Updated February 28, 2023
Probiotics support your dog’s gut health by introducing healthy bacteria.. Among other things, healthy bacteria strengthen your dog’s immune system and aid digestion. Our team set out to find the best probiotic for dogs to boost immune and digestive support. We reviewed these products ourselves, comparing their ingredients, dosage, packaging, and more.
Probiotics are live organisms and gut-dwelling microbes, beneficial bacteria and yeast that help a dog’s digestive and immune systems. Dogs suffering from digestive tract issues like mild (not severe) irritable bowel syndrome, acute diarrhea, anxiety, and tear-staining may benefit from taking a probiotic. Always give them probiotics meant for dogs, not humans, because human probiotics may not contain canine-specific benefits. For a probiotic to be effective, it must contain strains of bacteria that support your dog’s digestive system.
Prebiotics vs. probiotics
“Think of prebiotics as ‘food’ for the probiotics,” says veterinarian Dr. Erica Irish. They support bacteria already living in your dog’s intestines. Probiotics add to the number of healthy microbes in a pet’s gut.
Purina FortiFlora is widely used and recommended by veterinarians. This supplement is designed for dogs that struggle with diarrhea and poor intestinal health. Dog owners can sprinkle once-daily packets of powder directly onto their dog’s food.
Dr. Erica Irish recommends this probiotic to her patients that suffer from tummy troubles since it’s shown to be very effective. She notes that experts in the field of GI health helped to formulate this product, which is why it’s among the top probiotics on the market.
Native Pet Probiotic is a probiotic supplement made with all-natural ingredients and formulated by vets to ensure its safety and effectiveness. We like that it includes ground pumpkin seed, which supports dogs’ immune systems and GI (digestive) health.
Dr. Irish likes that the ingredients are listed on the product label. Given Native Pet’s track record of creating reliable products for pets, she feels comfortable with its safety record.
Proflora has the highest palatability of the probiotic supplements we reviewed, meaning our dogs couldn’t get enough of them! It contains six different strains of beneficial bacteria to promote digestive tract health. This chew contains macrogol, which is a laxative. This is beneficial for constipated dogs but could be an issue for pups with diarrhea.
Knowing which probiotic cultures or beneficial bacteria are included in a probiotic is crucial for pet parents. Dr. Irish likes that all bacteria strains are labeled.
These chews have a lot going for them. We chose them as the top probiotic when it comes to dosage based on the fact that each chew contains 3 billion CFUs. This is a great place for dog owners to start when it comes to introducing healthy bacteria into their dog’s digestive tract.
While Dr. Irish doesn’t have experience with this probiotic supplement, she does like that the ingredients are listed on the product page, which shows transparency.
This once-daily powder contains prebiotics and probiotics that are great for GI upset, two reasons why we picked it as the best option for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It’s also free of dairy, gluten, soy, flavorings, and fillers — making it perfect for any pet with allergies!
According to Dr. Irish, this product is made with safe and effective ingredients. That said, inulin is a prebiotic, so while it isn’t meant to help the immune system, it does help soften stools, making it good for constipation.
This once-daily powder contains prebiotics and probiotics that are great for furry friends that suffer from seasonal allergies. It has a delicious chicken flavor and no dairy, soy, or other fillers.
This product contains great ingredients for a healthy GI tract, and the label on the packaging asserts this. On the website, however, are claims about cognitive support and skin health. There isn’t a lot of scientific data to support these claims, but there are lots to support claims for GI health.
These chicken probiotic chews have the lowest price per unit on our list, and they still have great reviews and are packed full of natural ingredients like flaxseed, rosemary, and oat flour. Dogs also seem to like the chicken flavor. One downside? Our product reviewer noticed that some of the chews are bigger than others, which could lead to inconsistency in dosage.
Based on the ingredients and reviews, Dr. Irish would be comfortable with a patient using Premium Care Probiotic Chews.
Veterinary advisor Dr. Erica Irish helped formulate this list and reviewed each product label. The betterpet lab then tested all but one of these probiotics for dogs — Honest Paws is the newest addition, added for its high-quality ingredients. We will update this review once we’ve tested it with our dogs. When selecting and testing these products, we looked at six criteria:
One popular product that did not make our list was Amazing Probiotics for Dogs because some of the ingredients listed on the packaging were unfamiliar to Dr. Irish. While the joint supplement aspect of this product could be beneficial for older dogs, she didn’t feel comfortable giving this option her stamp of approval.
Each of the seven probiotics on this list was chosen for its high quality, but there are a few things you should consider before giving one to your dog:
Dogs can take probiotics at any time of day. Many of our recommended probiotics are easy to sprinkle on top of or mix with a dog’s food at mealtime. Probiotics come in different forms, including powders, capsules, and pills. Dog owners should follow the instructions on the packaging for dosages and the best times to administer the probiotic.
Based on our thorough analysis of the best probiotics for dogs, we recommend Purina Fortiflora.
Vets recommend probiotics that offer dogs between 1 and 10 billion CFUs per dose. Our vet Dr. Irish chose Purina Fortiflora as her top pick.
Yes! Dogs should take their probiotics daily to stimulate their digestive health and everyday well-being.
Your vet might prescribe a probiotic to your pup if they are experiencing gastrointestinal issues or other symptoms that may be helped with a probiotic. Pets can also benefit from adding a probiotic as a daily supplement and part of a healthy lifestyle. Always be sure to consult your vet before introducing new supplements to your furry friend.
We don’t recommend it considering that a probiotic made for dogs is always a better choice. Many dogs are also lactose intolerant, so dairy could cause them to experience GI issues like vomiting and diarrhea.