What Is The Best Probiotic for Dogs? (Chosing Canine Cures)
If you own a dog, you’re going to most likely have to deal with some kind of tummy trouble. When your pooch develops diarrhea or some other kind of symptom of GI blues, giving him some probiotics can help put the brakes on the nastiness. But which probiotic works best?
OUR PICKS FOR THE BEST PROBIOTIC FOR DOGS
A Brief Look at Dog Probiotics
Canine-specific probiotics have long been a staple in holistic-fueled dog care. However, their status as a beneficial supplement for dog health has been embraced by traditional veterinary medicine relatively recently, after clinical research determined it can indeed help regulate your dog’s digestive tract.
Needless to say, this determination has made probiotics a hot ticket item for pet owners who want to help their dog feel better at the first sign of runny poop. But don’t run out to the pet store just yet – there are a few things you should know before you start providing this supplement to your pooch.
What is a Probiotic and How Does It Work?
Essentially, probiotics are “good bacteria” that work to break down food on a more efficient basis. Their presence improves doggy digestion by aiding in the absorption of key nutrients and flushing out bodily toxins in a more regulated manner. Along the way, probiotics help to regulate a dog’s gastrointestinal tract as a whole.
There are also those that believe the benefits of dog probiotics extends past the tummy. Some consumers have gone on record to state probiotics can be effective in alleviating several skin disorders and allergies that could affect a pooch. It’s also thought that probiotics can potentially prevent urinary tract infections.
Things to Do Before You Buy a Probiotic
As is the case with any supplement or medication you’re planning on providing your pooch, you should schedule a visit with a veterinarian before you pick up your first bottle of probiotics. Doing so will help you rule out any extraneous causes of diarrhea or GI issues if your dog is struggling with such things.
Your vet can also help you determine what kind of probiotic regiment may be right for your dog. Because probiotics are now considered to be legitimate treatments within the realm of traditional veterinary medicine, your vet will most likely have some information on what’s out on the market and what may benefit your dog best.
Are There Such a Thing as Homemade Probiotics?
If you have the time and energy, you can provide probiotics to your dog naturally by whipping up some homemade yogurt or kefir. These super-foods, particularly kefir, are known to have an abundance of probiotics and beneficial amino acids, which have made them popular amongst the holistic set. Plus, they’re foods that you and your dog can enjoy.
What Am I Looking for in a Probiotic?
If you’d prefer to leave the probiotics to the pros, determining what makes a solid probiotic may be a bit difficult if you’re not used to the language and lingo attached to the supplement. While the jargon that appears on the packaging may be complex, rest assured you don’t need a science degree to know what to look for.
A good probiotic will contain several bacterial “strains.” These strains, which are different than digestive enzymes, will serve different beneficial functions pertaining to halting diarrhea. You may not recognize them specifically by name, but the functionality of these strains should be listed on the packaging.
When you’re reading the label, you should look for a guarantee regarding the number of colony-forming units, or CFUs, contained in millions or billions per gram within the product. The metric essentially lets you know how many viable bacterial or fungal elements the probiotic is carrying. The higher the CFU count, the more potent the product.
You’ll also want to make sure you either see a customer service number clearly marked on the label. If you’re new to the probiotic game, you may have questions about its usage. Giving the manufacturer a call may be a good option if you can’t get hold of your veterinarian right away.
You should also be mindful of the probiotic’s expiration date. Probiotics tend to have a very specific shelf life because you’re essentially dealing with live bacteria; once this shelf life passes, the probiotic will lose its effectiveness. If you don’t see an expiration date on the package, move on to the next probiotic.
Probiotic Storage and Administration
There is no universal way to store probiotics. Some manufacturers will require refrigeration to retain the probiotics’ effectiveness, while others do not. Those that require refrigeration tend to last longer than those that do not, particularly if it’s been exposed to moisture.
Always stick to the recommended dosage as listed on the label. If your dog is suffering from a particularly nasty bout of diarrhea, upping the amount of probiotics is not going to make the issue go away any faster. Stay the course, and your four-legged friend will eventually get back to good health.
Since you’re going to be dealing with regulating your dog’s digestive tract – particularly diarrhea, you can give your pooch a dose between meals. Probiotic supplements come in various forms, such as powder, tablets, paste, and gel. You can experiment with different delivery methods to see what your dog prefers.
In some cases, you don’t even need to provide your pooch with an additional supplement, as there are special probiotic dog foods and dog treats that have become available on the market. You may find switching to this kind of food an easier way to encourage your pooch to “take his medicine,” since he won’t necessarily know he’s taking probiotics.
The one downside to this is will obviously cause a switch to a new dog food. This is not as easy as it sounds, as making a swap may cause a few unforeseen disruptions, including adjustments within his digestive tract. You may want to speak to your vet before making the switch to make sure this is the best course of action to take.
OUR FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS
Zesty Paws Probiotic for Dogs
Chances are, you’re going to be in the market for a probiotic to help your pooch with his poop. However, you shouldn’t discount the rest of his digestive system while you tend to his diarrhea issue. This is a big reason why Rocky Probiotics for Dogs is worth a look.
The most underrated aid in this regard is the product’s promise to promote oral health. It’s easy to overlook the fact that the mouth is part of the digestive system, but a poorly kept mouth can actually cause all kinds of havoc within a pooch’s gut. A product that can deliver protection of the gateway to a dog’s GI tract is worth a look.
Good probiotics will oftentimes provide benefits that go beyond the realm of merely regulating a dog’s bowels. Dr. Mercola Complete Probiotics for Pets certainly fits this criteria, and does so without losing focus on providing solid bowel health.
The product itself contains over ten powerful strains of positive bacteria designed to specifically promote proper gastrointestinal health for your pooch. It also contains over 58 billion bacteria in each serving, provided it’s used by the expiration date. This provides the basic functionality you’d expect in a probiotic.
However, the product is also formulated to boost the natural production of vitamins with the dog’s body. Specifically, it promotes the production of Vitamin K and B Vitamins such as folic acid. This vitamin boost can lead to an improved regulation of your dog’s immune system.
This additional benefit could pique the interest of those that want to give their pooch an extra boost of health, but are reluctant to put too many supplements into his body. A product that offers the ability to “multi-task” eliminates this particular dilemma.
If probiotics have crossed your mind, you may still be a little bit skeptical about their usage. After all, the use of them was not something that was embraced by traditional veterinary medicine until recently. This relative newness may make you a bit skittish about jumping on board.
But rest assured, the studies that have been released by trusted, legitimate sources is strong enough to squelch any doubts you may have about probiotics and their effectiveness. This is a supplement that delivers results if your dog is suffering from diarrhea and other GI issues, and it will ultimately help him feel his best. And who wouldn’t want that for their dog?
I am a little skittish about probiotics for my dog so I’d still consult this with my vet just to be sure but thanks for bringing this up.