Most of us associate probiotics with supporting digestive health. For people, we think of sources like yogurt or kombucha. How do we know which pet probiotic products will genuinely benefit our pets, or when to give them?
The term "probiotic" is just a fancy word for beneficial bacteria or microbes. Our dogs are consuming bacteria all the time - think of all the things your dog has licked! Lots of these bacteria die in the stomach; some makes their way into the intestines. Once there, the bacteria joins a teeming, diverse community of microbes which interact with the food passing through your dog's gut.
The types of bacteria present in your dog's gut flora influences how certain nutrients are digested, how well the intestines can keep pathogens from entering the bloodstream, and certain immune modulators that help your dog stay healthy.
For microbes to be beneficial, they need to perform well! Researchers assess different strains of bacteria for different traits, such as:
Once a valuable strain is selected, it can be "farmed" via fermentation and then incorporated into a dog food or treat. That's why probiotics are listed as "fermentation products" in the ingredient statement.
You can give probiotics every day! They support animal health whether or not your pet is actively experiencing digestive upset or stress. Dysbiosis is the term for unbalanced gut flora, and probiotics are especially helpful for helping your pet return to a "healthy normal."
The amount of viable probiotics you need to give in order for them to have a significant effect on your pet completely varies by product and the strains they use. Read the product recommendations, and if you have questions, never be afraid to reach out to a manufacturer for more information.
There are many probiotic supplements and treats for dogs! Look for products with strains specifically researched for their benefits in companion animals. The manufacturer should guarantee a number of viable colony forming units (CFUs).
Treats are a great option for many people because they are shelf stable - they don't need to be refrigerated or used up quickly. You can find dog treats with great levels of probiotics at a much more cost effective price point than a comparable supplement.
We're proud to offer quality probiotic treats at an affordable price for daily use. Our Pro Bakery Bites with Probiotics are formulated to reach an effective dose for pathogen control, and have a combination of strains with a patented protective coating that gives them safe passage to your pet's intestines. They are made with over 80% wholesome upcycled ingredients here in the USA!