Clicky

When looking for the finest dog food probiotics for dogs, I discovered that some of the top-ranking results on Google have lists with multiple supplements that cost $15 to $60. A few are, however, listing dog food recipes that have probiotics as an added ingredient.

In the ones that only list supplements, there have provided little information about whether you should get a supplement as a separate product or get dog food with probiotics included as one of the ingredients. I found this to be an obvious question that shouldn’t be ignored. More details on this are below.

Before explaining the option, let me first define what probiotics are..

What is a probiotic?

Probiotics are live bacteria in your dog’s gut that are good for your overall health, particularly your digestive system. These ‘good’ gut bacteria help keep the intestines healthy by fighting off ‘bad’ bacteria and maintaining the balance of the flora in the gut. Probiotics also help with nutrient absorption, gut motility (movement), and immune system function, among other benefits.

Over 80% of the immune system health is linked to the health of the digestive tract.

While AAFCO has not set minimum amounts of this ingredient in the AAFCO Nutrients Profiles, several pet food brands are now including them as part of most dry kibble.

If your vet has prescribed your dog a probiotic diet, get direct recommendations from your vet on which product to buy as they will be familiar with the many options on the market. However, if you’re looking for a probiotic supplement to add to your dog’s diet, here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing the best one.

There are more than 200 species and over 400 strains of probiotics in your dog’s gut. A big number, huh! It’s important to know that not all probiotics are created equal. Different strains of probiotics offer different benefits, so it’s important to choose a supplement with the right strain for your dog’s needs.

In dogs, probiotics can be found in the following bacteria species;

Should I get a supplement of dog food with added probiotics?

There are pros and cons to both.

Separate supplements give you more control over the number of CFUs (colony-forming units) your dog is getting. This is important because, in order for probiotics to be effective, your dog needs a certain amount (typically at least 1 billion CFUs).

However, they can be more expensive and may not be as palatable for your dog. If you choose a probiotic supplement, make sure it’s in a form that your dog will actually eat (powder, chewable tablet, etc.).

On the other hand, getting probiotics through their food is cheaper and more convenient. The downside is that you have less control over the number of CFUs your dog is getting and the quality of the probiotics.

When it comes to food, I recommend looking for a high-quality kibble that includes probiotics as one of the ingredients. Make sure the food is AAFCO approved and that the probiotics are listed near the beginning of the ingredient list, as this indicates a higher concentration.

What are the benefits of probiotics for dogs?

There are many potential benefits of probiotics for dogs, including:

Help to normalize gut flora:

Probiotics help to maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. This is important for overall health, as an imbalance can lead to digestive issues like diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating.

Post-antibiotic treatment to reduce inflammation:

Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria in the gut. This can lead to inflammation, diarrhea, and other digestive problems. Probiotics can help to replenish good bacteria and reduce the negative effects of antibiotics.

Improved overall health:

A healthy gut equals a healthy dog. Probiotics help to keep the digestive system healthy, which in turn, supports a strong immune system and overall wellbeing.

The chart below illustrates how probiotics work to improve the dog’s health status:

Modulate the immune system:

Probiotic supplementation has been shown to help modulate the immune system. The immunomodulatory effect of probiotic supplementation has been studied in the list shown in the image below

Impact of atopic dermatitis:

A 2017 study published in BMC Veterinary Research found that dogs with atopic dermatitis who were given probiotics had a significant decrease in skin lesions, itchiness, and inflammation.

Gastrointestinal diseases:

Treating and preventing gastrointestinal diseases is one of the most well-known benefits of probiotics. Probiotics can help to treat diarrheal diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, and gastroenteritis.

Reduce stress and anxiety:

Dogs (and humans!) with digestive issues are more prone to stress and anxiety.

Improved skin health:

Probiotics can help improve your dog’s skin health by reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system.

Improved joint health:

Probiotics can help reduce inflammation and improve joint health.

What to look for in a probiotic supplement:

1. Number of live cultures orcfu (colony forming units):

A good quality probiotic supplement will have at least 1 million cfu (colony forming units) per serving. The number of live cultures is important because it tells you how many active, live bacteria are in the supplement. Go for a product with a higher number of live cultures for the best results.

2. Guaranteed until expiration date:

The number of live cultures in a probiotic supplement can decrease over time, so it’s important to choose a product that is guaranteed to have a certain number of live cultures until the expiration date. This way, you know that the supplement you’re giving your dog is still effective.

3. Species and strains of the probiotic(bacteria):

There are many different types of probiotic bacteria, but the most common ones found in supplements are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Look for a product that contains one or both of these strains.

4. No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives:

Choose a probiotic supplement that does not contain any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. These ingredients are unnecessary and can actually be harmful to your dog’s health.

5. Storage requirements (refrigeration needed or not):

Some probiotic supplements need to be refrigerated, while others do not. If you choose a product that needs to be refrigerated, make sure you can easily do so. Otherwise, opt for a non-refrigerated product for convenience.

6. Easy to administer (powder, capsules, chewable): Choose a probiotic supplement that is easy to administer. If your dog is having trouble getting your dog to take pills, opt for a powder or chewable supplement. Even small-breed dogs with small mouths will be able to chew.

7.Age of your dog: Probiotic supplements are not just for adult dogs. In fact, puppies and senior dogs can also benefit from taking them. However, there are some probiotic products that are specifically formulated for puppies or seniors. If you have a puppy or senior dog, look for a product that is designed for their age group.

8. Inclusions like prebiotics: Prebiotics are a type of fiber that helps nourish the probiotics – the good bacteria in the gut which we are talking about. They go well together. Some probiotic supplements also contain prebiotics. If you want to give your dog a boost of prebiotics, look for a product that contains them.

9. Third-party certification: Choose a probiotic supplement that has been certified by a third-party organization like the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) or ConsumerLab.com. These organizations test supplements to ensure they meet quality and safety standards.

10. Made in the USA: Many pet parents prefer to buy products that are made in the USA. If this is important to you, make sure the probiotic supplement you choose is made in the USA.

11. Cost per serving: Probiotic supplements can range in price from $0.50 to $3.00 per serving. The price will depend on the number of live cultures, the storage requirements, the inclusion of prebiotics, and other factors. Choose a product that fits your budget and meets your dog’s needs.

The bottom line is that there are many factors to consider when choosing a probiotic supplement for your dog. However, by taking the time to find the right product, you can give your dog the best chance at good gut health.

Probiotics vs Prebiotics:

Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. They can help with diarrhea and other digestive issues. Probiotics are found in some foods, such as yogurt, and they are also available as supplements.

Prebiotics are a type of fiber that aids in the nourishment of the probiotics – the beneficial bacteria in the gut that we are discussing. They’re an excellent fit together.

Best Dog Food with Probiotics:

Nom Nom Nom

Nom Nom Nom fffers 20 billion CFU live cultures and to improve the formulation, Nom Nom Nom does microbiome testing and following strains;

  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Pediococcus acidilactici
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium animalis
  • Lactobacillus fermentum
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus

 Wellness Complete Health

Has the following great strains; Lactobacillus casei; Lactobacillus acidophilus; Lactobacillus plantarum and Enterococcus faecium.

Nulo Adult dog food:

Has Bacillus coagulans strain

 Solid Gold Mighty Mini

It promises 90 million probiotics per pound of food and has the following strains;

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Lactobacillus casei

5.Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Food

Has the following strains;

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Aspergillus niger
  • Trichoderma longibrachiatum

6. Merrick Senior Dry Dog Food

Has the following strains;

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus casei

Diamond Naturals Dry Food 

Has the following strains;

  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Bifidobacterium animalis

Best Probiotics Supplements for Dogs

  • Purina Fortiflora Canine Nutritional Supplement
  • Honest Kitchen Pro Bloom Instant Goat’s Milk Probiotics – For Growth
  • NUSENTIA Probiotic Miracle Supplement – Affordable
  • PetVitalityPRO Probiotics for Dogs with Natural Digestive Enzymes – Chewing
  • Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites with Natural Digestive Enzymes Great for digestibility improvement
  • Amazing Nutritionals Probiotic Joint Chewable Tablets – for aging dogs
%d bloggers like this: