Best Probiotic For Dogs: Natural, Soil Based, Calming, Homemade, For Dogs With Diarrhea, Yeast Infection, And More

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Human probiotics have become a health craze due to their numerous benefits, but have you considered them for your furry friend?

We all know how fickle a dog’s digestive system can be. Fortunately, specially formulated dog probiotics can be a life-changer for dogs suffering from digestive and other health problems. What do you need to know about pup probiotics, and which products are your best bets?

Always consult your vet before giving your pup any medications or supplements. 

Article Overview

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are formulas containing living gut-friendly bacteria found naturally in the digestive tract and other areas of the body. The goal of ingesting probiotics is to maintain healthy levels of good bacteria, prevent gastrointestinal (GI) problems, and boost the immune system after being disrupted by illness, infection, antibiotic treatment, or other stressors.

Benefits

Probiotic (caption: Best Probiotics For Dogs)Probiotics have many health benefits, but some key advantages include:

  • Decreases incidences of diarrhea and flatulence
  • Improves bad breath
  • Helps recovery from illnesses and infections
  • Enhances immune response
  • Helps manage many diseases, like inflammatory bowel syndrome, and kidney disease
  • Reduces pain and swelling due to anti-inflammatory properties
  • Improves stress response

Expert Tip

Many report diarrhea or other stomach upset upon starting a new probiotic regimen. However, this is common with any major dietary adjustment — for pets and humans. So, it may be best to ease into the treatment with less than the recommended dose, allowing time for your pet’s tummy to calibrate to this nutritional change.

What To Look For

Each dog’s health needs are different, so you want to look for a probiotic formula that contains bacterial strains that address those individual needs, e.g., intestinal infections, diarrhea, etc. For that reason, we’ve listed the probiotic blends included in each product we review.

Products you’re considering should list the specific bacterial species and strains, such as Bifidobacterium animalis. The best formulas include several different strains to help multiple aspects of their digestive and immune systems simultaneously.

We’ve included a summary of the best bacterial strains for dogs and their specific benefits. Click here to jump to that section.

What Is CFU?

Bacteria in petri dishWhen comparing probiotic formulas, you’ll usually notice a CFU count as a prominent “selling point.” CFU stands for “colony-forming unit,” and a CFU count quantifies how many live bacteria cultures in a probiotic are active and can divide to form these beneficial colonies.

Is a higher CFU count better? It depends. If you’re giving your dog probiotics daily to maintain digestive and immune health, a lower CFU count should suffice (between 3-10 billion CFU).

However, a higher CFU count is ideal for illnesses and health problems, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), food allergies, after antibiotic treatment, and other cases. Studies suggest you can also give healthy dogs probiotics with high counts — it’s not believed to be harmful.

Prebiotics

You’ll want to look for a probiotic blend that includes a prebiotic. Prebiotics promote probiotic growth, which helps keep harmful bacteria under control in the dog’s gut.

Best Probiotics For Overall Dog Health

We’ve chosen our top picks based on several factors, including the variety of blends, other ingredients, customer feedback, and pricing.

Nom Nom Probiotic Support Review

NomNom's Probiotic Support Package#1

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We chose Nusentia Probiotic Miracle as the best dog probiotic for its combination of blends, reasonable price, and overall fantastic customer reviews. Nom Nom, a popular fresh dog food delivery service, has two different probiotic blends for dogs (full spectrum and GI-targeted) and a probiotic for cats. Their blends are formulated by their expert team of veterinary nutritionists and microbiologists. The company also offers a gut health test for dogs and cats that can help you determine if they need a probiotic.

The full-spectrum probiotic formula includes a prebiotic and seven different strains of live bacteria to help maintain normal digestive and immune function and intestinal tract health.

The GI-targeted formula includes Saccharomyces boulardii, which can help treat diarrhea, Clostridium difficile, and inflammatory bowel disease in dogs. S. boulardii is also beneficial if your dog is taking antibiotics. It’s a healthy yeast that’s also considered a probiotic rather than a bacteria, so it won’t be killed by antibiotic use.

Recommended use:

  • Mix one level scoop of the powder into food once daily
  • Protect from light, high temperatures, and moisture
  • Refrigerate for optimal preservation

Probiotics included in Full Spectrum Blend: Inulin (prebiotic), Bifidobacterium animalis, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. reuteri, L. fermentum, L. rhamnosus, and Pediococcus acidilactici.

Probiotics included in GI-Targeted Blend: Inulin (prebiotic), Bifidobacterium animalis, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus reuteri, Pediococcus acidilactici, and Saccharomyces boulardii.

Pros

Cons

  • Formulas contain no dairy, rice, wheat, soy, or artificial ingredients
  • Each batch is independently tested for quality
  • 20 billion CFUs per serving, including strains derived from healthy dogs
  • Made in the USA
  • Free shipping
  • No money-back guarantee

Price

  • Full Spectrum: $40 for a 30-day supply
  • GI-Targeted: $40 for a 30-day supply
  • Gut Health Test: $90

Coupon

Our readers have access to save 50% off your first order of Nom Nom, no promo code needed. Use this link to get started!

Read Our Full Review Of Nom Nom

Nusentia Probiotic Miracle Review

Nusentia Probiotic Miracle#2

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Nusentia Probiotic Miracle is our #2 pick as the best dog probiotic for its combination of blends and overall fantastic customer reviews. It also has a 60-day 100% money-back guarantee.

This formula contains six different strains and a prebiotic to combat dog diarrhea, loose stool, yeast overgrowth, bad breath, constipation, itching & scratching, allergies, digestive issues, and gut-related problems.

Recommended use: Sprinkle a small scoop of this tasteless and odorless powder on your dog’s food. You can store it at room temperature for up to a year.

Probiotics included: Inulin (prebiotic), Bifidobacterium animalis lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, L. salivarius, L. plantarum, and L. reuteri.

Pros

Cons

  • All-natural formula with no rice, soy, dairy, fillers, or byproducts
  • Good for a variety of health concerns
  • 1 billion CFUs per serving
  • Tasteless and odorless
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Safe for dogs and cats
  • Made in the USA
  • A few pet parents said it upset their dog’s stomach and/or caused diarrhea
  • Can get lumpy

Price

  • $39.99 for one 131g jar (360 scoops)

Coupon

Looking for a Nusentia promo code? Click here for the best deal we could find. 

VetriScience Vetri Mega Probiotic Review

VetriScience Vetri Mega Probiotic#3

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VetriScience is a well-respected canine supplement brand, and its probiotic formula doesn’t disappoint. If your dog scoffs at powder on his food, VetriScience’s capsules could be an excellent solution.

This product contains a prebiotic, seven bacterial strains, and five billion CFU per capsule. It’s recommended for supporting digestive health and issues related to food sensitivity and allergies. It also promotes a healthy immune and neurological system.

Recommended use: Give one capsule daily for dogs under 40 lbs (2 capsules for dogs over 40 lbs). Store in a cool, dry place.

Probiotics included: Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) prebiotic, Bifidobacterium bifidum, B. Iongum, Enterococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. brevis, L. plantarum, and L. casei.

Pros

Cons

  • All-natural and non-dairy
  • Promotes healthy digestive, immune and neurological systems
  • 5 billion CFUs per capsule
  • Safe for dogs and cats
  • Contains rice flour (some dogs are sensitive)
  • Several pet parents said it caused diarrhea

Price

Coupon

VetriScience often has discounted prices off of MSRP on Amazon.

Honorable Mention: PetHonesty Digestive Probiotic Chews

PetHonessty Digestive Probiotic ChewsVisit Website

If you are looking for an alternative to powders or pills, these PetHonesty’s probiotic chews with enzymes help support digestive health, immunity, and nutrient absorption. They come in two flavors (duck or pumpkin) and do not contain wheat, corn, soy, dairy, harmful chemicals, preservatives, or artificial flavoring. Each chew contains five strains of bacteria and three billion CFUs.

Made in the USA in a Good Manufacturing Practices certified and FDA approved facility, you can trust you are giving your pup a trusted daily supplement. They have a money-back guarantee and subscription option to save 20% on recurring purchases. You can also save 10% if you bundle three together.

Recommended use: Best when taken on a full stomach after mealtime. One chew per day per every 25 lbs of dog’s weight.

Probiotics included: Inulin (prebiotic), Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. brevis, L. fermentum, L. lactis, and L. plantarum.

Pros

Cons

  • All-natural with no wheat or dairy
  • Promotes healthy digestive and immune systems
  • 3 billion CFUs per chew
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Save 20% with auto-shipping
  • Made in the USA
  • Contains fewer strains than our top 3 picks

Price

You can save 20% off the following price with auto-shipping.

  • $25.99 for one-time purchase (90-count)

Coupon

PetHonesty is having a 4th Of July sale. Our readers can get 20% off all orders of 2 jars or more through 7/31/2021 with the promo code JULYDEAL. Use this link to take advantage of this offer.

Read Our Full PetHonesty Review

Honorable Mention: Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotic

Honest Paws Pre+ ProbioticView on Amazon

Honest Paws, a premium manufacturer of CBD oils and CBD treats, offers a vet-formulated probiotic powder blend that contains a prebiotic, six strains of bacterial probiotics, and Solarplast, a spinach leaf extract that promotes cellular restoration and repair.

Each serving contains five billion CPUs and comes in a single packet, making dosing a breeze. It’s chicken-flavored and contains all-natural ingredients. This product didn’t make it into our top picks because it only hit the market in 2021, and we can’t find many customer reviews about its efficacy.

Recommended use: Administer 1 stick per day orally or as recommended by a veterinarian.

Probiotics included: Inulin (prebiotic), Bacillus subtilis (DE111), Bacillus coagulans, Bifidobacterium animalis lactis, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus plantarum. 

Pros

Cons

  • All-natural and non-GMO
  • Promotes healthy digestive and immune systems
  • 5 billion CFUs per serving
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Save 15% with auto-shipping
  • Made in the USA
  • Contains rice hull and rice extract blend (some dogs are sensitive)
  • Not many customer reviews since it’s a relatively new product

Price

You can sign up for auto-shipping every month and save 15% off the following price. Shipping is free with orders over $48.

Coupon

Use this link to take advantage of the best offers from Honest Paws.

Read Our Full Review Of Honest Paws

Probiotics For Specific Health Conditions

Allergies | Diarrhea | While Taking Antibiotics

Best Probiotic For Dogs With Allergies: Zesty Paws Aller-Immune Bites Review

Zesty Paws Aller-Immune + ProbioticView on Amazon

A healthy gut can go a long way to alleviate your dog’s allergy issues. Zesty Paws Aller-Immune Bites combines a five-strain probiotic formula with special ingredients to help combat more serious allergy and immunity problems.

These chewable bites contain organic licorice root, apple cider vinegar, colostrum, and vitamins, protein, fiber, and antioxidants that are clinically proven to boost the immune system. The peanut butter chews also include wild Alaskan salmon oil to support your dog’s immune system health and skin allergies.

Recommended Use: Begin with half the suggested dose and gradually work up to the suggested daily amount: 1 chew (up to 25 lbs), 2 chews (26-75 lbs), and 3 chews (over 75lbs). Amounts can be split between AM and PM.

Probiotics included: Inulin (prebiotic), Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. brevis, L. fermentum, L. lactis, and L. plantarum.

Note: Many customers say it takes a few weeks to improve allergies and itchy skin, so stick with it.

Pros

Cons

  • Budget-friendly
  • Formula is free of grains, corn, and soy
  • Contains antioxidants to relieve itchy skin
  • Chews are easier to give than powders
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Many customers say their dogs love the peanut butter and lamb flavored chews
  • Not dairy-free
  • CFU count is lower than other products reviewed here (250 million per chew)
  • A few reviews that it upset their dog’s stomach

Price

Best Probiotic For Dogs With Diarrhea: Purina Pro Plan FortiFlora Review

Purina Pro Plan FortiFlora ProbioticView on Amazon

Vets have been recommending Purina FortiFlora to their patients for years to regulate dogs’ digestive systems when things go awry. This product contains 100 million CFU per gram of Enterococcus faecium and other beneficial ingredients, such as vitamins E, B, and C, antioxidants, beta-carotene, and zinc.

Recommended Use: Feed 1 packet to your dog daily under the supervision of your veterinarian.

Probiotic included: Enterococcus faecium

Pros

Cons

  • Effective against flatulence and diarrhea
  • Comes in pre-measured packets
  • Made in the USA
  • Can be hit or miss, depending on your dog’s gut makeup (since it’s only one strain)
  • Doesn’t include a prebiotic

Price

Best Probiotic For Dogs On Antibiotics: FullBucket Review

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FullBucket has a yeast-based powder probiotic that’s a good option if your dog is taking antibiotics. Each serving contains five billion CFUs of Saccharomyces boulardii, a yeast probiotic that antibiotics won’t kill. This all-natural product also contains a prebiotic, digestive enzymes, and L-glutamine, an important amino acid that helps provide energy and supports cell repair.

Note: Our number one pick, Nom Nom, also offers a probiotic that contains S. boulardii, in addition to several bacteria strains.

Recommended use: One scoop on food with each meal for adult dogs (1/4 scoop for puppies).

Probiotic included: Saccharomyces boulardii

Pros

Cons

  • Ideal for dogs taking antibiotics
  • All-natural, vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO
  • Save 20% with auto-shipping 
  • Made in the USA
  • Doesn’t contain any bacterial probiotic strains
  • Some users say it wasn’t effective for their dogs

Price

You can save 20% off the following price with auto-shipping.

  • $27.99 for one 87g jar (30 servings)
  • $112 for one 435g jar (150 servings)
  • View all options

Coupon

Looking for a Full Bucket promo code? Use code CanineJournal20 to get 20% off your order, just click here to get started.

Most Beneficial Bacteria Strains For Dogs

Bacterial species used most frequently in probiotics for dogs are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.

  • Bifidobacterium animalis is found in your dog’s large intestine. It helps to improve overall intestinal health, prevent inflammatory activity and infection and resolve canine diarrhea.1
  • Enterococcus faecium aids in digestion and helps to maintain a healthy mix of bacteria in the dog’s stomach. It also supports inhibitory effects against Shigella, E. coli, Salmonella, and other pathogens.1
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus helps to promote antibacterial and antifungal properties in the GI tract. It also helps prevent diarrhea associated with an antibiotic. Finally, it may help reduce cholesterol levels and improve weight gain/growth in puppies and younger dogs.1
  • L. fermentum, L. rhamnosus, L. salivarius, L. reuteri, L. plantarum, and L. casei all figure prominently in populations of normal canine microbiota. Along with providing strong anti-microbial activity in the GI tract, these bacteria are also extraordinarily vigorous and capable of significantly modifying and improving inferior intestinal health.1
  • Pediococcus acidilactici is used to treat constipation and diarrhea, relieve stress, and enhance the immune response. It’s also known to protect the small intestine from pathogens, such as E. coli and Salmonella.2

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions our readers often ask about dog probiotics. Don’t see your question here? Ask us in our comments.

Can Dogs Take Human Probiotics?

Human probiotics aren’t harmful to dogs, but they may not help your pup. Why? Many of the bacteria strains in humans can differ from those in dogs, so it’s more beneficial to give your pup a dog-specific probiotic. But keep in mind that a human probiotic blend could have other ingredients that may be harmful to dogs — so it’s wise to go with a doggy blend.

Can Puppies Take Probiotics?

Yes, puppies can take probiotics formulated for dogs. What’s the best probiotic for puppies? Any of the products we review here are safe and beneficial for puppies. Just make sure to follow the recommended serving size for your puppy’s weight.

Are There Natural Probiotics For Dogs?

A good source of natural probiotics for dogs is yogurt or kefir. You’ll want a product that’s high in live cultures with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Added sugars aren’t healthy for dogs, and some artificial sweeteners, like xylitol, are toxic for dogs. Also, plain, Greek-style yogurt is better because it has lower levels of lactose, which can cause digestive issues in some dogs.

Fermented vegetables can also be a good source of natural probiotics for dogs, but you want to make sure they don’t contain any onions, garlic, or chives as these are toxic for dogs. See which foods are and aren’t safe for dogs.

Why Do Vets Recommend Probiotics?

See one family’s story about how their vet-recommended probiotic helped their senior Shih Tzu.

Other Ways To Remedy Digestive Problems

Besides adding probiotics to your dog’s diet, there are other things you can do to treat your dog if he’s suffering from chronic GI problems. First, check out our tips to cure a dog’s upset stomach.

You may also want to consider switching your dog’s diet. Several companies specialize in all-natural, high-quality dog food blends that are formulated to address GI problems and allergies. And they deliver right to your door. Read our reviews of the best dog food subscriptions to learn more.

Why are you considering adding a probiotic to your dog’s diet?

Sources: [1] Doggy’s Digest, [2] NCBI


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