Your dog’s digestive system is just as delicate as your own, so it is equally as important for him to be able to remain healthy, active and living his life to the fullest. Therefore, as his committed and caring owner, you will need to be responsible for ensuring that you do everything that you can to keep his digestive processes working as efficiently as possible. Failing to do so could compromise his overall health and wellbeing.
One of the best ways to keep your canine companion’s gut healthy and functioning as it should is to consider the use of probiotics.
What are probiotics?
Not all bacteria will make you sick. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that have shown to actually be beneficial for various functions within your body, and in particular, your digestive system. Probiotics are believed to have several functions, but primarily they inhibit the growth and activity of harmful bacteria, helping to restore the natural balance of bacteria in your digestive tract – something which can be particularly helpful after you have experienced an illness or undergone medical treatment which may have disrupted it.
While you have probably heard about probiotic use for humans, it probably surprises you to learn that these clever little supplements can also be beneficial for your dog.
Types of probiotics for dogs
If you are interested in giving your furry friend probiotics, one of the first things that you will need to do is to decide which type you are going to purchase. There is a range of different options, from pet-specific probiotics to ones which are manufactured for humans but that can, with veterinary approval, be given to your dog.
In addition to this, there are some types of probiotics that have been created with ingredients designed to target certain areas of your pet’s health. For example, Lactobacillus-based probiotics have been shown to improve your dog’s capability to absorb nutrients from his food. Others may slow down a naturally fast metabolism and boost your pet’s immune system.
Most probiotics are available in several different forms including:
- As yogurts or yogurt drinks
- In powders
- In capsules
- As part of his usual manufactured dog food
Our veterinarian will be happy to discuss the different choices with you and help you decide which is likely to be the best one for your dog.
Are probiotics safe for my dog?
While in the whole, probiotics are considered to be exceptionally safe and have very few, if any, side effects, it is important to be vigilant when giving any sort of supplement to your pet. Many allergies and reactions are not realized until the animal in question comes into contact with a substance they are hypersensitive to. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you keep a close eye on your dog for the first few weeks and months after starting him on probiotics so that if he does have an adverse reaction, you can spot it early on.
If you would like more information on probiotics for your dog, call our clinic today and speak to our friendly staff at 256-461-7575.