It’s a well known fact that dogs have different nutritional needs than humans, as reflected by their meat-based diets. Investing in the best and most nutritionally dense dog foods can work wonders for your dog’s health; however, even the healthiest dogs sometimes may run into issues with their digestion. That’s why so many pet owners decide, at one point or another, to look into the best probiotics for dogs in 2021.
Probiotic supplements are formulated to both promote and aid in the digestion of certain foods. Foods that are rich in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and seeds, are good sources of probiotics.
Probiotics are also beneficial for people with compromised immune systems, whose digestive systems may be compromised due to allergies, illness, or other conditions.
Because humans do not have the same microbiome as animals, it is difficult to formulate a suitable probiotic supplement for humans that would work equally well for a dog.
Fortunately, many brands have taken up the challenge and formulated their own probiotica for pets. Below, we outline some of the best probiots for your canine companions.
Probiotics for Dog Tips
Probiotic supplements are available for purchase online or from specialty pet stores. These supplements come in capsule, powder, or tablet form.
Capsules or tablets
These are the most popular type of probiotic supplement. If your dog is a light sleeper, a single tablet a day will do. You will need to monitor your pet's dosage to make sure he takes the proper amount each day.
This type is not as common, but you can purchase a powder supplement if your veterinarian recommends it. Dogs who are on a high-protein diet might also find this supplement to be more convenient than capsules.
Some supplements contain additional nutrients that your vet might recommend, such as vitamin B12, folic acid, and vitamin D. Check with your doctor before giving your canine companion a supplement that has been prescribed by a vet.
Probiotics for Dog Considerations
Probiotic supplements for your dog are formulated for a variety of body systems. Some include specific strains, while others include a blend of multiple species.
If you are looking for an all-in-one supplement that will meet your needs for several months, look for one that contains a combination of species, so you don’t have to make multiple trips to the store for different strains. Many formulas are grain-free, and you should check the label to be sure.
While not a requirement, some probiotics are beneficial for those with food sensitivities, allergies, or gut disorders. For instance, there are some formulas that support the immune system or promote the growth of friendly bacteria in the small intestine. Be sure to read the ingredients list carefully, as some questionable ingredients can have harmful effects.
A popular probiotic supplement for older dogs is Proglenix Adult Dog Small Intestine Probiotic. It is formulated to support healthy digestion and a strong immune response in dogs over age six.
In addition to encouraging the production of short-chain fatty acids, it also contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium, L. bulgaricus, Streptococcus, Salmonella, Campylobacterales, Citrobacter, Roseburia, Enterococci, Actinomyces, Propionibacteri, Verrucomicrobia, KPC, Prevotella, Klebsiella species and many others.
Probiotics for Dogs Prices
Probiotic pills are not the most expensive pet supplements available, but you do get what you pay for. We found that the cheapest probiotics from brands we looked at cost between $0.30 and $1 per capsule.
This price includes a basic supply of three capsules per day. At this price, you might expect to receive 24 to 48 hours' worth of action. If you’re looking for a more expensive option, the probiotic market offers several probiotix formulas for between about $2 and around $5 per bottle.
Many of these contain more active cultures than the generic versions we found, which are ideal for people with sensitive digestive systems. The higher cost is likely due to the brand name and the higher concentration of active organisms.
Most of the best-known brands sell in quantities of 250 to 800 bottles or more.
Features To Look For In Probiotics For Dogs
Many brands of probiotics are made from ingredients that are detrimental to canine health. It is advised that you opt for brands that rely on organic or raw ingredients for optimal health benefits.
There are some brands out there that make use of animals products such as eggs and dairy products.
If you are vegetarian, vegan, or have a gluten intolerance, look out for the ingredients listed on the label to ensure that the probiotic you purchase is not harmful to your pet.
The dispenser type of a probiot is very important, especially when choosing a brand that has a liquid form. Liquid probiots are very easy to dispense into the mouth and can last you a long time.
However, you don’t want to use a tight squeeze bottle, as this could lead to leakage and contamination. You can also go for a BPA-free, non-metallic probot to avoid any potential issues.
Amount Of The Probiotic
It should be noted that some probies do not contain a large amount of the bacteria. This is to be expected as the amount you put in your dog‘s mouth is only a fraction of its body weight. Look out to see the recommended daily intake (RDA) on a label. Also, the brand will state if the formula is grain- or meat-based, which will dictate the type and amount that can be ingested.
Look for probities that have dosage instructions, particularly in the form of packets. Some brands have packets that come with several bottles and are easy for you to keep track of. The packets should also be easy-to-open and the bottle should seal well.
All About Probiotics for Dogs
Probiotic supplements for your dog are formulated to meet the nutritional needs of dogs of various sizes. Dogs come in varying sizes, and the formulas that are best for them depend on the dog’s age and weight.
For dogs under 6 months
Small quantities of live bacteria cultures are sufficient for most dogs. Be sure to check the dosage guidelines and ingredients listed on packaging to make sure the supplement is safe for use on dogs this young.
6 to 12 months of age
For most puppies and small dogs, a daily dose of probiotics with a probiotic supplement blend that contains an equal amount of bacteria from the probiogenicity of the manufacturer's strains is usually sufficient.
A few dog owners choose to provide extra doses of their dog's preferred strains.
Large dogs (over 12 pounds)
For large dogs over this weight, more large-chain (L-glutamine) strains are recommended. The doses for this population are higher than those for smaller dogs.
Q: What are probiotics?
A: Probiotics are food-based microorganisms, typically found in soil, that have been genetically modified to produce specific proteins and lipids. These substances are used to provide a variety of benefits for your pet. Some of these benefits include the following: Improved digestion: The bacterial cultures found on probiotic supplements are able to digest food more efficiently, increasing the amount of nutrients your dog is able eat. A reduction in joint pain: A diet high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins helps reduce the occurrence of arthritis-inducing toxins. Reduced allergies: When your puppy or adult dog ingests probiotically-supplemented food, they are more likely to be free of allergies. Improved skin: Providing your furry friend with the vitamins and minerals they need to maintain a healthy, shiny coat.
Q: What should I give my dog with a probiostatic supplement?
A: Before adding a supplement to your canine companion's diet, make sure you are following a diet that is high-fiber, low in fat, grain-free, non-syrup-sweetened, animal-friendly, organic, whole-foods, including organically grown produce. Also, the probiod supplement should contain the appropriate types of bacteria for the species of your pooch. The right bacteria are responsible for proper digestion, shedding of shedding, proper immune system function, an increased tolerance for different foods, healthy skin, a balanced gut, improved heart health, better breath quality, increased energy, less joint and weight pain, as well as numerous other health benefits.
Q: What is the best probiotic supplement for canine nutrition?
A: Fruits: For puppies and small dogs, fruits like apples, oranges, grapefruits, pears, raspberries, blueberries and avocados are the ideal probionics. They are also great sources of essential vitamins A, D, E and K. Minerals: You can also supplement your proboid with krill (small, self-replicating fish), as they can provide B vitamins. Make sure to get the right amount, however. Meat: Meat is usually high on the glycemic index, so if your pup has a sensitive palate, meat can cause discomfort. Instead, try to find a vegetarian supplement that has no animal products in it. Dairy: Dairy is another source of B and D vitamins, but it must be pasture-fed, which reduces the potential for allergic reactions. Soft drinks: Soft drink companies provide artificial sweeteners to make their products more palatable, adding calories and sugar to their meals. While proboids can easily be mixed with water, some companies recommend that you dilute them with soft drinks before using them. Additionally, soft-drink-derived probiums can be a problem for some dogs.
Destin has experience working with dogs in the most high stress environments on earth. He currently is a canine handler as a security contractor, helping to keep US diplomats safe in some of the most dangerous regions of the world.