Probiotics for dogs: Health Benefits

Cat Harrison 28 April 2022

 

What are Probiotics?

 

The use of prebiotics and probiotics has really taken off in recent years. This is true both in human medicine and in the veterinary sector alike. People are gaining a whole new perspective on the many potential benefits that probiotics can offer.

Prebiotics are fibre that act as a food source for the ‘friendly’ bacteria and yeast known as probiotics. Probiotics are medically beneficial and can have a positive impact on health. Perhaps best known for their use in supporting gut health, they also play a key role when it comes to other systems including the central nervous system, skin and immune system.

The goal of consuming both probiotics and prebiotics is to improve the number of good bacteria in the gut, to help digestion (and importantly the ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria). Probiotics are the bacteria themselves, so adding them directly increases the number of good bacteria. Prebiotics are essentially food for the good bacteria, so adding prebiotics enables the probiotics to thrive and increase in number. We recommend using products such as the Bionic Biotic supplement, or Pooch & Mutt’s grain-free dog food, which combine both probiotics and prebiotics.

How can Probiotics help my dog?

 

The benefits of Probiotics are far reaching. They can aid your dogs digestion, help boost your dogs immune system and even their mood. They can be especially useful for anxious dogs as they help to settle the gut and support cognitive function.

Health benefits of probiotics for dogs

 

The long list of what a probiotic can do makes them seem like a miracle cure. Although some people think they are this is not the case. What probiotics do is get the digestive system working optimally and this has many knock on effects. For example, probiotics do not directly improve skin and coat, what they do is help the digesting of food. When food is digested it is broken up into individual nutrients, such as omega 3 or zinc, which are good for skin and coat. It is the omega 3 and zinc that improve skin and coat quality, but your dog needs the probiotic to break food down into nutrients including omega 3 and zinc, so that it can get to the skin and coat. Without feeding a probiotic for dogs you can end up feeding your dog a lot of beneficial nutrients and having them come out the other end, instead of being absorbed. At a glance they're good for the below;

  • To make sure that you get ‘pickup-able poo’
  • To help protect them against harmful bacteria, such as E. Coli and Salmonella
  • To help with problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, collitis and diarrhoea
  • To improve immunity
  • To help with allergies
  • To improve skin and coat condition
  • To ensure you dog absorbs the nutrients from their food
  • To help with behavioural issues
  • To help keep your dog as happy and healthy as can be

The 'Gut-Brain Axis'

 

Recently, there has been a lot published about the ‘Gut-Brain Axis’ and how good gut health can encourage good mental health. It is the teeny-tiny bugs within the intestines that have the biggest influence over this. This recent discovery is especially important for those dogs who suffer with stress and anxiety. When probiotics are used in conjunction with behaviour modification programmes and other calming techniques, they really come into their own.

Stress and Upset Stomachs

 

Giving dogs prebiotics and probiotics at potentially stressful times to prevent an upset stomach offers us a chance to stop diarrhea even before it begins.

We all know that there are certain things that our dogs may find hard to cope with. They become anxious and can then develop loose poo for a few days after the event. Different dogs will have different triggers and these can change during their lifetime. For some, it will be the groomers or the vet; for others the boarding kennel or a ride in the car. By feeding our dogs’ probiotics, we may well be able to prevent a stomach upset from ever occurring.

Are human probiotics good for dogs?

 

There are some strains of probiotics that are recommended for dogs, Enterococcus faecium and Bacillus subtilis, both are commonly used probiotics in humans. The same probiotics should be in most products labelled as probiotics for dogs whether they are from the more expensive ‘veterinary brands’ or less expensive pet shop brands. Many people do feed their dogs probiotic yoghurts and these may help, but they will not help as much as feeding a product like Bionic Biotic, which contains the correct strain of probiotics for dogs.

 

How can I get Probiotics into my dogs diet?

 

Whilst Probiotics occur naturally in both ours and our canine friends bodies, adding Probiotics to your dogs diet can have far reaching benefits. Human foods that are safe for your dog to eat such as Yoghurt (with zero added sugar) are rich in probiotics and they are also available in supplement form.
You can also find them in fermented products such as sauerkraut and kombucha. However for dogs we recommend that you stick to the Enterococcus Faecium (SF68) strain of probiotics. This is normally found in supplements, such as Bionic Biotic, which can be added to any food. There are also some foods such as Pooch & Mutt’s range of grain-free dog food, which contain the Enterococcus Faecium (SF68) strain of probiotics. The reason that very few dog foods contain probiotics is that probiotics cannot be cooked. At Pooch & Mutt we use a special process to apply the probiotic in a coating to the outside of the kibble, after the food is cooked.
 
Pooch & Mutt also have a fantastic range of Probiotic Meaty Treats to help get these important bacteria into your dogs diet also. 

 

Probiotic meaty treats taster pack for dogs

 
This new range of tasty treats targets some important areas of canine health and offers a range of benefits. From skin and coat to mental wellbeing and oral hygiene, there is something here for every pooch and mutt. As well as helping to address underlying issues, the ingredients in these Probiotic Meaty Treats can also prevent problems from developing in the first place. These treats can be fed whenever you like, such as during training sessions and as little rewards for good behaviour but remember, treats should never make up more than 10% of your furry friend’s diet.
  

Shrimp & Coconut

For Skin & Coat

Why not treat your furry friend to a taste of Thailand? These delicious treats have a tropical flavour and are sure to go down a storm. These are the perfect snack for those dogs that are prone to dry or itchy skin or who may need a little bit of help developing their glossy coat.

 

Probiotic meaty treats for skin and coat

  

Turkey & Hemp 

For calming

Even the most laid-back dog can suffer with their nerves from time to time. These treats are packed full of calming ingredients including hemp, L-tryptophan and Valerian Root and are a great way to help our four-legged friends relax and unwind. 

Probiotic meaty treats for calming and anxious dogs

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Duck & Rosemary

For dental

 These traditionally flavoured treats are sure to go down well. The duck offers a rich and irresistible taste experience; your dog won’t believe it when you tell them just how good for them these treats really are!

Probiotic meaty treats for dogs dental hygiene

  
Not sure which flavour your dog will love best? Why not try the Meaty Treats Taster Pack and try all three flavours!

 

Probiotic meaty treats for dogs taster pack

  

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