Best Probiotics: Improve Your Dog’s Digestion & Overall Health

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Dog Brand

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Price

$11.52

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Dog Brand

★★★★★
Price

$11.52

Pickup at Local Store

Dog Brand

Price

$11.52

Pickup at Local Store

Dog Brand

Price

$11.52

Pickup at Local Store

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What You Need to Know
About Dog Probiotics.

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What are prebiotics and probiotics?

The widely accepted definition of a probiotic is “live microorganisms that confer a health benefit on the host when administered in adequate amounts.”

Prebiotics are defined as “nondigestible food ingredients that promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines.”

Prebiotic might be an unfamiliar term, but most of us already are acquainted with many types of prebiotics. One of the most common prebiotics is dietary fiber.

Synbiotics are combinations of probiotics and prebiotics in one supplement, or found in a combination of foods eaten together. Yogurt and honey is an example of a synbiotic, as are beans and pickles.

How do probiotics and prebiotics work?

Millions of bacteria live in our gastrointestinal tract, and the same is true for our companion animals. Some gut bacteria are helpful to our pets, assisting in the digestion of food and keeping harmful bacteria from getting established. However, diseases (both in and out of the gastrointestinal tract) can disrupt this community, allowing harmful bacteria to expand.

Drug therapy, particularly with antibiotics, also can disrupt gut bacteria. Probiotics are designed to introduce “good” bacteria back into the gastrointestinal tract, helping the gut environment to return to normal.

Prebiotics work by providing bacteria with the fuel they need to thrive. In the case of dietary fiber, bacteria use indigestible fiber as fuel, and the byproducts of this process benefit the cells of the gastrointestinal tract.

Can probiotics or prebiotics be harmful?

One study demonstrated an increase in some harmful gut bacteria in dogs given probiotics. However, veterinary gastroenterologists remain optimistic that these products hold promise in the treatment of many diseases of dogs and cats. More research is needed to determine which “bacteria cocktail” is most beneficial for dogs and cats, and which health conditions could be alleviated with supplementation using these products.

The most common concern with probiotic therapy, though, is some studies don’t support any benefit from their use. The majority of studies don’t show any adverse effects, but probiotics can be expensive and most pet owners don’t want to spend money unnecessarily.

If you are considering adding probiotics and/or prebiotics to your pet’s diet, or you are concerned about a specific health condition that may be helped with supplementation, a visit with your veterinarian can provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for your pet’s health.

Frequently Asked
Questions & Answers

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Are probiotics just for sick dogs?

No. All dogs should be given probiotics daily as an essential supplement. Probiotics are as important as vitamins and should be taken daily. Your dog’s gut is his primary immune system engine, by supporting the gut with probiotics, your dog will have the benefit from better digestion, better skin and coat, and better overall health.

How do probiotics help my dog?

Probiotics, also known as ‘friendly bacteria’ are essential to every healthy immune and digestive system. By supplementing your dog’s food with a probiotic supplement, you help to increase the levels of friendly bacteria and crowd out bad/unhealthy bacteria which can cause illness and malnutrition. The best probiotic supplements contain highly stable species (strains) of probiotics which are proven to pass through the stomach acid and implant in the intestine. These strains have been researched to be beneficial specifically for dogs and cats.

Can I give probiotics to my puppy?

YES! Because your puppy has a developing immune system, probiotics are especially recommended during your dog's first 2 years of life. By doing this, you will help to support his body against developing allergies and other digestive and immune conditions.

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