Canine probiotics—how your dog benefits from using probiotics and what to know about the supplements

Canine probiotics - how your dog benefits from using probiotics and what to know about the supplements

Using probiotics for your canine are beneficial.  Using probiotics on your dog(s) is beneficial because they help improve gut flora and get your pooch healthy in their stomach and intestines. Just like in humans, dogs have issues with their immune and GI health and have skin problems and other conditions that become problematic and probiotics can help these different issues.

Probiotics can help your dog in many areas:

  • Improve immunity
  • Improve gut lining
  • Improve and balance gut bacteria
  • Improve digestion
  • Keep skin healthy
  • Keep hair and nails healthy
  • Many other functions, when gut microbiome is healthy
  • Could possible benefit brain health in your canine

As integration of alternative medicine and functional medicine have started coming to the forefront of medicine and complementing western medicine (pharmaceuticals), the pet industry has realized how important it is to help our pets at home with their health other than regular feedings, exercise and pharmaceuticals. So, using nutritional supplements like probiotics are essential.

The issue is, just like with human and quality supplements we’d like to be consuming—dog probiotics and other supplements for your canine need to be regulated or at least approved by top veterinarians in the industry so you are providing quality probiotics to your dog.

What are probiotics?

These are good bacteria that help improve your gut health.  Gut health is very important to get a handle on.  Without property balanced gut bacteria you can become ill easily.  Issues like bacterial overgrowth, overabundance of candida and yeast in the gut make it hard to rid of infections. 

Infections in the gut usually come with inflammation.  This creates disease internally and externally on our skin.  This is when skin health can become compromised for humans and our canine family members. This is why we created the Safeguard Probiotics for dogs.  Our furry companions can always have a healthier gut, just like their humans!  

Reasons your canine should be taking probiotics

Your dog can take a probiotic daily—but you don’t need to do this.  A few times a week can be just fine.  It can help improve digestive function which creates a healthier immune system.  When your dog’s GI health is better so is their skin, among other bodily functions and organs.   When the gut is working right, this is when disease can happen.  Digestion is harder on your dog when food isn’t absorbing properly—your dog cannot get all the nutrients they need to stay healthy, all-year-round.

If you don’t want to give your dog a daily probiotic you should make sure to give them one during other times when one would be even more beneficial—maybe a few times a month if not given daily. 

  • Before stressful situations (like boarding them or clipping nails or bath time)
  • When they are on antibiotics
  • Using de-worming medications
  • Eating something bad from trash, outside, etc.
  • Older dogs
  • Chronic illness or a fleeting one
  • Changes in diet
  • Food allergies

Talk to your veterinarian about probiotics

Every dog, no matter what their age is should be consuming probiotics a few times a week.  Always also make sure your dog has a balanced diet.  Even though daily dry food like kibble can be just fine, it is better to incorporate healthy raw or cooked foods in their diet also.

Healthy options for canine food:

  • Healthy dry dog food granules
  • Prescription wet foods
  • Raw meats (never cooked meat, as cooked bones can kill a dog and perforate the stomach lining or cause them to choke or get perforations in the esophagus)
  • Eggs (cooked or raw, talk to a vet before you do this, not all eggs are good to do this with)
  • Fish
  • Vegetables
  • Rice

Side effects of probiotics for dogs

It is best to use the probiotics from the time your dog is a puppy.  Sometimes dogs have issues with any new supplement. You might need to start off with a small billion count probiotic chew or powder dose.  Sometimes a brand switch is needed also.

Possible side effects from canine probiotics:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Possible allergic reactions
  • Stomach pains

Some research has determined that using probiotics on your dog can have a variety of health benefits.  We do need more research on the topic but talking to a pet care nurse or veterinarian should allow you to better understand what kind of dose of probiotic would work best on your canine—based on breed, age, current health situation and so on.

Research has down canine probiotics could help:

  • Liver function
  • Kidney health
  • Allergy issues in the gut and on the skin, by reducing inflammation
  • Immune system health
  • GI health / aid in digestion
  • Reduce yeast infections in body and on skin
  • Bad breath odor
  • Skin and hair health
  • Weight loss / management
  • May treat: IBS, diarrhea, and intestinal inflammation
  • May prevent UTIs

The best formulated probiotics for dogs have many different strains.  They can help with a variety of different issues.  There are certain ones that are better for canines. 

Beneficial probiotic strains that should be in your canine probiotic:

  • Bacillus coagulans (Can help improve stool quality, nutrient absorption, diarrhea, gas, and overall intestinal and immune health in dogs)
  • Bifidobacterium animalis (dog’s large intestine. It helps to improve overall intestinal health, prevent inflammation, infections and rid of diarrhea issues)
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus(promotes antibacterial / antifungal properties in GI tract; prevents diarrhea from antibiotics’ can lower cholesterol levels; assist with growth for younger dogs and puppies)
  • fermentum, L. rhamnosus, L. salivarius, L. reuteri, L. plantarum, and L. casei (all help improve the gut, have many anti-microbial properties in GI tract; improve intestinal issues)
  • Enterococcus faecium (improves digestion and helps keep a good mix of bacteria; can protect canines against Shigella, coli and Salmonella)
  • Pediococcus acidilactici (for dogs with constipation and diarrhea; helps improve stress levels and make the immune response stronger; can help ward off pathogens like: coli and Salmonella)

When does a probiotic begin to work for a dog?

Sometimes starting a probiotic for your dog could work right away.  Other times, if the dog is sicker or has other chronic health conditions it could take longer.  The best idea and most veterinarians will tell you this, starting at a lower dose probiotic is best. This way the change can be gradual.  Some dogs are more prone to getting some stomach upset when a new supplement or food is introduced even with a better quality one.

  • Could start working on your dog in one or two days
  • Could take 6 weeks maybe longer to see health improvements
  • Many times probiotics alone won’t address certain health issues

There aren’t many studies about dog probiotics. So talking to your vet and monitoring your dog at home while on the new supplement is critical.

Should every dog take probiotics?

For healthy maintenance, it can help keep your dog’s immune response healthier.  Taking a daily probiotic can also help skin health, just like humans.  You should always consult with a veterinarian for more information.  Sometimes certain immune system conditions can be made worse by taking probiotics.  It is important to understand your dog’s health fully before purchasing

Remember these tips when looking at probiotics for your canine:

  • Find out which probiotics are best (kinds: lactobacillus, etc.)
  • Make sure it has an NASC Quality Seal
  • Usually a soft chew is best and easiest

Probiotics for dogs can help improve gut health, skin health and more

While giving dogs vitamins, minerals, supplements like chondroitin and glucosamine are beneficial for hip and joint health—probiotics can address issues with gut health and help out in other ways as they improve digestion—skin health being one of them.  Always know more about your pet’s health before buying canine probiotics.  If they haven’t been to a vet in a while, you want to know their current state of health, before starting them on a probiotic.

  • General checkup / look over
  • Examine stomach / Chest
  • Examine skin / ear health
  • Teeth health
  • Stool should be checked as well
  • Make sure they are up to date with vaccines and certain other medications

Checking stool health will give a good profile of your canine’s intestinal and stomach health.  No matter what you decide, giving your dog probiotics during certain times like when they are on an antibiotic, or having more stress are good times to provide this kind of intestinal support.  Some vegetarians might say daily probiotics are a very positive supplement to use based on your dogs age or other conditions they might suffer from like food allergies, heart conditions or GI or skin health issues.

Northern Cascade Canine Probiotics: for your dog’s skin, digestive health and much more

Our probiotics for your canine or many canine companions are more than just probiotics.  They have prebiotic, micronutrient such as fulvic and humic acids, blueberries, spirulina, milk thistle and fennel seed. Your dog not only gets the support of probiotics but the support of other nutritional benefits that can help any dog at any stage of life.

Using fulvic and humic acid can help promote absorption of nutrients, detox support, and add in minerals and vitamins in an easy chew, along with getting their probiotics for intestinal support.  Having a fulvic and humic acid component to our probiotic means your canine can have a healthier immune system function and they will able to fight off infections and reduce inflammation. With GI health at high levels, this is also critical for skin health to improve.  After all, GI health and immune function is critical for skin health in your dog and in humans.

Understand more about canine probiotics

You can learn more about any professional guidelines on canine probiotics from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association site. Also, you’ll want to know as much as you can about the current state of your dog’s health is very important.  You can request more information through this holistic association for veterinary medicine.