You hear a lot of talk about dog prebiotics and probiotics, although most people are unaware of their role in the dog’s body. Probiotics are small microorganisms present in various foods that, when ingested in adequate amounts, can provide great health benefits.
Prebiotics are a kind of hydrates that serve as food for the natural bacteria present in the digestive tract of dogs, known as intestinal flora, while also serving as food for probiotics.
Dogs they have hundreds of beneficial bacteria in their digestive system that help them absorb nutrients and vitamins from food. The probiotics feed and stimulate the natural growth of these bacteria, the probiotics are coupled to them working together and providing great benefits to the health of the dog.
Index of contents
- 1 When is it advisable to give probiotics to a dog?
- 2 What are the best natural probiotics for dogs?
- 2.1 What quantity should we use?
- 3 What benefits do probiotics bring to a dog’s health?
- 4 Watch out for diarrhea and yogurt
When is it advisable to give probiotics to a dog?
Healthy dogs do not need to feed probiotics at general levels, since their natural intestinal flora is more than enough to carry out digestive functions helping absorption.
However, as they are highly beneficial microorganisms, Whether your dog is sick or not, you can give him probiotics on a regular basis to improve his health. Always in the recommended amounts depending on your weight.
If your dog is sick and taking antibiotics, your vet will probably recommend giving him probiotics to improve his gut flora. Since antibiotics are known to destroy part of the intestinal flora, sometimes even causing diarrhea.
If your dog have diarrhea it is also recommended to give probiotics, to improve your intestinal flora and stop it. However, many diarrhea are of bacterial or viral origin, so in addition to probiotics, you will obviously need to take the antibiotics prescribed by the vet.
In pathological diseases, the veterinaryn will indicate the number of intakes of probiotics and prebiotics. In healthy dogs in which we simply want to improve their health, we can give two or three doses of probiotics a week.
What are the best natural probiotics for dogs?
There are two types of probiotics, which can be prescribed by your vet that will normally come in pill or capsule form and natural probiotics. Natural probiotics are obviously the most recommended.
There are foods suitable for dogs that contain a large amount of natural probiotics, so it will be enough to give them a little in several weekly doses to maintain their intestinal flora at optimal levels.
Some of the foods that have a higher concentration of natural probiotics are:
- Natural yogurt
Dogs can eat yogurt as long as it is natural and that the dog does not have an allergy or intolerance to dairy products. It contains a large amount of natural probiotics thanks to the fermentation of milk.
Kefir is also fermented milk, although goat instead of cow, it contains a large amount of live natural microorganisms just like yogurt.
Sauerkraut is a preparation based on fermented cabbage and other vegetables, also very rich in natural live microorganisms that are very beneficial for the digestive tract.
Microalgae also have a large amount of natural probiotics that will provide great benefits to intestinal health.
What quantity should we use?
Assuming that we want to give our dog natural yogurt for being the easiest product to find and possibly the cheapest, These are the recommended doses in healthy dogs:
- Dogs between 14 and 19 kilos: 1 tablespoon every other day
- Dogs between 20 and 29 kilos: 2 tablespoons every other day
- Dogs between 3 and 40 kilos: 3 tablespoons every two or three days
We refer to soup spoons not excessively full, and if you appreciate that your dog suffers from diarrhea due to ingestion, stop giving it or reduce the amount. Excess can cause indisposition, especially in dogs that are not used to this food.
What benefits do probiotics bring to a dog’s health?
Probiotics provide direct benefits to the dog’s digestive system, allowing greater assimilation and uptake of nutrients and improving your intestinal flora. This directly affects the dog’s immune system, strengthening it.
More and more scientific studies are linking a large number of diseases with poor intestinal flora. So keeping our dog’s intestinal flora healthy is synonymous with keeping it healthier.
- They protect the digestive system against harmful bacteria.
- They improve the uptake and absorption of nutrients and vitamins.
- They stimulate the dog’s immune system protecting it against diseases.
- They improve the intestinal flora in cases of diarrhea and chronic digestive diseases and / or malabsorption (Inflammatory bowel disease – IBD).
Prebiotics stimulate the growth of natural intestinal flora and probiotics, feeding them directly. Some natural foods rich in prebiotics are wheat bran or banana, for example.
Watch out for diarrhea and yogurt
Although yogurt is an excellent natural probiotic for dogs, in cases of diarrhea many dogs get worse instead of better. This is due to lactose, yogurts are supposedly lactose free because it has been fermented, but the reality is that they usually contain small amounts.
These small amounts of lactose are usually not a problem for a healthy dog, however dogs with diarrhea can be very sensitive to these small amounts, causing faecal decomposition (increasing diarrhea).
So it is always advisable to follow the guidelines of a veterinaryn before starting to experiment for yourself, since diarrhea of viral or bacterial origin also requires medications such as specific antibiotics.