Prebiotics Vs Probiotics for Dogs
Prebiotics and probiotics are microorganisms that carry a whole host of health benefits. However, not all of them are safe for humans, and equally, not all are safe and healthy for dogs.
Striking what may sometimes be a tricky balance can ultimately give you a healthy pet or poison it. This is why knowing your prebiotics and probiotics for dogs are essential for dog owners.
What Is the Difference Between Dog Prebiotics and Probiotics?
Both prebiotics and probiotics are known to aid digestion. They help the digestive system break down food and nutrients by multiplying the good bacteria present in the body.
However, an excessive amount of prebiotics can be dangerous for dogs. Prebiotics for dogs are found in some carbohydrates that produce large amounts of fiber that cannot be fully digested by the stomach.
They should only be taken in small amounts as their only function is to feed the probiotics to ensure they don’t get expelled from the body.
This is why food and supplements with a small amount of prebiotics and larger quantities of probiotics are the general recommendation for dogs, not the other way around.
This is a common mistake among dog owners as they tend to interchange one for the other or just see prebiotics and probiotics for dogs as the same as each other.
What Are the Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs?
Probiotics break down the food dogs ingest in such a way that their bodies can easily absorb the nutrients in it, which are ultimately the point of any dog’s entire nutrition. While it may seem simple, the benefits of good digestion are really worth noting.
Since the food is easily broken down as your dog metabolizes the food and nutrient it consumes, your dog will be more active and energetic as its body will get the nutrients needed to do certain activities and feed its muscles, brain and overall functioning.
Aside from this, probiotics can decrease the risk of diarrhea in dogs. An extreme version of it can lead to abdominal pain, dehydration and fainting. All dog owners know that diarrhea is one of the most common illnesses that occur in dogs and other pets as they tend to eat everything they can lay their paws on.
Probiotics are also known to boost the immune system of dogs. Since their body will absorb more nutrients when proper digestion occurs, they become less susceptible to infections and diseases.
Lastly, probiotics can give dogs nicer coats and healthier fur. A positive side effect of dog probiotics is the easy excretion of waste, with healthier and glowing skin, something that is the case for humans too.
Where Can You Find Probiotics for Dogs?
Rich amounts of probiotics can be found in yogurt, natto, miso, and raw milk. While all of these can easily be digested by humans, they aren’t really compatible with most dog breeds.
This is why probiotics are best given to dogs through multivitamins. This way, the right amounts of prebiotics and probiotics can be delivered to your dog. They would also be packaged in such a way that your dog would only get the health benefits of probiotics without any side effects.
Food supplements that combine probiotics with Vitamin D3 and Vitamin B12 are the most highly recommended ones by experts.
So, are you ready to introduce probiotics to your dog? Just as with any food supplement, it is best that you first consult it with your veterinary.
Laura Robinson, DMV
Dr Laura practices at the Antonio Animal Hospital in California, where she was born and raised. She is an advisor to Wuffes, ensuring all our products and content is of the highest standard