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Probiotics For Dogs: Gut Health For Mutt Health

The word bacteria usually makes you think of annoying, smelly germs that cause illnesses. However, naturally-occurring healthy microorganisms (bacteria), are found inside humans and animals, aiding with bodily functions.

Healthy gut bacteria, also known as microflora, contains trillions of microorganisms that live primarily in the digestive tract where they aid in the digestion of food, produce essential nutrients, and help fight off infection from other pathogens. Gut flora also helps with the production of neurotransmitters.

The following factors can upset healthy gut bacteria:

  • Medications your dog is on
  • Stress your dog may be experiencing
  • Unclean conditions
  • If your dog is ill

This means that your dog's stomach could be blocked, which could lead to digestive problems or even more serious issues affecting your dog's health. If these symptoms do occur, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

Probiotics are supplements for a healthy gut. They contain millions of healthy bacteria found in your digestive tract. Taking them as a dietary supplement can help provide many health benefits.

Probiotic supplements have been used in the human health market for a while, but they made their arrival in the pet health product market only a few years ago. But are they worth it for your pet?

What benefits do probiotics provide?

Canine probiotics are very helpful for dogs with certain conditions, including gas and diarrhea. They are also often beneficial for dogs with chronic digestive and kidney infections. Just like with humans, veterinarians often recommend probiotics for dogs following antibiotic treatment. This helps replace the healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.

Some studies, such as those authored by Dr. Carrie D Angelo, found that canine probiotics could benefit dogs with:

  • Liver function
  • Skin conditions
  • Kidney function
  • Immune function
  • Shiny, healthy coat
  • Weight management

Researchers have tested a number of health conditions that probiotic consumption may be able to help with. These studies have been quite promising up to this point, but further research needs to be conducted in order to fully understand the mechanisms through which probiotics helps with some of the aforementioned diseases.

When your dog may need probiotics

It's best not to give your dog probiotics unless you've consulted with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will review your pet’s medical history and may recommend a specific probiotic based on their findings.

Not all natural dog supplements are the same. Since there are many types of dog probiotics, only the ones prescribed by your veterinarian or offered by quality and respected pet supplement brands should be given to your dog.

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