If you have digestive issues, your doctor may recommend taking probiotics to help restore the balance of “good” bacteria in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help other good bacteria compete with harmful ones for nutrients and intestinal binding sites in the GI tract. They also help the immune system fight off disease-causing microbes.
So if your dog has tummy troubles, you may think about giving your dog some human probiotics to help them get back to their bouncing-around-the-house self. But is it safe to do so? And is there a better alternative? The answer is “Yes” to both questions.
Are Human Probiotics Safe for Dogs?
If you’re reading this after giving your dog human probiotics, the good news is that human probiotics won’t harm your dog. So you can breathe a sigh of relief there. However, human probiotics may not be as beneficial to dogs as they are to people. There is evidence that probiotics containing the particular strains of beneficial bacteria normally found in a dog’s GI tract (species-specific probiotics) may do a better job than bacterial strains found in human probiotics. Remember to always check with your veterinarian before starting probiotics, supplements or a new food.
To be effective, probiotics must be able to survive the manufacturing process and remain viable in storage, but they also need to survive in the GI tract of dogs. Common probiotic bacteria that may be beneficial to dogs include certain Lactobacillus, Enterococcus and Bifidobacterium species.
All dry Diamond Pet Foods dog formulations use our proprietary probiotic blend, K9 Strain® Probiotics, which was developed from bacterial strains already present in the canine gastrointestinal tract. These probiotics have undergone rigorous testing to make sure they’re safe for dogs, are viable in the canine GI tract, can maintain a healthy bacterial balance in the gut, and support a healthy immune system.
The probiotics added to our dry dog food formulations include:
- Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product
- Dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product
- Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product
- Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product
- Dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product
Efficacy and Safety of Diamond Pet Foods Probiotics
For dogs to gain the maximum benefit from probiotics, the bacteria must be viable, alive and able to multiply. The kibble cooking process would kill beneficial bacteria, so we add our probiotics after the cooking process. This means we can guarantee our beneficial bacteria are live, active probiotic cultures at a concentration of 80 million colony-forming units (CFU) per pound. Our K9 Strain Probiotics are also purified and guaranteed to be free of harmful pathogens and other contaminants. Our proprietary probiotic blend for cats, Viables® Probiotics, used in Diamond and Diamond Naturals dry cat formulas, as well as the Diamond CARE Weight Management Formula for Adult Cats, has the same guarantees and is developed from species-specific probiotic strains found in the feline GI tract.
While it can be safe to give your dog probiotics marketed for humans, they may receive more benefit by eating a dog food that contains species-specific probiotics. When looking for a dog food that contains probiotics, make sure you check that the manufacturer guarantees that the probiotics are live and viable (like we do) so they can have an impact on your dog’s health.
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