The Benefits Of Probiotics For Dogs
Does your pooch have a rumbly tummy? This could be a digestive issue – here’s how probiotics for dogs help his system run smoothly.
Probiotics are “good bacteria” that live in your dogs (and your) digestive system. All canines already have a range of friendly gut flora in their system but, in most cases, there’s no harm in giving a probiotic supplement to help build a strong colony of good bacteria, especially if your pup suffers from any digestive issues. These beneficial bacteria can provide a whole host of health benefits for your four-legged friend. Let’s go over the benefits of probiotics for dogs.
What Are the Main Health Benefits of Probiotics?
Although not all of these have necessarily been proven, proponents of probiotics for dogs cite a long list of benefits. These include:
- Relieving yeast infections and yeast-related skin issues
- Helping to reduce bad breath
- Fostering healthy digestion
- Helping to reduce unpleasant gas odors and reduce gas in general
- Supporting a stronger immune system
- Helping stop diarrhea, constipation and loose stools
Related: Top 10 Natural Supplements For Dogs
Are Probiotics Good for Dogs With Gastrointestinal Issues?
Since probiotics increase the health of your pup’s digestive system, any pooch with GI issues can really benefit from receiving a probiotic supplement. Supplementing with probiotics can go a long way to help dogs with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease. Even if your canine companion hasn’t been diagnosed with a gastrointestinal issue, but suffers from frequent bouts of diarrhea or constipation, probiotics could help. That said, if your pooch does suffer from such symptoms, you should have a vet rule out any underlying medical issues.
Regrowing Good Bacteria
Although dogs should be able to maintain a good level of friendly bacteria, there are times when these bacteria colonies may be depleted, and this is when your pooch especially needs to be given probiotics. One of the main times that your dog may have an unbalanced digestive system is after a course of antibiotics, as these drugs target bacteria in your dog’s system, but don’t differentiate between good and bad kinds. Other reasons why your pooch might be lacking in good bacteria include old age, a poor diet, a low immune system, stress or exposure to pesticides and other chemicals.
Are There Any Potential Problems With Giving Probiotics to Dogs?
In general, probiotics aren’t harmful, the only issue is that they’re normally not regulated. As such, veterinarians recommend that you discuss the use of probiotics with them, so that they can approve the particular brand that you’re using or advise you which type might be suitable for your dog. Probiotics can also be an issue if your dog suffers from an autoimmune disease, as they can cause too much stimulation to the immune system and cause further issues.
In most cases, probiotics aren’t necessarily an essential supplement for your precious pooch, but there are times when they’re likely to be of major benefit, for instance after a course of antibiotics. There is genuine scientific merit to probiotic supplements, so it’s definitely worth considering whether or not your dog would benefit from taking them, either on a regular basis or now and again to boost gut health.
Lauren Corona is a freelance writer from merry old England. She specializes in writing about dogs and other critters. Lauren lives near Oxford, with her gorgeous Doberman, Nola. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard, you’ll find her walking in the woods with Nola-dog, raising money for the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, cooking vegan food, making zines and writing about herself in the third person.