Probiotics are living microorganisms, mostly bacteria and yeast, that are beneficial to their host. These friendly microorganisms live in your digestive system, as well as in the digestive system of your dog, where they are fighting against bad bacteria and yeast.
Since too many bad bacteria and yeast can lead to disease or infections, it’s easy to see why probiotics are necessary to help us stay healthy.
It’s good to know that probiotics can be found in different types of foods, including yogurt, kefir, flaxseeds or pumpkin puree, and that some types of dog food even contain added probiotics.
These probiotics rich foods can be used in a proactive manner to prevent different health issues. However, if your dog is already suffering from some health issues, your veterinarian could recommend probiotic supplements.
If you haven’t seen a veterinarian yet, you can learn about the benefits of probiotics for dogs. Here are the seven benefits of probiotics that could help your furry companion feel better:
Benefit #1: Probiotics can make your dog healthy.
Healthy dogs usually have enough good bacteria in their system. But aging dogs, and dogs that have a poor diet or are under a lot of stress can lack good bacteria, just like dogs that had to take antibiotics.
Antibiotics are useful to eliminate harmful bad bacteria, but the problem is that they can kill good bacteria as well. If your dog has just completed an antibiotic treatment, probiotic for dogs can help them get back to health by regrowing the good bacteria that were destroyed.
Benefit #2: Probiotics help dogs that suffer from gastrointestinal issues.
Helping dogs that suffer from gastrointestinal issues is a fantastic benefit of probiotics. If your dog has been diagnosed with a gastrointestinal issue such as inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome, probiotics should help improve the situation.
Inflammatory bowel disease is believed to be caused by a combination of factors, which could include changes in the gut microbiome. As for irritable bowel syndrome, it could also be caused by changes in the type and amount of organisms present in the gut.
Probiotics might not be able to cure these issues, but they could help your dog feel better.
Benefit #3: Probiotics help relieve diarrhea and constipation.
Even if your dog has never received a gastrointestinal issue diagnosis, they could still suffer from diarrhea, constipation, and loose stools.
These issues can be caused by sudden changes in the diet of your dog, or by stress caused by an important change in their routine.
If these changes can’t be avoided, dog probiotics can at least help relieve diarrhea, constipation and loose stools.
Benefit #4: Probiotics help improve digestion.
The good bacteria and yeast present in your dog’s digestive system are not only there to fight bad bacteria. They help break down the food your dog eats, and they allow their body to produce vitamins and nutrients, including biotin, which helps maintain healthy skin and coat.
Dog probiotics are designed to help improve the performance of your dog’s digestive system, which will in turn help improve their overall health.
Benefit #5: Probiotics support a stronger immune system.
By restoring the balance in your dog’s digestive system and getting rid of bad bacteria and yeast, probiotics can help support a stronger immune system.
With a stronger immune system, your dog’s body will be better equipped to fight infections by creating the necessary antibodies. Boosting your dog’s immune system with probiotics will help protect them from illness, chronic disease, and environmental toxins.
Benefit #6: Probiotics help relieve yeast infections.
Probiotics can also help relieve yeast infections, as dogs with a weak immune system can suffer from red and itchy skin on their body.
But what are yeast, exactly? They are a type of spore-producing fungi that are naturally present on a dog’s skin. They are generally harmless, but when they are present in an excessive amount, they can start attacking the skin.
Probiotics can help relieve the symptoms of a yeast infection, but keep in mind that these infections are often a symptom of another health issue.
Benefit #7: Probiotics help reduce bad breath.
Finally, probiotics can help reduce bad breath. Bad breath in dogs can be caused by a lack of oral hygiene, or by a periodontal disease known as halitosis. It can also be the result of coprophagia, as dogs that suffer from malnutrition sometimes turn to eating poop.
But bad breath could be caused by an imbalance in the gut microbiome, which is when probiotics can help by restoring balance.
Dog probiotics can also help prevent urinary tract infections, reduce allergic reactions, reduce stress and anxiety, and do a lot more to keep dogs healthy and happy.
If you think your dog has a health issue that could be relieved by probiotics, don’t hesitate to talk to a veterinarian to make sure the probiotics you choose will be right for your beloved pet.