The 3 Best Probiotics for Dogs

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Probiotics and prebiotics have been the new “superfoods” in people’s diets for several years now and are finally gaining popularity among pet owners who recognize their importance in a healthy diet.

Products like the highly recommended Purina Fortiflora improve the health your dog's gastrointestinal system and promote intestinal balance. Click here to find out more about the benefits of the #1 veterinarian recommended probiotic for dogs.

If you haven’t tried probiotics for yourself or for your dog, you may be wondering “what are probiotics?” and “does my dog need probiotics, too?”

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live, tiny microorganisms that are taken by mouth to boost the “microbial jungle” that lives inside our intestines. These are “good bacteria” that will enhance or change the type of microbes living in the gut.

Normal, “good bacteria” like probiotics are beneficial to us in many ways. Probiotics can improve digestion and can be used to treat diarrhea. These bacteria also can help support the immune system.

Products like the veterinarian recommended Purina Fortiflora improve the health your dog's gastrointestinal system and promote intestinal balance. Click here to find out more about the benefits of the #1 veterinarian recommended probiotic for dogs.

Canine Probiotics

Just like in the human market, there are numerous different brands of probiotics available. So which one should you give your dog? Are any better than others? Which ones help the most when your dog has diarrhea or other gastrointestinal issues?

Probiotics are often recommended for dogs with chronic diarrhea or intestinal infections such as Giardia and Clostridia. Dogs, particularly certain German Shepherd dogs, can suffer from a condition called SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. These dogs experience poor weight gain and diarrhea.

Many SIBO patients can be treated with probiotics after antibiotic therapy to maintain proper gut bacteria. Some veterinarians have also used probiotics to boost the immune system of dogs with auto-immune disorders and skin problems. Let’s take a look at some of the best probiotics for dogs.

PURINA FORTIFLORA®

Purina Fortiflora for dogs has been available for many years and is the #1 product recommended by veterinarians in the United States. It contains a special proprietary strain of probiotic that has been demonstrated to promote intestinal balance and health in canines, and also improve immune health.

Purina guarantees the viability of the live bacterial culture within each package of Fortiflora. You can visit here to get a great deal on Purina Fortiflora.

Ingredients: The main type of beneficial bacteria present is called Enterococcus faecium SF68. Other beneficial ingredients include vitamin E, vitamin C, brewer’s yeast, beta-Carotene and minerals. Fortiflora is given by mouth on a daily basis.

How to Use: To feed to your dog, sprinkle one sachet onto the food one time daily. If your dog eats dry food, you may want to moisten the food slightly with water before adding the Fortiflora. This ensures that the powder sticks to the kibble and does not fall uneaten to the bottom of the bowl. Fortiflora can be used long-term for optimal digestive health.

Efficacy: Some owners see an improvement in their dog’s stools and digestion quickly (7 days later) while some report improvement in 2 months or no improvement. Efficacy will vary depending on your dog’s current digestive and overall health status.

You can get a great deal on Purina Fortiflora® here.

NUTRAMAX PROVIABLE-DC®

Nutramax laboratories has been a leader in quality human and veterinary nutritional supplements for decades. Proviable contains a mix of both live animal-sourced bacteria and some found in yogurt cultures; live cultures guaranteed.

Ingredients: Contains active cultures of Bifidobacterium bifidum, Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus thermophiles, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum. Also contains prebiotics, which are complex carbohydrates (such as fructooligosaccharide) that help improve function of the large intestine.

How to Use: Dosing is based on your dog’s body weight. Sprinkle the contents of the capsule directly onto your dog’s food. If your dog eats dry food, you may want to moisten the food slightly with water before adding the Proviable.

This ensures that the powder sticks to the kibble and does not fall uneaten to the bottom of the bowl. Proviable can be used long-term for optimal digestive health.

Paste Form: Proviable-KP Paste is available for dogs with acute diarrhea. It contains an agent (kaolin) which helps to firm the stools. It is used under the direction of your veterinarian, often for no longer than 72 hours.

Prolonged use of the paste can cause constipation. Once the paste has been used, starting Proviable-DC capsules is recommended, as it is included in the paste package.

Efficacy: While using the paste, owners see improvement in stools within 24-48 hours. Using only capsules, some owners see an improvement in their dog’s stools and digestion quickly (7 days later) while some report improvement in 2 months or no improvement. Efficacy will vary depending on your dog’s current digestive and overall health status.

You can get a great deal on Nutramax Proviable DC® here.

VETRI-SCIENCE VETRI MEGA PROBIOTIC®

Vetri-Science is a highly reputable animal nutraceutical company which offers a wide range of products from probiotics to holistic calming supplements. Live cultures are guaranteed and Vetri Mega Probiotic contains both probiotics and prebiotics. You can order Vetri Mega Probiotic here.

Ingredients: Contains active cultures of Bifidobacterium bifidum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum. Also contains a prebiotic called fructooligosaccharide that helps improve function of the large intestine.

How to Use: Dosing is based on your dog’s body weight. Sprinkle the contents of the capsule directly onto your dog’s food. If your dog eats dry food, you may want to moisten the food slightly with water before adding the Vetri Mega Probiotic.

This ensures that the powder sticks to the kibble and does not fall uneaten to the bottom of the bowl. Vetri Mega Probiotic can be used long-term for optimal digestive health.

Ask Your Veterinarian: Vetri Mega Probiotic contains quercetin, a natural flavonol which may interfere with some antibiotics.

Efficacy: Some owners see an improvement in their dog’s stools and digestion quickly (7 days later) while some report improvement in 2 months or no improvement. Efficacy will vary depending on your dog’s current digestive and overall health status.

You can get a great deal on Vetri-Science Vetri Mega Probiotic® here.

Can I Just Feed My Dog Yogurt?

Veterinarians do not recommend feeding yogurt to dogs. Yogurt typically will not harm your dog, as the majority of adult dogs are lactose intolerant and yogurt has very low levels of lactose.

However, yogurts (especially the “diet” kind) may contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Full-fat and 2% fat yogurts may predispose your pup to pancreatitis and stomach upset.

Also, the levels of helpful probiotic bacteria in yogurt are not high enough to be beneficial to dogs. It is best to stick to a supplement that contains very high levels of bacteria.

What About Acidophilus for Dogs?

Veterinary experts do not recommend using acidophilus probiotics in dogs, as it will be of limited benefit. Check the labels of supplements before you buy, as many over-the-counter probiotics for humans and dogs only contain acidophilus species.

It is important to keep in mind that many over-the-counter probiotics marketed for dogs and cats may not be proven clinically or manufactured under appropriate practices.

In a recent study of commercially available human and veterinary probiotics, some were found that could not colonize the intestines in proper numbers or could not survive in the digestive tract. It is important to seek out good-quality probiotics like the ones mentioned in this article, or ask your veterinarian for their advice.




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