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.
Signs Your Pooch May Need His Own Probiotic
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.
- Ears drop
- Raise ears
- Bad breath
- Bad odor
- Ear infections
- Itchy and flaky skin
- Reactions to antibiotic and medications
- Diarrhea and loose stool
Historical Benefits of Pup Probiotics
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
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
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