Can Dogs Use Human Probiotics?

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If you've ever taken probiotics or heard of one your people friends taking probiotics, then you know the benefits that a daily probiotic can provide. They promote a balanced immune system, help with gut health, can help maintain an ideal body weight, and promote a healthy microbiome. 

But did you know that doggos can benefit from probiotics, too? It may come as a surprise, but your dog sometimes needs help with healthy gut functions as well. Which leads us to ask the question:: Can you share your human probiotics with your dog?

The long and the short of it is this: while human probiotics likely wouldn't do any real harm to your dog, the bacteria in your pup's immune system is different than yours. It's much more beneficial to give your pooch a doggo-specific probiotic.

If you're wondering when to give your dog a probiotic, what signs to look for that your pooch might need probiotics, and how to train your pup to take a probiotic daily, you're in luck - we've got the ultimate doggy pro-biotic guide laid out to educate you on your pup's gut health needs! 

All in all, it's important that your pooch gets his own probiotic because human probiotics have not been extensively tested on pups. It's impossible to know if they're safe or will affect your four-legged friend. 

Introduction of Can Dogs Use Human Probiotics?

Signs Your Pooch May Need His Own Probiotic

As we said before, there's no documented, scientific evidence that supports that giving your pup your human-probiotic will harm him or cause him pain. Veterinarians suggest that you take the time to feed your dog a probiotic that's specific to his gut health and his needs. The gut is the largest immune organ in the body and contains about 70 percent of all immune cells, so it's certainly important to keep his system running smoothly. 

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are distributed in a regimented dose to help keep your pup healthy, and while it may seem like a good idea to share your medicine with your doggo, it's important that he's getting a probiotic that's specific to his bacteria strains.

If you're looking for signs that your pooch might need a probiotic, but aren't sure what they are, we've got you covered. Essentially, you'll need to look for signs that your dog is suffering from digestive stress, and those can manifest in several different ways. Your pup might benefit from probiotics if you find him constantly itching or scratching all of the time. This can range from mild to severe, depending on his circumstances. Next, your pooch will probably be smelly. We don't mean smelly in one of those cute, doggo, outside-smell ways, we mean really smelly. His breath, his body, and his stool will all stink terribly. This is one of the easiest ways to tell if your dog's gut is in trouble. 

Excessive shedding is another tell-tale sign of digestive distress, in addition to dry and flaky skin, ear infections, and most telling, very loose stool and diarrhea. 

Body Language

If you're hoping to keep an eye out for some signs that your pooch could benefit from probiotics, check out their body language for these signs:
  • Whining
  • Panting
  • Chewing
  • Scratching
  • Ears drop
  • Pacing
  • Sniffing
  • Raise ears

Other Signs

If you notice those body language cues in conjunction with any of these other signs, it's important to take note and contact your vet:
  • Bad breath
  • Bad odor
  • Ear infections
  • Itchy and flaky skin
  • Reactions to antibiotic and medications
  • Diarrhea and loose stool

Historical Benefits of Pup Probiotics

History of Can Dogs Use Human Probiotics?
Historically, adding probiotics to humans' diets has been largely beneficial. It's also been noted that it's beneficial for pooches, too.

According to Brenne McKenzie, a VMD who practices at Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Altos, there are immense and extensive studies that claim that probiotics in dogs provide canines with tons of benefits. Theoretically, if probiotics can pass through the stomach and colonize the intestines,  a variety of desired effects can result. 

Additionally, in a peer-reviewed journal, Marcella Ridgway, a VMD, noted that there's always growing evidence that supports the use of probiotics, and that, in past case studies, there are precedents set that say probiotics may positively impact chronic GI abnormalities, obesity, mood, and certain diseases.

Scientific Benefits of Probiotics for Your Pooch

Science of Can Dogs Use Human Probiotics?
When it comes down to it, probiotics support the healthy bacteria that reside in your pup's gut, which helps promote a healthy immune system and overall health. 

More scientifically, though, when finding the perfect probiotic for your dog, there are specific scientific criteria to watch out for. There should be a high number of live organisms, where at least 20 million of good bacteria are in a serving. There should be 10 or more good bacterial strains in the bacteria, each providing a different benefit to your dog's digestive tract. They should also meet, or hopefully exceed, good manufacturing practices and requirements. 

Look for very specific strains in your pup's probiotics, mostly that include enterococcus faecium and bacillus coagulans.

How to Train Your Pup For Probiotics

Training of Can Dogs Use Human Probiotics?
While you shouldn't give your doggo people-probiotics, we certainly recommend working with your dog-tor to come up with a doggy-approved probiotic plan. 

What's most important about this regime? Training your dog to understand and feel comfortable with their new routine. Depending on the probiotic that you give your pup, there might be different directions for administering, so make sure you're  clear on those. 

Teach and train your pup to take a pill gently and comfortably. Think about training him to play throw and catch with his pills or hide them in food or in his favorite treats.

How to React When Your Pooch Needs Probiotics:

  • Keep your dog's diet and exercise regular and healthy
  • Keep an eye on the changes that result from probiotics
  • Resist the urge to give your pooch human probiotics
  • Contact your vet to put together a comprehensive probiotic plan
6 Years
We Pawsitively Love Probiotics!

I’m not sure. My mom just fed it to her whenever she had diarrhoea.

4 years, 1 month ago