You’ve just brought your new puppy home and serotonin levels are high with all the new furry love. But have you ever worried about your puppy having diarrhea or other digestive issues? Have you heard about parvovirus affecting puppies?
Let’s dive into some of the ways in which puppies are at risk and how to best support their developing digestive system.
Why are puppies at risk?
While puppies are in-utero, they receive very little transfer of antibodies through the placenta. Therefore, when they are born, they have a naive gut and rely on mama’s colostrum to receive maternal antibodies to help them fight infections early in life.
The major risk factors for digestive disorders in puppies include:
- Puppies that receive poor quality or inadequate amounts of colostrum
- Puppies that are around a lot of other dogs and puppies at birth
- Puppies exposed to parvovirus
- Environmental pathogens and parasites
What is Parvovirus?
One of the major risk factors above, Parvovirus, is the #1 digestive disease that veterinarians and dog owners deal with. The virus is usually contracted by puppies between six weeks to six months old.
While it is less common in puppies younger than six months of age because they have higher protection due to their mom’s antibodies, stress and failure of passive transfer at birth increase the risk for contracting parvo in puppies younger than six months. This virus is dangerous because it attacks the rapidly growing crypts in the small intestine, which are necessary for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Common signs of parvovirus in puppies include bloody diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, fever, lethargy, anorexia, weight loss, weakness, and depression. There is no cure, which is why puppies are typically vaccinated for parvovirus at 6, 8, and 12 weeks of age.
The good news is that there are preventative measures you can take to help protect your puppy and the developing canine digestive system.
Probiotics for puppies?
Probiotics are good bacteria and yeasts that create short chain fatty acids in the dog’s digestive tract that keep harmful bacteria from overgrowing. There are several “good” strains of bacteria and yeast that are used as probiotics for puppies. Probiotics have several benefits including:
- Aiding digestion
- Protecting against intestinal inflammation and allergic reactions
- Treating diarrhea in puppies
- Preventing infection of the urinary bladder
- Supporting the immune system
- Helping to decrease anxiety and improve mood
The best probiotic for puppies
FullBucket is the first company to create an all-natural, veterinarian-approved probiotic for puppies under high-risk for digestive disease, diarrhea, parvovirus, and general stomach upset.
This probiotic paste for puppies was specially designed to support the balance of beneficial bacteria in the puppy digestive tract and aid in immune defense, as it includes parvovirus antibodies and the yeast-based powerhouse, Saccharomyces boulardii. Administer this probiotic paste in 2-4 cc increments twice daily for 4-8 days, or as recommended by your veterinarian.