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The 7 best probiotics for dogs

Probiotics are live organisms. These gut-dwelling microbes consist of beneficial bacteria, and yeast that help a dog’s digestive and immune systems. Dogs suffering from mild digestive tract issues like irritable bowel syndrome, acute diarrhea, anxiety, and tear stains may benefit from taking a probiotic.

We’ve reviewed seven of the best dog probiotics on the market based on factors such as ingredients and safety to make your search easier. As with any supplement, consult your veterinarian first to see if a particular probiotic might be best for your dog, plus their optimal recommended dosage.

Best probiotics for dogs, reviewed

Why you should trust our reviews

  • Team researched – We did the online shopping for you. Our seven top picks were selected based on factors such as positive reviews, ingredients, safety, and palatability.
  • Vet-approved – We consulted Dr. Erica Irish about each product. She gave us her honest opinion about each one based on her professional knowledge and experience.

Our top pick: Purina FortiFlora

✔ Packets are convenient for storage and portioning ✖ Lower than the general recommendation of between 1 and 10 billion CFUs
✔ Designed and researched by vets ✖ Only contains one probiotic strain
✔ Widely recommended and available
✔ Includes antioxidants
✔ Recommended for puppies

Purina FortiFlora is formulated by veterinarians and pet nutrition experts. This supplement is widely used and recommended by vets for dogs in all life stages, especially for dogs who struggle with diarrhea and poor gut health. 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. However, research on human probiotics has shown that multiple strains   may be more effective.

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.

Purina FortiFlora comes in 1-gram sachets of powder that are meant to be sprinkled in your dog’s food once daily. If your dog isn’t a fan of powders, it’s also available in a chewable tablet.

What our vet thinks

Dr. Erica Irish recommends this probiotic to her patients who suffer from tummy troubles since it’s shown to be very effective. She notes that experts in the field of gastrointestinal (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

✔ Pumpkin seeds are an added bonus ✖ The two-scoop serving that’s suggested for larger dogs exceeds the vet-recommend CFUs
✔ Contains 60 scoops
✔ Each scoop yields 6 billion CFUs

This limited-ingredient product only contains four ingredients: a probiotic blend, Jerusalem artichoke, pumpkin seed, and tasty bone broth. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent ingredient since they also support your dog’s immune system and digestive health. Native Pet uses dried fermentation products as opposed to fully beneficial bacteria strains, which differentiates it from other products on this list. 

The label recommends giving one scoop daily for dogs that weigh less than 50 pounds and two scoops for dogs that weigh more. Each scoop contains 6 billion CFUs of bacteria, putting two scoops on the high end of our vet’s dosage recommendations, even for large pups.

This formula is highly palatable and can be sprinkled over your dog’s normal food.

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

✔ Includes six strains of bacteria ✖ Not a good option for diabetic dogs due to the sugar content
✔ Available as a chicken-flavored chew or powder ✖ Contains a laxative, so not a valid option for dogs with diarrhea
✔ Fructooligosaccharides function as prebiotics ✖ Many added ingredients

Proflora has the highest palatability of the probiotic supplements we reviewed thanks to the savory chicken flavor. It contains six different strains of beneficial bacteria to promote digestive tract health. Each chew contains 1 billion CFUs of bacteria per dose, which is low on the recommended scale, but still makes the cut. 

The fructooligosaccharides also provide prebiotic value. This chew contains macrogol, which is a laxative. While this can be beneficial for constipated dogs, it may be a problem for pups with diarrhea.

Proflora contains more ingredients than some of the other options on this list, including sugar. Sweeteners are bad for all dogs, but especially for dogs who struggle with diabetes or obesity. 

The chews come in a resealable plastic pouch. The product is also available as a powder in case your dog isn’t fond of the chews.

What our vet thinks

Knowing which probiotic cultures or beneficial bacteria are included in a supplement is crucial for pet parents. Dr. Irish likes that all bacteria strains are labeled, but doesn’t like how it contains sugar since it’s bad for dogs.

Best dosage for digestion: Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites

✔ Excellent amount of CFUs ✖ Not vet-formulated or clinically tested
✔ Includes pumpkin to soothe your dog’s tummy
✔ Supports gut and immune function with 6 probiotic strains
✔ No artificial ingredients

These chews have a lot going for them. We chose them as the top probiotic when it comes to dosage. Each chew contains 3 billion CFUs, which is right in line with general dosage recommendations. The exact dosage depends on your dog’s size, but all are between the recommended 1 and 10 billion CFUs.  

These probiotic bites contain a six-strain probiotic blend of beneficial bacteria, including Bacillus subtilis DE111, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Lactococcus lactis.

 Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites don’t contain any artificial flavors or preservatives. Coconut glycerin, flaxseed, garbanzo flour, papaya, and pumpkin are some of the ingredients. Pumpkin calms mild gastric upset and papaya acts as a gentle natural laxative. Unlike most products we reviewed, though, these chews are not vet-formulated or clinically tested.

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 personal 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

✔ Limited ingredients ✖ Doesn’t appear to be vet-formulated
✔ Includes six probiotic strains
✔ Features inulin, a prebiotic fiber

With enough powder for one scoop per day for 360 days, this product may last all year. The formula is gentle and effective enough to be used on both dogs and cats of all ages.

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! This powder blend contains only the six probiotic strains, as well as stearic acid and the prebiotic inulin.

This product comes in an easy-to-open twist-top canister. The powder is palatable and easy for dog owners to administer since it goes right on top of your dog’s normal food. Nusentia’s dosage recommendations vary depending on the size of your pet. Each scoop contains 1 million CFUs.

What our vet thinks

While this product doesn’t appear to have been formulated by a vet, this product is made with safe and effective ingredients according to Dr. Irish. 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

✔ Limited ingredients ✖ May not be safe for dogs with kidney issues
✔ Contains inulin ✖ Doesn’t appear to be vet-formulated
✔ Spinach leaf extract may act as a mild laxative to help constipated pups
✔ Features six probiotic strains

This once-daily powder contains prebiotics and probiotics that are great for furry friends who suffer from digestive upset and seasonal allergies. The powder blend contains Bacillus subtilis DE111, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bacillus coagulans, Bifidobacterium longum, and Bifidobacterium animalis lactis. Solorplast (spinach leaf extract) and the prebiotic inulin are the only other ingredients.  

The effects of spinach leaf extract on dogs aren’t well documented, but the product information states that it may help with cellular restoration and repair. However, this product may not be a good idea for dogs with kidney issues. Spinach contains oxalates that can cause further kidney damage with long-term use. This product doesn’t appear to have been formulated by a vet, either, so it’s especially important to ask your vet for advice before giving this supplement to your dog.

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.  Honest Paws’ dosage comes in pre-measured packages but may vary depending on the size of your pet. Each scoop contains 5 billion CFUs.

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. If you suspect your dog may have a food allergy, this product might not be the best since it contains poultry, a common food allergen for dogs.

Best probiotic chew: PetLab Co. Probiotic Chews for Dogs

✔ Available in pork and salmon flavors ✖ Dogs who weigh over 25 pounds may require 2 or more chews per day
✔ Includes an eight-strain probiotic blend ✖ Not recommended for puppies younger than 6 months
✔ Inulin and honey act as prebiotics
✔ Includes pumpkin to aid digestion
✔ Vet-formulated

If your dog prefers pork or salmon flavor over chicken, they’ll dig these chews. PetLab Co. Probiotic Chews has it all: eight probiotic strains, pumpkin, inulin, honey, and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) which also function as a prebiotic. 

Each chew contains 3 billion CFUs, but your dog will likely need more than one chew since the weight chart is relatively low.  However, the product label states that these supplements are only intended for dogs 6 months and older, which is unfortunate since a probiotic supplement can help a recently adopted puppy adjust to unfamiliar bacteria in their new environment.

What our vet thinks  

Dr. Irish says that the probiotic ingredients are good. In theory, pumpkin can also be a helpful source of fiber, although she says it would have to contain a lot to make a considerable difference.

What to look for in the best dog probiotics

Vets generally recommend giving between 1 and 10 billion CFUs per dose of probiotics. However, since it’s a pretty broad scope, it’s best to consult your vet for a more accurate dosage that’s appropriate to your pet’s age, weight, and individual health conditions. Some of the factors to consider include: 

  • Safe ingredients. Probiotics are usually considered to be a dietary supplement—which doesn’t require Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) regulation or approval. Because of the lack of accountability, some subpar products can hit the market with questionable ingredients or a lack of proper labeling. You should only buy probiotics that clearly list the specific bacterial strains, CFUs, and any inactive ingredients.
  • Bacteria. Not all strains of probiotic bacteria are beneficial to canines, including some probiotic supplements made for humans. All of the products on our list contained bacterial strains that are known to be helpful for dogs.
  • Palatability. Probiotic chews may be the best idea for picky pups who don’t like powders or may have a difficult time eating their regular food.
  • Recommended dosage. Vets recommend between 1 and 10 million CFUs per dose of probiotics. With this in mind, we noted the dosage of each product and made sure to mention whether or not it met the criteria.
  • 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.

Vet-approved probiotic supplements can help your dog overcome a host of ailments that are caused or exacerbated by harmful bacteria. Digestive upset, sickness, inflammation, and even allergies are a few conditions that might be improved with a daily probiotic supplement.

The best dog probiotics

Always give your dog species-specific probiotics, because human supplements 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

Some of these bacterial strains include Enterococcus faecium, Bacillus subtilis DE111, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Lactococcus lactis

Prebiotics vs. probiotics

Your dog’s digestive tract naturally contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria. However, due to illness, environment, or diet, the number of these “good” bacteria can become outnumbered by harmful bacteria, which can cause various health issues. Probiotic supplements directly supply your dog with more beneficial bacteria, thereby helping their body overcome the influx of bad bacteria. On the other hand, prebiotics basically feed probiotics, helping their body produce more on its own. 

 “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.”

While vets recommend a dosage between 1 and 10 billion CFUS, you should always consult your dog’s vet to receive the correct dosage that best suits their needs. Some of even the top probiotic supplements on the market fall outside this range, which is okay because different dogs benefit from different dosages.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the best probiotic to give a dog?

Based on our thorough analysis and research of the best probiotics for dogs, we recommend Purina Fortiflora as our top option for pups.

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, though several options exist on the market.

Is it okay for dogs to take probiotics everyday?

Yes! Healthy dogs can take daily probiotics supplements for digestive support. If your dog has recently taken a round of antibiotics, a probiotic can be especially beneficial to restore healthy gut flora.

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.