Dog Diet: The 5 Best Probiotics for Dogs with Diarrhea and Allergies Reviewed
Why Probiotics For Dogs?
Let’s face it; dogs eat all kinds of nasty things when we aren't looking. In fact, gastrointestinal disorders are the second most common health issue for dogs after skin conditions. When Fido is having an emergency, a good probiotic that can quickly correct loose stools and diarrhea is good to have on hand.
Whether your dog suffers from ongoing food allergies or the occasional upset stomach, probitoics are a natural and healthy way to readjust his digestive tract. These supplements work by bringing beneficial bacterial strains to the intestinal tract. They are recognized as an important part of the overall immune system's health, by helping the intestines to remove toxins from the body while aiding in absorption of beneficial nutrients.
Additionally, consumer experience demonstrates that they may also alleviate many canine skin disorders as well. As the market for canine proboitics is burgeoning, we took a look at some of the more popular ones for dogs on the market as well as some natural remedies for diarrhea and ranked them according to efficacy, palatability and expense.
How to Choose Probiotics For Dogs
When Selecting Probiotics for your canine companion, keep the following criteria in mind:
- The list of ingredients should identify the specific bacterial species and also indicate the strain, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus.
- The label should guarantee the number of CFU in millions or billions per gram. Colony-forming units (CFU) is an estimate of viable bacterial or fungal numbers that the manufacturer guarantees will exist in their product.
- The product packaging or manufacturer’s website should have a customer service number so you can contact the manufacturer with any questions.
- The probiotic should have a bestbefore or expiration date. Storage time and conditions (i.e., excessive heat or cold) can reduce the viability of some bacterial stains. It is best practice to store your probiotics in a refrigerator.
#1 Selling Dog Probiotic – Purina Fortiflora
Frequently recommended and sold by veterinarians, Purina’s Fortiflora is the number one selling probiotic for dogs, and our number one recommendation for dogs requiring occasional digestive support for loose stools and diarrhea. It can safely be used on pregnant and lactating bitches as well as young puppies and is highly palatable.
91 % of users give this product a 4-5 star rating, in fact only 3% of users felt that the product was a total disappointment. Users cite high palatability for picky eaters and firm stools for their good marks. This product regularly resolves IBS, sensitive stomach issues and perennial soft stools. Also, bitches in whelp that have overindulged in iron and nutrient rich placenta, will benefit from this probiotic. Fast acting, it has no apparent “build-up” time and is efficacious with the first sprinkling on the dog’s food. We give this product an “A” for correcting loose stools.
Ingredients: Animal Digest, Enterococcus Faecium, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vit C), Vit E Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Beta-Carotene, Salt, Manganese Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite.
When dispensed by veterinarians, this can be an expensive product. However, online through Amazon and other retailers, the sachets (foil packages of powdered product) cost approximately $.66 a piece ($19.95 per 30 sachet package). This can still be an expensive daily addition if you have more than one dog needing a probiotic on a daily basis. Also, it does not contain many strains of bacteria; if you are seeking to curb food allergies or skin conditions you should try the Vetri-Science Probiotic first.
Top Commercial Probiotics
#2 Vetri-Science Probiotic Everyday Bite Size Chew for Dogs
This product is our number one recommendation for dogs requiring a daily probiotic as a part of their overall health regimen. Very cost effective, it averages $20.00 for 60 chews making it the best value. Small dogs can benefit from one chew a day while larger dogs, 45+ pounds will require 2 chews per day. The Vetri-Science Probiotic chews alleviate gas, loose stools, bad breath, dark tear staining as well as yeast infections seen in the ears and skin. In fact, alleviating extreme gas symptoms is this products greatest achievement, and owners are duly gratified. Given the many conditions this probiotic has helped with, we give it an “A+” for all round efficacy and value.
Ingredients: This chew contains nine strains of bacteria at 286 million CFU/gram of beneficial bacteria, including Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium thermophilum, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Enterococcus faecium.
Given as treats, they are highly palatable and most dogs look forward to receiving them. When paired with limited ingredient diets, this probiotic demonstrates excellent results. Old dogs with acute skin conditions and yeast infections respond exceedingly well. If you feed your dog a raw diet, these chews are the best solution for delivery of a commercial probiotic product, as powders are difficult to administer on raw chicken quarters etc. For dogs that do not find theses chews tempting, powders and capsule forms of the product are also available.
Canine Health Issues
I am interested in Probiotics because my dog has:
#3 Mercola - Complete Probiotics For Pets
Mercola’s probiotic can be safely used on both cats and dogs. In a multi-pet household with both cats and dogs, this product will not create any digestive issues for pets that crossover to their house mates bowls. However, because of the large amount required per serving for larger dogs, this is not a cost effective solution for them, although smaller dogs and cats benefit from this probiotic at a reasonable price.
Ingredients: 10 strains of bacteria: lactobacillus acidophilus dds(r)-1lactobacillus casei, lactobacillus plantarum, lactobacillus salivarius, lactobacillus rhamnosus, lactobacillus brevis, bifidobacterium lactis, bifidobacterium longum, bifidobacterium befidum, streptococcus thermophilus. 70 Billion CFU Per 2 Capsule Serving; Acid and Bile Resisitant
Cat owners saw a substantial reduction in vomiting, an issue with many older cats. Dog owners saw a reduction in gas and bloating as well as loose stools. Many owners were disappointed in the large container with a small quantity of product relative to the container’s size. While this product does work well for smaller animal owners, we give it a “B” for value at $.90 per serving for medium to large dogs.
#4 Probiotic Miracle - Probiotics for Dogs
Probiotic Miracle markets themselves as the number one selling canine probiotic. Our research indicates it is more likely the number 3 selling product on the market, well behind Purina’s and Vetri’s 3 products. Consumers of this probiotic tout it for clearing up eye, skin and yeast conditions in addition to joint inflammation issues. 79% of users gave it a 4-5 star rating, however 10% of users so no benefit at all for their dogs. Another 10 % had mixed results finding some issues, such as gas have cleared up while others remain unchanged. Given that 20% of users had poor or mixed reviews we would give it a “C+” – however the money back guarantee (discussed below) bumps this product up to a “B-“
Ingredients: 2 Billion CFU of probiotics per serving, six strains of bacteria: L. acidophilus, B. animalis, L. rhamnosus, L. salivarius - , L. fermentum - , L. reuteri. Also contains Pre-biotics. 100% Natural - Vegetarian - No Gluten - No Dairy - No Soy - No Fillers - No Flavorings
Probiotic Miracle does offer a 100% money back guarantee, with guaranteed results against diarrhea, loose stool, and yeast overgrowth. However, this product requires time to buildup in the system and the guarantee expires 60 days from product shipment.
For small dogs the $39.00 package contains 360 servings, 180 servings for dogs over 50 pounds. This is a relatively inexpensive solution at $.11 per serving for small dogs, $.22 per serving for dogs over 50 pounds. People with multiple dogs with gluten allergies and issues with loose stools and yeast related problems may want to try this product before trying one of the more expensive ones. Keep an eye on the calendar if you want to take advantage of the money back guarantee.
Natural Probiotics – Yogurt and Kefir for Dogs
Following a round of antibiotics, dog owners have long used a tablespoon of low fat yogurt to readjust the bacteria in their dog’s intestines. kefir, a supped-up super cousin of yogurt, is easy to make and packed with additional benefits. kefir is low cost and completely safe daily addition to your dog’s or puppy’s diet.
Kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help the body with its natural healing powers. Among them, Tryptophan, an essential amino acid, is abundant in Kefir. Well-known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system it may help calm high drive or highly anxious dogs.
Kefir also contains calcium and magnesium both of which are critical for a healthy nervous system Kefir in the diet can have a particularly calming effect on the nerves. It is also rich in vitamins B12, B1 and vitamin K, promoting healthy looking skin, boosting energy and promoting longevity.
Certainly kefir is high in probiotics and excellent at rebalancing intestinal bacteria, boosting immunity and correcting loose stools and diarrhea. If you have multiple dogs, renewable Kefir is the most affordable solution.
We recommend Kefir as the best Probiotic you can give your dog, garnering it an "A+" on the efficacy and value scale. It's natural, it works and its easy to make. However, if you don't have the time to invest or find making your own yogurt is unappealing, we recommend the Vetri-Science Probiotic probiotic for the all round health benefits it provides.
How to Make Probiotic Kefir
You May Also Be Interested in:
- Glucosamine for Dogs The 5 Best Supplements Reviewed
Not all glucosamine supplements for dogs produce dramatic results. These 5 natural supplements provided the fastest and most noticeable relief for dogs with joint pain and arthritis without upsetting their stomachs.
- Treating Dog Anxiety | 3 Proven Solutions for Fear of Thunderstorms
3 Effective treatments for dog anxiety caused by thunder, fireworks and other loud noises. Treating anxious dogs with melatonin, ThunderShirts and TTouch therapy.
- Bully Sticks – Healthy Dog Treats or Dangerous Byp...
Bully sticks have recently come under fire for their high caloric value and potential for spreading harmful bacteria. We examine the bully stick and some alternative natural animal by-product treats.
- The Dirt On Why Your Dog and Your Neighbor Eats Dirt
Dirt eating among humans, dogs and other mammals occurs frequently across the globe. Is it a sign of mental or physical illness or is it an adaptive behavior that solves a physical need?
- Torn ACL Treatment For Dogs: PRP A Promising Alterna...
ACL tears are a common canine injury, affecting almost 1 million dogs a year in the USA. Surgical costs to treat this injury average $3000-3500. PRP offers a nonsurgical intervention at $550
© 2013 Solaras