Top 5 Probiotic Supplements
Probiotics have numerous health benefits in humans but they also have similar health benefits in dogs and other animals.
If your dog has digestive issues or you just want the best for your dog, giving them probiotics could be a real boost to their health.
So what are the best probiotics for dogs? Read on to learn about probiotics, prebiotics and the best probiotic products for dogs.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are living microorganisms (mostly bacteria but also yeast) that have health benefits for their hosts. Probiotics improve digestion, immune health, skin problems. Overall this improves all quality of life.
There is a collection of microorganisms found in the digestive tract containing both good and harmful microorganisms called the microbiome. If the microbiome has too much of the bad stuff, it can lead to infection and disease. Probiotics fight against that.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are non-digestible fibers that promote healthy digestion but also provide a food source for probiotics.
What To Look For When Buying Probiotics For Dogs
There are several things you should look for when deciding on the best probiotic for your dog. The most important things to look for include:
- A wide variety of probiotic strains. There’s plenty of overlap in terms of the health benefits of probiotics, especially when comparing probiotics of the same species (lactobacillus or bifidobacterium species, for example).
- Around 2 billion CFU per serving. A good standard dose for probiotics for dogs is 2 billion CFU for small dogs and it goes up from there depending on the weight of your dog. CFU stands for ‘colony-forming units’. 2 billion CFU is a potent enough dose without being harmful.
- Avoid hard treats. Hard treats can actually be harmful to your dogs’ teeth health. Soft chews or something else that’s soft, such as powders are preferable.
- Look for a probiotic for dogs with prebiotic inulin. Probiotics reach their full potential when paired with prebiotics, which provide a food source for probiotics and allow them to flourish throughout the digestive system.
- Manufactured in a cGMP (certified good manufacturing practices) facility. Make sure you’re giving your dog a high-quality product that’s safe by only buying products made in certified facilities.
BlueBiology Probiotics for Dogs takes our number one spot as the best probiotics for dogs for its superior formula and high quality, pure ingredients.
This product contains 8 different probiotic strains plus prebiotic inulin all packed into small soft chews that dogs love. It has natural flavoring consisting of sweet potato, pumpkin, organic honey, and peanut butter.
Having the broadest range possible of probiotic strains is ideal because each probiotic strain has its own health benefits.
Key Features Include
Pet Ultimates Probiotics for Dogs is a probiotic powder made with 22 probiotic strains plus prebiotic inulin. What we like about this probiotic is that it has such a wide variety of probiotic strains. However, one of the downsides to this is that some of the included probiotic strains haven’t been studied much in dogs.
Another potential downside to this product is that it comes in powder form. While that may not be a problem for most dogs, some dogs may not like the taste or texture so the may try to eat around it when you put it in with their food.
It’s really good that this product contains prebiotic inulin along with its probiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that are a food source for probiotic microorganisms—and they’re good for digestion too.
Pet Ultimates Probiotics for Dogs contains 2 billion CFU per scoop, which is a potent enough dosage but also safe. It doesn’t contain any sugars or maltodextrins, which can be harmful to dogs.
Key Features Include
Petaxin Daily Probiotic for Dogs contains 3 billion CFU of probiotics per serving in soft chew form.
It has 6 probiotic strains: lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus plantarum, lactobacillus casei, lactobacillus fermentum, lactobacillus reuteri, and bifidobacterium bifidum. This is a decently broad collection of probiotic strains but could be improved by having more strains for more health benefits.
This product also contains prebiotic inulin, which is good for digestion and provides a food source for the probiotics. It comes in the form of a soft chew with chicken flavoring, which we found that dogs really liked in our testing. Soft chews are better for your dogs’ teeth than hard treats.
Petaxin Daily Probiotic for Dogs is made in a certified GMP facility in the USA. It’s free of GMOs, corn, grain, wheat, and artificial flavorings.
Key Features Include
Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites for Dogs is a probiotic soft chew containing 6 probiotic strains and is flavored with pumpkin and papaya. Dogs did seem to enjoy the taste in our testing.
It has 3 billion CFU of probiotics per serving, which is a nice hefty dose without going overboard. Unfortunately, though, this product does not contain prebiotics, which provide a food source for probiotics.
Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites for Dogs features a grain-free formula and contains no artificial flavorings or preservatives.
This product is manufactured in the United States but it’s unclear as to whether it’s made in a cGMP facility.
Key Features Include
PremiumCare Digestion and Gut Health Probiotic Treats are chicken-flavored treats containing 5 probiotic strains. It contains 2 billion CFU per serving, which is relatively standard for dogs.
For dogs up to 25 pounds, a serving is just one soft chew. For dogs 25-50 pounds, a serving goes up to two soft chews and so on.
PremiumCare Digestion and Gut Health Probiotic Treats also contains a digestive enzyme blend consisting of amylase, protease, lipase, cellulase, lactase, and bromelain.
Digestive enzymes are good for dogs who absolutely need it, but a word of caution: make sure your dog absolutely needs digestive enzymes if you give this product to your dog because they can cause issues.
This product does NOT contain artificial ingredients, artificial flavoring, corn, dairy, or soy products.