If you’re looking to buy a probiotic product for your dog, you may be wondering “what kind of probiotics are good for dogs?”
Probiotics are living microorganisms (bacteria/yeast) that are beneficial to humans and dogs.
Probiotics come in strains. The most common species of probiotics are bifidobacterium and lactobacillus.
In this article, you’ll learn about the known probiotic strains that have health benefits in dogs.
Probiotic Strains That Are Good for Dogs
There are a number of bacterial strains that are known to be probiotic in humans. Many of those probiotics are beneficial in dogs too, although there has been less scientific testing specifically in dogs.
The known probiotics in dogs include:
A 2011 study found that a probiotic tempeh containing bacillus coagulans was safe, increased numbers of probiotics in the gut, and had health benefits in dogs. It helped maintain a more optimal balance of microbiota and a better intestinal environment. (1)
Bifidobacterium animalis has been studied pretty extensively in human and mice studies. Results have indicated that it’s good for overall gut health, diarrhea, constipation, IBS, and fighting off infections. (2) (3) (4) (5)
In one study, disease-causing bacteria was reduced in dogs after a two-week treatment of bifidobacterium animalis. (6)
Studies in humans and mice have shown that Bifidobacterium Bifidum was effective in relieving the symptoms of IBS, ulcerative colitis, and other gastrointestinal conditions/infections. It was effective in treating diarrhea and constipation.
One study found that it was the most prevalent probiotic in dogs. (7)
Studies have found numerous health benefits of bifidobacterium breve in humans. Bifidobacterium breve is likely effective in improving gut health, skin health, allergies, diarrhea, and constipation. (8) (9) (10) (11)
Studies of bifidobacterium breve have been done in dogs but more need to be done. (12)
Bifidobacterium lactis is a probiotic found naturally in dogs. (13)
Bifidobacterium lactis promotes digestive health and boosts the immune system against autoimmune diseases such as necrotizing enterocolitis and celiac disease. (14) (15)
Bifidobacterium lactis combats allergies, normalizes blood sugar, promotes healthy levels of cholesterol, and may even help stop the formation of tumors. (16)
It also has a high acid tolerance, so it does a good job of reaching the intestines. (17)
Enterococcus faecium is a probiotic that stimulates immune function in dogs. This means that the body will have a stronger immune response if a harmful pathogen enters the body. (18)
A study of Lactobacillus acidophilus in dogs found that it “can be successfully incorporated into a dry dog food, survive transit through the canine gastrointestinal tract, and populate the colon” and that it “may have the potential to enhance intestinal health and improve immune function in dogs”. (19)
Lactobacillus acidophilus may help digest nutrients as well. (20)
Lactobacillus casei is a probiotic strain that boosts immune strength in dogs. (21)
Studies in humans showed that lactobacillus casei improved the symptoms of and reduced the duration of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and diarrhea caused by c. difficile, improved constipation, and lowered inflammation. (22) (23) (24)
Lactobacillus plantarum is found naturally in dogs and in their diet. (25) Studies have found that lactobacillus plantarum acts as a probiotic in dogs. (26)
Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been studied extensively in humans.
It does make it to the digestive tract without being killed by stomach acid, just as it does in humans. (27)
It is found naturally in dogs and a 2019 study found that it had a “significant preventive effect of gastrointestinal infections” in the dogs in the study. (28)
Lactobacillus reuteri is a probiotic in dogs that is resistant to bile, which means it has a better chance of reaching the gut, where it can pass off its health benefits. (29)
A test-tube study that was done with the microflora of dogs found that lactobacillus reuteri and galactooligosaccharides functioned as synbiotics. Synbiotics are a mixture of probiotics and prebiotics that work in synergy together to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and create a more favorable gastrointestinal environment, which has many health benefits. (30)
What Kind of Probiotics are Good for Dogs Conclusion
In conclusion, the kinds of probiotics that are good for dogs include:
- Bacillus coagulans
- Bifidobacterium animalis
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Bifidobacterium breve
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Enterococcus faecium
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus reuteri
When looking to buy a probiotic for dogs, you should look for these probiotic strains so you know that each strain has been tested for effectiveness and safety in dogs.
If you’d like some help in finding the perfect probiotic for your dog, we published a guide on the best probiotics for dogs here.
If you’d like to learn more about probiotics and dogs, take a look at some of our other articles on the topic below:
- What Kind of Probiotics are Good for Dogs?
- Can I Give My Dog Probiotics While on Antibiotics?
- Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics for Dogs
- Probiotics for Dogs with Diarrhea
- Probiotics for Dogs with IBD
- How to Give Probiotics with Antibiotics for Dogs
- How Much Probiotics for Dogs: What Dosage Should You Give Your Dog?
- How Long Does it Take for Probiotics to Work in Dogs?
- Why Are Probiotics Good for Dogs?
- What do Probiotics do for Dogs?