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The best probiotics for dogs, according to a Vet

Your pup’s gut health is important. We reviewed 9 gut-friendly supplements that will aid in digestion, fight off pathogens, and boost your dog’s immune system.

Updated September 15, 2021

Created By

Victoria Lancaster,
Dog taking a probiotic for gut health from its owner

The best dog probiotics for your pup

Best probiotics for dogs reviews

What we love: We love Native Pet’s All Natural Probiotic for Dogs because of the easy-to-use organic powder. With 4 natural ingredients, including multiple species of bacterial organisms, artichoke, and pumpkin, it promotes good gut health by maintaining a dog’s gut flora. Just be careful if your pup is sensitive to beef flavoring, as it contains beef bone broth.

What customers say: With almost a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, customers love how Native Pet’s All Natural Probiotic for Dogs prevents and helps their dog’s digestive problems. Customers say that they give this probiotic to their pup to prevent loose stools, transition to new foods, and recover from using antibiotics. One customer shared that it even stopped their pup’s smelly breath.

🧪Ingredients: Organic probiotic blend, organic Jerusalem artichoke, organic pumpkin seed powder, organic and grass-fed beef bone broth.

What we love: Purina Fortiflora Canine Nutritional Supplement Box is one of our favorite probiotics because it’s straightforward. In 2019, it was the No.1 probiotic recommended by veterinarians. Simply receive your box with thirty packets and your dog’s probiotic regimen is ready for the month.  Each packet contains a guaranteed level of live microorganisms that help promote beneficial intestinal microflora.

What customers say: With 4.7-star rating on Amazon (and 15,000 ratings), customers of Purina Fortiflora Canine Nutritional Supplement Box say that this product is a miracle worker for dogs with loose stools. When a dog is facing runny stools, gas, or other GI related problems this probiotic will help in a matter of a single dose. Customers also say that after sprinkling the daily packet over their dog’s food, they chomp it down and seem to love the flavor. Even picky dogs love it. 

🧪Ingredients: Animal digest, Enterococcus faecium, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), vitamin E supplement, beta-carotene, zinc proteinate, taurine, salt, manganese proteinate, ferrous sulfate, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, and sodium selenite.

What we love: This product is US made by a vet recommended and trusted brand. Over 1 million pets have tried this affordable product. It comes in both a 360 scoop and 120 scoop jar, meaning it’s a good option for those with multiple pups at home. In addition to aiding with digestion and gut health, we love that it will improve coat quality, bad breath, yeast control, and skin issues. 

What customers say: With a 4.5-star rating, dog owners say their dog’s gut troubles clear up in a matter of days once started on this probiotic. From old dogs to young dogs, the results are consistent. Some customers say this product also helped significantly with ear problems. 

🧪Ingredients: Bifidobacterium animalis lactis, lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus rhamnosus, lactobacillus salivarius, lactobacillus plantarum, lactobacillus reuteri, FOS (inulin), stearic acid.

What we love: We love that Proflora Probiotic Soft Chews mixes well with antibiotics, which are harsh on a dog’s tummy. The product comes in three different sizes at a great value. The chew is small and easy to feed to your dog.  

What customers say: 98% of reviewers recommend this product. Customers using product have dogs who just had surgery, finished chemotherapy, or are on antibiotics. All of these things will cause stress to a dog’s stomach and possible digestive issues. Proflora Probiotic Soft Chews balance the gut out after your pup undergoes stress. 

🧪Ingredients: Contains 6 strains of live (viable) microorganisms, 1 Billion CFUs (colony forming units) per chew.

What we love: Made in the US, this probiotic has NASC (National Animal Supplement Council) and approval. It contains no artificial flavors or preservatives.  According to a team of doggie taste testers, Zesty Paws Probiotic for Dogs tastes delicious. Pumpkin supports overall digestive health and papaya helps break down fats and protein.  

What customers say: With 4.5-star rating out of an overall 11,000 ratings, customers rave about their dog’s digestive health after using this product. The probiotics are soft and crumble easily which is great for small dogs or dogs that may have teeth troubles or problems chewing. Some customers say this probiotic cleared up their dog’s gas which they previously had to evacuate the room for! Check out more from their followers here.

🧪Ingredients: Pumpkin, pea flour, and features clinically studied DE111 probiotic.

What we love: Aside from containing all the powerful ingredients for joint health, this product is allergen free.  It omits wheat, corn, soy, egg, and gluten. And,it’s made in a GMP Organic Certified Facility. Allow 3-4 weeks for your dog’s response and slowly ease into the full four-tablet daily dosage. It’s especially powerful for older pups.

What customers say: Reviewers say Amazing Probiotics for Dogs has made a noticeable change in their pup’s comfort level. It has an average 4.5-star rating. Dogs with arthritis develop stronger joints. One reviewer mentioned their dog seeming young again, others even said that this is the only pill their pup needs to both ease arthritis and support digestion. 

🧪Ingredients: Seven billion CFU of beneficial bacteria. In addition, your dog will get a dose of MSM, chondroitin, and glucosamine.

What we love: We love how quickly this product seems to work for pups. You can give PetVitalityPRO Probiotics for Dogs as a treat or crumble it over food. 

What customers say: Reviewers say that this product, with a 4.4-star rating, helped their dogs who suffered from lethargy while taking antibiotics. They cited their dog’s stools changing to normal overnight, also mentioning that their dog no longer has bad breath. 

🧪Ingredients: Green superfood formula, papaya, and maqui berry.

Two more of our favorite products (that aren’t technically probiotic supplements, but can contribute to a healthy pup gut)

👉 This supplement is technically an immune booster, but it also contains gut healthy bacteria that will support the digestive tract. It’s not a probiotic, but it has proven to help with a dog’s gut issues. 

What we love: We love the well rounded effects of Zesty Paws Allergy Immune Supplement. As well as boosting the immune system, the Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil provides skin support for dogs who suffer with allergies. Did we forget to mention the product uses all natural ingredients? 

What customers say: Reviewers love how this product has cleared up their dogs’ itching and allergies. It’s an allergy supplement so you may not think of it when you’re looking for a probiotic. However,  allergies are often linked to gut health and it tastes good too. This reviewer even posted a video of their dog scarfing Zesty Paws Allergy Immune Supplement with his food. 

🧪Ingredients: Apple Cider Vinegar, wild alaskan salmon oil, and organic licorice root.

👉This supplement may seem like a probiotic, however, it doesn’t actually contain live cultures. It has other qualities that make it especially good for the gut. 

What we love: Some people say soil-based probiotics are better at maintaining the stomach’s acid than traditional probiotics. The clay is known to remove heavy metals from a dog’s body, and the blueberry powder helps mental aging. There is some research that soil-based bacteria decreases a dog’s anxiety. That’s all in addition to the gut healing elements of PROTECT

What customers say: Customers say they can see the quality of the nutrients in this powder just by looking at it. It is easy to sprinkle over both warm food and dry kibbles. Many users say they are happy with the unique all-natural ingredients of the product. Aside from firming up stools, the product is known to increase appetite. Be aware that this probiotic might give your dog’s stool a slightly black hue. 

🧪Ingredient: Certified organic wild blueberry powder, bentonite clay, dandelion root powder, and burdock root powder.

What is a probiotic?

Probiotics are live organisms and gut dwelling microbes (good bacteria and yeast). There are billions of live bacteria in the GI tract of dogs. 

Probiotics help to

  • Aid in digestion
  • Fight pathogens 
  • Bolster the immune system

Dogs suffering with all sorts of issues can benefit from taking probiotics. This includes dogs with GI issues, acute diarrhea, anxiety, and tear-staining. 

👉You might not have heard of tear-staining.

Are dog probiotics the same as human probiotics?  

You might be wondering if dog probiotics are the same as the ones humans take. There are many similar qualities to any probiotic, however, you should avoid using human probiotics for the dog. The probiotics that your vet prescribes are the best option. 

The difference between prebiotics and probiotics 

Prebiotics support bacteria already living in your dog’s colon. Probiotics add to the number of healthy microbes in your gut. 

The following are the kinds of bacteria in a dog’s gut that are usually incorporated into probiotics: 

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Bifidobacterium breve

Common causes of gut troubles in pups

There are a few things that cause a dog’s gut imbalance and digestive problems: 

  • Infection
  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Old age
  • Antibiotics and other medication
  • Parasites

The health benefits of probiotics

Most dogs can benefit from taking probiotics. There are various benefits to giving your dog a daily probiotic: 

  • Alleviates digestive issues
  • Decreases the side effects of antibiotics
  • Impacts behavior and energy levels
  • Reduces skin allergies
  • Contributes to better skin, coat, and breath 

When you should give your dog a probiotic 

Your dog can take their probiotic at any time of day. Many of our recommended probiotics are easy to sprinkle or mix in with a dog’s food at meal time. Probiotics may come in different forms including powders, capsules, and pills. Follow the instructions on the packaging for dosages and the best times to administer the probiotic. Check out this guide for advice on when and how to give your dog their probiotic. 

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

DIY probiotics 

While feeding dogs human probiotics like yogurt and kefir may not necessarily cause harm, it is not recommended. 

🚨Dogs can be lactose intolerant to a certain degree, so they may get diarrhea from our dairy. 

Human probiotics may not contain the necessary canine-specific benefits. For a probiotic to be effective for your pup, it must contain strains of bacteria that support their digestive system.

Risks involved with giving your dog probiotics

All dogs can take probiotics except those with severe irritable bowel. Even healthy dogs should consider a daily probiotic. Always consult your vet before administering any probiotic to your pup.

How to pick the best probiotic for your pup

There are a few things to pay attention to when choosing a probiotic for your pup. Every pup is different, so the most important thing is to know your pup. Pay attention to your dog’s diet,  daily stools, and their activity levels. Work together with your vet to find the best solution. 

    1. Get familiar with your dog’s specific gastrointestinal habits and other ailments (like arthritis or allergies).
    2. Look at the makeup of ingredients on your favorite product and get it approved by your vet
    3. Always pay attention to the expiration date.
    4. Administer the product in slow increments and watch for progress.

🚨Using probiotics after they have expired may mean that some of the healthy bacterias have died. 

Healthy gut, happy pup

Taking into account your dog’s gut health can go a long way. Your dog’s healthy and balanced gut will support their day to day comfort, digestive system, and immune system into their old age.