Probiotics for dogs? Absolutely!
- Okay, before we get started, let’s acknowledge a couple of indisputable things:
- 95% of dogs have digestive problems even if no outward symptoms are present.
- Roughly 80% of immune health starts in the gut.
- 100% of yeast is regulated in the gut.
Demodectic mange is the result of a weak immune system and is nearly always compounded by yeast overproduction.
The gut is the center of the health universe. It’s full of different types of microorganisms, some good, some not so much. By design, the intestinal environment should be balanced and self-maintaining. Unfortunately, that’s a near-impossibility for dogs — the beneficial good guys that police the opportunistic pathogenic bacteria and quietly protect your dog are outnumbered, fragile and under constant attack.
Probiotics are supplements that put back the good-guy microorganisms (mostly bacteria) that are required for survival. Dogs need them for proper digestion, to metabolize food, produce vitamins & enzymes, absorb minerals, eliminate toxins, keep bad bacteria under control, avoid yeast overproduction, prevent allergies and provide vital support to the immune system. Without the right balance, optimal health is impossible.
Every dog needs probiotics every day
Over 95% of all dogs tested in a recent study suffered from bacterial imbalances in their digestive tracts. That’s epidemic enough to mean that if he’s not receiving probiotics daily, the next dog you pet most probably has health disadvantages and is at a higher risk for more problems to come. Even though this is a relatively new health concern, it is incredibly common because in today’s synthetic society because diets, toxins, and drugs make it impossible for beneficial good guy flora to thrive and police the opportunistic bad guys. The dog’s body cannot keep the pathogenic bacteria from getting out of control and causing a long list of problems.
Maintaining a healthy balance is a serious concern but not as hopeless as it sounds. An easy way to check these problems off your worry list is to replenish your dog’s supply of beneficial microorganism with a daily dose of probiotics. If your pet is healthy, all you need is a basic maintenance dose.
Dogs with Demodectic mange need them desperately
It’s common knowledge that a weak or compromised immune system is the true root cause of Demodectic mange. Did you also know that the immune system is so directly impacted by digestive health that improving it is the fastest way to give immune health a boost? Another well-known fact is that the gut rules yeast throughout the body. That’s critical because yeast is incredibly damaging to health to the point of thwarting recovery from demodicosis altogether.
Any animal suffering from mange has more things going on in its body than you’d ever guess. Those stressors plus excess yeast, drugs, toxins and more decimate the positive microorganisms in the gut that quietly protect your pet. The resulting bacterial imbalances sabotage recovery in an already sick dog. Clearly, there can be no argument that improving digestive health with the safe natural use of probiotic supplements is a good thing. Dogs with health, physical or mental stress need stronger therapeutic doses to help them fight mange ward off infection, battle yeast and rebuild immunity.
What to look for
When selecting a probiotic supplement for your dog, avoid human probiotics and probiotics added to commercial pet food. Probiotics intended for human use are developed specifically for the species of bacteria found in a human’s GI tract human. Pets have specific strains of bacteria unique to them. Pets they do best with a customized supplement formulated just for their needs.
Probiotic organisms must be live and able to reproduce to repopulate, balance and help heal the gut. Processed pet foods containing probiotics and other health supplements aren’t worth the money. Tests on dog foods claiming to provide beneficial properties and probiotic microorganisms show the manufacturing process destroys them, killing too many live bacteria and rendering those remaining useless. Whole-food diets (ideally fresh) that are nutritionally balanced are ideal. Another very beneficial supplement to promote healthy digestion in your pet-specific digestive enzymes. By the time the food is packaged and shipped, the good-guy bacteria is useless.
When selecting a quality pet probiotic, look for these important characteristics:
- The correct strains of bacteria beneficial for pets, not people
Proof of purity and ingredient integrity as animal supplements are not regulated
Correct processing for that animal’s biological systems, not a human’s
Easy to administer to an animal
Formulated to be able to survive the acidic environment of your dog’s stomach
Able to pass through a dog’s portals of entry in the small intestine to avoid malabsorption
Product stability under normal shipping and storage conditions
The ideal product should be NASC certified for quality and product integrety
- Maintenance dose for healthy dogs less than 50 lbs.: Start off by giving your dog 1-2 billion CFUs per day and titrate up (gradually increase the amount) to 5 billion if possible, following the bowel tolerance test below.
- Maintenance dose for healthy dogs more than 50 lbs.: Start off with 2-5 billion CFUs per day and titrate up to 10 billion if possible, following the bowel tolerance test below.
- Therapeutic doses for dogs with health conditions, are undergoing prolonged stress or that are on antibiotics: Follow the above instructions for your dog’s weight. However, titrate up to 3 times the maximum amount if possible, following the bowel tolerance test below.
Popular choices for getting probiotics into your dog include probiotic supplements (check out our Immune boosting bundle), kefir, plain yogurt (no sugar or artificial sweeteners) and cottage cheese. However, it’s best if you can avoid dairy-based sources if you can.
Bowel tolerance test
Too many probiotics, especially if given in one dose, will cause diarrhea in dogs. What amount is too much varies from dog to dog.
Digestive upset can result when anything new is introduced, or reintroduced, if the dog is currently unaccustomed to having it in its system. We recommend starting at a quarter of the recommended dose and gradually increasing the amount as tolerated until the full dose is reached. If diarrhea occurs and lasts for more than 2 days, drop back to the highest tolerated dose. Allow the gut to rest for a week or so at this dose before attempting to increase the dose again.
Individual dogs may be more or less tolerant of a particular supplement, and that tolerance may change with environmental conditions. For instance, a dog that is experiencing great stress may tolerate a very high dose, but develop bowel intolerance as the stress is removed. The owner’s awareness of the quality of the dog’s stool is critical to appropriate dosing.
Good to know:
- Digestive enzymes are very important to restoring and maintaining digestive health in their own way. They are a great companion to probiotic supplements and are not redundant. Your dog will fare better when they are provided together. For your convenience we offer our basic immune support bundle to do the job and they’re just for dogs.
- When administering to an animal that is on antibiotics, give probiotics at least 2 hours before and 2 hours after administering antibiotics. Provide 2–3 times the maintenance dose and continue at therapeutic level for a two week or until after the health crisis has passed.
- Splitting the overall daily dose into 2–3 smaller doses is helpful.
Probiotics available in our store:
Includes 3 immune boosting products selected for Digestive Support and Overall Immune Support.
Supports digestion, alleviates the negative affects of antibiotics, and helps combat yeast problems.