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Best Probiotics for Dogs in 2022 – Improve Digestive Health & Reduce Inflammation

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Your dog’s body, much like your body, works in a variety of different ways to keep him healthy. When you provide him with great nutrition and plenty of exercise, your dog is equipped with the nutrients and physical challenges he needs to keep his organs healthy and his muscles strong. He also has other parts of his body, like his immune system, that help to fight off any infections and keep him healthy year-round. However, there is one critical aspect of your dog’s health that you may have overlooked thus far: his gut health. That’s right, Max and Milo may be missing critical beneficial bacteria in the gut that helps to break down their food and aid their digestive process.

You’ve probably shopped for a probiotic for yourself at some point in your life, but if you’ve never searched for a good probiotic made for dogs, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn about the five finest probiotics for dogs available on the market today.

Top 5 Probiotics for Dogs

  1. HonestPaws – Editor’s Choice – Best Probiotics For Dogs 
  2. JustFoodForDogs – Runner-Up 
  3. Wuffes – Honorable Mention
  4. Zesty Paws – For All Breeds
  5. PetHonesty – Duck Flavored

How Did We Choose the Best Dog Probiotics?

To put this list of dog probiotics together, we had to look at a couple of different factors. We selected products based on the following:

  • Dog-Approved Flavors

Since probiotics for dogs are so important, they won’t do any good if they never make it inside your dog’s system. We selected products that come in a variety of different formats, whether it’s a capsule that you can open and mix with their food or a chicken flavored supplement that feels and tastes like a treat.

  • Natural Ingredients

Another critical aspect of probiotics for dogs that we looked at is their ingredient list. Health supplements should work to make your dog feel better, not fill him with artificial and unnecessary ingredients. We chose veterinarian approved formulas.

  • Company Reputation

Although there are an endless number of suppliers that you can find online, only a few of them are actually reputable. In this list, we only include well-known and well respected companies that put a lot of love and care into their dog products.

  • Customer Feedback

Although product descriptions are helpful in terms of understanding what you’re buying, customer reviews tell a whole different story. They give you the anecdotal evidence that a product actually works, and you get real life examples of how a dog’s health is made better through the use of probiotics.

Reviews & Analyses of the 5 Best Probiotics for Dogs

1. HonestPaws – Editor’s Choice – Best Probiotics For Dogs

Pros:

  • Auto-refill and save 15%
  • Supports healthy digestion
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • Chicken flavored

Cons:

  • You must spend at least $48 to qualify for free shipping 

About the Product

This Pre + Probiotics is a custom formula that contains a probiotic blend that keeps your pup’s digestive system in top shape. It contains a prebiotic that helps to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your dog’s stomach, and they top it off with a probiotic to help with the digestive process and with the maintenance of a healthy gut. With their proprietary blend, you’re also getting a set of unique ingredients that support your dog’s immune system. It has a natural roasted chicken flavor, which makes it super easy to administer because your dog will just think he’s getting a treat for being such a good boy.

About the Company

Honest Paws was founded by a dog mom named Chelsea. She has a dog named Baby Rose that really needed her after struggling from a debilitating condition. Chelsea took her to the vet and was prescribed medication that would render her Baby Rose lethargic for her remaining years. Still, there was no guarantee that the medication would work. Chelsea took it upon herself to create a line of products that makes sure pets can be both happy and healthy. Her goal is to offer premium products for all pets so that no matter what your pet needs, you have a fellow dog owner to reach out to who understands your plight. 

Cost, Shipping, and Guarantees 

Honest Paws has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. That’s how much they believe in their products. For a one time purchase, you get a pouch that contains 30 sticks and it costs $30.95. You always have the option to request delivery every month and when you select auto refill, you save 15% plus you qualify for free shipping on every order.

Learn more at HonestPaws.com

2. JustFoodForDogs – Runner-Up

Pros:

  • Save 35% off your first order with autoship 
  • Free local pickup in select locations
  • Helps maintain proper gut flora
  • Supports healthy digestion and bowel health

Cons:

  • Product is in capsule form but can easily be mixed in with dog food 

About the Product

The Probiotic Live supplement for dogs helps to support proper digestion and bowel health. It also works to maintain proper gut flora and within each bottle you get 60 capsules total. If your dog is under 40 pounds, you just need to administer one capsule per day but if you have a larger dog that’s over 40 pounds, you should administer two capsules per day.

About the Company

Just Food for Dogs was founded by Shawn Buckley, a fellow dog owner whose first dog, Simon, helped Shawn understand that what’s legally allowed to be in dog food is both shocking and anger-inducing. He noticed misleading labels, dangerous chemical preservatives, and “disgusting ‘ingredients’” all prepared within a self-regulated industry. His love for his own dog got him cooking his own dog food and as he did, his neighbors’ dogs got to benefit from the healthy dog food he was creating. In 2010, together with a team of veterinarians in specialists, he started developing healthy and nutritionally balanced meals for healthy dogs. Since then, his product line has expanded as he continues dedicating his life to advocating for pet health.

Cost, Shipping, and Guarantees 

The Just Food for Dogs Probiotic Live veterinary supplement comes in a bottle with 60 capsules and costs $39.95 for a one time purchase. If you sign up for auto shipping, you can save 35% off your first order and 5% off every recurring auto ship order. Free local pickup is available in select locations as well.

Learn more at JustFoodForDogs.com

3. Wuffes – Honorable Mention

Pros:

  • Veterinarian formulated
  • Aids heart function and soothes irritated gut
  • 100% warranty for 90 days
  • Reduces digestive inflammation

Cons:

  • More expensive than other products but you can save up to 25%

About the Product

Wuffes offers a daily probiotic for dogs that improves digestive and immune health. These probiotics for dogs have been formulated to help your dog’s gut health and they also incorporate a unique blend of vitamins, antioxidants, and digestive enzymes. These soft chews are just like regular treats and help to soothe your dog’s irritated gut, help to reduce digestive inflammation, and even aid with his heart function. There are only three ingredients formulated by veterinary experts to make sure that your dog is only getting exactly what he needs.

About the Company

Wuffes is run by a team of animal lovers who are always working toward providing pets the lives that they deserve. They focus on continuous research so that they can produce new and great products that improve your dog’s overall well-being. They’re also heavily focused on making sure they listen to customer feedback, and they provide their email address to make sure they can do anything in their power to improve their products and their service.

Cost, Shipping, and Guarantees

Wuffes has a 100% risk-free guarantee. They back up every one of your purchases with a 90 day, no questions asked warranty. Delivery is always free on your orders and if you choose auto ship, you can save up to 50% off. For a one time purchase, you can save up to 25% off. A one time purchase costs $38.25 with the discount and if you choose auto ship, you can get a tub of daily probiotics for dogs delivered for only $31.50.

Learn more at Wuffes.com

4. Zesty Paws – For All Breeds

Pros:

  • Choose autoship and save 5%
  • Chicken flavored soft chews
  • Supports immune function
  • Six dog probiotics included

Cons:

  • Some picky dogs may require you to mix these in with their regular food 

About the Product

Zesty Paws offers probiotic chicken flavored chews as a digestive supplement for dogs. These probiotic bites support gut function, gut flora, immune function, and they also help with bowel function. This functional supplement is chewable and also contains DE111, which is ideal for supporting proper digestive function. They are suitable for any size breed in any life stage and are grain free, corn free, wheat free, and soy free.

About the Company

Zesty Paws has a mission to enable and inspire a “zest for life” in pets and pet parents. They value curiosity and follow through with what they learned to keep growing. Their vision is to be recognized as the world’s leading health and wellness company for dogs and cats! They prioritize making functional products with the highest quality and best tasting ingredients. They also partner with the industry’s top ingredient brands to make sure that you and your pup benefit from the breakthroughs they make. Zesty Paws was founded in 2014 and have since grown with a full collection of products to support your dog’s health.

Cost, Shipping, and Guarantees

These gut health bites include 90 soft chews in one container and can be purchased for $26.97. You can always choose autoship and save an extra 5% at check out. You can shop with confidence with Zesty Paws because they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If ever you are unsatisfied with your purchase, just let them know and they’ll make it right.

Learn more about Zesty Paws

5. PetHonesty – Duck Flavored

Pros:

  • 6 billion CFUs per serving
  • Duck flavored
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or GMOs
  • For all breeds and life stages

Cons:

  • You must spend at least $49 to qualify for free shipping 

About the Product

PetHonesty digestive probiotics are duck flavored and come in soft chews. They’re formulated to support digestive health, to support your dog’s immune system, and to help with nutrient absorption. These are veterinarian recommended supplements that combine pumpkin, enzymes, and 6 billion colony forming units (CFUs) per serving. The digestive enzymes are included to help support your dog’s digestive process and is also what helps your pup absorb essential nutrients, fats, and proteins – all of which support immune health. They are GMP compliant, made in the US, and are free from GMOs, wheat, corn, soy, and harsh preservatives.

About the Company

PetHonesty maintains some of the highest safety standards in the industry. Their products are  manufactured in a huge FDA registered facility in the US, which means their production facility is routinely inspected to make sure that they’re following through with their promises. They source all their products with only premium ingredients that are effective, high-quality, and backed by nutritional science research and testing. They use a no-heat cooking method for their soft chews to ensure no portion of the product is ever compromised. Original nutritional value is of high priority so that your dog can experience the health benefits as intended.

Cost, Shipping, and Guarantees 

You can purchase a 90 count jar of PetHonesty digestive probiotics for $25.99. With Chewy, you qualify for free 1 to 3 day shipping when your order is over $49, which leaves you room to stock up on your other favorite pet products. If you choose to auto ship, you can save an extra 5% at check out.

Learn more about PetHonesty

When Should You Give Your Dog Probiotics? 

Probiotics for dogs are often used when there is an imbalance between beneficial bacteria and bad bacteria in your dog’s gut. There are disease-causing bacteria inside your dog’s gut that when counterbalanced with good bacteria, create the perfect atmosphere that allows for good digestion and appropriate nutrient absorption. There are several symptoms and conditions that you should look out for and if you spot them, probiotics can be a huge help for restoring your dog’s health. Some of those include:

Gastrointestinal Distress

If your dog is constantly dealing with stomach upset and overall chronic intestinal distress, a high-quality probiotic formulated specifically for dogs can completely alter his quality of life. Probiotics work to replenish beneficial bacteria and can also support a healthy inflammatory response in your dog’s digestive tract. Overall, a probiotic can make your dog feel normal and happy again.

Behavioral Issues 

You know your dog well. When he is acting out of sorts, your intuition tells you right away that something is going on. Probiotics along with prebiotics help to tackle imbalances and create equilibrium for healthy gut bacteria to improve digestion. If you notice that your dog is engaging in behaviors like excessive licking or is obsessing over certain objects or locations, you may find that probiotics help to alleviate this behavior because they ease the internal issues your dog is experiencing.

Digestive Issues and Illnesses

Your dog may be experiencing issues like diarrhea, cramping, abdominal distress, gas, and bad breath. When you notice any one of these symptoms, there’s something going on in his digestive tract. Probiotics can help to alleviate the symptoms and shorten the duration of diarrhea, relieve gas, relieve bad breath, and also offer relief from abdominal discomfort.

Skin Allergy Symptoms

Allergies are often due to skewed immune responses. Your dog’s gut health and his immune health are closely linked, which means the provision of probiotics can actually help support your dog’s overall immune health. If you’ve noticed that your dog is dealing with skin allergy symptoms, you may want to introduce probiotics to help mitigate the discomfort he experiences.

Additionally, you can also look out for triggers that may lead to imbalances and take preventive measures to help your pup. Those triggers may include:

Infections

If your dog has been suffering with chronic infections, probiotics can help to reduce the frequency of such infections. Antibiotics, when used chronically, may actually contribute to the development of resistant bacteria. However, when probiotics are used in dogs that have frequent infections, this can help to mitigate symptoms and reduce the development of resistant bacteria.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can cause a variety of different symptoms in dogs in the same way that stress and anxiety can create a host of symptoms in humans. If you’re planning a specific event wherein your dog may be stressed, you can help him from developing conditions like colitis by introducing probiotics as a preventive measure. It’s the same concept as when your stomach feels sick when you have a big oral presentation in front of a big crowd or when you feel like you’ve missed the mark on an important assignment. Dogs experience these levels of stress and anxiety as well and their internal processes are also affected. This is why many shelter dogs also suffer from diarrhea – they’re stressed out and their bodies are very notably affected.

Certain Medications

There are certain medications like long-term steroids and antibiotics that kill off the good bacteria in your dog’s stomach as they work to fight an infection or a chronic condition. As a way to counteract the imbalance created by these medications, probiotics can help support gut health while your dog is receiving treatment for another condition.

Senior Years

An imbalanced microbiome is a natural consequence of aging. As your dog gets older, both the diversity and the number of bacteria in your dog’s gut changes. If the bad bacteria in your dog’s gut overwhelms the good bacteria, your dog may end up experiencing leaky gut, inflammation, or chronic disease. Probiotics help to manage and maintain the balance in your dog’s gut, which helps to prevent the development of more serious conditions.

Diet

If your dog is mischievous (and let’s be honest: most dogs are), he might get into some spoiled food or just something else that he wasn’t supposed to ingest. This could completely disrupt his natural gut balance and probiotics can help to restore that balance. Similarly, dogs may have a hard time adjusting to a completely new diet, so if you change your dog’s food, probiotics can help to support him during the transition.

Parasites

Parasitic infections, like roundworms and heartworms, are a reality for dogs and probiotics can help to reduce the risk of developing these parasitic infections – plus, they may also help with fighting off those infections.

How Long Does It Take for Probiotics to Work in Dogs?

Depending on your dog’s condition, probiotics may take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks and sometimes, a couple of months to really do their work. Ultimately, it’s dependent on the underlying condition that is creating the upset in your dog’s digestive system. For example, if your dog is suffering with diarrhea, probiotics can help your dog improve in just a couple of days. If your dog is generally healthy, your dog will see a variety of different benefits over time. 

Probiotics help to promote overall gut health, which supports your dog’s wellbeing. If your dog is diagnosed with a specific health condition, probiotics can help with not only alleviating the underlying condition, but also by providing relief from the uncomfortable symptoms your dog may be experiencing. For example, if your dog has been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, constipation or diarrhea may be alleviated within a couple of days through the use of probiotics. With other conditions, it may take longer to see those improvements, but ultimately, it depends on the underlying condition your dog is dealing with. The best way to get a clear understanding of when probiotics can kick in is to speak with your vet about specifics related to your pup.

Are Probiotics Safe for Dogs?

Generally, probiotics are safe for dogs. They are not known to cause many side effects. So long as you abide by the manufacturer’s recommended dosage, you’ll find any of the products you choose from the list above are safe for your pup. Every dog’s body is different, however, so before starting your dog on a probiotic supplement, it’s best you connect with your veterinarian to make sure that you have professional support through the process. If you give your dog more than the recommended probiotic dose, he may experience some unpleasant side effects that mimic the condition you are giving him probiotics for. For example, you may notice a lot of nausea, some vomiting, and diarrhea. If your dog gets into a bag of probiotic treats, he may develop an infection or deal with painful inflammation. Be mindful of giving only the recommended dosage, connecting with your veterinarian, and keeping any treat-like supplements away from his reach.

What Ingredients for Digestive Health Do Probiotics Include?

Natural probiotics include lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium, which help to manage yeast and your dog’s heart and support your dog’s immune system. Many of the positive effects of probiotics also include reduction of anxiety, reduction of overall stress, and an improved mood. You may notice that your dog’s food allergies improve and will also notice that bouts of diarrhea are lessened or eliminated. Overall, lactobacillus acidophilus is ideal for promoting intestinal health and supporting overall immune function for your dog.

Probiotics don’t just contain lactobacillus acidophilus, but they may also contain enterococcus faecium, which are types of bacteria normally found in the canine gut. Additionally, some formulas may also include prebiotics like bacillus subtilis, which help your dog produce a higher quality bowel movement and can also help to create healthy levels of ammonia in their digestive systems. Additionally, some probiotics include ingredients like spinach leaf extract, which helps your dog age healthfully by optimizing his body processes through cellular restoration and repair. 

Another functional ingredient you might find in a probiotic is DE111, which is a clinically studied bacillus subtilis that helps to promote good digestion and supports the immune system. Generally, the ingredients included in probiotics are very straightforward. They skip past corn, soy, wheat, and any unnecessary preservatives that don’t serve your dog’s health. One of the probiotics we listed above also includes pumpkin in their formula because it’s loaded with fiber and it’s also a great natural support for your dog’s digestion. Overall, you’ll notice that probiotics have a very clean and honest list of ingredients meant to support your dog’s health and nothing else.

Are Probiotics Only for Dogs with Illnesses? 

Although probiotics can help dogs that are diagnosed with a variety of different illnesses, they are not just for dogs that are unwell. In fact, probiotics are just as important as vitamins and other nutrients that your dog should be taking on a regular basis. Your dog’s stomach is ultimately the foundation for his healthy immune system and when you give him probiotics to support his gut health, you’re also giving him better immune system function. This means that his overall health is positively impacted, and you’ll also notice that come through with healthier skin and a healthier, more lustrous coat.

Conclusion

Healthy dogs need great nutrition, plenty of exercise, and lots of love and care from their pet parents. There are situations that create difficulty for dogs, like long-distance moves and other unexpected events. The mischievousness of pups may also land them in sticky situations – both literally and figuratively. The one constant they can always count on to be there for them, even when they’ve been naughty, is you. 

As you work toward supporting your dog’s health, consider how probiotics can be added into their supplement routine. And don’t forget to chat with your vet about the best way to support your dog with probiotics. When you have professional support alongside high quality products, your dog’s diet has a greater chance to improve its quality of life. Every year he gets to live a healthy life is another year he enriches your own life experience – for that, he deserves only the best. 

If your dog’s gut is unhealthy and riddled with an overflow of bad bacteria, it could lead to a variety of different imbalances. For one, he may experience abdominal pain that takes the luster out of his generally cheerful disposition. He may also suffer from bladder infections, weight gain or weight loss, diarrhea, bloating, and the one symptom that may be the most obvious to you: gas. If your dog can clear the room within seconds, he may need some probiotic support. A good probiotic helps your dog both restore and then maintain a great balance of both good and bad bacteria. There are some additional benefits of incorporating a probiotic into your dog’s supplement routine, like more playful energy and better skin.

 

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