Dog Probiotics Explained

Dog probiotics are necessary for any dog's health. They serve a wide variety of functions in the body and are naturally occurring in many foods that support live cultures, such as yogurt. A dog with a healthy level of probiotics in his system will lead a better life, be more active and may live longer.

Probiotics Help Regulate Organ Functions

The word 'probiotic' literally means "for life." They are microorganisms (mostly bacteria) that live in your dog's body and help to regulate organ functions. These "friendly bacteria" are a necessary part of your dog's internal ecosystem.

How Probiotics Help Your Dog

Probiotics are necessary in nearly ever function of your dog's body. They aid in digestion of food and decrease food allergies. In the blood, they help remove toxins and waste. They will even stimulate and strengthen the immune system. Most noticeably, however, probiotics will have these effects:

  • Reduce excessive shedding
  • Improve breath odor
  • Improve skin and coat
  • Regulate bowl function
  • Reduce rashes and candida (yeast) infections

Though probiotics are mostly found in the GI tract, their presence affects your dog outwardly as well as internally.

Probiotic Decrease & Insufficiency

These friendly bacteria are often destroyed inadvertently through poor diet or taking antibiotics. Most antibiotics will attack the good bacteria as well as the harmful. As probiotics are necessary for a healthy body, an insufficiency in these good bacteria can lead to a number of problems in your dog. There have been connections made with a low number of probiotics with disorders such as:

  • Candida
  • Food Allergies
  • Hay fever
  • Irritable Bowel
  • Celiac Disease
  • Lupus
  • Arthritis
  • Constipation and indigestion

An insufficiency can also weaken the immune system, leading to other sickness and infection.

Probiotic Supplements

In order to have a very healthy dog, it is often required to supplement your pet's diet to provide a high amount of probiotics, especially if your dog is or has been on antibiotics.

There are a number of supplements available on the market from Pet Balance that have been proven to have a positive effect. These are sold both in tablets and in powder form. This is the most efficient way to provide a high level of probiotics for your dog's system.

Additionally, it is possible to acquire commercial dog food, though many experts do not recommend this. Probiotics are a living organism, and fragile; they don't often survive the cooking process. The efficacy of most commercial dog foods labeled to contain probiotics is questionable. While it is possible to add yogurt to your dog's diet, this may not supply near the amount of probiotics found in tablet supplements. It is important to note, however, that you absolutely should not feed your dog antibiotics and probiotics at the same time, as these two will cancel each other out and your dog may be left vulnerable to further infections.

Probiotics are necessary for a number of vital functions in your dog. A dog with a healthy and balanced level of probiotics will be healthier, have a stronger immune system, and may lead a longer life.