It’s no secret that probiotics are becoming increasingly popular. These supplements have gained a lot of attention due to their numerous health benefits for humans, and many people are now trying to figure out if they can benefit their pets in the same way. Here’s what you should know about dog probiotics.
What Are They?
Probiotics are “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”. Basically, it’s just a bunch of good bacteria that help your dog stay healthy.
How Do They Work?
As with humans, good bacteria in dogs can help break down food and prevent bad bacteria from invading the digestive system, which helps with digestion. One common condition that probiotics can treat is diarrhea, and they can also help to prevent it.
Is My Dog in Need of Probiotics?
If your dog is experiencing digestive issues, it might benefit from taking probiotics. If you feed them table scraps or processed food on a regular basis, their digestive system might need a little extra help.
What Are The Benefits?
There are many benefits to giving your dog probiotics, including:
- Helping to prevent and treat diarrhea
- Supports the immune system
- Stable microflora protects your dog from yeast and bacterial infections
- Helps with digestion of food
- Promotes a healthy coat and skin
Are They Safe?
A lot of research has been done on probiotics for dogs, and they are considered to be very safe. Certain breeds like Yorkies may be susceptible to yeast infections, and in these cases, either probiotics or anti-fungal supplements should be used cautiously.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Probiotics are considered to be safe and non-toxic for most dogs, and very few side effects have been reported. They might cause gastrointestinal discomforts such as gas and bloat, but this will usually pass within a few days. If your dog experiences a side-effect that does not go away, you should stop giving them the supplement and talk to a veterinarian.
Types of Probiotics
There are a variety of different types of dog probiotics available. These include:
- Artificial additives in food and treats
- In supplements, you can purchase at the store
- In raw food diets
You can also find probiotics in natural products such as yogurt and kefir.
How Do I Give It to My Dog?
Not all types of probiotics are available for dogs, but those that are can be found as chewable tablets or powder that you can add to your dog’s food. If you opt for a supplement, you should follow the instructions on the label carefully.
Probiotics are definitely something that you should consider giving to your dog. They can help with many health conditions, and there are no major side effects. For more information about dog probiotics, be sure to talk to your veterinarian.