Antibiotics are one of the most common medications prescribed for dogs. They're used to treat bacterial infections and illnesses like diarrhea and respiratory problems, but they can also be given for other conditions such as ear infections or urinary tract infections.
Antibiotics have been shown to be effective in treating many different types of infections and diseases in pets, but there's another side to their use: antibiotics can have an impact on your dog’s gut health that may not be obvious at first glance.
Your Dog’s Gut
The gut is basically a long tube that runs from the mouth to the anus. It's full of billions of bacteria and other tiny organisms, which help process food and keep your dog healthy.
When a dog has good gut health, their digestive system works as intended which means they'll be able to get the nutrients they need from their food and poop out any extra waste products. This makes them feel good, look good, and generally be healthy overall.
But when the gut isn't working properly things can go south pretty quickly (and pretty stinky). Dogs might lose weight or stop eating altogether if they're having trouble digesting food; they could pass gas more often than usual; they could even have diarrhea or constipation! This leads to antibiotics being prescribed in most cases.
What are Antibiotics?
Antibiotics were a major breakthrough in modern medicine. They work by fighting infections caused by bacteria and have become a common treatment in the veterinary industry.
There are many times antibiotics are necessary, but there are even more times when it is not necessary. This is not only leading to an imbalanced gut microbiome for most dogs, but also antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic resistance is a dangerous and growing problem. It's a huge challenge to the medical community, and it's also extremely difficult to keep track of all the ways that bacteria are becoming resistant. The more antibiotics we administer to our dogs, the faster bacteria develop immunity to them. This can lead to "superbugs" that are resistant to almost all medicine.
That's another reason it's important to only use antibiotics when they are absolutely necessary. Of course, if your dog has an ailment that needs antibiotics, they should be provided. But, they shouldn't be taken at every opportunity.
For example, if your adult dog is experiencing a small bout of diarrhea that lasts less than 12-24 hours, exposing them to antibiotics could do more harm than good.
Commonly Prescribed Canine Antibiotics
If you’re not sure if what you were prescribed is an antibiotic, take a dive and look into what you were provided. This goes for all medications- not only antibiotics.
Some of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics in dogs include:
- Amoxicillin: This is a penicillin-type drug that fights infections caused by bacteria, such as ear infections, pneumonia, and skin infections. It's often prescribed for respiratory or urinary tract infections.
- Ceftriaxone: An antibiotic that treats a wide range of bacterial infections, including bone and joint infections.
- Cephalexin: This antibiotic is used to fight infections caused by bacteria, like upper respiratory infections and skin infections. It's also used to treat certain intestinal diseases in dogs.
- Doxycycline: A broad-spectrum antibiotic used to treat a variety of bacterial infections in dogs, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria and yeast that improve the health of the gut microbiome by increasing the spread of good bacteria and hindering the growth of bad bacteria.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that help to maintain a healthy balance of microbes in the gut, which then helps your dog digest food more efficiently and absorb nutrients from what they eat.
When combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise, probiotics can improve your pup's digestion and immune system, giving them more energy and making them feel better overall.
Antibiotics and Dysbiosis in Dogs
Antibiotics can cause long-lasting dysbiosis; imbalance in the gut. This results in increased levels of bad bacteria and lower levels of the good bacteria.
Antibiotics are helpful in certain causes because they do kill the bad bacteria, but this is a double-edged sword because they can't differentiate between the good and the bad. This means they kill both, resulting in your dog's gut being way out of whack.
Since most of the immune system is located in the gut, poor gut health can lead to all types of conditions including increased levels of diarrhea, poor absorption of nutrients, weight loss and lethargy therefore significantly impacting your dog's overall well-being.
One bout of antibiotics can result in a months-long effort to bring the gut back to balance. There are not any current studies of long-term use in dogs, but if one bout does this, you can imagine what damage chronic use would cause.
At this point you may be wondering what you should do. If your dog needs antibiotics to improve their health, but those same antibiotics damage your dog's gut health, what do you do?
FullBucketHealth has the solution.
Giving Dogs Probiotics With Antibiotics
Saccharomyces boulardii is a probiotic that can help keep your pup's digestive system in tip-top shape. Daily Dog contains a concentrated form of this yeast-based strain of probiotic.
S. boulardii has been found to improve gastrointestinal health reducing bouts of diarrhea, and it is also resistant to antibiotics. So, you have an answer to your problem.
Your dogs do need probiotics with antibiotics and by using S. boulardii, you will be using an effective supplement that will not be killed off by medications.
This doesn’t mean you should go antibiotic crazy and administer them any time there’s a minor issue. However, it does mean when your dog is taking antibiotics when necessary, you can simultaneously administer Daily Dog and rest assured his body is still working on maintaining a healthy gut microbiome.
S. Boulardii for Healthy Dog Gut Health
A healthy dog has a good amount of probiotics in their gut, but if they're not getting enough from their diet, they can take a probiotic supplement.
Additionally, when using prescription medications, you can safely administer probiotics with antibiotics for dogs, as long as you are using S. boulardii, which can be found in Daily Dog.
Probiotics also have other benefits that make them worth considering even if your dog isn't suffering from any specific illness or digestive disorder: they can improve skin and coat health, boost immunity and fight off infections, reduce allergies and inflammation throughout the body, improve joint health, and even help reduce stress levels!