Probiotics are small microorganisms found in some foods that favor the functioning of the digestive system when it suffers some ailment.
Pets can suffer different imbalances depending on what they eat or even if they have been infected with a disease. Therefore, prevention is essential. In this article, we tell you how probiotics help in the treatment of intestinal problems in dogs.
What are the most common intestinal problems in dogs?
Like people, dogs are vulnerable to intestinal and digestive problems. These ailments are often not detected by the owners because either the animal does not complain, or we believe that it is something fleeting and ‘will pass alone.’
Worms and tapeworms are two of the most common types of intestinal parasites in dogs. Both reach the digestive tract through the ingestion of infected food or object and can cause, for example, significant weight loss.
But not only worms cause intestinal problems in dogs, but bacteria and some types of fungi intervene in their health and worsen it. In these cases, the symptoms that our pet presents are vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and listlessness. You will see that he sleeps for many hours and shows no happiness or motivation in the usual: your arrival home, a toy, the sound of his food falling into the trough, etc..
We can not leave aside, also within the intestinal problems in dogs, those caused by an excessive intake of food. Especially in cases of ‘gluttonous’ breeds by nature, such as farmers, mastiffs, or Newfoundland.
Eating much more than recommended will cause the animal to suffer abdominal swelling, and then problems are defecating. This will alter the intestinal metabolism and can cause pain or discomfort.
Probiotics for dogs?
You’ve probably heard or read about the benefits of probiotics in people: eating yogurt every morning reduces constipation, for example. But you may never have thought that the same human ‘treatment’ could be useful for pets, especially dogs.
But what are probiotics? They are tiny microorganisms that are present in certain foods and have significant benefits for intestinal and digestive health.
Healthy dogs do not need to consume probiotics, as their intestinal flora fulfills all the functions. However, when they present some digestive problems, some veterinarians can indicate the ingestion of these microorganisms.
A probiotic diet may also be indicated by a professional if our pet is following a treatment whose side effects include constipation, gas, or diarrhea.
And, also, we have the possibility of using probiotics as a preventive measure if our dog eats very fast or if we see that at the end of dinner, his belly is very swollen. What are the best probiotics we can give our dog? There are four:
1. Natural yogurt
Contrary to popular belief, dogs can eat yogurt, but with one caveat: it must be natural. That is, they must not contain sugars or colorants (such as vanilla or strawberry flavor). Pay attention because some dogs are lactose intolerant.
This is a yellowish liquid produced by ‘good’ bacteria and can be used mixed with water or food.
It is a well-known ferment of German gastronomy and is prepared with cabbage and other vegetables. It is full of living microorganisms beneficial to the digestive and intestinal system. Due to its strong aroma and taste, you may have to give it a small amount.
They are available in health food stores and can be mixed with food. It is a great probiotic that regulates the intestinal flora.
Of all these options, yogurt is the easiest to find and supply to the animal, as it will surely like it. It’s as simple as offering a large spoonful every time you behave yourself as a reward. You can even mix the yogurt with your regular meal.
Probiotics have many benefits, including reducing intestinal problems in dogs. They also serve to protect the body from harmful bacteria, stimulate the immune system, and increase nutrient absorption. Consult your vet about dosages or types of good bacteria for your pet.