Research reveals that around 70% of a dog’s immune system lies within the digestive tract and therefore it is extremely important for their overall health what is actually in their food. In summary, probiotics for dogs consist of helpful bacteria that not only help the immune system, but also improve the digestion of certain ingredients in a dog’s diet. When incorporating probiotics into the meal, it is best to do this once it has been cooked and cooled so that the bacteria have the best chance of survival. By choosing a dog food which contains a healthy balance of probiotics, natural fibre and other helpful bacteria, this will help to ensure for a stronger immune system and healthy digestive tract.
How best to take them?
If probiotics for dogs are being used to aid digestion then taking them with meals is advisable, however, as briefly mentioned above this can sometimes mean that they don’t survive as well and work to their full potential. Taking with water would allow it to help dilute stomach acid and carry it much quicker into the dig
estive tract. Although, if you do want to still give them with meal times, make sure the food is already cooked and cooled as previously stated to give the probiotics the best chance.
Problems caused by stress?
Not all that dissimilarly to humans, dogs can suffer from both emotional and psychological stresses in everyday life which can have a direct impact on their gastrointestinal tract. A number of different factors can trigger this lack in helpful bacteria including things such as:
- A drastic change in diet
- A strong change in environment
Usually, a probiotic is sought after for dogs prior to a course of antibiotics which has been prescribed by a vet for one of a number of different health reasons (such as eye infection etc.). Especially, if your dog is experiencing side effects to the extended period of antibiotics, most commonly relating to diarrhoea, then probiotics would again be beneficial.
Requesting advice from your veterinarian is crucial since with increasing numbers of different brands selling probiotics for dogs and a variety of different supplements now on the market, it can be difficult to identify which are the safest to use. Some supplements currently available today are not regulated and cannot ensure that they contain what they say that they do. Again, consulting a professional if you are ever unsure will help to put your mind at ease without risking your dog’s health further.
Probiotics for dogs should never be given to a pet that is suffering from a lower immune system unless recommended to do so by a veterinarian first.
They are now also available in a variety of different forms, such as syringes, powders, tablets or even a paste. This allows for some flexibility if you do find it difficult to give your dog medication in one specific form and need an alternative.
What to look for?
When a probiotic is working correctly, you will notice certain health benefits in your dog, such as:
- Less problems with bowel function (diarrhoea)
- Enriched coat and skin
- Less breath odour
- Maintaining healthy digestion