The Benefits of Dog Probiotics


At one time or another, have you ever believed to yourself, “I must have gone with my gut-“? When it comes to probiotics for dogs, you are doing precisely that- going with the gut.

Because good bacteria (probiotics) naturally occur in our big and small intestines. When functioning correctly and looking after a proper microbial balance, they help boost immune response, aid in digestion and convey potent vitamins.

Probiotic dog supplements have been increasing in popularity too. They are available in capsules, chews, dog foods, and yogurt or kefir (with live cultures), prescribed to maintain a suitable intestinal balance (this will happen naturally in a healthy dog).

However, with malnutrition, illness, or times during the severe stress, things in this complex ecosystem referred to as Gut Microbiome can go off-balance.

The word probiotic and how it's used today, pretty much means “diet for life,” as it originates from the Latin word “for” (pro) and also the Greek “life” (bio).

Supplements of valuable microbes will get the digestive microflora (community of bacteria that includes viruses, fungi, and protozoa) back into action and doing their vital job.

Probiotics also occur in fermented foods, and certain yeast can be viewed as probiotic.

Imagine a town with trillions of microorganisms (or microbiota), functioning in balanced harmony like an organ to the host. These microorganisms will also be within the lungs, urinary system, skin exterior, mouth, and nasal cavity. 

There are vast amounts of these tiny bacteria (and certain yeast) living in the gastrointestinal system of humans and animals. Whenever a proper balance is maintained, they assist to battle off disease and promote overall good health:

  • Building nutrients and vitamins (plus vitamin K and B)
  • Kicking at the receiving end of possible pathogens
  • Helping to strengthen the immune system
  • Aid within the treatment of intestinal inflammation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome
  • Influence mood by producing the stabilizing hormone serotonin
  • Create enzymes, breakdown foods
  • Lower stomach acid
  • Move the harmful bacteria and convey essential fatty acids that hobble its growth


Prebiotics are a type of fiber that nurtures and enhances the creation of good bacteria that resides within the colon, i.e., prebiotics is probiotic food (they ferment them instead of eat); two (pro and pre) match such as the moon and the tides.

You will discover prebiotics in most high-fiber dog-friendly foods; several healthy choices that are common and okay to consider with prebiotic supplements:  

  • Steamed asparagus
  • Apple wedges (not too much)
  • Oatmeal
  • Barley
  • Flaxseed (meal or the seeds themselves mixed in with some food
  • Canned pumpkin (mixing in with food can relieve some stomach issues)

Immune System Support

When the microorganisms get the fermentation party popping or pooping, for a moment, they pump out what exactly are called “short-chain essential fatty acids.”

Now, whether these little probiotic poops of fatty acid chains take a get a hearty your dog's body or chill in their colon is the same. They are there to complete good and play a vital role to promote better health and immunity.

Things like:

  • Help build that important mucus layer within the stomach
  • Help with those impossible-to-diagnose food allergens
  • Aid in lowering blood sugar levels; obesity prevention
  • Strengthening the all-important cells lining the stomach
  • Serve in the absorption of nutrients such as iron, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Fight chronic inflammation because they build T-cells

For a canine, 80 percent of the immune system resides in the ol gut!

Moreover, keeping a well-balanced population of bacteria is essential for your household's continued health.

When to Use Probiotics?

So a lot of a persons and dog immune responses connect to the stomach; it's basically the main branch office. The idea behind the probiotics or weight loss program is to help keep those necessary evils away within your gut, balanced using the good bacteria, and reach optimal health.

Although bacterial changes happen all the time, some causes may be already known or expected, such as a dog taking antibiotics or drugs, subjected to toxins, elderly, or on a high starch/fat diet.

This main gut office is your dog's immune system support center. When the gut balance has run out of whack, some symptoms/signs will begin to show:

  • Gut problems with regularity, diarrhea, or loose stool.
  • Foul breath and rotten smelling poop
  • Constant ear problems, infections
  • Food allergies, sensitivity to particular foods, environmental allergies
  • Regular vomiting and picky about eating
  • Skin allergies, dry skin, difficulties with heavy shedding, nonstop licking
  •  Parasites in the intestine (tapeworms, ringworms, roundworms, hookworms)

Best Probiotics for the Dog?

The goal is to achieve a nutritious balance of excellent and bad bacteria in your dog's gut. An unbalanced gut will see the negative symptoms and more mentioned above.

A stomach full of healthy microorganisms promotes from enhanced energy to healthier skin. Canine probiotics are available in various forms for overall health, allergies, joint pains, etc.

Lactic Acid Probiotics

Most from the probiotics on the market today are lactic acid bacteria, often produced from fermented milk (sounds like an alien space cocktail). The supplement label may have strain and also the species name: Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species (B. Or L., e.g., B. Longum or L. acidophilus. 

L. species stops the development of parasites in the intestine, while B. live in the colon and therefore are friendly with immune cells and help push out parasites.

For instance, Lactobacillus casei got its home within the mucus membrane. It's associated with moods and emotions via the gut-brain connection.

Or Bifidobacterium animals, a probiotic we know of for aiding in regular diarrhea in dogs. 

Spore Forming Bacteria

Unlike Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, the Bacilli strains of probiotics are spore-forming. The bacteria can build a rigid layer that guards against heat, stomach acids, and just about all antibiotics (many antibiotics originate from soil-based probiotics because of this).

Bacilli are soil-based probiotics (present in soil and water). The most common strains used include bacteria, like Bacillus coagulans (B. coagulans), which is a lactic acid-making bacteria that crowd out harmful bacteria.

It may act as an anti-inflammatory and also aids in related digestive diseases. It's even said to have helped to improve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Natural Dog Probiotics

Fermentation of sugars and fibers is what bacteria do, thus natural probiotics occur in healthy foods:

  • You can give your pet stuff that are great for their diet, like Chaga, kimchi, and kefir, which all have large amounts of prebiotics (practice caution with dogs who've a history of candida albicans or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
  • Probiotic yogurt is fermented milk and bacteria. Milk products themselves can cause immune issues and inflammation in dogs. Plus, yogurts could be high in sugar. 
  • As mentioned above, prebiotic foods that are full of fiber and okay for the dog are garlic, bananas, mushrooms, chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, and more. 

How Much Must i Give My Dog?

It all depends around the probiotic you go with for your dog.

The abovementioned lactic acid bacteria perform best with multiple strains, based on most studies. Yet because it dissipates quickly within the stomach, a product rich in CFU or colony-forming units would be best.

Ten billion CFU minimum for any healthy animal includes a better chance of surviving in your canine's belly, while a dog with digestive issues might fair better from 25-50 billion CFU for a medium to large dog.

Note that non-dairy-based probiotics like Saccharomyces boulardii can be given in a half-billion to 5 billion CFU, as it is a lot more resilient. 

Spore forming also survives the gut acidity longer, so about 1 billion CFU will suffice.

Are Probiotics Safe?

As with any new potentially life-altering thing you introduce to your four-legged friend, it is always wise to consult an expert first.

Based on proper research, yes, most probiotics are safe supplements that boast numerous safety studies.

Other than possible upset stomach, gas, or maybe bloating, there seems to become more concern with probiotics no longer working on specific ailments and conditions over issues of safety.

Suppose your pet is, or you're planning to begin them on probiotics like a preventative health goal for any healthy dog. If so, you can give it most days of the week (soil-based is okay every day as they are less likely to induce small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

For diarrhea, a few days of lactic acid probiotic will help, but keeping it going for a couple weeks can help to resolve what is causing it.

For more chronic diarrhea or digestive complaints, a strong multi-strain probiotic with stomach-soothing herbs is great for a long-term regimen or until the problem subsides.

The digestive system and the environment that keeps it balanced are crucial to a healthy life. These live microorganisms can provide health benefits by restoring and boosting the gut microbiome, the bacteria, fungi, and archaea that live in this enzymatic tracts of even insects – and the gut is a vital hub for them. Thus, when fed well and treated right, these live bacteria can have a nearly magical effect on the defense mechanisms, as nitrous oxide has on an engine.