Has your dog managed to get their way into eating something that's usually off limits, which ended up causing stomach problems and gastrointestinal upset? Or have they been abiding by the rules of their diet but just happen to experience gastrointestinal problems without seeming to do anything wrong to warrant it?
Either way, dog probiotics is something that millions of dog owners swear by when it comes to solving their pup's many potential stomach problems, a topic we're going to be covering from A to Z throughout the remainder of this article about the best probiotics for dogs, who should be giving them to their dogs, why they should be given to dogs and tons of other related information, so read along!
Our List Of The Top 5 Dog Probiotics Of Today – (Updated List For 2019)
Top Pick: Purina Fortiflora Canine Nutritional Supplement Box
Pick #2: Amazing Nutritionals Probiotic Joint for Dogs
Pick #3: Nusentia Probiotic Miracle Dog Probiotics
Pick #4: VetriScience Laboratories Probiotic Everyday for Dogs
Pick #5: Paw Choice Probiotics for Dogs with Prebiotics
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Chewy.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
Dog Probiotics: Best Probiotics For Dogs In 2018
The following list of dog probiotics products covers what we believe to be some of the best probiotics for dogs in today's market, with each option having something special that qualified to make it on this list, which we'll be expanding on for each item in the section below.
Great Taste: Not only is this one of the most effective and efficient Probiotics for dogs on the market today, it's also one of the tastiest and will give your dog no reason or excuses to not be taking their probiotics.
This is one of the few probiotic supplements for dogs on the market that your dog will have to be a REALLY picky one to not feel the urge to wipe their entire bowl clean given how tasty these sachets are.
All you need to do is empty whatever dose is necessary for your dog from a sachet, mix it in with whatever dog food they're having as one of their daily meals, and that's that!
Great For Excessive Gas: One of the very strong points of this specific Probiotic product is its ability to help your dog get rid of that nasty gas dogs tend to experience in fairly little time, much faster than other probiotics out there on the market at least.
So, if excessive flatulence is something your dog does indeed experience on a regular basis, then you should really give this specific product more consideration.
Often Gets Veterinarian Recommendations: If there was ever a Probiotic supplement for dogs that gets veterinarian recommendations on a consistent and regular basis, this one from Purina is definitely a fierce competitor for the title of "most veterinary recommendations".
Many are the dog owners that come to know about this specific formula after a recommendation from their veterinarian, so you can rest assured that you're giving your furry buddy a product that's well trusted among medical professionals in the field.
Excellent Tablet Option: If you prefer to give your dog probiotics in the form of chewable tablets instead of powder form that comes in Sachets like our #1 pick above, then this option is one of the best chewable tablet probiotics you could go with.
Just like our #1 pick above from Purina, these chewable tablets from Amazing Nutritionals are also very tasty and have stood the test of time by now as far as that issue is concerned. After all, they are flavored to taste like Bacon and Beef liver, so it is indeed hard for any dog out there not to go nuts about 'em!
Easily Chewable: Chewable tablets are not exactly everyone's idea of a convenient way to give supplements to their dogs, but the way these chewable probiotic tablets were designed, there's no reason for you to worry about any of that.
Besides being very tasty, these tablets are also very easy for your dog to chew without much complications.
Amazing Nutritionals have designed these tablets to be small enough, yet not too small, for dogs to be able to comfortably chew them no matter what size they are, meaning that small sized dogs won't find them too big for their small jaws to chew on without the need for you (the owner) to cut the tablets into smaller pieces, and large sized dogs won't find them too tiny either. It's a fine middle line that Amazing Nutritionals managed to strike with these chewables.
No Clumping: One issue some dog owners tend to have trouble with when they try to mix powdered-form probiotics with their dog's food, and you may be one of those people if you've tried to give your dog probiotics in that form before, is the issue of clumping.
Some dog foods don't mix very well with powdered form probiotics, and you sometimes end up getting a hardened product at the end that your dog won't enjoy eating.
If this is something you have experienced before and want to find a workaround, then tasty, chewable tablets like these are definitely a worthy option for your consideration.
No mixing required, no clumping happens, just a tasty Bacon and Beef liver tasting tablet that your dog chews on and considers a treat - everyone's happy!
Not Just For Dogs: If you're looking to get one probiotic product that you can give to both your dog(s) and cat(s) at home without having to get a different probiotic product for each, then this formula gives you that ability, as it was manufactured with the exact needs of both dogs and cats in mind.
No Taste: If you're a dog or cat owner that tries to stay as natural as can be with their approach when it comes to anything your pet consumes, then you should definitely give this powdered probiotic for pets a consideration, as no artificial flavorings were included in its production process, making it an excellent tasteless option for pet owners who prefer to go down that route.
Rich In Prebiotics: Prebiotics are food ingredients that help beneficial microorganisms grow and thrive in your dog's intestines, providing benefits just as important (for many dogs) as those that Probiotics provide.
If you're looking for a Probiotic formula for your dog that also contains significant levels of Prebiotics, then this formula is something you're going to want to look further into.
Duck Flavor: If, for whatever reason, your dog doesn't happen to be a big fan of the Bacon and Beef liver flavor that our #2 pick above offers, then this option comes with a Duck taste, another fan favorite among dogs and a very convenient alternative that your dog is more than likely to admire.
Why Should Dogs Take Probiotics?
You're probably asking yourself, why should I be giving my dogs probiotics? Isn't this some sort of marketing hype just like many of the other products out there on the doggie market that promise dog owners the moon, the stars and then some, but fail to deliver?
Whether you opt to go with one of the top products on the market or adopt a DIY aproach to all of this, below is a list that covers some of the most common times when giving your dog probiotics is a good idea, cases where an influx of healthy bacteria in your dog's intestinal tract will prove to be an important boost.
- Dogs that experience frequent diarrhea
- Dogs that experience frequent loose stools
- Dogs that often experience constipation
- Dogs that experience excessive gas and farting
- Dogs that experience allergies from food they eat
- Dogs that have experienced food poisoning from something bad they may have eaten
- Dogs that suffer from intestinal infections
- Dogs that experience skin problems, such as allergies and sensitive skin
- Dogs that have higher than average cholesterol levels
Probiotics for dogs not only can help relieve these existing symptoms if your dog is known to experience them on a regular basis, they can also help fortify your dog's health and greatly minimize the chances of your dog experiencing any of these symptoms in the future as well.
One particular benefit of probiotics for dogs is that supposing your dog consumed some sort of food they shouldn't be consuming, whether that's a human food that's usually off the charts for dogs, an excessive amount of human food that's usually fine for dogs but not fine in over-the-border amounts, leftover food found in the trash can, etc ..
The effect this will have on your dog's upset stomach will be significantly less, thanks to the presence of the beneficial bacteria in your dog's intestinal tract that's able to minimize the negative effects and balance things out quite a bit.
Be careful though, as this is definitely not to say that you're free to allow your dog to eat whatever they want to eat from wherever they want to eat it as long as they're given probiotics.
Negative effects will still take place when your dog consumes something they shouldn't be consuming, but these effects will be apparent to a lesser degree because of the benefits and help that probiotics offer your dog's digestive system.
How Do Probiotics For Dogs Work?
Now what we covered the reasons why (and when) dogs should ideally be given probiotics, let's have a little explanation about how probiotics for dogs actually work.
Don't worry, nobody here wants this to turn out into a biology lesson and feel like we're back in school, and it won't :).
You can think of probiotics as the good kind of bacteria (not the harmful kind that we all strive to avoid in our day to day lives) that make their way into your dog's intestinal tract in order to help improve any and all digestive system related functions that may need a boost.
This good bacteria is essential for your dog's health, given the fact that it fights off the bad kind of bacteria that could otherwise do some serious damage and cause chaos in your dog's system if given the chance to do so.
These beneficial bacteria help improve your dog's digestive system functions, help improve the absorption of nutrients and minerals from the dog food they consume and help their bodies get rid of harmful toxins that may have otherwise continued to build and stack up inside their bodies, only to be make themselves apparent at a later stage in life in the form of a certain illness.
When Are Probiotics Bad For Dogs?
If you give your dog probiotics in a haphazard fashion without really getting a veterinarian's opinion about the required dosage you should be having your dog follow, and if you don't at least do your part of the required research to see what dosage is safe for your dog's weight, size and age, then chances are quite high that you could get something wrong along the way and end up harming your dog instead of making them healthier.
Can Dogs Take Human Probiotics? Or Should They Stick To Dog Probiotics?
One of the most common questions dog owners ask all the time whenever they're considering hopping aboard the probiotics for dogs train is whether or not they can just go ahead and give their dogs some of the probiotics they already have at home that were designed for human consumption.
Aren't probiotics for humans and probiotics for dogs essentially the same thing? Well, the answer to that questions lies somewhere between a yes and a no, so let's do some explanation on that.
To start off by covering the basics as far as this question is concerned, yes, giving your dog human probiotics is fine from a safety perspective and nothing bad will happen to them as long as you stick to the recommended dosages and don't overdo it, the same case being true when giving your dog probiotics specifically manufactured for dogs as well.
And, your dog will be getting helpful bacteria from probiotics designed for humans just as they will be getting helpful bacteria from probiotics specifically designed for dogs.
So, what's the difference between the two?
One word - efficiency.
It's much better from an efficiency standpoint to get your dog a bottle of probiotics that has been specifically designed to meet their needs and not yours, boost their digestive system and not yours, as there's quite a bit of difference between the two.
So, while your dog may very well benefit from helpful bacteria after being given probiotics for humans, they can benefit from the helpful bacteria that was specifically designed for their digestive systems much faster, for a much longer time and reap multiple times the positive effects than they would had they been given a formula designed for humans.
So, to wrap this section up, it's perfectly safe for you to give your dog probiotics designed for humans, but we suggest that you stick to a formula specifically designed for dogs if you want your dog to benefit most from all of this.