With so many pet products on the market, it can be hard to know which ones are essential, which ones are occasionally helpful, and which are just expensive urine. Ultimately, your vet is going to know the best supplements for your specific pup, but today we’ll take a look at probiotics for dogs.
What do probiotics do?
Stretching back to the Latin roots, “pro” means for and “bio” means life. Probiotics are the good bugs that promote health and wellness in humans and dogs alike. Probiotics help our canines digest their food, absorb more nutrients (like vitamins and minerals), fight off disease, stay slim, prevent diarrhea, and even keep their mood up.
What should I look for in a probiotic?
Every probiotic is made up of different strains (or species) of helpful organisms. Some have been shown to be specifically beneficial to dogs. If you purchase a dog probiotic, it will most likely contain the following strands, all of which have been studied quite extensively. Do your best to find a probiotic that contains these helpful species:
- Enterococcus faecium (strain SF68)
- Bacillus coagulans
- Bifidobacterium animalis (strain AHC7)
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG (LGG)
Can I give my dog my “human” probiotic?
Most vets will tell you that this is completely safe to do. Usually, all of the “good bugs” that are helpful to us humans are also going to benefits our dogs. But, like most supplements, it’s always best to check with your vet before giving something to your pup. They’ll be able to check out each strain and let you know if there are any that might cause potential problems.
Should I give my dog a probiotic?
It depends on your dog’s specific needs. If they are fighting an infection, taking antibiotics, or having problems digesting their food, then a probiotic can be a great help. If your budget allows, probiotics are also great for preventative measures. But things like diet, exercise, and oral care should be first concern. Next time you’re in with your vet, consider asking them if they recommend a probiotic for your dog. They’ll be able to give you insight into your dog’s specific needs.
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