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The 7 best probiotics for dogs

Updated February 28, 2023

Your pup’s gut health is important. We reviewed gut-friendly supplements that will aid in digestion, fight off pathogens, and boost your dog’s immune system.

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.

Best probiotic for dogs, reviewed

The best dog probiotics

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.

Our top pick: Purina FortiFlora

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.

  • Safe ingredients. This probiotic contains safe, effective ingredients like vitamins C and E, zinc, and more. It also contains a concentrated flavoring made of proteins that are safe for most dogs, including those with food allergies.
  • Bacteria. Enterococcus faecium is the only bacteria used in this product. This beneficial bacteria is used to treat gastrointestinal upset and stimulate a dog’s digestive tract.
  • Palatability. Purina Fortiflora is highly palatable, especially when used in powder form and offered to dogs with their regular food.
  • Recommended dosage. These 1-gram sachets of powder are meant to be given to dogs once daily.
  • Veterinarian-formulated? This product was formulated by veterinarians and pet nutrition experts and researchers.
  • Packaging. The powders are super easy to tear open and use, and since they’re single-serve, they’re especially convenient when traveling.

What our vet thinks

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.

Best limited-ingredient probiotic: Native Pet Probiotic for Dogs

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.

  • Safe ingredients. There are only four ingredients in this product: a probiotic blend, Jerusalem artichoke, pumpkin seed, and tasty bone broth. It’s a great pick for pet parents looking for a probiotic without artificial sweeteners or fillers.
  • Bacteria. Native Pet uses dried fermentation products as opposed to full beneficial bacteria strains, which differentiates it from other products on this list.
  • Palatability. This formula is highly palatable and can be sprinkled over your dog’s normal food.
  • Recommended dosage. The label recommends one scoop daily for dogs that weigh less than 50 pounds and two scoops for dogs that weigh more. Our product reviewer noted that each scoop contains 6 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) of bacteria, putting two scoops on the high end of our vet’s dosage recommendations, even for large pups.
  • Veterinarian-formulated. This probiotic is vet- and nutritionist-formulated.
  • Packaging. This option comes in a canister and includes a plastic scoop. Since the powder isn’t individually packaged, there’s less waste.

What our vet thinks

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.

Best for picky pups: Proflora Probiotic Soft Chews

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.

  • Safe ingredients. Proflora contains more ingredients than some of the other options on this list, including a sweetener. Though sugar feeds healthy bacteria, it’s not a good additive for diabetic dogs.
  • Bacteria. As noted, there are six strains of bacteria in this chew.
  • Palatability. These chews are highly palatable.
  • Recommended dosage. Each chew contains 1 billion CFUs of bacteria per dose, which is low on the recommended scale.
  • Veterinarian-formulated. Although a vet formulated this product, we couldn’t find a name on the packaging or company website.
  • Packaging. These chews come in a resealable plastic pouch.

What our vet thinks

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.

Best dosage for digestion: Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites

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.

  • Safe ingredients. These chews don’t contain any artificial flavors or preservatives. They include coconut glycerin, flaxseed, garbanzo flour, papaya, pumpkin, and more.
  • Bacteria. These probiotic bites contain a six-strain probiotic blend of beneficial bacteria. The probiotics included are Bacillus subtilis DE111, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Lactococcus lactis.
  • Palatability. Our dog found these very palatable, with three flavors: pumpkin, chicken, and bison.
  • Recommended dosage. With 3 billion CFUs per dose, these chews fall right in line with dosage recommendations.
  • Veterinarian-formulated. These probiotics are not vet-formulated or clinically tested.
  • Packaging. The container is sealed with a plastic covering that has to be removed upon opening, which was somewhat difficult. However, after the first use, you can easily twist the cap to open this product.

What our vet thinks

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.

Best for tummy troubles: Nusentia Probiotic Miracle

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!

  • Safe ingredients. This powder blend contains only the probiotics listed below, as well as stearic acid and the prebiotic inulin.
  • Bacteria. Our product reviewer noted that the strains of good bacteria in this probiotic are especially beneficial for dogs that suffer from diarrhea.
  • Palatability. The powder is palatable and easy for dog owners to administer since it goes right on top of your dog’s normal food.
  • Recommended dosage. Nusentia’s dosage recommendations vary depending on the size of your pet. Each scoop contains 1 million CFUs.
  • Veterinarian-formulated. This product doesn’t appear to have been formulated by a vet.
  • Packaging. This probiotic comes in an easy-to-open twist-top canister. However, the scoop can get buried quite deep in the powder.

What our vet thinks

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.

Best for dogs with allergies: Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotics

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.

  • Safe ingredients. This powder blend contains only the probiotics listed below, as well as solorplast (spinach leaf extract) and the prebiotic inulin.
  • Bacteria. The beneficial bacteria and ingredients included in this product are Bacillus subtilis DE111, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bacillus coagulans, Bifidobacterium longum, and Bifidobacterium animalis lactis. 
  • Palatability. The powder is palatable and easy for dog owners to administer since it goes right on top of your dog’s normal food. The tasty chicken flavor will also be a perk for your pup.
  • Recommended dosage. Honest Paws’ dosage comes in pre-measured packages but may vary depending on the size of your pet. Each scoop contains 5 billion CFUs.
  • Veterinarian-aformulated. This product doesn’t appear to have been formulated by a vet.
  • Packaging. This probiotic comes in pre-measured sachets, making it easy to administer and portion in your dog’s food.

What our vet thinks

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.

Best deal: Premium Care Probiotic Chews

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.

  • Safe ingredients. These chews include rosemary extract, oat flour, coconut glycerin, rice bran, and flaxseed.
  • Bacteria. The strains of beneficial bacteria included in this probiotic supplement are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Lactococcus lactis.
  • Palatability. Our dog found the moderate chicken flavor to be very palatable.
  • Recommended dosage. Premium Care recommends giving your pup one chew for every 25 pounds of body weight. Dogs shouldn’t consume more than five chews per day.
  • Veterinarian-formulated. Though this product wasn’t vet-formulated or clinically tested, it does claim to be recommended by vets.
  • Packaging. These chews arrive in a well-sealed and easy-to-open canister with a screw-top lid.

What our vet thinks

Based on the ingredients and reviews, Dr. Irish would be comfortable with a patient using Premium Care Probiotic Chews.

How we selected the best probiotics for dogs

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:

  • Safe ingredients. We reviewed each option carefully to ensure it was safe for dogs and had no harmful ingredients.
  • Bacteria. We questioned whether the bacteria strain(s) in each product were beneficial and well-researched.
  • Palatability. Tester Sara Ondrako tested probiotics on her dogs to determine how much they enjoyed the taste. She also noted whether the powders mixed well with food.
  • Recommended dosage. Vets recommend between 1 and 10 million CFUs per dose of probiotics. With this in mind, we noted the dosage on each product.
  • Veterinarian-formulated. We sought answers to whether the product was formulated by a veterinarian or clinically tested. In some cases, this involved reaching out to the company.
  • Packaging. We considered how easy the packaging was to open and close and whether there was more plastic waste than necessary.

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.

When you should give your dog a probiotic

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:

  1. Get familiar with your dog’s specific gastrointestinal habits — Dogs with severe irritable bowel syndrome may not be good candidates for probiotics. On the flip side, even healthy dogs should consider a daily probiotic.
  2. Look at the ingredients on your favorite product label — Make sure they receive your vet’s approval. Your veterinarian sees the big picture of your pet’s overall health, including such ailments as arthritis or allergies.
  3. Pay attention to the expiration date — Using probiotics after they have expired may mean that some of the healthy bacteria have died.
  4. Administer the product in slow increments and watch for progress — The best probiotics for dogs show improvement in a pet’s GI health, which may take weeks to yield results and wasn’t something we tested for.

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.

👉 If your dog has an upcoming stressful situation like travel or grooming, don’t forget their probiotic in the days or weeks leading up to the event. 

Frequently asked questions

What’s the best probiotic to give a dog?

Based on our thorough analysis of the best probiotics for dogs, we recommend Purina Fortiflora.

What probiotics do vets recommend?

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.

Is it OK for dogs to take probiotics every day?

Yes! Dogs should take their probiotics daily to stimulate their digestive health and everyday well-being.

Do pets need probiotics?

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.

Can I feed probiotic yogurt to my dog?

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.