This is a question we get all the time here … what are the best probiotics for dogs?
And why do you have FIVE different types? Isn’t that overkill?
Well, those are very good questions … and both of them give me the perfect chance to talk about why your dog needs probiotics, how to find a good one and why there are so many different kinds!
So, let’s start here … what are probiotics anyway?
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are bacteria that live in your dog’s intestines. And they’re good – you need them there. In fact, guts with low numbers of bacteria – or the wrong kind of bacteria – are linked to allergies, disease and chronic inflammation.
And that’s because these little guys eat what your dog eats and poop out magical substances that boost your dog’s health. These are things like vitamins and super-healthy short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and polyphenols.
These bacteria form about 80% of your dog’s immune system. They help form the protective lining in your dog’s gut that keeps viruses and harmful bacteria out. The SCFAs they produce trigger anti-inflammatory immune cells called regulatory T-cells. The polyphenols they produce also modulate the immune system – they’re anti-inflammatory and they even directly fight cancer.
But bacteria can even affect your dog’s mood and behavior. A 2018 study shows that mice without lots of healthy gut bacteria have more stress and aggression.
So here’s the bottom line … if your dog has any type of chronic disease (allergies, cancer, liver, kidney, heart or organ disease, chronic bowel disease, obesity or diabetes) … you’ll never be able to improve his health long term unless you fix his gut bacteria.
Nearly every chronic disease is an immune system gone wrong … and since the gut bacteria control the immune system, your job is to control the gut bacteria.
You can control your dog’s gut bacteria populations and, by proxy, his immune system. That’s both good news and bad news
… Because there are a lot of things you can do that’ll kill off those beneficial bugs and let harmful, pro-inflammatory ones take over the neighborhood.
What Kills Friendly Bacteria?
The gut needs to be well balanced. And if that balanced is threatened, havoc can ensue. So, what’s causing the imbalance?
- A high starch diet like kibble will feed inflammatory bacteria that will crowd out the friendlies.
high fatdiet will do the same.
- Many drugs, chemicals, dewormers
andvaccines will also disrupt those populations.
- Pesticides and herbicides, especially glyphosate or Roundup, will kill bacteria, as will any environmental toxins.
- And, of course, so will antibiotics. They wipe out all the bacteria in the gut, leaving your dog’s gut sterile and your dog’s immune system flapping in the wind. That’s why antibiotics should only be given to save lives … because the cost to your dog and his immune system is very, very high.
Ok, that’s the bad news.
The good news is, this is where probiotics come in. Probiotics are live, friendly bacteria found in a food or supplement that can survive and colonize in your dog’s gut.
I think every dog, at some point in his life, needs probiotics. And that’s because of the sheer volume of toxic drugs and chemicals dogs are exposed to, including those in his food (think things like fluoride, starch, mold
It’s no wonder so many dogs get allergies, cancer and chronic, inflammatory disease.
So let’s talk about what you want to look for in a probiotic, as well as how to choose between our probiotic offerings.
What Are The Best Probiotics For Dogs?
Ok, first, let’s talk about what you DON’T want to see in your probiotic:
- Yeast extract
These are all highly processed additives that can cause allergies in some dogs … and maltodextrin also spikes blood sugar and can stop the growth of friendly bacteria. Watch for these additives … the last thing you want is for your dog to have an allergic reaction to his probiotics.
What you do want to see are these two bacteria families:
And you want to see as many species or strains as possible … you’ll want at least ten bacteria strains if you’re serious about rebuilding your dog’s gut and immune health.
Both Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are friendly bacteria that can regulate the immune system and anti-inflammatory immune cells. That’s what you want if you want to protect your dog from chronic disease or help him heal from it.
You also want to see as many bacteria packed into the product as possible. This is measured as CFUs, or colony forming units. This basically means the number of little bugs in the product. A lot of pet probiotics only have 1 to 5 billion CFUs. That might seem like a lot, but there are trillions of bacteria in your dog’s gut, so if you want to really move the needle on his health, look for a product with at least 10 to 20 billion CFUs.
Different Kinds Of Probiotics For Dogs
Okay, so that covers the basics of why your dog would need a probiotic and how to find a good one. But why are there so many different kinds?
For those of you who shop in our Market, I want to help you understand the difference between our different probiotic products and why we carry more than one.
If you shop somewhere else, that’s cool too … I hope I helped you find a better product for your dog. I’m here to help, not to sell.
But if you’re already using our products and you’re confused about them, stay here and I’ll help you find the best one for your dog.
And I’m going to start with the simplest and work my way to the most complex probiotics.
Let’s start with Love Bugs.
1. Love Bugs
This is our entry level probiotic product for healthy dogs who are on a maintenance plan. Here’s what you need to know about Love Bugs:
- It contains 14 strains of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus bacteria.
- It doesn’t contain maltodextrin or any other ingredients that can cause allergic reactions. This is important because a lot of probiotics are cultured from milk and can cause allergies in dogs.
- It also contains 30 billion CFUs, as well as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are a special food that probiotics like to eat – usually a fiber of some sort.
- Love Bugs contains Larch
arabinogalactin, which is pretty cool because it has some serious anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
If your dog is doing well and on a fresh food diet, Love Bugs is a great addition and I’d consider putting it into a regular rotation. If cost is an issue, just don’t give it daily. Maybe go with only a few times a week to make your dollar go farther. Remember: some probiotics in the diet is better than no probiotics.
Next up: Healthy Gut.
2. Healthy Gut
Now, if your dog is eating a kibble, canned, dehydrated or cooked diet, you might want to consider giving him Healthy Gut instead.
Healthy Gut has the same 14 probiotic strains as Love Bugs, 30 billion CFUs and the cancer-fighting Larch. But it also has digestive enzymes added to it.
If your dog’s eating
And your dog needs to produce a lot of enzymes to do this. This can place some stress on the pancreas. But the added enzymes in Healthy Gut will help your dog digest
… So if your dog eats a cooked diet, or if he’s older, it’s a good idea to add those enzymes to his diet to help avoid nutritional deficiencies.
3. Gut Soothe
Okay, our next probiotic product is Gut Soothe.
Again, Gut Soothe has the same 14 probiotic strains as Love Bugs, 30 billion
But the focus for this guy is inflammation … especially in the intestines and urinary tract. So any dog with diarrhea, constipation or UTIs would do well on Gut Soothe.
It contains marshmallow root, herbal aloe
If this sounds like your dog, go with the Gut Soothe and then you can go back to Love Bugs once the digestive or urinary issues resolve.
Moving right along the digestive tract …
4. Fido’s Flora
Alright, so we have another probiotic product from Adored Beast: Fido’s Flora.
Fido’s Flora is unique for a couple of reasons.
First, its probiotics actually come from dogs and that’s pretty revolutionary. We don’t know all that much about all the trillions of bugs that live in the gut so the best way to restore gut health is to find the probiotics that are already living in healthy dogs. So if your dog has more significant health or digestive issues, Fido’s Flora will do a more precise job of restoring some of the friendly bacteria communities.
It also contains the cancer-fighting larch of course.
It’s also unique because it contains both humic and fulvic acids.
Humic and fulvic acid are natural, organic mineral-rich products. Humic acid can help replenish critical mineral levels in your dog and remove toxins and dangerous heavy metals – plus it fights cancer and viruses. Fulvic acid helps carry more nutrients to the cells, strengthens the immune system and fights free radical damage.
You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.Dr Linus Pauling
But here’s why they’re really important … pesticides, Roundup
In fact, the United Nations’ 1992 official Rio Earth Summit concluded that the mineral levels in US soils were depleted by 85%. And that was 25 years ago! The funny thing is, as minerals in the soil go down, diseases go up. As Nobel Prize winner
Fido’s Flora is a unique probiotic that I would give to dogs that have some health challenges. Allergies, cancer, organ or digestive disease … And if your dog is healthy, I would still alternate it with Love Bugs to increase the diversity of bacteria you give your dog and to help protect him from mineral deficiency and dangerous heavy metal buildup.
And, last, but definitely not least …
5. DoggyBiome Gut Health Restoration System
This is our big gun.
Most of our probiotics should be given on a regular basis. But if your dog has constant allergies, hot spots, yeast, diabetes, autoimmune disease or chronic inflammatory diseases … this is the best system we’ve got.
There are two very cool facts about the DoggyBiome Gut Health Restoration System:
- It’s made by researchers at UC Davis
- It’s actually made from dog poo
Okay, don’t get grossed out here …
… the fact is, the bacteria populations and how they should all be colonized in the gut is really complex science. It’s like a fingerprint and it’ll take us years to decipher completely.
But that’s why fecal transplants have become such an effective natural treatment. These beauties give you the opportunity to take the bacteria communities from a healthy, raw-fed dog and literally transplant them into your dog.
This is just like a jump-start for your dog.
It’s a do-over … remember, these bacteria all control your dog’s immune system and this is a really valuable way to get massive amounts of the right bacteria into your dog. We’ve actually seen years of allergies go away in a couple of weeks with this product … it’s truly the best way to restart the immune system in the dog that hasn’t seen any real benefits from other products.
It’s not cheap, but most of the time you only need to do it for 30 to 60 days before you see really significant and permanent change. It’s not for every dog, but it is for dogs with persistent chronic health issues, especially if they’re inflammatory.
What’s The Best Probiotic For Your Dog?
So, what are the best probiotics for dogs?
As you can see, it depends on the dog. Not every dog is the same. That’s why we have so many different kinds: because probiotics are such an important part of your dog’s health and immune system, and because so many dogs suffer from a lack of friendly bacteria.
The only other advice I can give you is to use just one at a time, make sure your dog has a healthy, fresh-food diet that’s free of starch and sugars, and contact us any time you have questions. We’re on a mission to change the lives of 100,000 dogs this year and we’d love to help you change your dog’s life too.