Gastrointestinal health is a major contributing factor to immunity and wellbeing. Our guts are filled with both good and bad bacteria, and we must have an optimum balance to stay healthy, active, and strong. In the same manner, our loyal doggie friends benefit from a healthy gut environment.
So the question is “how can you help your dog maintain a healthy gut?” Well, you can improve your dog’s digestive health by giving him daily probiotic supplement- which are formulations of live bacteria and yeast that supports the digestive and immune health.
Probiotics replenish the level of healthy bacterial flora in your dog’s GI tract and prevent the “bad bacteria” from taking over. So your dog stays safe from digestive problems and illnesses, which are characteristic of unbalanced flora levels.
Below are some of the ways probiotics can help your dog’s health:
1. Probiotics can help alleviate itchy skin and allergies
When there is an imbalance of bacteria in your dog’s gut, he is likely to experience allergies and itchy skin because the gut and immune health are inter-related. So you can alleviate these skin allergy symptoms by giving your dog probiotics.
However, other supplements like omega-3 may also be needed to treat these symptoms. But probiotics have been shown by studies to be more effective in creating balance in gut health and immune system in dogs.
2. Probiotics can help reduce digestive issues related to stress and illness
A lot of dog owners stress their dogs when they move them from home to another. This can disrupt the balance between healthy and illness-causing microbes in the gut of your dog and can lead to sickness.
Sometimes, stress and feeling of sickness can cause diarrhea, cramping, gas, and bad breath in your dog. But when you give your dog a good amount of probiotics, it can reduce digestive issues like diarrhea from seven to four days.
3. Probiotics can help improve your dog’s behavior
Gut health has been studied to be related to behavioral changes. So when your dog exhibits behaviors like excessive licking or some obsessive-compulsive actions, it can be as a result of unhealthy gut bacteria and digestive problems.
However, you can support your dog’s digestive health by giving him probiotics supplements. In the end, you’ll notice an improvement in your dog’s behavior.
4. Probiotics can decrease the side effects of antibiotics
Although antibiotics are effective at fighting infections, they sometimes work against both the good and bad bacteria. Besides, they can also cause diarrhea or other gastrointestinal side effects in your dog.
But there is a good way to ward off these side effects of antibiotics. Yea, if you know your pup is going to be placed on these drugs, you can start your dog on probiotics a few days in advance to clear any unpleasant side effect. Then you can continue them beyond the duration of antibiotic treatment.
5. Probiotics can help relieve chronic gastrointestinal distress
If your dog suffers from chronic intestinal issues, you can try giving him a high-quality dog probiotic daily to help replenish his gut with healthy bacteria. This way, your dog’s body will initiate an inflammatory response in his gut, and ultimately help him feel better.
6. Probiotics can help minimize stomach upset due to a change in food
One of the causes of gastrointestinal distresses in dogs is change in food. You can be sure your dog will experience this upset when you make a switch from what your dog has been eating for a long time.
But you can avoid this effect by prepping your dog’s gut with probiotics to create a balance between the good and bad bacteria before making a switch to different food. This way, you will minimize tummy upset in your dog.
7. Probiotics can help support dental health
Studies have shown that giving your dog probiotics can help support healthy teeth. So you can keep your dog’s dental health intact by giving him probiotics from time to time. Besides, you can enjoy your pup’s beautiful smile when you share moments.
8. Probiotics can help give a better coat, skin, and breath
When you promote healthy gut bacteria by feeding your dog probiotic supplement, it gives a beneficial effect on the body, making him feel better inside. It doesn’t stop there! The great feeling from within also becomes evident on the outside of his body.
9. Probiotics can help keep senior dogs healthy and feeling good
As your dog grows older, he becomes susceptible to a weakened immune system. And since about 70 percent of the immune cells are in the gut, giving your dog probiotics will encourage the growth of healthy or “good” bacteria, thereby boosting immunity.
So one of the ways to help your senior dog live longer is to keep his gut flora healthy, and probiotics are a good way to ensure his immunity is intact for overall health and well-being.
10. Probiotics can prevent your dog from eating poop (coprophagy)
The major reason why dogs eat stool (coprophagy) is a deficiency in the intestinal tract. So when you supply your dog’s gut with healthy bacteria, it helps to curb this nasty behavior. More so, digestive enzymes also contribute to curtailing coprophagy. And that’s the reason why enzymes are added to many canine probiotic formulas.
11. Probiotics can help boost immunity in a rescue or shelter dog
If you have a rescue or shelter dog, you need to know the history, the age, the diet they were given before rescue, and any possible medical problems they may have.
But unfortunately, many people who own a rescue or shelter dog do not know about these details. That’s not much of a problem; you can boost your rescue dog’s immunity and counteract any GI symptoms caused by the stress of a new home by giving him probiotics.
12. Probiotics can help boost immunity after surgery or injury
It takes lots of effort for a dog to recover after going through a surgery. Not only surgeries but injuries, which are also physical stressors, can temporarily suppress the immune system. But when you feed your dog with probiotics, it not only support healing and immunity but also helps him tolerate the medications they need to get well.
13. Probiotics can help treat chronic diarrhea and vomiting
Sometimes dogs suffer from idiopathic GI symptoms – meaning, the source of the problem is not clear. It could be as a result of food allergies, stress, or eating things that are not stomach-friendly.
However, this condition can result in chronic diarrhea and vomiting if the bacterial balance is not re-stabilized. The use of probiotics can work effectively in this complicated condition to improve the gut health and overall wellbeing of your pup.
14. Probiotics can help prevent issues related to unhealthy bacterial balance
Your dog can suffer from issues like constipation, painful gas, cramping, and bloating if there is an unhealthy bacterial balance. And these conditions can progress to lethargy, vomiting, and loss of appetite if left untreated. The use of probiotics is very effective to prevent painful issues related to unhealthy gut bacteria in your pup. You can give probiotic supplements, together with freshwater and exercise to help your dog get a healthy gut environment.
Just like humans, dogs also need a healthy gut environment to maintain strong immunity and stay free from gastrointestinal issues. You can give your dog probiotic supplements to help him enjoy the numerous benefits highlighted above.