Probiotics for Dogs – Health Benefits and Side Effects

Probiotics for dogs are a new approach within the pet industry to keep the dogs healthy and alert. As a matter of fact, many dog food and other dog products available today include probiotics and supplement forms can now be purchased from pet stores and clinics.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are minute, stomach-friendly, and beneficial bacteria that are primarily good for your dog’s digestive system. These tiny organisms enhance digestive and immune functions. They regulate the number of normal bacteria, also known as microflora, in the stomach which help fight hazardous bacteria and prevent them from increasing to a harmful level.

The Benefits of Dog Probiotics

Probiotics have many health benefits in addition to improving digestion. For example, if your dog is suffering from lactose intolerance,  probiotics can help to improve this condition.  It can also help to manage  and prevent vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating along with combating E. coli and salmonella, the leading causes of gastrointestinal disorders in dogs.

Apart from intestinal disorders, probiotics have been shown to be helpful in other disorders such as arthritis, yeast infection, asthma, and skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis. Another important benefit is enhancing the immune system. These microorganisms aid in the production of essential vitamins in the B group. With a healthy immune system, your dog can experience improved overall well being. Furthermore, these friendly bacteria can increase energy levels and appetite which is especially helpful for weaker and older dogs.

Why You Should Use Probiotics in Special Circumstances

While probiotics are ideally given as a form of supplement daily, dogs will need them most during particular circumstances. For example, if your dog is still a puppy and starts to wean, it is best to provide them with these beneficial bacteria. Since puppies are still young and their tummies are not yet fully developed, they may not be able to adjust well with the diet transition from their own mother's milk to a dog food. Since these good bacteria aid in digestion, they will help puppies to tolerate food.

If your pet has received an antibiotic treatment, it is advised to give them probiotics. Antibiotics do not only kill harmful bacteria; they kill the good ones too. Due to this good bacteria should be replenished with probiotics. The use of probiotics is safe for your dogs and no harmful side effects have been noted.

Tips on Buying Dog Probiotics

Probiotics for dogs in supplement form can be purchased from pet stores and supermarkets.  When buying the product, make sure to choose the refrigerated ones. There are different strains of beneficial bacteria and each provides different benefits. Hence, try to pick the the supplement that has the most number of strains to provide the most diversity. Probiotics can come in  freeze-dried form but, when possible, choose refrigerated live bacteria as they have a better and faster effect. It is also important to take note of the expiration date, as some strains of bacteria have a shelf life.

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