Probiotics for Dogs That Help Digestion Problems

Probiotics are a number of bacteria and yeast that can be added to the dog's diet to help digestion. There are bacteria and yeast cells in the dog's gut and these are healthy, ensuring a balanced digestion. However, some dogs may require a supplementation of probiotics.

Gut Microflora

The gut microflora is a combination of different microorganisms including harmless bacteria and yeast cells, lactic acid and other probiotics. If the gut microflora is not balanced, the dog may suffer from gastrointestinal problems. The gut microflora may suffer from imbalance due to different factors including:

  • Viral, bacterial or fungal infections
  • Stress
  • Poor diet
  • Food allergies
  • The ingestion of a foreign object
  • Antibiotic treatment
  • Sudden change in diet
  • Lengthy administration of steroids

Digestion Problems and Probiotics

A supplementation of probiotics is recommended if the dog is affected by:

The supplementation of probiotics will reestablish the disrupted balance of the gut microflora. The amount of probiotics administered should be adapted to the dog's condition and these should be able to reduce the number of harmful bacteria or yeast cells.

Types of Probiotics for Digestive Problems

To help digestive problems in canines, the administration of the following probiotics is recommended:

  • LAB, or the lactic acid bacteria
  • Bifidobacteria
  • Yeast cells
  • Bacilli

The lactic acid bacteria are usually present in the digestion process, being the result of carbohydrate fermentation. The supplementation of LAB will help the digestion and will also protect the mucous surfaces. There are numerous types of lactic acid bacteria, the most common being the L. acidophilus and the L. bulgaricus.

The bifidobacteria are anaerobic bacteria and are normally present in the GI tract, colon of dogs as well as the vagina of female dogs. When these bacteria are not in sufficient amounts, the other microbacteria can overgrow, leading to infections. The normal balance between beneficial microorganisms and harmful ones is 85% to 15%. The main task of the bifidobacteria is to regulate the microbial homeostasis.

These probiotics that help digestion can be found in yogurt or soy yogurt, so instead of buying dietary supplements, you can get some yogurt and add it to the normal diet of the dog.

Other Functions of Probiotics

Probiotics may also be used in other health problems. They're beneficial to promote the health of the immune system, which plays an important role in the healing process. Probiotics can also be administered to dogs with salmonella poisoning or colitis. Other conditions that may be helped by the supplementation of probiotics include:

Probiotics are typically added to numerous commercial foods. However, due to the manufacturing and storing process, these probiotics may be destroyed, so it is helpful if the dog receives a few probiotic supplements, even if he is healthy.