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  • Anmarie M., RVT

The Power of Probiotics: A Review of Top Probiotic Supplements for Pets

Has your veterinarian recommended trying a probiotic? Or maybe you read about the benefits online and want to give it a try. There are so many different kinds of probiotics on the market… how do you pick?


Why Probiotics, Anyway?

Probiotics are microorganism that are used to support good GI health. They include good bacteria and yeast that can restore the healthy bacteria in a dog with GI upset or diarrhea. They can also lessen the negative effects of giving antibiotics. Probiotics can also improve your dog's ability to absorb nutrients and minerals from their diet.


Reported Benefits of Probiotics:

  • Aid digestion by helping to break down food and making nutrients and vitamins more easily available

  • Strengthen immunity

  • Provide intestinal benefits by producing short-chain fatty acids, which inhibit harmful bacteria

Probiotics may also:

  • Treat diarrhea, irritable bowel, and intestinal inflammation

  • Prevent urinary tract infections

  • Reduce allergic reactions by decreasing intestinal permeability and controlling inflammation


Picking a Probiotic For Your Pet

Picking a probiotic can be difficult because, just like in human medicine, they are not federally regulated. But this doesn’t mean they are unsafe or unhelpful. It just means you need to keep your eyes peeled for a few basic things. I always recommend looking for the NASC Quality Seal. The NASC is a non-profit group that independently audits products so you know the supplement comes from a reputable company, and you know that you are actually getting what it says on the label.


I’m going to cover some of my favorites below. All are NASC certified and have been used in countless peer reviewed studies. One, FortiFlora, is a prescription that we have used in clinics for years, and the others are over the counter. I actually use one on my own dogs.


FortiFlora

FortiFlora is made by Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements and is one of the most commonly prescribed probiotics by veterinarians. It’s designed for the dietary management of puppies and adult dogs with diarrhea. It comes in individual powder packets to sprinkle over food, as well as a chewable tablet. It does require a prescription from your veterinarian.


ProBios

ProBios is made by Vets Plus, Inc. and is available over the counter. It’s designed to help supplement proper digestion in dogs (and cats too). It comes as powder or a chewable treat. The powder is very palpable and comes with an easy-to-use measuring scoop. It is easy to add a scoop to their food once a day. The scoop is pre-measured so there is no guesswork. As a bonus, it is a very cost effective option at approximately $10 for a 45 day supply for one large dog.


Aller-Immune Bites Vet Strength

Aller-Immune Bites are made by Zesty Paws, and is available over the counter. The company makes a few different formulations of probiotics alone or in combination with other supplements to help with allergies, skin and coat, or calming. They come as tasty treats in several flavors and they non-meat flavors for pets with food allergies.


As a Registered Veterinary Technician (and active dog mom!), I am always looking for great, affordable, and effective products to share with pet parents. Most of the time I will try new, commonly needed products with my own pets. I personally use these products with all of my animals. It has helped regulate their bowel movements and prevent diarrhea.


Make sure to speak with your veterinarian before starting new medications or supplements or if your pet is continuing to have issues after starting the supplements. If you have any questions about supplements and your pet, we are here to help!


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