Probiotics and Dogs: FAQ’s

What Are the Benefits of Probiotics?

Taking probiotics has been linked to a lowered risk for cancer, tumorous growths, and chronic diseases. It increases energy and strengthens the immune system. A healthy gut means more nutrients are released and absorbed into the body, providing fuel for every system to excel.

The Innovative Veterinary Care Journal states “a balanced intestinal microbiome is crucial to good health in dogs and cats, as well as in humans.” The microbiome is the world of microorganisms that live in the digestive system. When these good bacteria thrive, a dog’s body has the potential to as well.

Can Dogs Take Human Probiotics?

No. Probiotic supplements are formulated with strains of bacteria specific to the human gut. While research is ongoing, it’s clear that different animals utilize different bacterial strains that aid gut function. Look for supplements specifically formulated for dogs.

Eating yogurt, however, can be good for dogs as a whole food addition to kibble or even as a frozen treat. Just make sure there’s no added xylitol, a sugar substitute harmful to dogs. Plain yogurt is best as there’s usually no sugar added.

How Do You Choose a Probiotic for your Dog?

Probiotics are effective when the amount of bacterial strains are in the millions at least. This may sound excessive, but these little guys need strength in numbers to work.

Make sure you choose a probiotic that’s formulated specifically for dogs. Look for that high number of strands. You can check with a natural veterinarian or traditional vet for suggestions.

How Do You Give Your Dog a Probiotic?

There are a few different ways to deliver a probiotic to your pup. First, some pet foods include probiotics as part of their formula. However, the strains may not be strong enough to be effective through digestion. As mentioned previously, adding a dollop of fresh yogurt to your dog’s meal may be just as effective and an easy whole food addition to their diet.

Another way to provide a probiotic for your dog is to give them a supplement in pill form. This can be added to food for an easier delivery. Supplements can be shelf-stable or refrigerated.

You know your pup, which will help guide you to the best option for your pet. It’s a good idea to consult your vet before starting a probiotic regimen.

How Do Probiotics Affect a Dog with Cushing’s?

Since medical research shows that gut health can benefit overall health, dogs with Cushing’s receive the same benefits. Probiotics help lower intestinal inflammation which in turn promotes improved brain and immune function, among other benefits.

Some pet parents choose to treat Cushing’s symptoms with a natural supplement rather than chemo-type drugs. Probiotics can help with the absorption of nutrients and aid the overall effectiveness of the supplement. This is why CushAway uses probiotics as part of their natural supplement formula for Cushing’s disease in dogs.