No matter what we feed them, it sometimes feels as though our dogs have sensitive, upset tummies. Our canines don’t have the same kind of digestive enzymes that we do, and eating new foods or human snacks with strange ingredients can cause great disturbance in their bowels. Luckily, Prebiotics and Probiotics do exist for dogs, but it’s definitely a confusing topic if you’ve never tried to use either of them before.
Inside both you and your dog’s bodies live vital, beneficial forms of bacteria. Bacillus coagulans and Acidophilus simultaneously operate to help effectively break food down and filter out the bad bacteria before it has a chance to spread to the rest of their body. Probiotics are generally recommended for dogs who struggle with nausea and diarrhea after having a meal, which is a common problem as canines age. Essentially, probiotics are the bacteria that live in your dog’s gut and keep the immune system healthy, and some canines just don’t produce enough.
You can give your dog a dose of probiotics once or twice per day, just remember that too much can lead to constipation, diahhrea, or gas. Owners who go out of town and need to leave their dog in boarding quite often should definitely consider probiotics; stressed pups get upset tummies, and supplementing their diet assists them greatly.
In order for probiotic bacteria to survive, it needs the right environment. This is where your prebiotics come in! They work as a support system, promoting a healthy level of growth without allowing probiotics to populate out of control. For the best results, the two should be taken together; just make sure that you introduce prebiotics slowly so your dog can adjust to the change in their diet.
One thing many pet owners aren’t aware of is that prebiotics are non-digestible, which is why it is often referred to as fiber. It can be found in foods like pumpkin, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut; obviously you won’t be feeding your pup kimchi anytime soon, but if they enjoy the flavor of pumpkin you can always add it to their food as an organic source of prebiotics.
A healthy dog usually does just fine, and even better when both pre and probiotics are added to their meals. However, when pets with conditions like IBS or an overgrowth in bacteria consume these supplements it can seriously exacerbate the condition further. Prebiotics are a lot stronger than their counterparts, and they’ll survive for a much longer period of time.
Our dogs need time to adjust to any new element that is introduced to their diet, but when experimenting with the level of bacteria in their gut, you should take extra precaution. If you’re ever unsure about dosage, you can check with your veterinarian. They’ll likely suggest to start with less than the recommended dose, and then give your pup about a week to acclimate before increasing.
Take it slow, and pay attention to your dog’s bowel movements.