Does My Dog Need A Probiotic
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Youve probably been hearing a lot about probiotic supplements. They are all over the market right now. But what about your dog? Should you be feeding your dog a probiotic supplement in their diet? Lets take a look at what a probiotic is, how it can be used to support your dog, and how often you should be feeding it to your dog.
Choosing A Probiotic Supplement For Your Dog
The amount of probiotic you give your dog depends on the type of probiotic you choose. For the lactic acid bacteria, youll want to look for a supplement with several strains. Most studies on probiotics use a mix of strains because results with single strains arent as good.
Because lactic acid bacteria are easily destroyed in the gut, you will need a product with a large number of colony forming units . Youll usually want to see at least 10 billion CFU for any live probiotics to survive in your dogs gut. This is fine for healthy dogs, but if your dog has digestive or immune problems, then look for about 25-50 billion CFU for a medium to large sized dog. Saccharomyces boulardii is much hardier than the dairy based probiotics, so a smaller amount can be given. In general, you can give a half billion to 5 billion CFU.
If youre giving your dog spore forming probiotics, you can also use a smaller amount of CFUs because they easily survive the gut acidity. Look for about 1 billion CFU.
Antibiotics Do Not Work Against Viral Infections
Antibiotics cannot kill viruses because they are not designed to attack viral machinery. Completely unlike bacteria, viruses invade and kill other cells while bacteria multiply prolifically until they outnumber good bacteria. Unfortunately, antibiotics also kill bacteria that is beneficial to a dogs overall health, cause side effects that can make the dog feel even more ill and promote antibiotic resistance. As a result of the contradictory response dogs have to antibiotics, many dog owners are discovering the health advantages of probiotics.
Antibiotics do no good against viral infections.
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How Long Does It Take Probiotics To Work
Some probiotics work faster than others. It also varies by the issue being managed with the probiotics.
When using a product like FortiFlora for digestive upset, were looking for improvement within a few days, says Dr. Cross.
For immune health, your pet should experience a positive impact in about four weeks.
For dogs with anxious behaviors, she says you can expect to see improvements within about six weeks with Calming Care.
Improves Bodys Immune System
Probiotics help in the production of Vitamin K and Vitamin B. They also produce short chain fatty acids and protect against pathogenic bacteria. Probiotics have a strong effect in improving the local intestinal immune system and this translates to overall improved immunity for the body. The gut is the first level of defense against diseases and other pathogens that are swallowed. Improving the guts immune system has been shown to decrease the incidence of allergies, chronic respiratory disorders, and other illnesses.
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How To Support Your Pet During & After Antibiotics
Though they can come with negative side effects , antibiotics can be a crucial tool for helping your pet fight off dangerous infections. Fortunately, there are ways that you can support your cat or dog, during and after antibiotic treatment, to help them and move towards improved health. Weve gathered a few important tips that any pet parent can use to help support their furbaby.
Importance Of A Healthy Balance Of Gut Microflora
A dog’s digestive tract is the largest “frontline” immune organ in his body. Dogs get in contact and in fact ingest a lot more harmful bacteria than we do, and their digestive tracts are able to handle a large amount of harmful bacteria, thanks to the “friendly” bacteria in the guts.
They act as the body’s first line of defence against all the potentially harmful bacteria and other microorganisms that your dog eats or inhales.
Thus, having a constant supply of these friendly bacteria in your dog’s GI tract can help prevent a wide range of health problems, and a healthy well-balanced microflora in your dog’s digestive tract is essential to keep the immune system in good working order.
To achieve this, these friendly bacteria must be present in optimal numbers and ratio .
If the balance gets out of whack, your dog’s immune system will be compromised and will most likely develop digestive problems as well as an increased susceptibility to other health problems.
ReferencesNatural Remedies for Dogs and CatsThe Nature of Animal HealingCanine Nutrigenomics – The New Science of Feeding Your Dog for Optimum Health
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Constant Itching And Scratching
Itching and scratching is a common nuisance with dogs. The itching and scratching can range from mild to severe depending on your dogs circumstances. The most common cause of itching and scratching in dogs is food allergy. Digestive enzymes can help by supporting the digestive system, taking the digestive burden off the pancreas.
Can I Give My Dog Probiotics During Antibiotics
It’s is a controversial issue, whether or not to give probiotics during antibiotics, and we suggest waiting.
Because the probiotics will be killed during antibiotic therapy, it would not be cost effective nor health-effective to supply probiotics during the time that antibiotics are being administered. For this reason, we recommend waiting until your pet has completed the antibiotics, then immediately administer probiotics, and lots of them.
Wait until your pet has completed the antibiotics, then immediately administer probiotics, and lots of them.
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How To Purchase And Care For A Probiotic Product
Gail Czarnecki-Maulden, Ph.d., a senior research nutritionist for Nestle Purina and one of the developers of FortiFlora, says that the big problem with these products is that they are delicate living things. When you look at a probiotic, you are looking at live bacteria that have been adapted to living within the GI tract, she explains in a Canine Health Foundation podcast. Exposure to air, moisture, or temperature extremes will damage their viability. Thats why some of these products are sold in individual serving packets. She also says that people should be mindful of temperature conditions when purchasing a probiotic product. You dont want to buy your probiotics when its 110 degrees outside and you go to the mall for four hours and your probiotics are sitting in a hot car for five or six hours. Its not likely that the probiotics will survive.
Also, there are a few things you should look for on a probiotic package label, for example:
How Long Does It Take For Gut Flora To Restore After Antibiotics
Antibiotics kill bacteria. Thats their job, after all. Its how theyve saved millions of lives over the last hundred years.
But killing the bad guys responsible for your infection means you also kill good flora crucial for your health. If youve recently taken a course of antibiotics, and youre wondering how long it will take to get your microbiome back to normalor even if its possible at allread on.
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What Studies Do Not Recommend Giving Probiotics With Antibiotics
Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and other institutions reported that the gut microbiome took longer to return to normal in those people given an 11-strain probiotic treatment for four weeks following a course of antibiotics. This was despite the probiotics effectively colonizing the gut with healthy bacteria. The trouble was the presence of the new bacteria and yeasts strains prevented the gut microbiome from returning to normal for the full six month study period.
Conversely, the gut microbiome in those given no probiotics returned to normal within three weeks of going off the antibiotics. The authors did conclude that this study just examined one type of probiotic, and a different probiotic may be helpful in patients taking different antibiotics. However, they did point out the findings of the study imply that the traditional practice of taking a probiotic after antibiotic may not be beneficial.
Benefits Of Probiotics To Dogs
Probiotics have been found to have a lot of benefits on our dogs. In particular, probiotics are:
Good for Intestinal Disorders
Probiotics for dogs can aid food digestion and improve lactose intolerance. As a result, they are effective in preventing and treating intestinal disorders caused by poor digestion, such as diarrhea, vomiting, gas, and bloating.
Also, a lot of other dog health problems are as a result of intestinal disorders. For example, it has been found that there is a connection between intestinal disorders and the following problems:
- Skin Irritations, such as psoriasis, eczema, etc.
Use of probiotics as a supplement can help prevent or treat such dog health problems.
Probiotics are nutritive and can manufacture vitamin B groups, biotin and folic acid. They stimulate the immune system and therefore improve the health and general physical wellbeing of our dogs.
Given to puppies, probiotics can improve growth by aiding digestion and absorption of nutrients, antioxidants and iron from food.
Probiotics can also enhance appetite and increase energy levels, so they are beneficial to aging dogs or dogs with low energy levels.
Anti-bacterial and anti-microbial
Some probiotic bacteria can inhibit the growth of some yeast , and can produce natural antibiotics that overpower pathogenic bacteria or microorganisms, such as salmonella, E-Coli, etc.
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Are There Any Drug Interactions I Should Be Aware Of
The following medications may reduce the efficacy of probiotics when given at the same time: antibiotics, antifungals.
Vitamins, herbal therapies, and supplements have the potential to interact with each other, as well as with prescription and over the counter medications. It is important to tell your veterinarian about any medications that your pet is taking.
As With Most Successful Men Its Thanks To The Help Of My Wife That I Was Introduced To Something New And Helpful Which Is The Highlight Of Our Post Today Probiotics
Early in our marriage, she required systemic antibiotics on multiple occasions.
These were prescribed to help her get rid of bacterial infections she was having, but she would always develop a severe yeast infection before finishing her round of antibiotics.
That was the kick in the seat of the pants I needed to try and solve this problem for her, as the prescribing physicians opinion was, Its not that bad. And besides, this happens all the time.
This event was one of several that started me along the path of focusing on holistic medicine.
I did some research and decided we could potentially avoid these yeast infections altogether by putting her on a probiotic whenever she needed to take antibiotics.
Spoiler alert, it worked!
After this, I decided that even though my veterinary patients weren’t exhibiting the same symptoms as my wife after antibiotic treatments, that it would be a good idea to send home probiotics every time I prescribed antibiotics.
Theres absolutely no harm in taking probiotics, so it was worth a shot.
After I started doing this, all my patients that were on antibiotics started doing much better!
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Diarrhea And Loose Stool
When your dogs intestinal flora is overrun with pathogenic bacteria, the result is runny, loose stool, or diarrhea. Diarrhea can be a nightmare for any dog owner, but its a tell tale sign that your dog needs healthy flora, and fast! Luckily, dogs treated with probiotics can see improvement in stools within a matter of days.
Our Final Thoughts On Probiotics For Dogs
When it comes to probiotics, gut health is just one of the areas they can benefit from. A high-quality probiotic brings various health perks from boosted immune response and improved breath to better mood and lesser skin and ear infections.
However, to ensure maximum benefits, you need to do more than purchase a probiotic you need to find the best probiotic. By best, we mean made of premium quality ingredients, easy for you to use, and tasty for your dog.
All of the prebiotic products in our list check the boxes for quality, safety, and efficacy. Just pick which product is best for your canine and start supplementing your dog today.
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I Would Much Rather Just Take A Probiotic As Preventative Care
As an educated guess with no studies to back it up, I’ve often wondered if that’s why so many animals eat feces.
As disgusting as it is, it’s a very effective way to get good bacteria into the gut.
I also think the importance of probiotics is illustrated by the sheer numbers of bacteria that exist in the human body.
The average person has 5lbs of bacteria in their body.
And that 5 pounds represents billions and billions of bacteria.
Even with pets being much smaller, there’s still a ridiculous amount in their bodies too!
Rules Of Probiotic Inclusion
1. pH The food eaten is the largest controlling factor here. pH is a critical factor for the intestine tract where probiotics live. Dry dog food is not your dogs friend in this case, because the pH shifts on the total gut environment towards a more basic pH too fast!
2. Diet A Dry dog food-only diet fails our dogs. Species appropriateness is key! Raw meats, bones, and organs set ideal gut environment conditions, as does fermented products .
3. Pre-biotic support Microbes have to eat if you want them to hang around. Prebiotic fibers and plant material serve as food for the microbes. Feed the bugs!
4. Bacteria Diversity Specifically, Lactobacillus strain diversity is key to improving total health across many health issues seen in dogs. Select sporelating strains serve bigger roles as directors to other microbes in the gut.
5. Potency Numbers are important to a certain point! As in total CFU should be used as a measure to judge a product. Total CFU counts matter as the amount needed to be effective varies given the qualifier conditions presented above. This is why Origins 5in1 can have much bigger health & performance changes using less CFU. Its the power of a systems approach!
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As you explore probiotics, check out our always up-to-date list of the best probiotics for dogs. With so many brands on the market, we did our research to make picking the right one for your dog easy!
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Bloody urine
- Kidney and/or liver disease
Consequently, dog owners are now supplementing with good bacteria from probiotics to minimize side effects and significantly improve their dogs overall health and well-being.
When dogs develop bacterial illnesses such as kennel cough, urinary tract infections or staphylococcal dermatitis, veterinarians will prescribe antibiotics to kill or weaken disease-causing bacteria so that a dogs immune system can attack and eliminate the bacteria more easily. Antibiotics are formulated to ignore canine body cells by being able to differentiate between regular cells and bacteria. For example, bacteria have cell walls while canine blood and tissue cells do not. Cells and bacteria also differ in the way their cell membranes function, especially regarding DNA replication and the manufacturing of proteins.
The Composition Of Gut Bacteria Almost Recovers After Antibiotics For Most People
Research has revealed an interesting strategy that some bacteria deploy to re-establish themselves after antibiotics. They use resistance genescalled the resistome by scientiststo make sure theyre never wiped out.
After attempting to eradicate certain bacterial species with antibiotics, researchers looked at the microbiomes of 12 healthy men over a six-month period and documented the collateral damage.
Initial changes included blooms of certain types of potentially harmful bacteria, along with the depletion of friendly Bifidobacterium and butyrate-producing species. However, the researchers state that the gut microbiota of the subjects recoveredalmost to original levelswithin 1.5 months.
Its important to note, though, that nine common species, which were present in all subjects before the treatment, remained undetectable in most of the subjects after 180 days .
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Am I A Dog That You Should Come At Me With Sticks ~ Goliath
So, what happens to your dogs gut health when he is on an antibiotic?
Antibiotics are medicines that inhibit or stop the growth of microorganisms . But, unfortunately, antibiotics are indiscriminate. They dont play favorites. They not only kill the bad bacteria, like those potentially inside Juniors lump, but they also kill the good bacteria in his gut. The technical term for this microbial imbalance is dysbiosis.
This is the caricature going on in my head:
Maintaining gut health while taking antibiotics is like a tug of war between David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah.
Clindamycin and the lump requiring it take one look at the tiny pee wee microbes in Juniors gut and laugh. Am I a dog that you should come at me with sticks? Goliath chastises.
Like David, against serious illness and a powerful antibiotic, Juniors gut bacteria are the clear underdogs .
Please follow this list of DOs and DONTs when it comes to preserving gut health while your dog is taking antibiotics. Doing so will ensure David walks away the victor.
Why Is Diversity So Important
In a healthy, diverse gut microbiome, the resident microbes help protect against invasion by pathogens that could cause infection or disease. They work together, using different methods to inhibit pathogens, such as:
- producing antimicrobial compounds that fight bad bacteria off
- crowding pathogens out and preventing them from getting real estate space in the gut
- maintaining the mucus layer that lines the intestines so pathogens cant reach intestinal cells and set up home
- training the immune system to respond to pathogens
When the resident gut microorganisms are reduced during antibiotic use, these protective functions may stop. Thats when pathogenic bacteria can move in and upset the balance.
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