Choose The Best Probiotic For Dogs

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Dogs having probiotics? And you thought that probiotics are only meant for humans. Suffice to say, what is good for humans is bound to be good for dogs too! This said, let us define probiotic, dwell upon its benefits for dogs and choose the best probiotic for dogs out of hundreds on offer in the market.

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best-probiotic-for-dogs

- Cure stomach and bowel issues. Removes flatulence, bad breath, aching joints and worst-smelling burps.

- Cures hip, back and legs. Clears yeast infection in ears.

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best-probiotic-for-dogs

- Removes flatulence and makes dogs more energetic. - Effective against all kinds of digestive issues.

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best-probiotic-for-dogs

- Cures yeast infection, ‘elephant skin’ under arms and ear infection.
- Alleviates symptoms of arthritis.

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best-probiotic-for-dogs

- Aids in recovery from diarrhea.
- Cures flaky skin.

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best-probiotic-for-dogs

- Removes all symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting.
- Addresses skin issues.

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What are probiotics?

Probiotics are friendly gut-dwelling microbes, comprising ‘good’ bacteria and yeasts. These have not only proven beneficial for humans, especially with regard to digestive problems, but for dogs as well that suffer from diarrhea or related issues, or are prone to sickness more than usual.

Probiotics help in restoring the ‘good’ bacteria in the body, in case the microbes get depleted or destroyed. They also help in maintaining the crucial balance between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ bacteria to keep illnesses at bay.

What triggers microbial imbalance in dogs?

Dogs have a tendency to eat anything and everything, and land up with digestive problems. Those who have had to put up with their dog’s throwing up would know better! Sometimes, the naturally occurring ‘good’ bacteria may get destroyed due to stress or sickness. There are many reasons that may trigger microbial imbalance in dogs.

Some of these are:

  • Infection: If your dog has come down with an infection, it may destroy the ‘good’ bacteria, causing microbial imbalance.
  • Stress: A dog’s stress is different from what humans undergo. Change of location or introduction to an unfamiliar environment and other animals can cause colitis in dogs, triggering microbial imbalance. This phenomenon is most commonly witnessed in dog shelters.
  • Diet: Eating spoiled food or wrong kinds of food, that doesn’t agree with the dog, may act as a trigger. Even abrupt changes in the menu may cause this imbalance.
  • Parasites: Dogs are most prone to get infested with parasites, since they eat whatever they can lay their muzzle on.
  • Medications: Certain medicines, such as antibiotics, or long-term use of steroids may kill ‘good’ bacteria, leading to diarrhea, and consequently, microbial imbalance.
  • Old age: With age, body’s immune system gets weakened, leading to depletion of beneficial microbes.
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With age, body’s immune system gets weakened, leading to depletion of beneficial microbes.

All of the aforementioned may result in an imbalance between the beneficial bacteria and disease-causing ones. This disruption may lead to a number of ailments in the dog, such as bad breath, gas, cramps and diarrhea. This, in turn, may adversely affect the general health of the dog.

In all such cases, probiotics not only aid in digestion, but also fight off potential pathogens and boost the immune system.

How to boost beneficial bacteria?

The canine gut usually contains a host of beneficial bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium breve and others. For the reasons enumerated above, these bacteria may get destroyed or depleted, making the dog suffer stomach upset or other health problems.

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Your vet may point out the methods of boosting beneficial bacteria by feeding dogs prebiotics and probiotics

Under such circumstances, your vet may point out the methods of boosting beneficial bacteria. These may include feeding the dog:

  • Prebiotics: Different from probiotics, these are nutrients meant to nourish and make ‘good’ bacteria flourish that is already present in the dog’s gut.
  • Probiotics: These can be directly fed to the dog for restoring microbial imbalance. Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) term this as ‘direct-fed microbials’.

When to give probiotics?

The best course would be to feed probiotics to your dog every day, since it is an essential part of dog’s health. You may vary the source and timings for variety sake. Vets consider giving probiotics between meals as the best time.

best-probiotic-for-dogs

Vets consider giving probiotics between meals as the best time.

If your dog is prone to developing diarrhea in stressful situations, such as change of location or a dog show, it is perfectly okay to give your healthy dog a probiotic as a precautionary measure, few days prior to the event. Similarly, pups who get stressed going to the vet or during training, may also be fed probiotics a few days prior.

How to find the best probiotic for dogs?

If your dog is not keeping well and is suffering from loose motions, it is time to search for probiotics that will suit your dog the best.

Nature has seen to it that dogs get their probiotic boost by playing in dirt and mud, drinking filthy water, eating poop of pigeon, rabbit, goose and others. This is the natural way for them to get beneficial microorganisms into their system.

However, if you are too caring to let your dog romp in filth, you may consider the following alternatives

Kimchi and fermented veggies

Extremely nutritious, fermented veggies is one of the effective ways of delivering probiotics into the dog’s system. The fermenting process multiplies the ‘good’ bacteria and enzymes, naturally present in the food.

Raw goat milk

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Give this milk according to your dog’s weight

It possesses an abundance of probiotics and does not cause digestive issues that regular milk may cause, due to its low lactose content. Give this milk according to your dog’s weight. For example, if the dog weighs under 20 lbs., two ounces of milk would suffice. A dog over 50 lbs. may require up to six ounces. This can be given with a probiotic supplement.

Kefir

This is a form of fermented food is not only packed with natural probiotics, but is also loved by dogs. So, no issues of making the dog eat it. It can be purchased form grocery store, but ensure it is unsweetened. You can also browse recipes of making your own kefir.

Kvass

This is a fermented beverage of Baltic or Slavic origin that is rich in probiotics. Dogs lap this up readily!

Supplements

The market is chock a block with probiotic supplements that can be fed to the dog through food, milk or orally. The problem is to find the one that will suit your dog the best.

Best Probiotic for Dogs Review

1

This bacon flavored product comes in a pack with 120 tablets.

PROS

best-probiotic-for-dogs
  • Taste of bacon.
  • Cure stomach and bowel issues. Removes flatulence, bad breath, aching joints and worst-smelling burps. Cures hip, back and legs. Clears yeast infection in ears.
  • Causes no allergies.
  • Easy to digest

CONS

  • Not effective in diarrhea treatment.
  • May cause hair fall and make skin dry, itchy and scaly in some special cases (but rarely)
2

A product introduced by Active Chews, it relives diarrhea, upset stomach and bad breath. Comes in a pack containing 120 chews. 

PROS

best-probiotic-for-dogs
  • Removes flatulence and makes dogs more energetic.
  • Effective against all kinds of digestive issues.
  • Helps in regulating stools in aged dogs.

CONS

  • Dog may not like the taste.
3

NutraPet chewable probiotics with natural digestive enzymes claim to cure diarrhea, bad breath, allergies, etc. 

PROS

best-probiotic-for-dogs
  • Cures yeast infection, ‘elephant skin’ under arms and ear infection.
  • Alleviates symptoms of arthritis.
  • Eradicates hotspots and itching.
  • Cures diarrhea. 

CONS

  • May not be effective in curbing flatulence.
  • Dogs may not like its taste.
  • May cause skin problems.
4

PRO-pets claims that the probiotics, that are released over an eight- to ten-hour period, are not destroyed by stomach acids. 

PROS

best-probiotic-for-dogs
  • Removes gas problems.
  • Aids in recovery from diarrhea.
  • Cures flaky skin.
  • Small size of pellets makes it convenient to feed the dog or cat. 

CONS

  • May not firm up stool or improve bowel movement.
  • Some dogs did not like the taste.
5

This product gives up to 360 servings. 

PROS

best-probiotic-for-dogs
  • Removes all symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Addresses skin issues.
  • Cures ear infection.
  • Aids in digestion. 

CONS

  • Not too effective against diarrhea.
  • May increase flatulence.

Our verdict: Probiotic manufactured by Active Chews is the most dog-friendly and effective in curing a number of problems afflicting your pet.

In Conclusion

Despite the cons, probiotics can be a dog’s lifesaver. Make use of this guide and find the one that suits your pet dog the best.

Check out more useful articles on Nolongerwild.

References:
1-http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/what-are-probiotics#1.
2-http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/probiotics-for-dogs.
3-http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/6-best-probiotics-for-dogs.

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