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Best Probiotics for Dogs: The Path to a Healthier Canine Gut!

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Dog Health By Ben Team 17 min read December 16, 2021 2 Comments

best probiotics for dogs
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Believe it or not, your dog’s digestive system harbors a veritable ecosystem of bacteria and other microorganisms!

While some of these cooties (forgive the technical language) are capable of causing illness, many of these are helpful and play a role in the digestive processes. These beneficial bacteria perform a variety of different biochemical roles, and help to break down some of the things your dog eats.

But sometimes, this bacterial ecosystem can get knocked out of balance, and harmful bacteria can begin outcompeting the good bacteria. This can reduce your dog’s ability to digest her food and result in intestinal upset.

Probiotics — commercially produced versions of beneficial bacteria — are often used to help restore balance to the intestinal flora.

Best Probiotics for Dogs: Quick Picks

  • #1 Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites [Best Overall Probiotic for Dogs]: This six-strain chewable probiotic is available in four pup-pleasing flavors and contains 3 billion CFUs per serving.
  • #2 Honest Paws [Best Prebiotic/Probiotic Combo for Dogs]: Each stick of this GMO-free supplement contains a staggering 5 billion CFUs for digestive wellness.
  • #3 Wag [Most Affordable Probiotic for Dogs]: Getting 130 CFUs per chew doesn’t need to blow your budget with this made-in-the-USA, duck-flavored chewable.

What Types of Symptoms Do Dog Probiotics Help With?

Probiotics have been studied somewhat thoroughly in human medicine, and they have been demonstrated to provide a number of tangible benefits.

There hasn’t yet been a great deal of studies specifically examining their use in canines, but a few studies have seemed to support their use.

More research is needed before scientists and veterinarians can develop a comprehensive understanding of the way probiotics function in dogs. It is always wise to speak with your veterinarian before initiating a course of probiotics, but probiotics are largely considered safe.

Some of the things probiotics may help treat include:

  • Bad Breath – Your pup’s breath is affected strongly by the microorganisms living in his digestive tract, and there’s some evidence (in humans) that probiotic therapy may alleviate the problem. So, it’s possible that probiotics will help improve your pup’s breath too.
  • Diarrhea and General Intestinal Upset – Perhaps the most common symptom for which probiotics are used, dog diarrhea can be caused by a variety of things. Those caused by harmful bacteria are most likely to respond to probiotic use.
  • Excessive Gas – Gas can result from a poor bacterial balance in your dog’s intestinal tract, so by providing beneficial bacteria, you may be able to alleviate problems with frequent gas.
  • Low Energy – Probiotics may help improve the absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract, which can ensure that your dog has access to the calories, vitamins and minerals he needs to feel his best.
  • Infections – Some probiotics are thought to potentially help support the immune system. So, they may help dogs to avoid contracting bacterial infections and fight off any that they are battling.
  • Atopic DermatitisSome research has shown that probiotics may help control atopic dermatitis. So, if your canine struggles with itchy skin, you may want to ask your vet if probiotics could be helpful. 

Additionally, probiotics are often used in conjunction with antibiotic regimens to help replace the beneficial bacteria some antibiotics kill. This can help alleviate antibiotic-caused diarrhea, and help your pooch feel better much more quickly.

Best Dog Probiotics: Healthy Digestive Systems FTW!

Today, there are many great dog foods with probiotics built into the formula. However, some dogs require a special diet or are picky eaters, and prefer a specific type of food that may be lacking in the probiotic department. That’s where probiotic supplements come in handy!

Supplements like the ones listed below can be added to your dog’s meal, packing in probiotics to make the food more tummy-friendly for your pooch.

The following four probiotics are among the best-rated by dog owners. Consider the differences between them carefully before making a decision.

1. Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites

About: Zesty Paws is a six-strain probiotic that’s safe for dogs of all ages, per the manufacturer. Formed into bite-size, flavored chewables, it contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. 

Best Overall Probiotic for Dogs

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Zesty Paws Probiotics for Dogs

Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites

A US-made probiotic chewable containing a balanced blend of 6 belly-boosting strains.

Features:

  • Provides 3 billion CFUs per soft chew
  • Contains no corn, soy, or wheat derivatives 
  • Available in four tasty options: chicken, advanced chicken, pumpkin, and bison
  • Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients

Bacterial Strains Included:

  • Bacillus subtilis DE111
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus 
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus brevis 
  • Lactobacillus fermentum
  • Lactococcus lactis

Ingredients List

Bacillus subtilis DE111, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus fermentum...,

Lactococcus lactis, coconut glycerin, flaxseed, garbanzo flour, mixed tocopherols, natural flavors (oregano, flaxseed, and plums), natural vegetable flavoring, palm fruit oil, papaya, pea flour, pumpkin, rosemary extract, sunflower lecithin, tapioca flour.

Pros

  • Most pup parents saw improvement in their doggo’s digestion
  • The all-life-stages nature is convenient if you have a multi-pup household
  • This supplement is backed by Zesty Paws’ 100% satisfaction guarantee

Cons

  • Additional ingredients like garbanzo and pea flours might cause issues for dogs with sensitivities
  • Super picky pups may turn their noses up to these chewables

2. Honest Paws Well Pre+Probiotics

About: Honest Paws pairs the natural prebiotic inulin with an assortment of probiotics for full digestive support, aiming to restore balance to your pup’s system. Safe for cats and dogs, it’s an excellent choice for multi-species households.  

Best Combination Prebiotic & Probiotic for Dogs

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Honest Paws Probiotics

Honest Paws Pre+Probiotics

A one-stop-shop of digestive wellness, with 5 probiotics and the prebiotic Inulin.

Features:

  • Contains 5 billion CFUs per stick
  • GMO-free recipe
  • Safe for dogs of all sizes
  • Made in the USA with internationally-sourced ingredients 

Bacterial Strains Included:

  • Bacillus subtilis DE111
  • Bacillus coagulans 
  • Bifidobacterium animalis lactis
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus plantarum

Ingredients List

Inulin, Spinach leaf extract, Bacillus subtilis DE111, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum...,

Bacillus coagulans, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium animalis lactis, Isomaltooligosaccharide, Natural roasted chicken flavor, Rice extract blend, Rice hull

Pros

  • Owners report an improvement in canine stool after feeding, sometimes within days
  • Convenience is a win here, with this supplement saving you time and money by offering prebiotics and probiotics in one stick
  • The manufacturer offers a 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • While this is a top-notch option, it is on the pricier side
  • More flavor options would be nice, especially for dogs with chicken allergies

3. Wag Dog Probiotics

About: Wag is a duck-flavored probiotic fashioned into bite-sized chews. Made with Bacillus coagulans, it helps your dog’s digestive system run in tip-top shape, warding off tummy troubles for less.

Most Affordable Probiotics for Dogs

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Amazon Brand - Wag Probiotic Supplement Chews for Dogs (90 count)

Wag Dog Probiotics

A budget-friendly probiotic offering 120 million CFUs per tasty duck chew.

Features:

  • 120 million CFUs per chew
  • Doesn’t contain any corn, wheat, artificial dyes, colors, or preservatives 
  • Suitable for dogs of all sizes
  • Made in the USA

Bacterial Strains Included:

  • Bacillus coagulans 

Ingredients List

Oat flour, Fructooligosacchrides, Brewers dried yeast, Glycerin, Rye flour...,

Arabic gum, Canola oil, Soy lecithin, Natural duck flavor, Maltodextrin, Sodium alginate, Water, Calcium sulfate, Dried citrus pulp, Dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, Sorbic acid, Propionic acid, Mixed tocopherols, Citric acid, Rosemary extract, Silicon dioxide, Vegetable oil, Aloe vera gel concentrate

Pros

  • Pricing is more than reasonable, especially if you have a large pup or multiple dog
  • Owners widely report that taste earns high marks from puppers
  • The manufacturer offers a one-year satisfaction guarantee

Cons

  • Some dogs with sensitivities experienced skin reactions, so check the ingredient list carefully if your pup has any known triggers.
  • Some pet parents may prefer an option with a wider range of bacterial strains 

4. Purina Fortiflora Canine Nutritional Supplement Box

About: Purina Fortiflora Canine Nutritional Supplement is not only a probiotic, it is a general nutritional supplement that also provides some of the vitamins and antioxidants your pet needs. A powdered supplement, Fortiflora is easy to administer by simply sprinkling it on your dog’s food.

Best Single-Strain Probiotic for Dogs

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Purina Fortiflora Canine Nutritional Supplement Box (3 Pack), 30gm/90 Count

Purina Fortiflora Nutritional Supplement

A general nutritional supplement from Purina with antioxidants, vitamins, and probiotics.

Features:

  • Fortified with Vitamins A, C and E to help support your pet’s overall health
  • Requires no refrigeration; store in a cool, dry place
  • Tasty powder that dogs love
  • Made in the USA

Bacterial Strains Included

  • Enterococcus faecium

Ingredients List

Liver flavor, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, Brewers dried yeast, Vitamin E supplement...,

Zinc proteinate, Beta-carotene, alt, Manganese proteinate, Ferrous sulfate, Copper proteinate, Calcium iodate, Sodium selenite

Pros

  • Most owners report that Fortiflora helped their dog’s tummy troubles
  • Some owners note an improvement in their pup’s energy level and coat
  • The powder form easily mixes into your dog’s food

Cons

  • Some owners may find the powder form to be less convenient and messier than chewables or capsules
  • Pricing is on the higher side

5. Nutramax Proviable Health Supplement

About: Nutramax Proviable Health Supplements are packed with seven different bacterial strains as well as prebiotics to help support the bacteria and give them a good chance at establishing themselves inside your dog’s body. According to the manufacturer, Nutramax Proviable supplements are suitable for long-term use.

Best Probiotic Capsules for Dogs

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Proviable-DC Probiotic Digestive Health Supplement for Dogs and Cats, 30 ct. Sprinkle Capsules

Nutramax Proviable Supplement

Canine digestive health capsules with probiotics and prebiotics.

Features:

  • Small capsules can be directly administered, or you can open them and sprinkle the powder on your pet’s food
  • Capsules designed to protect the bacteria during transport through the stomach
  • 5 billion colony-forming units per capsule

Bacterial Strains Included

  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Enterococcus thermophilus
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Lactobacillus plantarum

Ingredients List

Fructooligosaccharide, Gum Arabic, Maltodextrin, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium bifidum Fermentation Product...,

Gelatin, Dried Enterococcus thermophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus bulgaricus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Magnesium stearate, Ascorbic acid, Titanium dioxide

Pros

  • Many pup parents saw an improvement in their pup’s stomach issues like diarrhea and IBS after use
  • This supplement contains a diverse mix of probiotic strains, which many owners prefer
  • These capsules can be given in pill form or emptied over your pup’s food, making them a convenient option

Cons

  • Some owners report an increase in doggy toots with this supplement’s use
  • Pickier dogs may have an issue with the taste, so keep enticements on standby just in case

6. Bene-Bac Plus Probiotic Pet Gel

About: Bene-Bac Plus is one of the older probiotic supplements on the market, and pet owners have been using it for decades. Made from seven different bacterial strains, Bene-Bac’s manufacturer claims that it not only helps crowd out harmful bacteria, but also improves your dog’s appetite and provides quick energy.

Best Probiotic Gel for Dogs

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Bene Bac Probiotic

PetAg Bene-Bac Probiotic Gel

Probiotic gel supplements that’s easy to administer and great for travel.

Features:

  • Gel form allows for very easy administration, and Dial-a-Dose mechanism makes dosing quick and easy too
  • 1-year date code guarantee provides peace of mind
  • Product contains four 1-gram tubes
  • Provides 20 million colony-forming units per dose
  • Made in the USA

Bacterial Strains Included:

  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Lactobacillus fermentum
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Pediococcus acidilactici

Ingredients List

Sunflower oil, Silicon dioxide, Sucrose, Fructooligosaccharide, Dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product...,

Dried Lactobacillus fermentum fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Bifidobacterium bifidum fermentation product, Dried Pediococcus acidilactici fermentation product, Artificial color

Pros

  • The majority of owners report an improvement in their pup’s stools with use
  • Convenience is king, and this gel’s pre-set dial makes dosing your pup a breeze
  • Pricing is more than affordable, coming in far less than most probiotic options

Cons

  • As with any product, not every dog is a fan of the flavor
  • Gel options can get messy, especially if your pup decides that he hates the taste

7. Native Pet Probiotics

About: Native Pet offers a unique veterinarian-developed probiotic powder supplement that can conveniently be added to your dog’s food. The powder formula features a mix of probiotics and organic prebiotics designed to promote a healthy flora and a happy gut. Adding this to your pup’s kibble should help reduce chronic diarrhea.

Plus, it’s packed with bone broth protein, only contains four ingredients, and can remain shelf-stable for up to 2 years, so you can take your time getting through it.

Dog Probiotic with Highest CFU Count [TIE]

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Native Pet Probiotic for Dogs - Vet Created Probiotic Powder for Dogs for Digestive Issues - Dog Probiotic Powder + Prebiotic + Bone Broth - 232 Gram 6 Billion CFU- Probiotics Dogs Will Love! (8.2 oz)

Native Pet Probiotic

A powdered probiotic supplement with made with bone broth protein and prebiotics!

Features:

  • Powder form offers a long shelf-life without the need for refrigeration
  • Includes four probiotic strains, prebiotics, & bone broth protein 
  • Developed by veterinariand and canine nutritionists
  • Only four ingredients: probiotic blend, jerusalem artichoke, pumpkin seeds, and bone broth

Bacterial Strains Included:

  • Bacillus coagulans
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Bifidobacterium animalis
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum

Ingredients List

Organic pumpkin protein, Dehydrated beef broth, Organic Inulin, Bacillus coagulans, Enterococcus faecium...,

Bifidobacterium animalis, Bifidobacterium bifidum

Pros

  • This diverse probiotic mix helps address a number of canine tummy concerns, from gas to diarrhea
  • The limited-ingredient nature is a hit, particularly for those owning dogs with sensitive systems
  • Flavor is a win with most dogs, thanks to the addition of tasty bone broth

Cons

  • Some owners find powder probiotics to be messy and inconvenient 
  • A few dogs experienced stomach upset, though this can be an issue with any new supplement

8. Pet Honesty Probiotic Chews

About: Pet Honesty is a probiotic powerhouse of a chew, containing a whopping seven bacterial strains. Also loaded with prebiotics and fiber, it’ll help restore your dog’s digestion, leading to better bathroom breaks.

Dog Probiotic with Highest CFU Count [Tie]

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Pet Honestly Probiotics

Pet Honesty Probiotic Chews

A natural soft chew containing 7 strains and flavored with duck or pumpkin.

Features:

  • Each serving contains 6 billion CFUs 
  • Contains no corn, soy, wheat, or artificial flavoring
  • Offered in duck and pumpkin flavors
  • Made in the USA 

Bacterial Strains Included:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum 
  • Lactococcus lactis
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus brevis 
  • Lactobacillus fermentum
  • Enterococcus faecium

Ingredients List

Oat flour, Palm oil, Spray dried duck digest, Ground flaxseed, Dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract...,

Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma reesei fermentation extract, Dried pineapples-stem, Papaya, Dried ground pumpkin, Dried ground sweet potato, Dried ground carrot, Sunflower lecithin, Microcrystalline cellulose powder, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Bifidobacterium bifidum fermentation product, Dried Lactococcus lactis fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus brevis fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Fructooligosacchride, Coconut glycerin, Sorbic acid, Mixed tocopherols, Rosemary extract

Pros

  • The assortment of bacterial strains is great, balancing your pup’s belly across the board
  • Flavor is a clear winner, with many dogs accepting it like a treat rather than a chore to eat
  • Many owners report an improvement in stool consistency and a decrease in noxious gas

Cons

  • As with other probiotics, some dogs may experience stomach upset
  • Some ingredients might cause issues for dogs with food sensitivities.

9. FERA Probiotics for Dogs

About: Fera is a veterinarian-formulated probiotic powder that also features prebiotics for a well-rounded approach to digestive regularity. Best of all, it’s dairy, grain, and soy free, making it an excellent choice for dogs with food sensitivities. 

Dog Probiotic with Most Diverse Collection of Bacterial Strains

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Fera Probiotics for Dogs

FERA Probiotics for Dogs

A vegan powder containing a rich assortment of probiotic bacterial strains and prebiotics.

Features:

  • Each scoop contains 5 billion CFUs
  • USDA-certified organic
  • Safe for dogs and cats
  • Made in the USA

Bacterial Strains Included:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Saccharomyces boulardii
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Bifidobacterium infantis
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Lactobacillus brevis
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Streptococcus thermophilus 

Ingredients List

Organic acacia, Fructooligosaccharides, Organic Inulin, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei...,

Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium infantis, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Streptococcus thermophilus

Pros

  • The veterinarian-crafted blend of bacteria offers balance, with many owners noting improved canine stools and reduced gas
  • The odorless, flavorless powder mixes easily into any food
  • Pricing is affordable for containing such a broad mix of prebiotics and probiotics

Cons

  • Some dogs had adverse digestive reactions, though this sometimes happens with any probiotic
  • Feeding powders can get messy and requires cleanup as opposed to the convenience of probiotic chews

10. Doggie Dailies Probiotics for Dogs

About: Doggie Dailies entice even the pickiest of pups with rich flavor and a treatlike texture. Packed with both prebiotics and probiotics, it gives your dog’s digestive system a helping hand, while added fatty acids help nourish his skin and coat, so he looks as good as he feels. 

Best-Tasting Probiotic for Picky Dogs

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Doggie Dailies Probiotics

Doggie Dailies Probiotics for Dogs

A grain-free soft chew flavored with duck or a pumpkin for maximum palatability.

Features:

  • 1 Billion CFUs per soft chew
  • Safe for all ages and breeds
  • Available in duck and pumpkin flavors
  • Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients

Bacterial Strains Included:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus brevis
  • Lactobacillus fermentum
  • Lactococcus lactis

Pros

  • Flavoring gets a paw’s up of approval from most pooches
  • Fish oil provides a nice boost of fatty acids for skin and coat health
  • Doggie Dailies offers a money-back satisfaction guarantee

Cons

  • The inactive ingredients like pea and garbanzo flours might cause issues for dogs with food sensitivities
  • The texture doesn’t crumble well to disguise in food if your dog isn’t a fan of the flavor

11. Perfect Poop

About: Perfect Poop is a grain, gluten, and GMO-free digestive aid that features prebiotics, probiotics, and enzymes for regularity and wellness. Added roughage from dog-safe, sun-cured grass packs fiber, helping your dog’s stool firm up and pass easier.

Best Dog Probiotics for Poop Improvement

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Perfect Poop Probiotics

Perfect Poop Probiotics for Dogs

A multi-step approach to digestive health with prebiotics, probiotics, and a healthy dose of fiber.

Features:

  • Contains 1 Billion CFUs per tablespoon 
  • Comes in textured, palate-pleasing morsels 
  • Offered in chicken and cheddar cheese flavor
  • Made in the USA

Bacterial Strains Included:

  • Bacillus Subtilis
  • Bacillus Coagulans

Ingredients List

Sun cured miscanthus grass, Dried pumpkin, Flaxseed, Potato starch, Cane molasses...,

Chicken fat, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, Amylase, Cellulase, Hemicellulase, Lipase, Papain, Bromelain, Inulin, Natural chicken flavor, Mixed tocopherols, Citric acid, Rosemary extract

Pros

  • Most owners report an improvement in canine bathroom habits, including firmer, more regular stools
  • Taste scored high marks with canine consumers
  • Chunked formula easily mixes in food or functions as a tasty treat

Cons

  • Some added ingredients might cause issues with dogs with sensitivities, but the ingredient list is relatively short, so spotting them is far easier than some competing items
  • Those in multi-dog or large dog households may find the price to be a bit high

When Do Dogs Need Probiotics?

Probiotics are a healthy addition to any dog’s diet and are now frequently found in various dog foods. That said, some dogs benefit a great deal from adding probiotics to their diet, as they can potentially solve existing issues or concerns. 

Your vet may recommend probiotics for your dog if he:

  • Has digestive issues: Restoring balance and fighting bad belly bacteria with probiotics can help correct common doggy digestive woes like noxious gas and diarrhea.
  • Recently completed a course of antibiotics: Antibiotics disturb the bacterial balance in your dog’s stomach, sometimes killing off too much good bacteria. Probiotics can help replenish these.
  • Recently recovered from an illness: Sickness takes its toll on your dog from head to tail, and giving his digestive system a helping hand with probiotics can help him get back to normal.

Gets sick frequently: If your pup is under the weather a lot, he may be suffering from hidden tummy troubles that are wearing down his defenses. Probiotics help your dog’s system fight off bad bacterial overgrowth that might be behind some of his issues.

Keeping Canine Cultures Alive and Well With Probiotics

It is important to remember that probiotics are living organisms. Because they have evolved to live inside your dog’s digestive system, they may die when forced to inhabit a jar or box sitting in your cupboard.

If you want your dog to benefit from probiotics, you’ll have to keep them alive.

To some extent, good manufacturers help you accomplish this. They may package the substance in small, single-dose amounts, which prevents you from having to repeatedly expose the bacteria to oxygen, as you would with a large container of the material.

Oxygen will kill these bacteria, as your dog’s gut is an anaerobic, or oxygen-free, environment.

Other manufacturers encapsulate their probiotics in some type of shell, which protects the bacteria from our oxygen-rich atmosphere. Additionally, these shells can also help protect the bacteria from the harsh acids in your pet’s stomach, enabling them to remain viable and intact until they reach the intestines, where they typically set up shop.

High temperatures can also cause the bacteria to die at a rapid rate. Anything above about 100 degrees can cause trouble, so just try to keep your pet’s probiotics in a cool, dry place. Some products are designed to be refrigerated, but we didn’t include any of these on our list.

You should also consult the product label, which should provide some information about the number of bacteria present in the product (typically expressed in CFUs, or colony-forming units).

This is helpful, but realize that a significant portion of the sample will be dying over time. Accordingly, it is more helpful to note the guaranteed number of CFUs present at the expiration date.

To review, when purchasing dog probiotics, be sure to:

 Keep your dog’s probiotics in a cool, dry place.

Don’t open probiotics until you are ready to use them, and consider opting for single-use packaging.

Discard expired products, as they are unlikely to contain a significant number of live CFUs.

Try to stick to brands that provide protective shields for their probiotics, so more bacteria reach your pet’s intestines intact.

Opt for brands that explain the number of live CFUs at the time the product expires.

Probiotics vs Prebiotics: Which One Does My Dog Need?

Many supplements like prebiotics and probiotics are showing up in dog food today, and sorting out what your dog actually needs can be a headache. Luckily, breaking down the necessity of prebiotics and probiotics is simpler than most.

To understand the importance of prebiotics and probiotics, you need to visualize their roles in your dog’s digestion. Probiotics are the microorganisms keeping your dog’s digestion balanced, whereas prebiotics are the food the probiotic microorganisms eat. Think of it like deploying workers to your dog’s digestive system (probiotics) vs. lunch for his system’s existing workers (prebiotics). 

Ideally, your dog should receive both prebiotics and probiotics to keep his system running smoothly, which is why you’ll frequently find them together in probiotic supplements. Some dogs receive enough prebiotics through their diet, so added ones aren’t necessary, but there’s no harm if they happen to be in your chosen probiotic supplement.

***

Have you ever put your dog through a course of probiotics? Perhaps you use them as a regular, long-term supplement. If so, we’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!

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Ben Team

Ben is the senior content editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional. Ben’s had the chance to work with hundreds of different species, but his favorite animals have always been dogs. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his spoiled-rotten Rottweiler named J.B. Chances are, she’s currently giving him the eyes and begging to go to the park.

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Carrie Watts

I have been using Pro-Pets by Hyperbiotics for about 6 months now for my 10 year old Papillion. I just got a new English Mastiff puppy who just turned 4 months old. When I brought her home I immediately started her on it as well. I love this product and they love taking their “pearls.” It helps them have smallish, hard poops and I feel good knowing their guts are healthy. It hasn’t helped with my small dog’s allergies (which I had hoped it would), but I still love the product. It’s $20 for a month’s supply (that’s for both dogs… 60 pearls) so I think that’s a good deal considering the price of others on the market. I put them in the freezer although they don’t require refrigeration. I will continue using this product.

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aronn

Probiotics and vitamins can help improve health for dogs but some dogs don’t usually like it. I guess for me it’s ok to try supplements but make sure to consult your vet first. I’ve read something similar on this blog. https://ultimatepetnutrition.com/can-dogs-take-human-vitamins/ Well, thanks anyway.

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