-triggered diarrhea and has an immune-stimulating effect in young pups (protects from common pathogens like Escherichia coli and Salmonella).
  • Bifidobacterium animalis supports a healthy gut and intestines and is perfect for managing idiopathic canine diarrhea. It also helps dogs recover after prolonged use of antibiotics.
  • Lactobacillus casei has strong anti-inflammatory properties and a proven bactericidal effect against potential pathogens. It is also beneficial for mood improvement.
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus provides immune support, helps manage food and skin allergies and their symptoms, and prevents unwanted yeast overgrowth.
  • Lactobacillus plantarum is a highly resistant microorganism that survives the conditions in the dog’s digestive system, manages diarrhea, and promotes liver health.
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus supports the digestive system on various levels and helps with dermatitis symptoms and managing allergic reactions to food.
  • Lactobacillus fermentum has an inhibitory effect on certain bad bacteria and provides symptomatic relief from urinary infections and various gastrointestinal issues.
  • Bacillus coagulans is a spore-forming bacterium that helps with different forms of diarrhea, including traveler’s and antibiotic-triggered. By forming spores, it protects the lining of the intestines.
  • Saccharomyces boulardii is a healthy yeast robust for managing chronic enteropathies and antibiotic-triggered diarrhea. It also has immune-boosting features.

What to Look for When Buying Probiotics for Dogs?

When choosing probiotic for dogs there are several things to consider. Here is a closer look at those factors: 

  • Bacteria Strains. The first thing is to check the type of bacteria in the supplement. Some probiotics for dogs have one and others have several different strains of beneficial bacteria. 
  • Colony Forming Units (CFUs). CFUs measure the number of beneficial bacteria in the supplement. In general, the higher the CFU of the supplement, the better its quality. 
  • Added Ingredients. In addition to good bacteria, some probiotic supplements feature added ingredients such as prebiotics or dietary fiber, fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. 
  • Supplement Form. Probiotics for dogs come in different forms such as powders, capsules, liquids, and edibles (chews). You should get the type that is easiest to give. 
  • Probiotic Flavor. To ensure straightforward use, manufacturers add flavors to the dog probiotics. Popular flavors are bacon, beef, and chicken. Choose the flavor your dog likes best. 
  • Brand. Finally, pay attention to the probiotic brand. A trustworthy brand will be open about its ingredients and practices. It will also feature reviews from previous customers. 

What are the Side Effects of Probiotics for Dogs?

According to a 2010 study “Safety and Tolerance of Dietary Supplementation With a Canine-Derived Probiotic (Bifidobacterium animalis Strain AHC7) Fed to Growing Dogs” probiotics for dogs are “well tolerated with no safety concerns.”

However, same as any other supplement, they can cause side effects in overly sensitive pets. Luckily, the side effects are mild and transient and usually revolve around GI tract upsets – loose stool or constipation, bloating, and gassiness.

The chances of developing side effects are higher when introducing new strains or switching probiotic brands. Side effects are also more likely to occur if the supplementation includes high doses, sudden implementation, and low-quality probiotics for dogs.

Can a Dog Have too Much Probiotics?

Simply put, dogs cannot overdose on probiotics as they do not contain directly troublesome ingredients. This is because ingesting higher amounts of probiotics is not directly harmful or toxic. However, too many good bacteria can upset the dog’s digestive system and cause issues like diarrhea and excessive gassiness.   

Worst-case scenario, dogs that eat too much probiotics will develop mils and transient digestive issues in the form of stomach upset – diarrhea, vomiting, gassiness, and bloating. 

How Much Probiotics Should I Give My Dog a Day?

According to Joseph J. Wakshlag, DVM, PhD from the Cornell University, dogs need between 1 and 10 billion CFUs of probiotics per day.

However, the exact amount depends on the dog’s body weight, overall health, and the underlying reason for using probiotics. While some dogs benefit from regular, daily use of probiotics, others do well with occasional supplementation. 

Before using probiotics for dogs, read the instructions and dosage guidelines on the package. If unsure, consult with your trusted veterinarian. 

How can I Give My Dog Probiotics?

First of all, we should note that some commercial dog food formulas contain added probiotics. However, if your dog needs an additional boost, the number of live cultures in the dog food is not enough.

In such cases, you need to consider probiotics for dogs in the form of supplements. Luckily, there are different forms of probiotics for dogs – powders, capsules, liquids, soft chews, and treats. This gives you the freedom to choose which option is best for you and your pup.

You can also use some natural sources of probiotics for dogs like yogurt and kefir. For optimal results, add a supplement product to your dog’s regimen and occasionally enrich its meals with natural probiotics for dogs. 

Sources

(PDF) Safety and Tolerance of Dietary Supplementation With a Canine-Derived Probiotic (Bifidobacterium animalis Strain AHC7) Fed to Growing Dogs (researchgate.net)

Behavioral Probiotics – Whole Dog Journal (whole-dog-journal.com)

Effect of Saccharomyces boulardii in dogs with chronic enteropathies: double-blinded, placebo-controlled study (hubspotusercontent20.net)

Probiotic Therapy: A Promising Strategy for the Control of Canine Hookworm (hindawi.com)

[PDF] EFFICACY OF SACCHAROMYCES BOULARDII AS A PROBIOTIC IN DOGS WITH LINCOMYCIN INDUCED DIARRHOEA | Semantic Scholar

Saccharomyces boulardii Probiotic for Pets (White Paper) – FullBucket Health

JAKO201914456456790.pdf (koreascience.or.kr)

Frontiers | Pre- and Probiotics to Increase the Immune Power of Colostrum in Dogs | Veterinary Science (frontiersin.org)

[PDF] Clinical benefits of probiotic canine-derived Bifidobacterium animalis strain AHC7 in dogs with acute idiopathic diarrhea. | Semantic Scholar

Frontiers | Oral Administration of Compound Probiotics Improved Canine Feed Intake, Weight Gain, Immunity and Intestinal Microbiota | Immunology (frontiersin.org)

Evaluation of graded levels of Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 on apparent nutrient digestibility, stool quality, and intestinal health indicators in healthy adult dogs | Journal of Animal Science | Oxford Academic (oup.com)

Effect of the Probiotic Enterococcus faecium SF68 on Presence of Diarrhea in Cats and Dogs Housed in an Animal Shelter | Request PDF (researchgate.net)

Supplementation of Food with Enterococcus faecium (SF68) Stimulates Immune Functions in Young Dogs | The Journal of Nutrition | Oxford Academic (oup.com)

Lactic Ferments for Dogs and Cats – Lactobacillus Acidophilus D2/CSL | Sacco System

Oral Administration of Compound Probiotics Improved Canine Feed Intake, Weight Gain, Immunity and Intestinal Microbiota (nih.gov)

Probiotics and prebiotics in dermatology – PubMed (nih.gov)

Impact of Nutritional Supplementation on Canine Dermatological Disorders (nih.gov)

Evidence of the Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Probiotics and Synbiotics in Intestinal Chronic Diseases (nih.gov)

Microbiota and probiotics in canine and feline welfare (nih.gov)

Preliminary evaluation of Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG, a potential probiotic in dogs (nih.gov)

Enterococcus faecium for dogs and cats (nutravet.co.uk)

(PDF) Improving the Health of Teeth in Cats and Dogs with Live Probiotic Bacteria (researchgate.net)

(PDF) IMPACT OF ORAL PROBIOTICS ON DENTAL BIOFILM BACTERIA IN DOGS (researchgate.net)

(PDF) Clinical effect of probiotics in prevention or treatment of gastrointestinal disease in dogs: A systematic review (researchgate.net)

Health benefits observed after probiotic Lactobacillus fermentum CCM 7421 application in dogs | Request PDF (researchgate.net)