Probiotic Foods for Dogs

  • By Raquel Astacio

Cups of yogurt

Probiotics provide powerful health benefits for dogs by maintaining adequate levels of “good” bacteria in the intestines to counteract “bad” bacteria responsible for a host of infections and illnesses. Since the canine digestive tract is comparable to the functioning of a dog’s immune system, keeping intestines stocked with probiotic bacteria is essential to a dog’s lifelong health and well-being.

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Optimizing Your Dog’s Health with Quality Dog Food

  • By Raquel Astacio

As direct descendents of wolves, dogs are classified under the order Carnivora, or mammals that eat a meat-based diet. Animals like dogs (and cats) that need to consume meat-specific proteins to remain healthy have shorter small intestines than omnivores or herbivores. In fact, all carnivores possess a digestive system that evolved to digest and extract essential nutrients from meat. As a result, feeding them diets high in grains like corn and wheat can lead to malnutrition, immune system disorders and chronic illnesses.

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Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs

  • By Raquel Astacio

Bacteria and other microbiota within the canine intestinal tract significantly influence your dog’s physical and psychological health. In addition, gut bacteria populations composed predominantly of “good” bacteria will have positive effects on a dog’s cholesterol levels, his ability to resist gastroenteritis (chronic diarrhea) and even provide antitumor properties.

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Best Form of Probiotics for Dogs

  • By Raquel Astacio
4 types of digestive enzymes for dogs

Similiar in composition to human probiotics, dog probiotics are specially formulated combinations of live bacteria cultures beneficial to a dog’s gastrointestinal health. Since functioning of the canine GI tract is directly associated with immune system stability, dogs with the right balance of “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria in their intestines naturally experience excellent health.

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Optimizing Your Dog’s Gut Health

  • By Raquel Astacio
A Dachshund dressed as a superhero

Your dog’s health depends primarily on the health of their digestive system. A major part of the canine immune system, a dog’s “gut” (stomach, colon and intestines) is responsible for reducing food into nutritive molecules comprising the carbohydrates, fats and sugars necessary to keep your dog as fit and healthy as possible. When something interrupts the normal functioning of your dog’s digestive process, their body fails to receive the nourishment it needs to sustain all physiological operations. In addition, the stability of your dog’s gut flora (bacteria) is compromised as inflammatory bacteria overwhelm and upset your dog’s GI tract.

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Common Side Effects of Probiotics in Dogs

  • By Raquel Astacio
Dog on hardwood floor looking sad

Probiotics are live bacteria presented in capsule or liquid form that provide numerous benefits to a dog’s overall health. Bacteria species found in most canine probiotics include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and S. thermophilus, all gram-positive bacteria that colonize within a dog’s gastrointestinal system, eliminate harmful bacteria and restore optimal levels of “good” gut microbiota.

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Most Beneficial Bacterial Strains for Your Dog

  • By Raquel Astacio
Jack Russell Terrier reading a book with a pencil in its mouth

Mention the word “bacteria” and people immediately think of diseases and infections that require treatment with antibiotics or antiseptics formulated to kill harmful bacteria. However, what isn’t so well known is the fact that “good” bacteria necessary for maintaining overall health co-exist with “bad” bacteria, which are directly responsible for all kinds of canine medical issues.

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Local Veterinarian Recommends Probiotics

  • By Raquel Astacio
A Golden Retriever puppy with a stethoscope around its neck

When Laura and Mike White’s normally healthy, 10 year old Shih Tzu Kosmo began eating less and having digestive problems every day, they took him to the Animal General Hospital in Cranberry Township for a complete check-up. Laura said Kosmo couldn’t keep food down, seemed tired all the time, unusually lethargic and not his typical happy self. After veterinarian Dr. Mike Hutchinson examined Kosmo, he immediately recommended supplementing Kosmo’s diet with probiotics.

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Are Probiotics Good for Dogs?

  • By Raquel Astacio
Dog with a curious look on its face

Probiotics are microorganisms (specifically bacteria) that support all aspects of canine health and are given as a supplement with food to regulate gastrointestinal functioning by ensuring more “good” bacteria exist than “bad” bacteria in the intestines. All dogs will experience the following benefits from probiotic supplements:

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