Probiotics for dogs

Below  is a guide to probiotics for your dogs. Here we cover what you need to know about probiotics including their role, their uses, when to use them and why you should be using probiotics for your dog.

Probiotics for dogs are live microorganisms (usually bacteria) that live in various parts of your dog’s body.

They are spread all over the body and not just in the GI tract. Probiotic bacteria are the body’s first line of defence and are, in effect, part of the body’s immune system. You will find probiotics in your dog’s:

  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Oral cavity / mouth
  • Nasal cavity / nose
  • Respiratory organs
  • Vagina or prepuce
  • On the skin

If your dog has been on antibiotics then these can actually kill the probiotics in your dogs system and definately need replacing. The great news is, that there is increasing scientific evidence to support the incorporation of probiotics (live beneficial bacteria and yeasts) into our dogs’ diets as a means to derive a wide range of health benefits. For example, studies show that probiotics can help to:

Aid digestion

A great aid to working dogs who's bodies are under a lot of stress and need to recover quickly

Reduce faecal odour and volumeImprove breath

‍Support the immune system (Probiotic bacteria are the body’s first line of defence and are, in effect, part of your dog's immune system.)

‍Reduce gastrointestinal issues

Reduce allergic reactions (Such as yeast allergies)

Promote nutrient production

Enhance nutrient absorption

Eliminate toxins from the body (Probiotics for dogs help populate your dog’s intestines with healthy, bug fighting bacteria.)

Support skin health ( They support gut health and help with fighting auto immune symptoms such as itchy skin, eczema, arthritis and digestive issues)

Positively influence mood and stress-related behaviours

The relationship between prebiotics & probiotics for dogs

Prebiotics are the compost on which your good bacteria grow. Great examples of prebiotics for humans are soluble & insoluble fibres like the undigested parts of all those veggies you should be eating.

In dogs, they use vegetable matter similar to humans, from their raw meals and also the other fibres from partially digested bone, tendons, skin and fur. 

The probiotics cannot thrive without the prebiotics and your dog cannot thrive or even survive without probiotics.

How to find the right probiotic

There are several popular strains of probiotics. All serve a purpose. If you want to avoid wasting your money when sourcing these it is essential to find a supplement form of probiotics for dogs which is:

  1. Resistant to you or your dog’s digestion (as they are simply killed by stomach acid otherwise) and never make it to the gut.
  2. Stable at room temperature, unless you know for certain it has been previously stored consistently in the fridge.
  3. Contains multiple strains that are proven to be beneficial.
  4. Contains sufficient numbers of each strain.

The benefits of probiotics for dogs

Probiotic bacteria are the body’s first line of defence and are, in effect, part of your dog’s immune system. They help to catch and kill bacterial and fungal invaders to the areas mentioned above, oral cavity etc.

They also play an important role in breaking down food into nutrients.

Scientific research is increasingly focused on understanding the varied roles probiotics for dogs play.

Supporting gut health

Probiotics are increasingly being called our gut buddies. and being studied for their role in our biome. There is a general recognition that our bodies are not just filled with bacteria, but are also somewhat governed by them..

When our gut buddies are healthy, we are healthy! That means, it is very important that we sustain and foster the health of our gut buddy probiotics.

When our dogs eat food, it is digestive enzymes that help to break it down and turn it into useable nutrients. However, there is more and more research that highlights the role of probiotics in that process.

When to use probiotics for dogs

When should you consider supplementing with probiotics for dogs? Here are two examples.

  1. Almost always when your dog is having or has had any antibiotics
  2. If your dog is experiencing auto immune symptoms such as itchy skin, eczema, arthritis and digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation  or IBS.


It is better to use probiotics for dogs preventatively rather than when your dog shows symptoms of the above.