As a dedicated dog parent, you must have had many sleepless nights searching for solutions to your dog’s health problems. Whether it be your pooch is suffering from separation anxiety or just a case of an upset stomach.
One thing that might have crossed your eyes is Probiotics for dogs. Probiotics are an elixir of the gut and possibly the only solution your furry friend needs. Now let us look at how probiotics work, the benefits they offer dogs, and much more.
What are Probiotics?
A dog’s intestines contain billions of bacteria that are collectively called the microbiome. In case of an imbalance of the microbiome, symptoms like excessive gas and loose stool may occur. Probiotics are good bacteria that encourage intestinal health by creating a balance.
How Do Probiotics Work?
Probiotics are living micro-organisms (bacteria). When these microorganisms are well fed, they have a highly beneficial impact.
Probiotics decrease the pH value in the gut and this helps regulate good bacteria in the dog’s stomach. Probiotic bacteria also release a substance by attaching to the intestinal cells, which helps promote the growth of good bacteria.
What is the Difference between Probiotic & Prebiotics?
If you are someone who is researching probiotics for dogs, then you might have also come across prebiotics.
Even though they sound very similar, both have different functionalities. In comparison to Probiotics which are live bacteria, Prebiotics are a special type of fiber, which you feed a dog to promote the growth of good bacteria in their gut.
What Are the Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs?
Probiotics are highly beneficial to dogs. Not only do they help the good bacteria to flourish, but some specific probiotics are also known to boost a dog’s immune system.
Like humans, dog’s immune systems are located in their digestive tract. This creates ample opportunities for useful bacteria to interact with the immune cells and increase overall health.
Research suggests that certain types of probiotics may have specific benefits for dogs. Some probiotics used in dogs are
Lactobacillus and Bifid bacterium assist in:
- Managing yeast and supporting the overall immune system
- Preventing anxiety
- Reducing stress levels
- Regulating mood and emotions
- Improves diarrhea and food-related allergies
Certain bacillus species can also support the immune response in dogs.
Can Probiotics Improve Dog Diarrhea?
Another benefit of Probiotics is that they can be used to improve diarrhea caused by:
- Stress colitis caused by boarding, moving, or any disturbance in routine
- Abrupt changes to your dog’s diet, like eating a new food
- A bacterial imbalance caused by long-term antibiotic use
- Infections that are caused by microbial overgrowth may clear out with probiotics as well.
When Should You Give Your Dog Probiotics?
There are various reasons where an imbalance can occur in your dog’s intestinal tract. These can range anywhere from simply boarding or moving to factors like change in environment or routine.
Senior dogs and puppies are more prone to these imbalances as are dogs on antibiotics. If your dog is experiencing digestive problems, then you should consider giving probiotics a try.
Another factor most people are unaware of is the link between gut and brain known as the gut-brain axis. Our brains are attached to our guts via the central nervous system. So dogs with anxious behavior benefit greatly from the use of Probiotics.
A specific strain of beneficial bacteria called BL999 is used to help dogs maintain a calm behavior.
How Long Does It Take For Probiotics To Work?
The rate at which Probiotics work vary from strain to strain. It also depends upon the specific issue it is used for
An improvement in digestive upset might be improved within a couple of days with the help of the right Probiotic like Forti-Flora.
For immune health, your pet should experience a positive impact in about four weeks.
Whereas for dogs with anxious behaviors, you can expect to see improvements within about six weeks with excellent results.
Is Probiotics a Complete Solution?
Although there are many health benefits of Probiotics these are not appropriate for every situation regarding the health of your dog.
Probiotics are not recommended for dogs with severely compromised GI tracts or those undergoing cancer therapy. Whatever the case maybe you should always seek advice from a vet before putting your dog on any sort of medication.
Can Human Probiotics be Used On Dogs?
The efficacy and benefits of Probiotics in humans are well documented and researched. But in dogs, their effectiveness is still under study.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has detailed guidelines on probiotics for humans and we can follow them for dogs as well. The most important thing to consider while administering Probiotics is to demonstrate safety.
Once you know the safe way to administer Probiotics, it can have highly beneficial effects on dogs.
Some people give yogurt products to their dogs but the efficacy of yogurt is still unproven. More importantly, yogurt contains other ingredients, like dairy, and dogs can be intolerant to that level of dairy.
There are only a few yogurt-related products that guarantee live bacteria numbers. It’s vital to use a product that has in some way shown you that it has an effective number of probiotic bacteria. T
hese useful bacteria must also remain alive on the shelf, and reach the gastrointestinal tract where they have the most impact.
Should You Give Your Dog a Probiotic Supplement?
The research on Probiotics has entered into an exciting era, and the benefits it can give are limitless.
There are numerous different choices when it comes to probiotics for dogs, ranging from supplements to probiotic dog foods.
But remember: It is critical to choose the right probiotic for the precise situation you’re dealing with. As some probiotics are good for digestive health while others are resolving digestive upset. Some help support the immune system, while others are anti-inflammatory.
Whether your dog has anxiety, experiencing digestive upset, or has compromised immune health, talk with your veterinarian to find the right probiotic solution for your dog.
Give your pup nutritional support with dog vitamins and supplements available at NurtureVet. Explore all our probiotics for small, medium, and large dogs.