What Are Probiotics For Dogs And Why Should You Use Them?

What are probiotics for dogs? And, should you use them? In this blog, we discover 5 reasons why introducing your dog to probiotics could be beneficial…

Sep 22, 2023·5 min read
What Are Probiotics For Dogs And Why Should You Use Them?

We’ve heard of probiotics for humans – every yogurt brand seems to want them in their product now! – and gut health is more widely talked about, but what about probiotics for dogs? What can a probiotic do for your dog? And, are they worth the hype in canines too…?

What Are Probiotics For Dogs?

We all have bacteria in our gut, and most of it is essential, good bacteria that keep our gut ticking over and working at optimal levels. Probiotics refer to the microbes (the bacteria/yeast) that dwell in the gut. There are literally billions of microbes living in all animal’s guts (including humans!), and they work to sustain the immune system, aid in healthy digestion, and make vital vitamins and nutrients for the body to use. The good bacteria that live in your pup’s tummy are called commensal bacteria and these are necessary for the healthy functioning of their digestive system.

Probiotics may be labeled on products as:

  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Bacillus coagulans
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Bifidobacterium breve
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus casei

If your dog’s gut health is out of balance, they may become generally unwell and under the weather. If this is the case, it could be that their gut needs some additional support!

Here are 6 amazing reasons why you should be considering introducing probiotics to your dog…

Probiotics For Dogs

They Can Support Oral Health

Probiotics have been touted as a potential way of addressing dental plaque and freshening dog breath! Encouraging healthy levels of good bacteria in the gut can promote good bacteria in your pup’s mouth, meaning you can help support canine dental health via their gut!

They Can Support Dogs With Seasonal Allergies

When a dog experiences seasonal  allergies, a trigger can cause their immune system to go into overdrive because it perceives a certain particle as a risk to the body. This may manifest in occasional skin itchiness, head shaking, or sneezing!

Having a healthy gut is essential for dogs who experience seasonal/occasional allergies because here in the GI tract, the body can help maintain a good bacterial balance. This in turn supports their immune system during allergy season!

They Can Help Senior Dogs Stay Perky

a brown and white spaniel, and a larger, fluffier, reddish brown dog with a pointed snout look up at pant at bright blue sky. They are stood in a field together

As with humans, when dogs get older, their bodies and their functionings become slower, and can sometimes have a weaker immune system. When around 70% of immune cells are located in the gut, it’s important to stay on top of the good bacteria located there to help a maturing Fido stay happy and healthy in their older years!

They Can Help Aid Doggy Digestion

If your dog experiences gastrointestinal distress (caused by emotional stress, seasonal allergies or other challenges) they may be displaying some physical signs like less energy, disinterest in food, or even sadness*.

Together with good levels of water, regular exercise and the introduction of probiotics can promote a healthy gut and overall digestive health. These signs of an unhappy gut and GI tract should be addressed, as they’re as upsetting for your dog as for you, so introducing probiotics to their daily diet can help foster healthy bowel activity and ease their tummy discomforts!

*If your dog is displaying symptoms like this, always get them checked over by a vet first.

They Can Help Improve Behavior

If your dog’s gut is grumpy, more often or not they’ll be grumpy too! Did you know that a change in mood is one of the first signs your pet is feeling under the weather? They might excessively lick their tummy or withdraw from socializing/playing etc. In the process of improving their gut health with probiotics, this will have a knock-on effect on their mood too! A healthy dog is a happy dog!

two chocolate labradors sit one behind the other in an old fashioned living room

PetLab Co.’s In-House Pet Consultant Nicole’s Inside Knowledge

As mentioned above, the microbiome consists of commensal bacteria (i.e. they are always present!) and they have a symbiotic relationship with dogs, meaning they feed on the same food and don’t cause any problems. The small intestine in adult dogs can contain as many as 700 different strains of bacteria, while the canine large intestine may have as many as 5000 different strains! And, each dog has its own unique microbiome.

“Probiotics are great for preventing a shift/imbalance in bacterial populations after stress. This is why probiotics are an important part of your routine, as they can help diversify the essential bacterial flora in your pup’s gut.”


Authors Zambori, Csilla and Morvay, Attila Alexandru and Sala, Claudia and Licker, Monica and Gurban, Camelia and Tanasie, Gabriela and Tirziu, Emil “Antimicrobial Effect Of Probiotics On Bacterial Species From Dental Plaque” US National Library Of Medicine, Mar 31. 2016 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27031452/

Sarah MiltonS

Sarah Milton

Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!

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The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
*In Amazon Pet Health Category in 2022
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