Probiotics are microbes (bacteria and yeast) that naturally live inside the gut of most living creatures. If you’re unfamiliar with probiotics, then you might be surprised to find out that - believe it or not - some bacteria are beneficial for the body. There are actually billions of “friendly” microbes living inside your dog’s gut that provide a bunch of essential health benefits like:
Here are the top five “good” bacteria that probiotic supplements tend to carry:
Unfortunately, these health-promoting microbes sometimes get destroyed by illness or environmental stress, which can upset the stomach and even cause your dog to get sick. Primary signs and symptoms that indicate your dog could do with a solid dose of probiotics include diarrhea, bad breath, cramping, and excess gas. Several of the main causes of such digestive disorders include:
Luckily for dog lovers, a dog’s crucial microbes can easily be restored by providing wholesome probiotics. Ongoing research has shown the effectiveness of some probiotics in treating irritable bowels, inflammation in the intestines, and diarrhea. Some groups go so far as to suggest that probiotics may prevent urinary tract infections and reduce allergic reactions.
The tricky issue with probiotics stems from the fact that they are delicate living organisms. Mishandling probiotic products can be detrimental to their well-being, which in turn could reduce or nullify their ability to help your dog. Exposure to moisture and air particles is especially harmful, but even alterations in temperature can negatively affect probiotics. You definitely do not want to leave your probiotics for a few hours in a sweltering car!
A few things to look out for when purchasing probiotics for dogs:
Probiotics for dogs are available in a variety of forms:
Note: Probiotic supplementation is a great way to boost your dog’s health, but may be unnecessary if they are already getting plenty in their everyday diet.