The gut is filled with millions of different types of bacteria. While this might sound a little scary, it’s actually a good thing because this bacteria is meant to help keep the body healthy and active. However, sometimes this bacteria can dwindle due to many reasons. There might be an infection in the body or stress levels might be high. Just as with humans, it’s important that your dog takes probiotics to help keep their body healthy. But the question is, can you give dogs probiotics? The answer is yes.
If you’re curious as to how these microorganisms work and if your dog needs some, you’ll want to check out this article. Below you’ll find the truth about probiotics and some you can use to help keep your dog healthy.
What are Probiotics for Dogs?
A probiotic for dog is a unique microorganism that works to help provide the body with healthy bacteria. This bacteria works to help improve the digestive system so that it can help keep the body strong and free from illnesses. Probiotics are also known for helping to keep the immune system working well and even helps your dog to maintain a healthy weight. They additionally work to help stop the production of harmful bacteria in the body, like E. Coli and Salmonella.
But can I give my dog probiotics safely? Yes, you can. These are fine to give your pet in small amounts.
Types of Bacteria in Your Dog’s Gut
There are a few different forms of bacteria you’ll find in your dog’s gut. All of these bacteria work to help keep your dog strong and healthy. Feeding this bacteria probiotics helps to ensure that there is enough of it in your dog’s gut.
This type of bacteria is the most common in your dog’s gut. However, sometimes the proper amount of it can dwindle due to many reasons, especially if your dog’s immune system is compromised. This strain of bacteria is often used to help combat diarrhea.
Many dog foods often contain this form of bacteria because it’s very healthy for your dog’s gut. It helps with digestion, inflammation, and can even calm stress in dogs.
This strain of bacteria is also a good type to give dogs with sensitive immune systems. They can survive for a long time in the gut which means they can help to better protect your dog and their health. This type also helps to break down food faster which can help your dog’s digestive system.
The Importance of Probiotics
Probiotics are important for many reasons. As mentioned above, probiotics help to keep the immune system strong. This can help to prevent many illnesses from forming in your dog’s body. Probiotics can keep good bacteria constantly growing in your dog’s gut which can keep them active and healthy. Overall though, the main important aspect about probiotics for dogs is that they can help to keep the immune system strong.
How Do Probiotics Work?
Probiotics work to help get into the gut to aid digestion which can help to keep your dog’s immune system working well. They also work in the digestive system and break down food to help prevent bloat and other common digestive problems that dogs face. Probiotics will fill the body with healthy bacteria that will work to keep your dog’s body strong while killing off harmful bacteria that could be causing them to feel lethargic or sick.
Probiotics for Dogs Benefits
Are probiotics good for dogs? Yes, they are! There are plenty of benefits that come with giving your dog probiotics.
They Keep the Digestive System Strong
A great thing about probiotics for dogs is that they keep the digestive system strong. This is because they make sure to add healthy bacteria to the digestive system which can keep it balanced. They can also help with destroying unhealthy bacteria by ensuring that there’s enough healthy bacteria to overtake it.
They Help Heal Diarrhea
Taken in the right amount, probiotics can help with healing diarrhea problems in dogs. Probiotics for dogs with diarrhea will remove bacteria and blockage that could be causing gastrointestinal problems. Probiotics for puppies with diarrhea will also work the same way, but in a less intense way. This will not only provide relief to your dog, but help to keep them from suffering severe problems that could be extremely harmful to their health.
They Can Help with Allergies
One interesting thing about probiotics is that they can work to help manage the symptoms of severe allergies. This is because probiotics can kill off the yeast that causes irritation and other allergic reactions.
They Can Improve Skin Health
Probiotics can help to improve skin health by moisturizing it and prevent common problems like eczema. It also helps to keep your dog’s fur thick and shiny. Many vets often recommend to use probiotics to help with skin allergies and skin issues because they create healthy cells that keep your dog’s hair follicles strong. So, if your dog is constantly itching, has ear infections and numerous scabs, or seems to be losing hair, probiotics might be a good thing to give them.
They Help Prevent Heart Disease
As dogs get older many parts of their body start to run into problems. One of the most common is heart disease. The immune system might not work properly which can affect the heart. Probiotics can keep good bacteria growing in your dog’s body while also giving them energy to stay active. This energy in return will help to strengthen their heart.
How to Tell if Your Dog Needs Probiotics
Sometimes you’ll need to give your dog probiotics to ensure that a certain health problem can be healed. Below are some common ways to tell if your dog needs probiotics.
They Have an Infection
One of the main ways to tell if your dog needs probiotics is when they have an infection. This can come in many forms, such as ear or skin. Ear infections are the most common sign though that your dog needs probiotics. These infections show that there is bacterial overgrowth in the area which needs to be removed before becoming an even bigger issue.
They are Stressed
Stress can take an impact on your dog’s body. Probiotics can help with calming them down by helping their heart and muscles relax. This in return will help to make them less irritated and fearful. So, if your dog is stressed being around other dogs or humans, barks constantly, trembles, pants excessively, or hides often, you might want to think about providing them with probiotics.
They are Elderly
As dogs age, sometimes their body doesn’t fully produce an adequate amount of healthy bacteria that their body needs. Probiotics can help to ensure that a senior dog has a sufficient amount of the good bacteria so they stay healthy and active.
They are Taking Medication That Kills Good Bacteria
If your dog is taking medication known for sometimes killing off the necessary bacteria in the body (like antibiotics or steroids) you should make sure they take probiotics.
They Constantly Itch or Scratch Themselves
While it’s normal for dogs to scratch themselves, constantly doing so can be a problem. While it might be a sign of things like fleas, it could also mean their body is reacting to a type of allergy. This is especially so if it’s a food allergy. Food allergies are often caused because modern food doesn’t contain bacteria that help with digestive problems and can end up causing your pet to scratch themselves excessively.
If you find your dog is having this problem, check to see if they’re consuming the following foods which are known for causing major issues in canines:
They Smell Funny
Dogs who are suffering from a yeast infection will often have a strange odor coming from their body or their breath. This is often a sign that they have too much of the bad bacteria in their body which needs to be removed immediately.
Their Skin is Flaky
Dogs who have allergies will often have very dry and flaky skin. This is yet another sign that your dog needs probiotics as dry and flaky skin is a sign of bacterial overgrowth.
Side Effects of Too Much Probiotics – Can You Have Too Many Probiotics?
While probiotics offer quite a bit of great benefits for your dog, there are a few things you’ll need to be careful of. While often rare, negative side effects of probiotics can happen if you give them too much or their body can’t handle it.
While probiotics can help heal diarrhea in dogs, too much of it can end up being an issue. Because of this, it’s extremely important that you only give your pet the recommended amount to ensure there are no problems.
If you have a puppy, probiotics can be a little bit more of a challenge. This is because they are still developing their immune systems which mean probiotics might be a little stronger for them than adult dogs and could end up making them have more side effects than normal.
While dog probiotics side effects aren’t common, they can happen. Because of this, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your dog when they’re on them.
Is it Ok to Give My Dog FortiFlora?
FortiFlora is one of the best probiotics for dogs. It helps not only puppies and adult dogs with diarrhea, but can keep them maintaining a healthy weight. This probiotic works to increase the healthy bacteria in your dog’s gut which can improve their immune system quickly. Better yet, it can be sprinkled over your dog’s food so they won’t even know they’re taking it!
FortiFlora for dogs side effects are not many, but be sure to keep an eye out for extreme vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. This best probiotic for dogs requires a prescription so you can ask your vet any concerns you might have about it before giving it to your dog.
Can You Give Dogs Human Probiotics?
It is possible to give dogs certain human probiotics, like yogurt and several supplements. However, you need to check with your vet as sometimes these can cause health problems in dogs if given incorrectly.
How Long for Probiotics to Work?
So, how long does it take for probiotics to work? You’ll see signs probiotics are working anywhere from 24 hours to a few days depending on their strength and the symptoms they are trying to heal. You should start to see minor improvements within a few hours and gradually see symptoms start to disappear over the next few days.
Can Probiotics Cause Nausea?
Yes, probiotics can give your dog nausea and is one of the many probiotics side effects. However, this doesn’t happen for many adult dogs, it’s mainly common in those who are very young or who have poor immune systems.
The Best Dog Probiotics to Give to Your Dog
You’ll find that there are a few different ways you can give your dog probiotics.
Below are some of the most common methods to use:
Can I give my dog human probiotics? Many often ask this question and wonder if there are any human probiotics for dogs that are good to use. There are a few, but one of the best is yogurt. Yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics to give your dog for many reasons. It’s not only a delicious snack, but can add healthy bacteria to your dog’s gut.
However, make sure that these natural probiotics for dogs are plain and unflavored. Ideally, the yogurt should be a plain Greek yogurt selection as this type doesn’t contain added sugars, flavors, and other preservatives in it. You can give your dog anywhere from 1-3 tablespoons of yogurt a few times a week.
Make sure though that you don’t overdo yogurt. While this can help your dog to stay healthy, too much can give them diarrhea and make them feel sick. If you want to give your dog this probiotic, but are a little unsure as to how much to give them, it’s a good idea to call your vet and discuss the topic with them.
Probiotic Powder for Dogs
Probiotic powder is a very easy way to make sure your pet gets enough probiotics for their health. You can take some and sprinkle it over their food or mix it up in their favorite snack. Many are also free from ingredients, like gluten and soy, which are known to cause problems in dogs. They also contain various types of healthy bacteria in them so you can be sure your dog gets enough of it. The right amount of probiotic powder to give your dog will depend on their weight so it’s important to read the directions that come with the powder before giving it to your dog.
If your dog loves munching on treats, probiotic chews are perfect. These chews often come in various flavors so you can find one that your pup will enjoy. They’re also easy to chew so your dog can easily consume them. This type of probiotic can usually be given to dogs of all sizes and don’t have to be measured. This makes them perfect for those who want something simple and easy to give their dog so they stay healthy.
However, it can be easy to go overboard with these, so it’s important to only give your dog the right amount which is usually indicated by a guide on the back of the product.
As mentioned above, Purina FortiFlora is an excellent probiotic to give your dog. It quickly creates healthy bacteria to help your dog’s immune system improve while also helping to relieve them of certain symptoms. Purina FortiFlora for dogs side effects are very little, so it’s a safe thing to give most dogs and puppies.
How to Give Your Dog Probiotics
Depending on the probiotic form you choose, there are a few different methods you can use to give your dog the probiotics. You can buy some chewable tablets to give them which they’ll probably think of as a delicious treat. You can also get some probiotic powder and sprinkle it over their food or wrap it up in a treat.
The right way to give your dog probiotics depends on the form. Be sure to carefully read the directions on the type of probiotic you decide to give your pet to ensure it’s being safely administered to them.
Important Things to Keep in Mind About Probiotics
Talk to Your Vet
It’s always a good idea to talk with your vet to make sure that probiotics are safe and a good choice to give your dog. Your vet will be able to give you more information about how they can help your dog to feel better while also giving suggestions about the best type of probiotic to give your pet. You can also ask them questions like “can dogs take probiotics safely?”, “can dogs take human probiotics?”, or “what do probiotics do for dogs?” to ensure your pet stays healthy and gets the right amount of probiotics.
It Can Be Harmful to Pets with a Bad Immune System
So, can you take too many probiotics? Can probiotics be harmful? While probiotics can help to improve the immune system, they can also sometimes cause problems. This is especially so with pets who have a bad immune system already. Too much bacteria can end up hurting their health rather than helping them. Because of this, it’s important to talk with your vet before giving your dog probiotics.
Can You Overdose on Probiotics?
This is a common question. No, you can’t really overdose, but you can cause some seemingly probiotic overdose symptoms, like nausea. However, if your dog’s immune system is weak probiotics can be very dangerous if taken in large amounts.
Should You Throw Out Your Probiotics?
Most probiotics do have a short expiration date. Because of this, it’s important to use them up quickly, but in a safe manner. If your probiotics expire, you should throw them out and get new ones. This is because the bacteria isn’t as strong and won’t help your dog much.
Probiotics are a helpful way to ensure your dog stays healthy and active. You’ll find plenty of different types you can give them no matter what their health issues or age is. If you’re on the search for some probiotic choices to give your dog, definitely keep the options mentioned above in mind. They’ll help your dog to feel better while also improving their immune system.