If you own a dog, you probably do everything you can to keep your best friend happy and healthy. However, you probably also know that dogs aren’t always very fussy about what they eat. That’s probably why gastrointestinal problems are the most common issues with dogs, right after skin conditions. Luckily, probiotics for dogs are gaining in popularity to help dog owners handle digestive problems.
If you’re a pet owner, you’ll find this information about dog probiotics to be helpful. If you’re a pet store owner, you should consider adding probiotics for dogs along with the other quality products you can add to help your customers.
Probiotics for Dogs is Increasing in Popularity
Gastrointestinal problems are common in dogs. Food allergies and indiscriminate eating habits are the most common causes of the problems. Dog owners have discovered that giving their dog a probiotic can help alleviate and even avoid many digestive problems. There is also some feeling among dog owners that probiotics can help with many types of skin problems. As a result, more and more dog owners are using probiotic supplements.
What are Probiotics?
Dogs, just like humans, carry bacteria in their gut that helps keep the gastrointestinal tract healthy and functioning properly. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system and your dog’s.
When you give your dog a probiotic, it can replace the good bacteria that your dog has lost due to illness or eating something that doesn’t agree with them. A probiotic can also help to balance the good and bad bacteria to keep your dog’s digestive system in good working order. In addition, maintaining a good balance of gut bacteria can strengthen the dog’s immune system.
A dog probiotic can come in several forms, including:
- Yogurt or kefir with live cultures
- Dog Food
The one you choose will depend on how you feed your dog. You can buy yogurt or kefir, a fermented food, at the grocery and many dogs won’t mind if you just add one of them to its food. If you feed your dog wet food, you can sprinkle powders on it, and the capsules can also be opened and the contents added to wet food. Chews can be handy if your dog likes the taste, because your pet will be glad to get a new kind of treat.
What to Look For in a Dog Probiotic
Probiotics for dogs contain a variety of bacteria that all work together. Pet stores usually carry probiotics from different quality manufacturers. Pet owners can try different combinations to determine which one works best for their dog. These strains have been shown to be helpful and safe for dogs:
- Enterococcus faecium
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Bifidobacterium animalis
Some people are tempted to give their dog a probiotic that they take themselves. However, the digestive system of people and dogs is different enough, that it is best to use probiotics that have been specifically formulated for a dog’s needs.
Benefits of Giving Probiotics to Dogs
The rise in popularity of dog probiotics is due in large part to the growing evidence that this supplement helps to control:
- digestive problems
- loose stools
- liver disease
- problems with mood and behavior
- bad breath
- allergy symptoms
Potential Risks and Important Considerations
Side effects that occur when a dog starts taking probiotics are few, and the supplement is generally considered safe. It’s critical to talk to your veterinarian before giving your pet any new supplement, and that includes probiotics. Your vet should be able to provide insight on whether your dog will benefit from probiotics and which brands contain the things your dog needs.
Some dogs may have digestive problems when first taking a probiotic. Be sure to observe your pet to determine if they have digestive problems or change their eating habits. If you notice any problems or changes, consult your vet right away.
It makes sense for dog owners and pet store owners to become educated concerning probiotics for dogs. If you have questions, or want to explore new products and services you can add to your pet store, please feel free to contact us.