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Can Probiotics Cause Diarrhea In Dogs?

  • By Raquel Astacio

So you have researched all of the benefits that canine probiotics has to offer and you’re just about ready to give them to your furry friend. That is until you read that they may cause diarrhea in dogs. And your reaction to this is to be alarmed and that is perfectly normal since diarrhea is usually a symptom of a problem. But is this the norm when it comes to probiotics for dogs?

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The Adjustment Period

Just like with any new supplement or diet change, your dog’s stomach will need to adjust to the use of probiotics. Since probiotics are live microorganisms, as they fill the gut and uncover any “bad” bacteria that may be dormant in your dog’s gut, it can produce some increased side effects. These side effects may include: gas, diarrhea, loose stool, or even vomiting in some cases that are extreme. This usually occurs at first while their body is detoxifying itself and adjusting to the use of probiotics. This is referred to as the adjustment period and detoxification stage.

The adjustment period may vary depending on your dog, and may last only 2 days for some and as long as 5 weeks for others.

What To Do

The first recommendation would be to wait it out and let the probiotics run its course.

As a dog owner it may be tough to watch your pet suffer with such side effects, but please know they are temporary and the benefits of probiotics in the long term outweigh the side effects they go through in the short term.

Another suggestion to help ease the side effects of probiotics at first would be to ease in to the dosage. Instead of giving your dog the full recommended dose of probiotics; it could be helpful to start with half the dosage as they begin using this supplement. Cutting their dosage in half may extend the adjustment period and detoxification process, but it will make the side effects more manageable and leave your dog a little more comfortable during this stage.

After The Adjustment Period Has Passed

Once the detoxification process has passed and your dog has become used to taking probiotics, you will notice the side effects start to subside. At this point, your dog will experience less gas and a decrease in loose stools and diarrhea overall. Their gut bacteria will have become more balanced and they will be in a state of optimal digestive health thus making them happier and healthier. As a dog owner, what more can one ask for?

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Disclaimer: the advice and information in this article is not intended to be used as a replacement for professional medical advice from a veterinarian.



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  • My vet suggested rotating probiotics. He has taken probiotics for several months. I just started a new brand and he is having mucus soft mushy poops. Not quite diarrhea, but very mushy. Is this normal, or is it possible something else is causing this change? He is also transitioning to a different raw food, but doing slowly; only 1/4 food change over couple days. These two changes were probably within a week of each other. Trying to figure out which is more likely the culprit.

    Peggy 2 years ago Reply

    • It could be the raw food but it can also be an ingredient in the probiotics. Is your dog lactose intolerant? If so, check that the probiotics do not contain dairy of some sort.

      Raquel Astacio 2 years ago Reply

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