Your dog may think he can eat anything and get away with it, but can he really? Those fermenting pieces of food lying around your squirrel-hijacked compost bin, or those little snacks left behind by kids at the school down the street are hard to avoid. While your dog will encounter these ‘treats’ often, adverse reactions to them can also give you an indication of the health of your pet’s gut and help you decide whether he may need a probiotic.
What is a probiotic?
Probiotics are microorganisms often referred to as good bacteria that take up residence in a dog’s digestive tract. Dogs require a vast army of microbes to stay alive and healthy and this battalion of microbes is commonly referred to as the gut microbiome.
Gut Challenges for Your Dog
While dogs naturally create good bacteria by eating dirt, grooming and general interacting with other pets, there are modern-day challenges to gut health for your favorite canine that would include:
- Poor quality food
- High carbohydrate diets
- Food allergies or intolerances
- Immune system issues
- Antimicrobial cleaners
While antibiotics might also save the life of your pet, they do so by wiping out all the bacteria in your dog’s gut—both good and bad. If your pet must take a round of antibiotics, it’s best to accompany their medication with a quality probiotic.
Does your dog need a probiotic?
Even a healthy dog needs the preventative maintenance of a regular probiotic; however, certain issues make the need even greater:
- Diarrhea, gas, cramping, or bad breath
- Behavioral changes
- Skin allergies
- Unhealthy looking coat
- Emotional issues
Supporting your dog’s emotional health through a healthy gut
If your dog has anxiety issues or barks a lot, adding probiotics may even change your pet’s behavior for the better. The gut microbiome directly affects the function of the brain and adding the correct bacteria could make a significant difference in your dog’s emotional well-being.
If your dog exhibits signs of anxiety or aggression, it might be wise to consider a probiotic.
What is the best probiotic for your dog?
PointPet puts out an excellent chewable probiotic product that boasts 2 billion Colony Forming Units of probiotics (CFUs) per soft chewable treat. They contain no artificial flavors, added corn, wheat or soy, reducing the potential for allergic reactions in your pet. PointPet cares about the health of your pet and only uses natural ingredients, made in the USA, in its products.
Key benefits of the probiotic treats
- Helps maintain healthy gut flora
- Supports proper digestion and bowel health
- Supports all the protective layers of the bowel
Creating optimum health in your dog’s gut affects his quality of life in so many different ways. It might be time to consider adding a probiotic to his diet. He might even thank you for it.
Animal Wellness is North America's top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.