If you’ve ever had to clean up after your dog you’ve no doubt become quite intimate with the fact that human beings aren’t the only ones who have gastrointestinal (GI) upsets from time to time.
Man’s best friend is also prone to digestive issues which is why more veterinarians have begun recommending pet probiotics (AKA ‘friendly’ bacteria) to combat GI troubles that start nasty and just get worse like gas, bloating, diarrhea (ew…) and vomiting (and on the good carpet!).
You paid good money for the furniture and accessories in your apartment and Buster’s dog vomit can ruin the toughest leather couch or Oriental rug. You love your dog so, up till this point, you just learned to live with it.
Dogs put up a good front.
It’s just awful to see Buster trying to wag his tail in excitement at seeing you while at the same time hunched up in abdominal pain. GI related disease is actually the number 1 cause of systemic death in young dogs… and the number 3 cause in adult dogs (1).
Also, a dog’s life in human years is close to 7 to 1. That means that my Buster’s physical age is more like an older 56 than the young and vibrant 8 years that you’ve known him. A 56 year-old needs to approach the digestive system differently than an 8-year old.
Plus, when you’re not looking, Buster eats right out of the garbage can and all of the greasy, human food he consumes is showing up in the awful piles you have to chase around at the park.
I do not know a single person who enjoys personally dealing with these issues so why would our precious pets?
Common Problems Associated With Poor Dog Gut Health:
- Poor digestion leading to undigested food
- Skin problems including flaking, itching and rashes
- Distressed immune system
- Diarrhea or loose & watery stool (ugh!)
- Really bad breath
- Smelly stool
- Smelly and excess gas
- Garbage Gut – from eating rich, fatty foods out of the garbage
Recently scientists have discovered that many of these problems are associated with one thing… The gut microbiome (also known as the flora or microbiota) found in your dog’s digestive tract has too many bad microbes and not enough good microbes.
And it may be the key to reducing or eliminating all of these bad problems.
What Can I Give My Dog For Digestive Problems?
Buster may be a whiz at catching his own tail and an amazing couch cuddler, but he’s also something you may not think about (or want to think about) and that is, Buster is host to millions (even trillions) of different kinds of microbes, which is a really good thing.
According to Mary Ellen Sanders, PhD, an internationally recognized leader in probiotic microbiology, probiotics promote canine health by “piggybacking on the important relationship between the normal immune system and microbes.”
Pet probiotics can:
- Help your dog digest his food
- Increase the absorption of nutrients
- Help improve the overall digestive system and boost the dog immune system
Sanders also suggests that probiotics increase the number of your dog’s immune cells making their systems much more efficient at attacking illness and disease.
On top of this, probiotics also have the ability to produce antibacterial compounds called bacteriocins, and these are super important because they inhibit the body’s tolerance of pathogen growth.
So, in a nutshell, probiotics introduce good bacteria to your dog’s GI tract which kick bad bacteria’s butt and then make it next to impossible for the bad guys to ever show their face again.
Major Benefits to Your Dog’s Health by Using Good Probiotics
Probiotics can do some pretty great things for your dog’s overall health. They can:
- Establish an environment for healthy digestion
- Help control skin problems due to yeast
- Help support the immune system
- Help prevent diarrhea, loose stool, constipation, and other digestive problems in dogs
- Help reduce stinky breath (Amen)
- Help eliminate smelly stool and gas (Double Amen)
- Help regain system balance after taking antibiotics
- Reduce excess gas
Optimized Gut Health is Imperative for Proper Digestion
A lot of the dog owners we talk to complain that their pets are still having health issues even though they are feeding them a species appropriate diet and spending a lot of money on expensive, quality supplements.
We tell them that the best diet and supplements in the world won’t be effective if all of those nutrients and chemical compounds can’t be absorbed by their dog’s digestive system.
When your dog’s gut is out of whack and off balance, you are essentially throwing money down the drain by feeding them expensive, quality ingredients their body can’t assimilate.
Allow me to get old school on you and illustrate my point a little better: it’s kind of like if someone says they have the greatest DVD collection in the world, thousands of movies and TV shows on DVD, and many of those box sets with special features, but this person has no DVD player so what does it really matter? You’ve got all this great stuff but you can’t do anything with it without the machine (i.e. an optimized gut).
How Can I Improve My Dog’s Gut Health?
Your dog’s gut health is dependent on several different factors. For instance, if your dog has recently been on antibiotic therapy, they will need to recover at the microbial level and will benefit from probiotics because antibiotics wipe out the good and the bad guys.
Probiotics will help you fill your dog’s microbiome back up with the good guys.
How much stress does your dog have on any given day? Often travel and other environmental changes can wreak havoc on a dog’s body chemistry. Too sedentary of a lifestyle can also throw off their chemical balance.
Do you have a little toddler running around the house stepping on your dog’s tail and pulling on his ears? That’s stressful too!
And of course good ol’ aging will also throw the normal balance of microflora in the intestinal tract off.
Probiotics aren’t just what you reach for when issues and disease arise, though; they actually work best as preventative agents, because once disease takes hold of the body, it’s hard for probiotics to fight those invading pathogens.
Better to get your best friend started on probiotics now while he’s well.
Do Your Research to Find the Best Probiotics for Dogs
You care enough about Buster to want to put him on probiotics, but you’ve got to care even more and take the time to research which probiotics are the best option.
There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet related to health and well-being for both dogs and humans, so make sure you purchase from companies that have done their homework and are willing to share their resources and information with you.
The FullBucket Difference
FullBucket starts with the research and then proves out the ingredients with real world testing. We trial our products in animal clinics and rescue shelters to make our evaluations before we bring a product to market. We also use the most clinically proven, peer-reviewed ingredients available to make our probiotics.
Daily Dog Powder – for preventative maintenance and overall internal gut health.
Dog Probiotic Paste – for recurring issues, dog diarrhea or stress from travel, kennel or training.
Puppy Probiotic – a one-of-a-kind, complete digestive supplement specially formulated for young dogs.
For every FullBucket you buy, we give one to animals in need!
FullBucket is the first animal healthcare business to deliver a one-for-one philanthropy program.
Our number one mission is to give a nutritional supplement product to an animal in need for every product sold. We customize the product for the specific needs of the animals that are receiving them, then hand deliver the product to the people in need.
(1) Fleming JM, Creevy KE, Promislow DE. Mortality in North American dogs from 1984 – 2004 and investigation into age, size and breed related causes of death. J Vet Internal Medicine. 2011 March 25(2): 187-98