Buyer Beware! Read this before you buy probiotics for your dog.
Dog probiotics are a new healthy trend in the dog and pet industry right now. The truth is, dog probiotics are an essential supplement for dog health. However, it seems that a host of brands are adding probiotics to their food and new probiotic supplements for dogs are showing up all the time. We wanted to know which dog probiotics we could trust.
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Problem #1: Not all probiotics are alike. Many cheap probiotics are unstable and lose their beneficial properties in the dog's stomach before the probiotics can reach the intestine. The intestine is where the probiotics need to plant in order to seed the dog's intestinal tract with healthy flora. Some probiotics are already unavailable (dead) when you purchase the product.
Problem #2: Many probiotic formulas that say they are for pets are really just human formulas with pet labels. Bacteria is host-specific, giving your dog a random probiotic may be a mistake, and you'll be surprised which brands are on this list—check the species on the canine probiotic research.
The Right Dog Probiotics Will Help Dogs With:
- Yeast Overgrowth, yeast infection, and rash
- Gas and Breath Odor
- Improved skin and coat
- Bowel function (Diarrhea, loose stool, and constipation)
How Do I Know How To Choose A Probiotic For My Dog?
Dog probiotics, like any probiotic, are live cultures and are generally unstable at temperatures over 75 degrees in the active state (i.e. yogurt or liquid containing probiotics). A significant amount of "bacteria die off" occurs when the materials are exposed to extreme conditions, including exposure to stomach acid and bile. The probiotic bacteria needs to pass through hostile stomach acid and bile to get to the intestine where they multply. This poses a problem with most probiotics since most of the die off occurs at, or before, the time they reach the stomach. So what is the answer?
1. Use a dry dog probiotic supplement that contains stabilized strains of bacteria. Dry powders are more desirable over probiotic chews, treats, or probiotic dog food because the process of including probiotics in these products often kills the living bacteria. If you desire a tablet form probiotic, make sure it is cold-processed since heat processing would naturally destroy the viability of the supplement.
A dry, stabilized probiotic does not require refrigeration and will not react the same way to exposure as a liquid or unstable probiotic. The way it works is this: the dry bacteria is reconstituted (brought back to life) naturally in your dog's stomach where they thrive and move to the intestines. In the intestines the probiotics multiply hundreds of times over.
2. Check that your dog's probiotic contains PREbiotics (such as FOS, inulin, or acacia gum) in low amounts. A PREbiotic gives the probiotics healthy food to grow on and is an essential feature for any probiotic supplement.
3. Read the label to check CFU and probiotic species because more is not always better.
"CFU" is the count of living bacteria in the supplement and somewhere between 2-6 billion per dose should be enough for basic wellness and even therapy for GI and bowel issues. Dogs have more efficient GI systems than humans, so a super-loaded formula may be contraindicated for dogs.
The "species" of probiotics will be listed in the ingredients, and to be truly effective, should not be more than 5 or 6 different organisms. Why? Because probiotics are living organisms that compete for colonization/absorption. Also, the more species a formula contains, the more diluted the potency becomes of each species. So while a long list of organisms might look impressive, the result may actually just be a waste of money.
Also, even though some popular big brand products contain the species Enterococcus faecium, we prefer to avoid this controversial species due to potential pathogenic activity 1,2.
4. Read the ratings and reviews. Dogs are not subject to placebo effect, the probiotic either works or it doesn't.
Probiotics in dog food are not effective. Find out why » (government study included)
It has come to our attention that there are companies selling cheap low quality, unstable dog probiotics, or products that are really for a human. After reviewing almost all dog probiotics on the market we have come to conclusion that certain dog probiotics do measure up to the stability and quality standards necessary to help our dogs. Remember, dogs are not susceptible to the placebo effect, so you'll notice an improvement in your dog's health if the dog probiotic is effective. User reviews support our research.
After months of testing and after reviewing we compiled a small list of our favorite dog probiotic products. These probiotic products are tried & tested and produced great results for our dogs. All of the products offer discounted prices, volume discounts, as well as a discount with the provided code below and 100% product satisfaction guarantee.
Code reported as valid on: 15-December-2016 - worked
- 100% money back guarantee
- 6 stable probiotic strains; researched probiotics strains for pets
- 100% vegetarian source
- No fillers, no flavorings, non-GMO, no wheat, no dairy, no animal products
- Made in USA at at GMP facility
Probiotic Miracle® is one of the highest consumer rated dog probiotics we found on the market with the best value per dollar. Probiotic Miracle® is researched specifically for dogs and cats and clinically proven to be able to pass through the pet stomach. Probiotic Miracle® is an animal supplement—and all users rated this pet product highest for quality and value. Probiotic strains include: B. animalis, L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, L. salivarius, L. fermentum, L. reuteri, Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS, prebiotic), at 2 billion per dose.
(from the manufacturer: Probiotics for Pets: Understanding CFU and
- 90 chewable tablets
- Cold-pressed processing
- 100% money back guarantee
- Each tablet treats 1 cup of pet food
- 5 stable strains of probiotics plus 12 vegetarian enzymes (all researched for dogs and cats)
- 100% natural and vegetarian
- Made in USA at a GMP facility
MiracleZyme™ is a dog probiotic and digestive enzyme combination tablet. Users who wanted a probiotic supplement that combined a digestive enzyme in tablet form preferred this product mostly for the sake of convenience. MiracleZyme™ probiotic tablets are cold processed and were found to have a high level of stability and effectiveness in combating yeast problems such as skin rashes, gas, loose stool, excessive shedding, yeast overgrowth, and bad breath.
Key Benefits of Dog Probiotics:
- Helps control yeast and yeast related rashes and skin problems
- Helps maintain a healthy digestion
- Helps treat diarrhea and prevent loose stool, diarrhea, and constipation in dogs
- Helps eliminate smelly stools and bad-smelling gas
- Helps reduce bad breath
- Helps counteract the destructive side effects of antibiotic therapy
- Helps prevent shedding and scratching caused by stress from digestive imbalances
- Improves dog smell overall
- Reduces excess gas
We like to keep this page up to date and get new reviews. If you found this page helpful or have a question, want to add a dog probiotic review, or have trouble with the coupon code, please let us know. We appreciate your input: (your information will remain confidential)
CItes and References
- Probiotic Enterococcus faecium Strain Is a Possible Recipient of the vanA Gene Cluster
Clin Infect Dis. (2001) 32 (9): 1384-1385.
- Transition of Enterococcus faecium from commensal organism to nosocomial pathogen.
Future Microbiol. 2009 Nov ;4(9):1125-35. doi: 10.2217/fmb.09.82.