Much like their human companions, our pets’ bodies are home to a wide range of bacteria, both helpful and harmful. And just as we experience occasional digestive imbalance from allergies, antibiotics and periods of stress, our pets may also encounter the same.
Are probiotic supplements the solution to your pet's woes? Below are some common issues and scenarios that may be positively impacted by probiotics.
Pets get upset tummies from time to time, just like we do. If your pet can’t seem to shake an upset stomach, a low-dose probiotic supplement may be able to bring balance and harmony to their delicate digestive system. For general stomach upsets, look for a pet probiotic with anywhere from 1 billion to 5 billion live and active cultures per supplement. If your dog or cat isn’t a fan of pills, consider a chewable pet probiotic or pet probiotic in powder form, which can be mixed into food to support your pet's digestive health. (Have a kitty with a particularly delicate tummy? Read more about digestive health for cats.)
If your pet’s allergies suddenly seem worse or they’re more sensitive to various triggers than usual, it may signal their gut health isn’t where it should be. Humans and pets will react to a variety of foods or environmental triggers when their bacterial balance is “off.” Consider using a pet probiotic supplement, or for skin issues, possibly pairing it with a cream or topical product specifically targeted towards allergies.
Many vets will prescribe antibiotics for a certain period of days if your pet has a bacterial illness, or to prevent infection before or after a surgical procedure. While antibiotics are often necessary and very helpful, they wipe out all bacteria, both good and bad, which may lead to gut imbalance and digestive issues. To help restore that precious balance, consider giving your pet a probiotic supplement, or look for probiotic-enhanced pet treats or food.
Stress and Anxiety
Some breeds are prone to anxiety than others, and some scenarios can understandably cause stress, so not all cases of anxiety indicate your pet needs a probiotic. However, if your pet seems abnormally anxious and stressed, they may benefit from probiotics. Dogs and cats have the same gut-brain connection that humans do, which means if their gut is out of balance, their nervous system may be affected. Probiotics for dogs and cats can restore digestive balance and bring harmony to their nervous system as a result.
It’s important to note, if you feel your pet could benefit from a probiotic, always consult your vet before choosing a supplement; they know your pet’s medical and health history, and can decide what’s best for the specific needs of your furry friend!
Related reading: What vets want you to know about pet vitamins and supplements