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    Probiotics For Dogs

    For starters, probiotics are beneficial gut-dwelling microbes that help digest food properly, fight off unwanted invaders, produce vitamins and nutrients, and improve the quality of the immune system. Our dogs naturally produce these beneficial microbes. However, there are times where such microbes can wither and not do their job as effectively.

    If the microbes in your dogs gut are not working to the best of their ability, chances are a foreign invader hurt them, causing a decline in health. This decline in health can result in an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, and other related reasons. Often, you won’t see it coming, and you won’t understand what’s happening.

    So, if you’ve been noticing a change in your dog’s stomach health and you have no idea what’s going on, head to your veterinarian’s office; the chances are that he or she should start taking probiotics to build up those microbes in the stomach.

    What Will My Veterinarian Do To Help My Dog?

    Probiotics are the veterinarians go-to for treatment when it comes to stomach issues; however, prebiotics help the cause in cases, too. Both have explanations listed below.

    Prebiotics: These are nutrients that promote the growth of good bacteria that are already living in the colon.

    Probiotics: These are commonly referred to as “direct-fed microbials” by the AFFCO.

    What Form Do Probiotics Come In?

    Dogs can take probiotics in a variety of different forms. The most popular are listed below:

    –    Yogurt with live cultures – Not all yogurt cultures help produce gut-dwelling microbes; check in with your veterinarian on the best brands to purchase
    –    Powders
    –    Capsules
    –    Chews
    –    Dog foods

    When Are Probiotics Used?

    Dogs can have stress in their lives just like us humans can. Dogs can also get sick just like us humans can. These are two symptoms related to unhealthy behaviors and circumstances; in other words, if your dog is exhibiting signs of stress or upset stomach, he or she may need to start taking a probiotic for a little while.

    Some triggers for unhealthy digestive issues are as follows:

    –    Stress: Changes that cause emotional stress could lead to problems with the gastrointestinal tract. Such problems include, but are not limited to, boarding, moving, or losing a home. In fact, many veterinarians know and understand why dogs in shelters regularly get diarrhea, because they are exhibiting signs of stress. Probiotics tend to work better than antibiotics, without the added side effects.

    –    Infection or bacterial infections
    –    Diet: Abrupt changes on the food menu can hurt your dog’s digestive tract. Bad food or table food can have the same effect on your pup sometimes.
    –    Old age
    –    Parasites
    –    Medication: Antibiotics and steroids commonly cause an upset stomach and related instances; this, in turn, can cause the good bacteria in the stomach to die off.

    If you think that your dog would benefit from taking probiotics, talk to your veterinarian to single out a few brands that would best fit your dog’s lifestyle.

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