When we first got our German Shepherd Vík he had some urinary issues and when his urinalysis disclosed he had a UTI, they prescribed Cefpodoxime and Fortifora Canine Probiotics.
This really got me thinking, while your family pet may seem beautiful and healthy on the outside, how does he really feel on the inside? The health and well-being of my doggies are important to me. I take probiotics, via Kombucha & Kefir, so why not give my dogs a version of probiotics to help with their digestion. I did some research and talked to our family vet and this is everything I learned about the benefits of giving our dog probiotics.
Can Your Dog Benefit From A Probiotic? Everything you need to know about giving your dog probiotics.
How does the digestive system work for your dog?
We all know how food enters and leaves our body, and the same is with canines. Food enters their mouth, where it is chewed and partially broke down by saliva. Going down the esophagus, the food enters the dog’s stomach where it gets broken down further by hydrochloric acid at a very low pH. As the liquid form passes through the small intestine, the nutrients are absorbed for the body to use. This absorption is aided by harmless bacteria that are apart of the ‘healthy gut’ of flora that your dog needs to aid digestion. The pathogens and waste pass as feces, leaving your pet happy and healthy!
For more information about how a dog’s digestion works you can speak to your family vet or visit Washington State University’s research on dog digestion.
What are probiotics made of?
If you look on the back of most pet probiotic bottles under ingredients, you will find the following ingredients.
- Different types of bacteria
- digestive enzymes
- antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
These are important to your dog’s health because they replenish your dog’s good bacteria and give an extra boost in digestion and absorption of vital minerals and vitamins.
What conditions can probiotics help your dog? How do they help your dog?
Severe diarrhea-causing conditions resulting in intestinal irritation benefit from probiotics. Some conditions when probiotics can be prescribed include intestinal inflammation, unexplained diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and after a course of antibiotics. Veterinarians often recommend owners to add a probiotic to their senior dog’s diet for extra, digestive support.
Do you board your dog a lot? Probiotics can help calm things down during a stressful period of time. A new study shows that probiotics are more beneficial at eliminating diarrhea from stressed shelter dogs compared to metronidazole, an antibiotic.
Probiotics help canines by supplying nutrients, aiding in digestion, and balancing all of the biological processes within the small intestine.
“Probiotics are live bacteria that when fed, have a beneficial effect,” says Dr. Cross. “They decrease the pH in the gut and that helps the dog’s own good gut bacteria thrive.” Probiotic bacteria can also attach to the intestinal cells and release substances, which helps promote the growth of good bacteria.
Can probiotics hurt my dog? Are probiotics bad for my dog?
Companies make probiotics very safe. Only in instances of allergies can probiotics be somewhat harmful, showing up as respiratory or skin irritation. Otherwise, read the reviews of different probiotics and pick the most recommended with the best ingredients, like ones listed above. But always consult your veterinarian on whether your dog could benefit from a probiotic! There are several well-known probiotics for canines.
Where do I buy dog probiotics?
When Vík had his urinary tract infection he had to be put on a round of antibiotics and as a precautionary for his sensitive puppy tummy our vet gave us probiotics to give with his breakfast.
The probiotics our vet recommended were the Purina Pro Plan FortiFlora. Each packet was filled with a beige powder that we sprinkled on his hard or dry food. Both Kenzo & Vīk were very interested in their food when it had the probiotics on it, so we decided to continue using it even after Vík had finished his round of antibiotics.
You don’t need a vet to prescribe probiotics for your dog, but I would discuss it with them before adding it to your dog’s daily routine.