Probiotics seem to be the latest food trend. You may have seen advertisements talking about healthy bacteria and live cultures and how good it is for digestion issues. Many dog owners are now exploring the beneficial aspects of using probiotics for dogs. If it works for humans could it be the same for our dogs.
Within the human gut and your dog’s gut, there are literally billions of microbes, made up of billions of bacteria and yeast. Whenever their balance is disturbed in the gut it can result in issues such as bloating and diarrhea. Probiotics work by helping to restore this natural balance and can help alleviate any discomfort by restoring the gut to a healthy state.
However, just like any other supplementation have a consultation with your veterinarian as every dog is different and has a unique genetic makeup. In this article, we have chosen our top selections for probiotics for dogs.
Probiotics for Dogs
|Purina FortiFlora Probiotics for Dogs||Our Rating 4.7|
|Natures Farmacy Dogzymes Probiotic Max||Our Rating 4.7|
|Pet Naturals of Vermont - Probiotic for Dogs||Our Rating 4.5|
|Animal Essentials Plant Enzyme & Probiotics||Our Rating 4.3|
|Good Guts For Medium Mutts||Our Rating 4.6|
Article Summary: 5 Best Probiotics For Dogs
|What Are Probiotics?|
|Do Probiotics Work?|
|Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs|
|Different Types of Probiotics|
|Natural Sources of Probiotics|
|Top Picks For Best Probiotics for Dogs|
Top Picks: Best 5 Probiotics for Dogs
No 1. Purina FortiFlora Probiotics for Dogs
Purina FortiFlora Probiotics for Dogs is one of our top selections. It is an American product and is manufactured in St. Louis MO. This probiotic for dogs is one of the most recommended probiotics by veterinarians from a Kynetec, Probiotic Recommendation Study, March 2019. It is suitable for adult dogs and puppies and cats too!
Each pack contains 30 powder sachets. They are a tasty liver flavor and you simply sprinkle the powder which is brownish in color over your dog’s meal and stir well. It is simple and easy to use.
The Purina FortiFlora contains a probiotic that promotes normal intestinal microflora and it comes with a guaranteed level of live microorganisms cultures. It is widely used by dog owners for dogs with bouts of diarrhea and it is also used to treat dogs with flatulence issues. The formula also contains antioxidants so will help support your dog’s immune system.
Liver flavor, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Vitamin C (L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate ), brewers dried yeast, Vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, beta-carotene, salt, manganese proteinate, ferrous sulfate, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, and sodium selenite
- Crude Protein (Min) – 43%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 10%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 1%
- Moisture (Max) – 5%
- Enterococcus faecium (Min) – 1 x 10 power of 8 CFU/g
- One of the most recommended probiotics by veterinarians based on a study in March 2019
- Made in the USA
- Tasty liver flavor. Each pack contains 30 sachets
- Also contains antioxidants to support the immune system
One of the top probiotics recommended by veterinarians
Easy to use powder sachets
Helps with diarrhea and flatulence problems
More expensive than some competitor brands but the vast majority of users found it works really well for their dogs
No 2. Natures Farmacy Dogzymes Probiotic Max
Natures Farmacy Dogzymes Probiotic Max makes our top selections for probiotics for dogs. The product is made in Georgia, USA. It has 8 strains of beneficial bacteria and also 10 different enzymes. It has a minimum of nearly 7 billion colony forming units per gram.
With its specialized formula, it is very effective in helping your dog to get rid of invading pathogens. It also soothes and assists the immune system.
The probiotic comes in powder form and has a small scoop. You simply sprinkle the formula over your dog’s meals. The scoop is small and holds 1/4 teaspoon. There is no requirement to place this product in the fridge, just make sure the lid is closed and store it in a cool dry place.
The product is wheat and gluten-free as it has an organic whey base. It is also very versatile and convenient to use as it can be sprinkled over dry food, wet food, and even dissolves in liquid.
- 1 -10 bs – 1/8 teaspoon daily
- 11 – 25 lbs – 1/4 teaspoon daily
- 26 – 50 lbs – 1/2 teaspoon daily
- Over 50 lbs – 1/2 teaspoon for every 50 lbs in weight
- Made in the USA
- Wheat and gluten-free as it has an organic whey base
- 8 strains of beneficial bacteria and also has 10 different enzymes with nearly 7 billion colony forming units per gram.
American made product in Georgia
Wheat and gluten-free
Easy to use just sprinkle over meal
No refrigeration required
Contains whey so if your dog is allergic to dairy then it could cause issues
No 3. Pet Naturals of Vermont – Probiotic for Dogs
Pet Naturals of Vermont – Probiotic for Dogs comes in a very convenient tasty duck flavored treat in packages of 60 or 180 chews.
What we particularly like about this product is that it does not contain wheat, corn, or any artificial ingredients. All Pet Natural products have been formulated by veterinarians and approved by NASC and it is also an American-made product.
This treat has patented probiotic strains (GanedenBC30) that contain 100 million CFUs of Bacillus coagulants. It is verified to be the first and only probiotic that is non-GMO by the non-GMO project.
The treat also has Fructooligosaccharides (FOS). FOS is made up of soluble fibers and prebiotics that support the growth of “good” bacteria in your dog’s stomach. This will aid digestion and be a big help when it’s time to poo.
Manufactured in the USA. It has both domestic and imported ingredients.
Guaranteed Analysis per Chew (1.2grs)
- Moisture (max) – 13%
- FOS ((Fructooligosaccharides) – 200 mg
- Bacillus coagulans – 100, 000, 000 CFU/gram
- Only 1 chew per 25 lbs in body weight daily
- Probiotic Treats- Duck-flavored in packages of 60 & 160
- Made in the USA
- Does not contain wheat, corn, or any artificial ingredient
- Probiotic that is non-GMO & contains FOS
Very convenient tasty duck flavored treats – no messing around with measurements or scoops
GMO-Free – Recognized by the non-GMO Project
American made with domestic and imported ingredients
No wheat, corn or artificial ingredients
If you have a picky eater – some dogs may not like duck flavor treats
No 4. Animal Essentials Plant Enzyme & Probiotics
Animal Essentials Plant Enzyme & Probiotics comes in powder format. It consists of plant and microbial produced enzymes that are not derived from any animal sources. These plant and microbial enzymes work throughout the whole digestive system compared to animal-derived enzymes that only work in certain parts of the system such as the stomach and intestines.
What we like about this product is that all the ingredients used are human grade and they are also sourced sustainably. It also has a Quality Seal from National Animal Supplement Council (NASC)
These plant enzymes and probiotics help take some of the pressure off the digestive system as they help to break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins within your dog’s body. The probiotic component of this product is Bacillus coagulans
There is no requirement to use the fridge with this product just store in a dry cool space. It is also lactose and sugar-free.
Daily 1/4 teaspoon for every 30 lbs in weight
- No animal-derived enzymes used. All plant-based.
- Quality seal from National Animal Supplement Council (NASC)
- Human grade ingredients sourced sustainably
- Lactose & sugar-free
- No refrigeration required.
Product quality seal from National Animal Supplement Council
Human-grade ingredients with all plant-based sources. Both lactose & sugar-free.
Easy to use & no need to store in the fridge
For some users, the smell was a little too strong
N0 5. Good Guts For Medium Mutts – Fidobiotics
Good Guts For Medium Mutts offers a daily probiotic supplement for your dog, Fidobiotics. What we like is that is an American home-produced product that is grain-free and non-GMO. It is also classified as vegan. Even better is that it also uses human-grade ingredients in its supplement. This will helps with your dog’s digestion and the maintenance of a healthy gut.
This probiotic supplement comes in a tasty coconut peanut butter flavor and has 10 strains of probiotics, 2 prebiotics, and 4 digestive enzymes.
It is suitable for medium-sized dogs (21 lbs to 65 lbs in weight). There are 30 servings per package with a recommendation of one serving per day or 1g/scoop. As it comes in powder format you can simply sprinkle over your dog’s meals as a tasty topper or else mix well with food.
- Crude Fiber – 13%
- Crude Fat – 2%
- Crude Protein – 16%
- Moisture Max – 6%
- Total Micro-organisms – 6 Billion CFUs
Coconut, inulin, alfalfa, (FOS ) – fructoologosaccharides, lactobacillus acidophilus (dried), peanut butter flavor, silica, dried L. plantarum, porcine, pineapple, papaya, L. casei (dried), L. bulgaricus (dried), Bifidobacterium lonum (dried), B. animalis (dried), streptococcus thermophilus (dried), L. bervis (dried) and B. lactis (dried).
- Comes in powder form with 30 servings per package
- Grain-free, non-GMO and vegan
- Tasty coconut peanut butter flavor
- Suitable for medium-sized dogs
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are made up of billions of living bacteria and yeasts that take up residency in the intestine. They are considered good for your dog especially those suffering from any digestion issues. Consequently, probiotics are often referenced as good bacteria.
Do Probiotics Work?
Within your intestine, there is a constant battle taking place and it’s almost like a scene from a Marvel movie -“Good versus Evil.” This time it is good bacteria versus bad bacteria. You can lose “good bacteria” if your dog has been prescribed a course of antibiotics. Probiotics can also aid in the maintenance of this delicate balance between good and bad – almost a yin yang effect – the perfect balance.
Also, this microbial balance can be upset when your dog is feeling unwell or stressed. This can lead to all sorts of issues from stinky breath to cramps and diarrhea and using these supplements helps restore this balance.
Scientists and researchers have not yet figured out precisely how probiotics work, however, they know they work by:
- Helping with the breaking down of food in the gut
- Fighting against bad bacteria and pathogens
- Helping make nutrients and vitamins.
- Help to strengthen your dog’s immunity.
The Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs?
Helps with Diarrhea
Sometimes if your dog is on a course of antibiotics to treat an infection then the antibiotics can kill both good and bad bacteria. Using probiotics can mitigate the problems faced when taking antibiotics. Also, bacterial viruses can also cause diarrhea, and supplements will aid with the restoration of this natural balance and alleviate the symptoms.
Help Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Unfortunately, dogs can suffer from IBS just like humans, and supplementation with a probiotic will help restore the balance and soothe the pain and discomfort from IBS
Improvements in Coat & Skin
Some dog owners report improvements in skin conditions such as eczema have improved after using probiotics
A report from the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health highlighted that using probiotics has been beneficial in many different diseases. Probiotics help regulate the functions of immune cells and intestinal cells and can help with allergies, eczema, and viral infections.
Different Types of Probiotics for Dogs
Probiotic supplements for dogs can come in a variety of ways from powder, capsules, to chews. Some dog food producers already include probiotics in their formula so it’s always a good idea to check the labeling ingredients under guaranteed analysis.
There are 3 main Probiotics suitable for dogs and they include the following:
1. Dairy-Based Probiotics
Most probiotic supplements are made from fermented milk and can be referred to as lactic acid bacteria. These strains of bacteria include Bifidobacterium & Lactobacillus or sometimes known as Bifo & Lacto. Often on labels these strains will be called B or L.
Bifidobacterium normally resides in the large intestine (colon) whereas Lactobacillus lives in the small intestine.
2. Yeast – Saccharomyces boulardii
Also known as S.boulardii. This is yeast though it is still accepted as a probiotic. In humans, this yeast is used to treat chronic diarrhea. It looks like it could have the same benefits for dogs too based on recent studies. It is effective for use treating diarrhea that unfortunately can be quite a common issue when your dog is on a course of antibiotics
It is an ideal probiotic as it can withstand the journey through the gut and it is known to be resistant to antibacterial antibodies.
3. Soil Based Probiotics
Soil-based probiotics are essentially good bacteria in the soil and support a healthy gut in your dog. They work by breaking down plant material, help produce vitamins and fight against pathogens. Bacilllus sibstilis is a soil-based probiotic.
- Help absorb nutrients from food
- Help remove harmful pesticides and toxic heavy metals
- They have been known to survive for longer in the gut against stomach acid than other probiotics.
Natural Sources of Probiotics
Some sources of probiotics can be found in natural whole foods so it’s easy to add them to your dog’s diet.
Generally speaking, natural yogurts have high levels of calcium, vitamins, and nutrients. They also have live cultures that help the gut microbes and prevent digestive problems in your dog. Make sure there are no added sugars in the natural yogurt you choose. If you never used yogurt previously then it’s recommended to slowly introduce it to see how your dog reacts.
For smaller toy breeds you could give your dog a half teaspoon of natural yogurt per day, for every 20 lbs in weight half a teaspoon should help.
Dogs can benefit from using kefir. If you are unfamiliar with kefir it is fermented milk made from kefir grains. It is made by combining milk with kefir grains and left in a warm spot so it ferments and cultures form. It has a thinner substance than traditional yogurt but would be similar in texture to drinkable yogurt.
Goat’s milk can easily be digested by dogs as it contains certain enzymes that help the digestion process. In addition goats’ milk is full of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.
You can ferment the vegetables yourself or else purchased them from the store. Fermented vegetables are a natural probiotic as good bacteria grows during the fermentation process. Fermented vegetables can be easier for your dog to digest and this can aid the digestion process.
Fermented Vegetables that are safe for dogs include:
Cabbage, carrots, broccoli, green beans, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes & cauliflower.
Our overall top pick for the best probiotics for dogs is the Purina FortiFlora Probiotics. As well as being an American product as it is made in St. Louis MO, this probiotic is one of the most recommended probiotics by veterinarians from a Kynetec, Probiotic Recommendation Study, March 2019. I