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The Best Probiotic Supplements for Dogs in 2019

Dogs are similar to humans when it comes to their internal organs and immune system. This means that most of the strength of your dog’s immune system comes from the immune system cells in their digestive system.

Naturally, this means you want to keep their digestive system healthy because this ensures that their immune system stays healthy. Just like humans, the fastest way to improve your dog’s immune system is to put them on a probiotic. Now, medical research on the effect of probiotics on dogs is relatively new, but it looks promising.

What Are Probiotics for Dogs?

Probiotics are simply microorganisms that give some type of health benefit to the animal taking them. Dog probiotics are the same as probiotics meant for human consumption. Though the bacteria and microorganisms might be slightly different.

probiotics chewDespite this fact, many people will give human grade probiotics to their dogs. The efficacy and risks of giving human probiotics to a dog are unknown. Fortunately, there are probiotics designed specifically for dogs.

Dog probiotics come in a variety of different forms. Some are a probiotic pill while others are a paste or powder. It really just depends on what type of probiotic you wish to purchase and the pickiness of your dog. If you have a picky dog, then we recommend mixing a powder with their food.

Customer Choice – 2019 Probiotic for Dogs

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How Do They Work?

The way that probiotics work is not complicated. It’s actually rather simple.

All you need to do is purchase a probiotic and then give it to your dog. The microorganisms will then (hopefully) set up a colony in the intestine of your pup. The benefits simply depend on the type of probiotic that you purchase and whether or not the microorganisms make it to the intestine.

The whole purpose of probiotics though is to help with any digestive problems. Most pet owners will use probiotics if they notice that their dog has diarrhea or other problems with their stool.

You can still use probiotics if there are not any immediate issues. There is no harm in giving your dog probiotics. In fact, it is almost certainly beneficial to their health and immune system.

Probiotic Reviews

Here are our top dog probiotics. We selected only the most effective probiotics and of course, we also chose probiotics that come at an affordable. All the choices listed below are a good blend of price and effectiveness. The difference between the various probiotics is mostly in the number of bacteria in each dose. Generally, a higher price indicates more bacteria per dose.

Product Name
Form
Price
Editor's Rating
Customer Reviews
Customer Reviews
Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites with Natural Digestive Enzymes
Chews
$$
Amazon
Chewy
Purina Pro Plan FortiFlora Dog Probiotic Supplement
Powder in Satchels
$$
Amazon
Chewy
Dr. Mercola Complete Probiotics for Pets
Powder
$$$
Amazon
Chewy
Doggie Dailies Probiotics for Dogs
Chews
$$
Amazon
Chewy
NaturVet Digestive Enzymes Plus Probiotic Dog & Cat Powder Supplement
Powder
$$$
Amazon
Chewy
Glandex Anal Gland Support with Pumpkin, Probiotics and Fiber Beef Liver Powder
Powder
$$$
Amazon
Chewy
VetOne Advita Probiotic Nutritional Dog Supplement
Scentless Powder
$$
Amazon
Chewy

Size: 90 pieces
Form: Chews

First on our list is the Zesty Paws probiotic for dogs. This probiotic has over 3 billion colony forming units (CFU) per tablet. Each tablet also has GanedenBC30, which is a probiotic strain that can withstand stomach acid.

In addition to the GanedenBC30, the Zesty Paws probiotic also has pumpkin and papaya in it. Both of those will help the digestive process. They specifically help break down antioxidants found in food.

Now, the important part with any probiotic is the specific ailment that they fix. The Zesty Paws treats everything related to the digestive system. It also helps with the immune system. Remember, most of the immune system cells reside in the gut.

Your dog will love this probiotic too. There is no need to worry about them not eating it or having to hide it inside food. One last thing, this probiotic is also a prebiotic. A prebiotic helps with any digestive problems that your pup may have.

Size: 30 count
Form: Powder

Purina’s FortiFlora probiotic supplement is the top-selling probiotic on Amazon. It’s a great probiotic and it comes at an excellent price from a brand that you can trust.

Anyway, this probiotic comes in powder form. The easiest way to give it to your dog is to mix it with their food. Only the absolute pickiest dogs will refuse to eat it, but that is rare. Most dogs will eat this probiotic if mixed with an appetizing enough food.

Each satchel has 1 gram of probiotic powder, which is enough for one day. You are supposed to give your dog one satchel per day, so this is a monthly supply of probiotics that you are purchasing.

Size: 90 grams
Form: Powder

Dr. Mercola’s probiotics is another powder probiotic. This does not come in a satchel though. Instead, you scoop the powder and add it to your dog’s food. The exact number of grams that you need to add varies based on the size of your dog. All but the biggest dogs will require no more than 2-4 grams per day, so this should last about a month.

What we really like about this probiotic is a large number of bacteria and the variety of bacteria in the probiotic. It has 14 different strains of bacteria in it and most of those strains have over three billion CFU. Three of the strains have 660 million CFU, which is fine for those particular strains.

probiotic powderThese bacteria will protect their immune health and aid in digestion. All fairly normal stuff. What really separates this probiotic is that it helps your pet absorb fat, protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins from their food. It specifically helps with the absorption of Vitamin B, Vitamin K, and biotin. Those vitamins and minerals will ensure your pet has a nice coat of hair.

Of course, the bacteria in this probiotic should remedy your dog’s digestive issues. Yes, that means constipation, diarrhea, and any other unusual stool that your dog might have. It doesn’t always solve it, but a probiotic usually solves those problems.

doggie dailiesSize: 225 chews
Form: Chews

Doggie Dailies are a chewable probiotic. They make our list specifically for the quantity that they provide. 225 chews at a great price. These chews will last anywhere from 225 days (1 chew per day) to 5 weeks (6 chews per day) depending on the size of your dog. This makes them a particularly good deal if you have a small dog.

The one part where these probiotics fall short is the number of bacteria that they have in them. They only have five different bacteria colonies and 200 million CFU of each bacteria. That does not mean they are in ineffective, but they are slightly less effective than the larger probiotics. We recommend these probiotics if you have a generally healthy dog and just want to give them a probiotic to maintain healthy digestive health.

naturvet digestive enzymesSize: 4 ounces, 8 ounces, 3 pack (12 ounces total), 1 pound
Form: Powder

NaturVet makes a probiotic, but they take it a step further by mixing digestive enzymes with their probiotic. This probiotic supplement comes in powder form and it is the type of powder that you must scoop, so it is much easier to control the amount you want to give your dog.

We like the enzymes in this probiotic. These enzymes have some unique benefits not found in normal probiotics. Some of them include the ability to hydrolize protein and the ability to breakdown cellulose. Breaking down cellulose is a big boost since dogs do not have the ability to breakdown cellulose. This can result in some nasty digestive problems, which this probiotic can help cure.

Size: 5.5 ounces, powder
Form: Powder
Symptoms Treated: Anal gland problems

This Glandex dog supplement is not strictly a probiotic, but it does have the same benefits of a probiotic and does still have some probiotic bacteria. Glandex is mostly used to treat problems with the anal gland. This can include itchiness, dryness, or any other problem with the gland.

It helps the anal glands by ensuring that your dog has a firm stool. The firm stool is less likely to irritate the anal glands. Glandex also helps reduce inflammation, which is a nice side benefit.

One thing you have to be aware of before giving your dog Glandex is that it takes time to notice the benefits. Glandex has a 2-month guarantee. Basically, you get a refund if you do not notice any improvement in 2 months. It should also be noted that since this does have a large amount of fiber that your dog may have unusual bowel movements for the first few weeks. This is especially noticeable if your dog is not currently on a high fiber diet, which is normal. Dogs do not generally get that much fiber.

We recommend Glandex to treat one specific problem in your dog — anal gland problems. It should not be used as a general purpose probiotic. It does a very good job treating one difficult to treat problem though, which earned it a spot on our list.

advita probioticSize: 30 packets, 1 gram per packet
Form: Powder

Advita rounds out our list for probiotics. This probiotic contains a handful of probiotic bacteria and it also has one prebiotic (Inulin). Advita makes our list because of its excellent price, which you can check on Amazon. The price is always changing.

Anyway, what we really like about Advita is that the powder has no smell. We’re not talking about no smell for humans either. Your dog will not be able to smell it. This lack of smell makes it perfect for a picky eater. Just mix it with the food and your dog will be none the wiser.

Tips on Using Dog Probiotic Supplements

Here are some tips on dog probiotics. We answer all the most common questions that you have about probiotics.

How often should I give my dog a probiotic? – Most probiotics recommend to give them to your dog every day. This is perfectly acceptable and works fine. For further guidance, you can consult your veterinarian.

How much probiotic should I give my dog per day? – This just depends on the size of your dog and the type of probiotic that you have purchased. The label will have all the information you need for proper dosing.

What happens when I take my dog off probiotics? – You will still notice positive benefits if you take your dog off probiotics. This is assuming that the colony has already formed in their intestine. The exact time that these benefits last varies depending on your dog and the colony, but a few weeks is typical.

We still recommend keeping your dog on probiotics for maximum efficacy though.
What is the difference between these probiotics and the one my vet recommends?
The only difference (usually) is the price. Your vet’s office has a large markup on probiotic supplements. Fortunately, it is just an over the counter medication that you can purchase for much less online.

When should I give my dog probiotics? – Generally, you only need to give your dog probiotics if they have any sort of digestive problems. The easiest way to know if they have digestive problems is to look at their stool. If it looks unusual on a consistent basis, then you should take them to the vet. Many times it is just their diet, but sometimes it is the bacteria in their gut. A probiotic can solve that problem.

Probiotics also help with immune health. This means it is always a good idea to give your dog a probiotic to keep them healthy, but it is no way a required supplement.

Finally, sometimes your dog may have other problems stemming from their digestive issues. This usually manifests itself as a problem with the anal glands. In that case, a probiotic such as Glandex should work to solve that problem.

Can my dog take probiotics? – Generally, yes. There is no reason your dog should have a problem taking a probiotic. You should still consult your veterinarian before giving your dog a probiotic supplement though.

Will my dog eat their probiotic? – Yes. All the probiotics listed are either meat-scented or a powder that you can easily mix with meat. This makes it irresistible to all but the pickiest dogs.

If your dog is very picky, then wrapping the probiotic in their favorite treat (usually meat) should work perfectly fine. Even the pickiest dogs cannot resist eating meat. If you still cannot get your dog to eat the probiotic, then we recommend a powder probiotic. The Advita probiotic does not have any smell, which makes it easy to conceal your dog’s food.

Can my dog overdose on a probiotic supplement? – No. Probiotics are a bacterial supplement, so your dog cannot overdose on them. This does not mean to give your dog too many probiotics, but they will not have any problems if you accidentally give them an extra dose. More probiotics do not improve their efficacy either.

How long does it take to notice positive benefits? – It depends on your dog and the probiotic. Two to five weeks is generally what most manufacturers state. It just depends on the probiotic and your dog.

Remember, it takes time for the bacterial colony to build up in your dog’s gut. Do not panic if you do not notice improvement before one month has elapsed.

Final Thoughts

All in all, you cannot go wrong with any of the probiotics listed above if you are looking to treat any digestive issues in your dog. Our top pick for a great general purpose probiotic is the Zesty Paws probiotics simply because it has the most bacteria and the most CDU of any of the probiotics. It still comes at a great price too when compared to purchasing at your vet’s office.

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