Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics for Dogs


You've probably heard of probiotics (living microorganisms that benefit their host), but what about prebiotics, that are lesser-known?

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that promote healthy digestion and therefore are a meal source for probiotics. So in dogs, prebiotics help to form solid stools and allow probiotics to flourish.

Read onto learn more about the main difference between prebiotics and probiotics for dogs.

Prebiotics and Probiotics for Dogs: What Are the Differences?

Here are some additional differences between prebiotics and probiotics:


  • Living microorganisms
  • Help digestion your clients' needs a healthy microbiome (the collection of microorganisms within the gut)
  • Bacterial strains (most commonly bifidobacterium and lactobacillus strains)
  • Must remain alive and delivered through a viable transport mechanism to achieve the gut
  • Makes up area of the microbiome, which 'talks' to the brain


  • Non-living, non-digestible fiber
  • Improves digestion by forming healthy stools
  • Promotes the development of healthy microorganisms (a.k.a. probiotics) in the microbiome by serving as a food source
  • Easy storage requirements; doesn't have to be refrigerated
  • Promotes healthy growth and maintenance of the microbiome

Should You allow Your pet Both Prebiotics and Probiotics?

Individually, prebiotics and probiotics do have health advantages, in humans and dogs alike. However when you combine them together is when they've their real health benefits.

Dogs need fiber just like humans do in order to form healthy stools. And they also obtain the digestive, immune, and all around health benefits from probiotics.

Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics for Dogs Conclusion

The distinction between prebiotics and probiotics for dogs is that prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that promote digestion and act as a meal source for probiotics; probiotics are living microorganisms that benefit dogs.

If you’re looking for a probiotic + prebiotic combination for the dog, check out our article The top five Best Probiotics for Dogs. Our number 1 pick was BlueBiology Canine Probiotic.