Probiotics for Gut Health in Dogs

Filed in Dog Health on January 13, 2022

Probiotics for gut health in dogs

If you’ve ever eaten yogurt, you may have unknowingly consumed a probiotic. Yogurt, for the most part, contains live cultures of helpful bacteria, making it a tasty way to boost gut health.

Of course, dogs can eat some types of yogurt, but it’s not always the best option. For example, some dogs don’t like it, and others can’t handle it.

Regardless, probiotic supplements may be a good option to keep your dog’s gut microbiome healthy and balanced.

In this blog post, I’ll be discussing the use of probiotics for gut health in dogs.

Please speak to your veterinarian before adding anything to your dog’s diet since this blog post is more general in nature.

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Improve Your Dog’s Overall Gut Health with Probiotics

Most health organizations refer to beneficial or “friendly” gut flora when they use the term “probiotic.”

All animals’ gastrointestinal systems contain billions of them, which aid in food digestion, combat pathogens, produce nutrients and vitamins, and boost the immune system.

Dogs can often defend themselves against infections and dangerous microorganisms on their own if they’re healthy.

However, there are occasions when the immune system could utilize a boost to promote overall health due to the destruction or compromise of beneficial bacteria.

The beneficial properties of probiotics are especially helpful for dogs with the following conditions:

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Skin and coat health
  • Diarrhea/ abnormal stool
  • Immune disorders
  • Intestinal inflammation
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Liver disease
  • Obesity
  • Urinary tract infections

Your Dog’s Gut Microbiome

golden retriever

Bacteria can be present in your dog’s digestive system in any area. In the stomach, there aren’t as many bacteria present, but as you proceed through the intestines, the amount of bacteria increases. The bulk of bacteria resides in your dog’s gut colon.

Your dog’s gut microbiome is a varied community of bacteria and other microorganisms. These bacteria work together as a team and function similarly to their other organ systems. In fact, the microbiome has been dubbed “the overlooked organ” by many scientists.

High-Quality Probiotics for Digestive Health

Our dogs’ bodies are typically capable of balancing good and harmful microorganisms in a healthy manner. When they’re sick or distressed, the bacteria in their digestive tract quickly lose their balance (especially dogs over the age of five).

Your dog may experience diarrhea, nausea, or other clinical signs as a result. Alternatively, your dog’s gut may be unbalanced even if there aren’t any visible signs. Probiotics can aid no matter what the condition appears to be on the surface.

“Gut dysbiosis” or “gastrointestinal (GIT) dysbiosis” refers to an imbalance of “good” vs. “unhealthy” bacteria.

Inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, chronic renal disease, chronic pancreatitis, asthma development, and cancer have all been linked to gut dysbiosis.

High-quality probiotics can help to alleviate and even prevent the aforementioned illnesses.

Allergy prevention and treatment, as well as the prevention and treatment of respiratory tract infections and the management of urinary infections, can all benefit from high-quality probiotics.

Finding a High-Quality Probiotic

probiotic

Given that we’ve been taught since childhood that all bacteria are harmful, offering your dog beneficial bacteria may seem strange.

Beneficial bacteria play a crucial role in the immune systems of both your dog and yourself. Of course, like everything else, not all probiotic supplements are created equal.

One high-quality probiotic recommended by Dog Endorsed is from Full Bucket Health, which has a line of scientifically proven dog products.

S. boulardii is a type of yeast that is well-known as a high-quality probiotic, according to research. It can be seen growing on the skins of tropical fruits like mangoes in its natural environment.

There’s a reason this strain is well-known for its qualities. These unique characteristics are what make it a highly recommended strain by canine nutritionists and holistic veterinarians.

Antibacterial and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Because this yeast strain has been shown to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s been recommended as a possible probiotic therapy for the prevention and treatment of a variety of gastrointestinal disorders.

Removing Harmful Pathogens from the Body

S. boulardii, in addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, serves to defend against disease-causing bacteria by preventing them from settling in the gut.

Salmonella binds to the surface of S. boulardii cells, preventing the pathogen from adhering to the surface of the intestine.

During the next bowel movement, the harmful bacteria and S. boulardii cells are expelled.

To put it another way, once your dog has gone outside to relieve themselves, both the yeast and the harmful bacteria will be contained in their feces and eliminated from their body.

As probiotics are provided, particularly those on a daily basis, the gut begins to rebalance the good and bad bacteria.

A Unique Resistance to Bacteria

Another key reason for this strain’s popularity is its tolerance to antibiotics. When antibiotics are provided to dogs, they generally throw the gastrointestinal tract out of balance resulting in visible side effects.

And, most probiotics aren’t able to withstand the harshness of an antibiotic. This strain can be used in conjunction with antibiotics to protect beneficial gut bacteria and reduce antibiotic-related diarrhea.

Conclusion on Probiotics for Gut Health in Dogs

Of course, I do encourage you to conduct your own research to ensure you choose a product that’s best for your individual dog. By choosing a high-quality product, your dog’s digestive system may begin to balance out naturally with a little boost.

As mentioned, Dog Endorsed recommends the probiotic dog supplements from Full Bucket Health if looking for a high quality brand.

If your dog has an underlying medical condition, you may want to talk to your veterinarian before adding any supplement into their regimen.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5645859/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6766488/

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2019.00666/full

https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/canine-health-center/health-info/power-probiotics

https://animalmicrobiome.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42523-021-00098-0

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30535609/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3296087/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29212912/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17087945/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10424093/

About the Author

Dr. Amber L. Drake is a contributing writer to Dog Endorsed. She is a successful book author, freelance editor and writer, inspirational speaker, a Professor of Veterinary Medicine, an accomplished canine cancer researcher, plus the CEO of Canine Companions.

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