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Probiotics for Dogs 101: Are They Right For Your Canine?

probiotics for dogs

If you don’t take probiotics, you probably know someone who does.

But are they really necessary for dogs? What issues do they help with?

In this post, we’re talking about why you should consider probiotics for your dog.

 

What are Probiotics for Dogs?

Probiotics supplements contain flora bacteria that are natural to your dog’s body. This “good” bacteria is found on your dog’s skin and in their organs and cavities, like their mouth or nose. We call it “good” bacteria because they help keep your dog healthy and ward off infections and problems. In other words, good bacteria can fight bad bacteria.

For a dog to remain healthy, they need to have adequate amounts of good bacteria. Although their bodies naturally produce it, some dogs don’t have enough. And, even if they do, adding a little extra can give them a health boost.

 

How Do Probiotics Help Dogs?

Taking probiotics mainly helps your dog’s G.I. system. The G.I. tract and the bacteria within it are what makes digestion and absorbing nutrients possible.

With good bacteria, your dog has a healthy G.I. That means she can expel toxins, digest food properly and absorb the nutrients that fuel her body.

Without enough probiotics, your dog can begin to show digestion issues. This may include the effects of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Symptoms include diarrhea, conspiration, flatulence and an upset stomach. She may also suffer from issues that stem from poor absorption of nutrients. Since good bacteria help fight the bad, the imbalance could mean it’s difficult for her to fight off infections, making her more susceptible to illness. In this way, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and stomach flus can become more common.

Giving your dog a probiotic helps balance the bacteria, making her stomach healthier. But it also helps her immune system in general.

 

Does My Dog Need Probiotics?

Probiotics are a good idea to give your dog because they can help ensure a proper balance between good and bad bacteria. However, supplements are particularly important for some dogs.

You should especially consider probiotics for dogs if your canine has:

  • Stomach issues
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Allergies
  • Viral infection (such as the stomach flu)
  • A parasitic infection

If your dog suffers from any of the above problems, you should always check with your vet to see if there’s an underlying issue. He or she may also recommend a higher dose of probiotics depending on the situation.

Although supplements can be given daily, in any dog’s life, there’s probably a point in time where probiotics are particularly helpful. For example, if you’re changing your dog’s brand of food, it can take a while for them to get used to it. During this process, her digestion may change. Probiotics can help ease her into the new food without as many issues, such as constipation or diarrhea.

Like humans, dogs also go through periods of heavy stress. This could include a big change in their daily schedule or moving homes. In any case, probiotics may help mitigate the effects of stress.

Another time supplements are useful is if your dog has an infection and is prescribed antibiotics. Although these drugs are necessary to kill the infection; unfortunately, it also kills the good bacteria too. To help level this out, we need to introduce more good bacteria, like a probiotic.

 

Summary of Probiotics for Dogs

Probiotics help keep your dog healthy by introducing good bacteria to fight off bad bacteria. This can benefit their immune system by making them less likely to get sick. Most commonly, it helps issues with their stomach. Taking a probiotic supplement could mean fewer stomach aches, better poops and less gas.

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