Probiotics for Dogs: Everything You Need to Know for Your Best Friend’s Gut Health

You want to give your family members the best lives possible. That sentiment goes without saying for your puppers. Sometimes, our four-legged loved ones are better than our two-legged ones. So, why not give them the best care possible? That’s why probiotics for dogs have grown in popularity. Let’s take a closer look at these supplements for dogs and which bacteria strains might work best for your furbaby.

Why Probiotics for Dogs?

probiotics for dogs
We’re more alike than we realize

They may look a little different, but dogs aren’t much different than us. Their bodies are supported by bones and muscles. Blood pumps from their heart to various parts of their system.

Oh, and they have trillions of microbes that influence everything from digesting food to their anxiety attacks when you leave for work.

Probiotics for dogs have become common among pet owners because gut health has made its way to the forefront of wellness. Many realize what’s good for us is probably adequate for a dog. After all, they eat many of the same foods we do. Why wouldn’t subpar dietary choices wreak havoc on their GI tract, as it does to us?

Benefits of Dog Probiotics

Just as many humans are turning to probiotics supplements, veterinarians are suggesting probiotics may be beneficial for your puppykins, too.

American Kennel Club (AKC) veterinary expert, Jerry Klein, DVM, spoke to petMD,

“They are believed to help treat and/or prevent a variety of illnesses and diseases, especially those related to the gastrointestinal system,” he explains. They inhibit the growth and activity of harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Clostridium perfringens, as well as provide other advantages to the intestines [1].”

Jerry Klein, DVM

One study looked at the microbiomes of canines [2]. The analysis noted how there was a relevant connection between the immune system and a dog’s gut health.

The analysis explained,

“Probiotic bacteria can produce various antimicrobial substances, for example fatty acids, lactic acid and acetic acid…The effects (again mostly shown in vitro, but also in some animal models of inflammation) include maintenance and fortification of tight junctions, prolonging the survival of IECs and induction of IgA and β‐defensin production.”

Vet Med Sci.

This research makes probiotics for dogs a promising option for pups with easily upset stomachs. It may also serve as a preventative measure for more debilitating conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Disorder (IBD).

Best Probiotics for Dogs

Any time you make a massive change to your pet’s routine, such as probiotics for dogs, please speak to a veterinarian. The world of supplementing stomach bacteria to dogs is still new. There isn’t much research out there.

probiotics for dogs
You need to take all little ones’
dietary habits into consideration

However, many veterinarians are getting on-board due to the minimal risk of probiotics. With that being said, the word “risk” is there. That’s why it’s pivotal to talk to a vet about probiotics for dogs before you start administering them to your loved one.

Now, if you are to get probiotics for dogs, there are a few stomach bacteria strains you may want in their formula. Here are the best intestinal flora for dogs.

Bacillus subtilis

Bacillus subtilis is also known as the “hay” or “grass” strain. While hay or grass may be seen as an allergen to many, this bacteria strain has the opposite effect. In fact, it has shown to secrete antibiotics into the system, which can help support the immune system of your dog [3]. This natural antibiotic effect makes this bacteria strain an organic antifungal treatment for soil.

This bacteria strain can also have your dog ready to take best in show. These intestinal flora have shown to improve the quality of life of dogs.

A controlled study with 16 beagles saw,

“Dog food supplementation with Calsporin (Bacillus subtilis C-3102) at 1 × 109 CFU/kg improved faecal quality, enhanced fat and carbohydrate digestibility, and contributed to the gut health of dogs by reducing gut ammonia and increasing SCFA content [4].”

Journal of Applied Animal Nutrition

For those who want to up Bacillus subtilis intake for your dog, feed them natto. This fermented soy protein is actually a common ingredient in Japanese dog food. As always, speak to a vet before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet.

Lactobacillus

Lactobacilli are a staple in many Thryve Inside probiotics supplements. These flora derive from lactic acids. There are many bacteria strains in the Lactobacilli family. Here are some of the best Lactobacillus strains in probiotics for dogs.

Lactobacillus acidophilus

Lactobacillus acidophilus has shown in studies to improve the consistency of bathroom trips and the texture of stool in Lacto-sensitive dogs [5]. Therefore, probiotics for dogs with Lactobacillus acidophilus may improve symptoms of constipation and diarrhea.

Lactobacillus plantarum

dog probiotics
How could you not want
the best for him?

Lactobacillus plantarum has one of the highest survival rates of bacteria strains.

They can maintain hydrochloric acid in the stomach and colonize the colon. One study with 16 German Shepards and 16 Yorkshires found that this intestinal flora had about a 45% survival rate in the GI tract [6].

Furthermore, this strain demonstrated strong antibacterial properties. The study noted that there was almost a 2mm radius surrounding these intestinal flora.

While 2mm doesn’t sound like a lot, when you’re talking about microbes, you might as well call it miles! Therefore, Lactobacillus plantarum keeps pathogenic bacteria at bay.

Bifidobacterium

Bifidobacterium is another common stomach bacteria strain included in Thryve Inside probiotics. Why wouldn’t you include Bifidobacterium in your dog’s diet? It has the word “fido” in it!

These stomach bacteria live in many mammal’s GI tract. They help keep pathogens from taking over and play a big role in mental health.

Bifidobacterium bifidum

probiotics for dogs
Provide a quality life

This bacteria is one of the most common in your dog’s system.

So, if you’re looking to improve their gut health, add more of what actually helps them thrive.

Bifidobacterium bifidum can help your dog with digestive issues and also help save your couch cushions from destruction when you’re out for the day.

Bifidobacterium animalis

The name alone sounds like something an animal may need. There are many benefits to including this particular Bifidobacterium in probiotics for dogs.

One analysis on Bifidobacterium animalis and canines stated,

“Nutritional management with the probiotic fed at 2 x 10(10) CFU/day significantly reduced the time to resolution. Probiotic B. animalis AHC7 may provide veterinarians another tool for management of acute diarrhea in dogs [7].”

Vet Ther. 

This research found those who took probiotics for dogs saw symptoms of diarrhea stop 26% faster than those who received a placebo.

Pediococcus acidilactici

probiotic dog supplement
What a beauty

Pediococcus acidilactici is far less known to humans than Lactobacilli or Bifidobacterium strains. However, they’re really important for dogs. This bacteria strain has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties that help boost a dog’s immune system.

One study shows that this probiotic bacteria can help shorten episodes of vomiting in canines with gastroenteritis. In addition, it may help the dog boost probiotics in its microbiome following a round of antibiotics [8].

Does Thryve Have Probiotics for Dogs?

Currently, Thryve Inside doesn’t offer probiotics for dogs. However, your veterinarian can point you in the direction of many capable brands.

Okay, one last puppy!

Be sure to ask about these bacteria strains. Your vet can help you find chews, frozen yogurt, and other treats rich in probiotics for dogs.

However, you should also get some human probiotics. After all, who will take care of your dog if your gut health were too fail? Not to mention, research suggests that human and pet microbiomes affect one another. So, get ahead of your pet’s gut health by taking charge of yours today!

Thryve Probiotics Gut Health

Resources

[1] petMD. “Probiotics for Dogs: What You Need to Know.” PetMD, 5 Jan. 2017, www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/probiotics-dogs-what-you-need-know.

[2] Schmitz, S., & Suchodolski, J. (2016). Understanding the canine intestinal microbiota and its modification by pro-, pre- and synbiotics – what is the evidence?. Veterinary medicine and science2(2), 71–94. doi:10.1002/vms3.17

[3] “Bacillus Subtilis.” Porto, 8 Aug. 2016, microchemlab.com/microorganisms/bacillus-subtilis.

[4] Schauf, S., et al. “Effect of Calsporin® (Bacillus Subtilis C-3102) Addition to the Diet on Faecal Quality and Nutrient Digestibility in Healthy Adult Dogs: Journal of Applied Animal Nutrition.” Cambridge Core, Cambridge University Press, 8 Apr. 2019, www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-applied-animal-nutrition/article/effect-of-calsporin-bacillus-subtilis-c3102-addition-to-the-diet-on-faecal-quality-and-nutrient-digestibility-in-healthy-adult-dogs/1D0BEF5B11F5A47A831F8DFD90C08D99.

[5] Pascher, Martina, et al. “Effects of a Probiotic Lactobacillus Acidophilus Strain on Feed Tolerance in Dogs with Non-Specific Dietary Sensitivity.” Archives of Animal Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18459535.

[6] Fernández, et al. “Characterization of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus MP01 and Lactobacillus Plantarum MP02 and Assessment of Their Potential for the Prevention of Gastrointestinal Infections in an Experimental Canine Model.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 3 May 2019, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2019.01117/full.

[7] Kelley, R L, et al. “Clinical Benefits of Probiotic Canine-Derived Bifidobacterium Animalis Strain AHC7 in Dogs with Acute Idiopathic Diarrhea.” Veterinary Therapeutics : Research in Applied Veterinary Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20037966.

[8] Herstad, H K, et al. “Effects of a Probiotic Intervention in Acute Canine Gastroenteritis–a Controlled Clinical Trial.” The Journal of Small Animal Practice, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20137007.