by Amber Drake

The Inside Scoop on Prebiotics for Dogs

The Inside Scoop on Prebiotics for Dogs

Probiotics steal the show when it comes to gut health.

But what about PREbiotics?

Prebiotics are dietary fibers that can be beneficial to your dog’s health. They are non-digestible carbohydrates that stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon. 

These beneficial bacteria help break down food and synthesize valuable nutrients such as vitamins K and B12. Prebiotics also stimulate immune function and may reduce inflammation in the body. 

Of course, it only makes sense to ensure your dog’s diet consists of considerable prebiotic amounts, so let’s get into all the details.

What are Prebiotics?

When you think of a prebiotic, you might picture something that helps a plant grow. You're not far off the mark. 

Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that act as "food" for probiotics (the good bacteria in your dog's gut). 

The name "pre" comes from the fact that they're partly digested by the probiotics before they reach the colon where they will then be fermented and help to improve your dog's gut health.

There are two types of prebiotics: soluble and insoluble. 

  1. Soluble prebiotics dissolve in water and are readily fermented by colonic bacteria. Examples include fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and galactooligosaccharides (GOS). 

  2. Insoluble prebiotics pass through the small intestine unchanged and reach the large intestine intact where they are fermented by colonic bacteria. Examples include lactulose and resistant starch (RS).

Soluble prebiotics are usually found in foods like bananas, oats, garlic, onions, artichokes and leeks. Insoluble prebiotics can be found in whole grains, seeds and legumes. 

Of course, dogs can't eat onions and may not consume the other foods, but we will dive into what they can have shortly.

Prebiotics vs. Probiotics for Dogs

Probiotics are live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria or yeast) that are similar to those found in the human gut. They help maintain balance in the gut by increasing the number of good bacteria, reducing the number of harmful bacteria and keeping them from growing out of control.

Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon. They can be found naturally in some foods or added as supplements to food products.

Are Prebiotics Good for Dogs?

Yes, dog prebiotics promote a healthy digestive system. When your dog's gastrointestinal tract is working well, he or she will have fewer issues with digestion.

Prebiotic fibers for dogs help promote a healthy digestive system by:

  • Helping to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the canine gut microbiome
  • Supporting normal digestion and nutrient absorption
  • Reducing intestinal inflammation that can occur as a result of diet changes or stress

Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in your dog's body. These foods are also known as dietary fibers because they're not broken down during digestion, which means they pass through your pet's digestive system intact. 

While they're not digestible by dogs or humans, they provide fuel for good bacteria already present within their bodies — especially helpful since dogs have fewer digestive enzymes than humans do. This helps to balance out their intestinal environments so they can absorb nutrients more efficiently from other foods consumed throughout the day.

Natural Prebiotics for Dogs 

There are many natural sources of prebiotics you can offer your dog, including:

  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms are a great source of prebiotics and can be added to your dog's diet. Prebiotics are carbohydrates that help feed the good bacteria in your pet's digestive system. In addition to being a good source of prebiotics, mushrooms also contain antioxidants and vitamins. They're also low in calories and fat, making them a good addition to any weight loss diet. Mushrooms are an excellent choice for dogs with allergies because they don't contain any grains or gluten.
  • Chicory Root: Chicory Root is a natural prebiotic that promotes healthy gut bacteria, supports the immune system, and helps to maintain a proper pH balance in your dog’s digestive tract. It contains inulin, a carbohydrate that can help encourage the growth of beneficial probiotic microorganisms.
  • Burdock Root: Burdock root is rich in prebiotics, which are carbohydrates that nourish probiotic bacteria already present in the gut. This makes burdock root an excellent choice for dogs who are prone to digestive issues such as diarrhea or constipation. It has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of conditions, including diarrhea, scrofula (an old term for tuberculosis) and skin infections.
  • Garlic: Garlic doesn't contain any fiber, but it's loaded with the prebiotic inulin. This means that the garlic can help your dog's gut flora grow and flourish. Not only does garlic stimulate the growth of good bacteria in your dog's digestive tract, it also has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties that can help prevent or treat yeast infections and other illnesses caused by bad bacteria.
  • Dandelion Greens: Dandelion greens are also rich in prebiotics, which feed beneficial bacteria living in the colon by providing them with the nutrients they need to thrive. This can benefit dogs with colitis or other gastrointestinal issues by helping restore their gut flora which has been damaged by disease or stress.

Offer Both Prebiotics and Probiotics to Your Dog

Combining probiotics and prebiotics can help your dog's digestive system function better. Not only does their digestive system benefit, but it has been found that combining the two will benefit your dog's general health. 

The fundamental advantage of combining prebiotics and probiotics is that they work synergistically to improve your dog's body systems. 

Probiotics support healthy digestion and immune system function. Prebiotics enhance the proportion of beneficial bacteria in the stomach, reducing the space available for the growth of pathogenic microorganisms. Together, they can result in a happier, healthier dog.

Of course, the above can be added to your dog’s diet to aid in your dog’s digestive health, but you can also incorporate a supplement into their diet, making it easier to provide your dog with a wide range of nutrients. Daily Dog can help with this. With each scoop of Daily Dog, your pup consumes not only prebiotics but probiotics, digestive enzymes, and L-Glutamine.

Read More:

Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota

Dietary Fiber and Prebiotics and the Gastrointestinal Microbiota

Prebiotic Effects: Metabolic and Health Benefits

Early Exposure to Probiotics in a Canine Model of Atopic Dermatitis

The Utilisation of Prebiotics and Synbiotics in Dogs

Efficacy of a Probiotic‐Prebiotic Supplement on Incidence of Diarrhea in a Dog Shelter

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