There is a variety of probiotics for dogs. It’s not a good idea to give your dog the pill form because they will most likely spit it out. The best type of probiotic would be the chewable or the powder form. With the powder form, dogs can eat these probiotics when sprinkled in their food or mixed with water. A lot of the chewable probiotics for puppies are flavored with chicken or beef, which can be very appetizing for your dog.
The Three Types of Probiotics for Dogs
Lactobacillus & Bifidobacterium
These are dairy-based probiotics. Let’s take a look at the two separately:
Lactobacillus converts the milk sugar into lactic acid, stopping harmful bacteria from growing in your dog’s intestine. That’s great, right? Well, too much Lactobacillus can be detrimental to your dog.
A recent study showed that aggressive dogs had a larger number of Lactobacillus in their system; it’s probably best to save this probiotic for when your dog really needs it, rather than using it as a daily supplement.
Bifidobacterium also produces lactic acid but is not considered as a lactic acid bacteria. Bifidobacterium lives in the colon, and it interacts with immune cells, crowding out harmful bacteria while supporting your dog’s immune system.
There are different strains of both of these probiotics that have various benefits for your dog’s health:
- Lactobacillus Casei dwells in your dog’s mucus membranes, and it affects their mood and emotions.
Lactobacillus Plantarum & Lactobacillus Rhamnosus promote a healthy colon wall, and they can decrease diarrhea related to antibiotics. Low levels of these probiotics have been shown to cause anxiety in dogs.
.Bifidobacterium Animalis is a type of probiotic that helps manage acute diarrhea in dogs.Bifidobacterium Longum helps reduce your dog’s anxiety and stress while aiding in preventing diarrhea and treating food allergies.
Enterococcus Faecium is a different species of probiotic but functions similarly to the other two. It survives the acidity of your dog’s gut better than the ones mentioned above. While it has been shown to be healthy for dogs, it is not suitable for human use.
Saccharomyces Boulardii is not a bacterium like most probiotics; it’s a healthy yeast. It gets used to treat chronic and acute diarrhea in people, and scientists have recently found that it gives the same benefits to dogs. Saccharomyces Boulardii also treats Candida and yeast.
Antibiotics don’t affect Saccharomyces Boulardii, so they can be taken along with them to protect your dog’s beneficial gut bacteria. It can also help with digestive issues caused by inflammation.
Saccharomyces Boulardii is an excellent addition to your dog’s probiotic routine.
Soil-based probiotics are organisms found in soil or water. They are spore-forming, which means they can protect themselves from stomach acids, heat, and most antibiotics.
Most of these probiotics don’t have to be refrigerated like other ones do, and they aren’t made from dairy -- good news for dogs that may have issues with dairy.
The most common strains of soil-based products that are safe for dogs are:
- Bacillus Coagulans is a bacteria that produces lactic acid; it crowds out unwanted bacteria. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and has a positive effect on your dog’s digestive system.
Bacillus Indicus is unique;it produces carotenoids, which are potent antioxidants. This probiotic also has quinols, vitamin K2, and various B vitamins
Bacillus Subtilis has a strong effect on your dog’s immune system by producing IgA and vitamin K. It was used to treat urinary tract infections in dogs before the development of antibiotics.