You could have taken a probiotic without even knowing it if you've ever eaten yogurt. Most yogurt contains live cultures of friendly bacteria offering us a tasty way to improve our gut health.
When you hear the word probiotic, most people and organizations are referring to gut-dwelling microbes that are beneficial or "friendly." All animals' gastrointestinal systems contain billions of them, which help in food digestion, battle pathogens, generate nutrients and vitamins, and strengthen the immune system.
The term comes from the Latin word "for" (pro) and the Greek word "life" (bio). Probiotics for dogs are an excellent addition to your dog’s general diet routine to ensure optimal well-being.
Do all dogs have “good” bacteria?
Bacteria can be found in any part of your dog's digestive system. Just a few bacteria reside in the stomach, but the amount of bacteria increases as you head down the intestines. But, your dog's colon is home to the vast majority of bacteria.
The gut microbiome is the diverse culture of bacteria and other microorganisms in your dog's stomach. These bacteria work as a team and behave similarly to any other organ. The microbiome has been dubbed "the forgotten organ" by many scientists.
Similar to our own, each dog's microbiome is unique since each dog is subjected to a different environment and diet.
Natural probiotics for dogs
In many cases, our dogs’ bodies are able to maintain a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria. When they're sick or stressed (or dogs over age five), though, it doesn't take long for the bacteria in the digestive tract to lose their balance. Diarrhea, nausea, and other problems can occur as a result. Or, sometimes, your dog may not even be displaying any symptoms yet have an unbalanced gut. This is where probiotics come into play.
The term "gut dysbiosis," or "gastrointestinal (GIT) dysbiosis," refers to an imbalance of "good" vs. "unhealthy" bacteria. Inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic pancreatitis, the development of asthma, and cancer have all been related to gut dysbiosis.
High-quality canine probiotics reduce, and in many cases prevent, the above conditions. In addition to the above conditions, high-quality probiotics aid in the prevention and treatment of allergies and atopic skin disorders, as well as the reduction of the risk of respiratory tract infections and the management of urinary infections.
There's also a decrease in cancer-promoting enzymes and bacteria metabolites, according to research. Furthermore, the metabolic system's efficacy is significantly improved.
Saccharomyces boulardii for dogs
Don’t let the scientific name intimidate you. We’ll call it S. boulardii to make it a bit less overwhelming. This type of yeast, with the complicated scientific name, can actually work wonders for your dog. You would be surprised at how significant of an impact a high-quality probiotic such as this can have on your dog’s health.
S. boulardii is a type of yeast used as a high-quality probiotic and can be found in FullBucket’s Daily Dog Probiotic Powder. In its natural environment, it’s generally found growing on the skins of tropical fruits like mangoes.
A few of its benefits include:
1. Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties
This yeast strain in particular has been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and as a result, it has been promoted by holistic doctors and veterinarians as a viable probiotic therapy for the prevention and treatment of a variety of gastrointestinal problems in dogs.
2. Pathogen-fighting yeast
S. boulardii helps protect against disease-causing pathogens by preventing them from taking up residence within the gut, in addition to its anti-inflammatory properties. Harmful microorganisms such as Salmonella adhere to the surface of S. boulardii cells, and once this happens, the pathogen is unable to bind to the intestine's surface.
At the next bowel movement, the pathogenic cells and S. boulardii cells are also removed. In other words, once your dog goes out to go potty, both the yeast and harmful bacteria in the gut will be contained in his feces and out of his body.
3. Managing diarrhea
S. boulardii has been shown to be particularly helpful in the treatment of diarrhea caused by systemic antibiotics. The antimicrobial effects of S. boulardii are not limited to animals with GI problems; it has been shown to reduce the occurrence of diarrhea in healthy dogs as well.
Probiotics for good dog gut health
Beneficial bacteria may sound a bit ironic, since we were taught from a young age that all bacteria are bad. But, beneficial bacteria plays a major role in your dog's and your own immune systems. And, S. boullardi is one of the most beneficial bacteria.
Remember, antibiotics are unable to destroy S. boulardii, which is one of the many reasons it’s highly recommended by veterinarians. And, it can be used in conjunction with antibiotics to protect beneficial gut bacteria and avoid antibiotic-related diarrhea.
You can find a highly concentrated form of S. boulardii in Daily Dog.
Dalmasso G, Cottrez F, Imbert V, Lagadec P, Peyron JF, Rampal P, Czerucka D, Groux H (2006) Saccharomyces boulardii inhibits inflammatory bowel disease by trapping T cells in mesenteric lymph nodes. Gastroenterology 131:1812–1825
D'Angelo S, Fracassi F, Bresciani F, Galuppi R, Diana A, Linta N, Bettini G, Morini M, Pietra M. Effect of Saccharomyces boulardii in dog with chronic enteropathies: double-blinded, placebo-controlled study. Vet Rec. 2018 Mar 3;182(9):258. doi: 10.1136/vr.104241. Epub 2017 Dec 6. PMID: 29212912.
Gedek BR. Adherence of Escherichia coli serogroup O 157 and the Salmonella typhimurium mutant DT 104 to the surface of Saccharomyces boulardii. Mycoses. 1999;42:261–264.
Kelesidis T, Pothoulakis C. Efficacy and safety of the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii for the prevention and therapy of gastrointestinal disorders. Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2012;5(2):111-125. doi:10.1177/1756283X11428502