In this guide, we take a look at and review the best probiotics for dogs in 2021.
Here are the main topics that we’ll go over:
With so many options on the market, making a decision can feel overwhelming. That is why we researched for you!
Let’s dig right in.
Probiotics are strains of beneficial bacteria that colonize and grow in the body’s intestinal tract — in humans and animals.
They are part of the microbiome, a more extensive system of bacteria and microbes contributing to body functions.
Research has shown that these good bacteria are essential to both the digestive and immune systems.
Health problems, both major and minor, can occur when there is an imbalance in the types of bacteria in the intestinal tract.
The medical term for this is dysbiosis — when there are more harmful bacteria than beneficial.
There are three prevalent causes of dysbiosis in dogs:
Each of these decreases the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Now imagine what they can do together.
When a dog has dysbiosis, it can develop intestinal permeability — more commonly known as leaky gut.
And because leaky gut allows foreign bodies to enter the bloodstream from the intestinal tract, inflammation happens.
As you know, inflammation connects to a wide range of illnesses in both humans and dogs.
These illnesses include but are not limited to:
We believe that leaky gut is the reason for many ailments in dogs today, and dog owners don’t know it.
But you suspect it, and it is why you want to add probiotics to your dog’s diet.
Because dysbiosis is an imbalance of more bad bacteria than good in the intestinal tract, adding probiotics help restore the balance.
By supplementing it, you can prevent or improve leaky gut, and get rid of any current and future ailments in your dog.
And this is why we recommend probiotics because they genuinely help dogs.
But to maximize its effectiveness, your dog should finish any antibiotics they’re on and eat less processed food.
Otherwise, the probiotics cannot do what they’re supposed to do — promote beneficial bacteria in the gut!
Selecting the top 5 probiotics for dogs was not an easy task.
To help us pick the best ones from a wide selection, we defined a set of must-haves that each dog probiotic needed.
Those requirements were:
We do not recommend giving your dog probiotics meant for humans mainly because human probiotics can contain ingredients not meant for them.
We also removed any probiotics marketed for both dogs and cats.
We noticed a pattern of brands marketing all-in-one supplements with probiotics as one of the last ingredients or digestive enzymes marketed as probiotics.
We want a dog probiotic that does one thing very well — promote good bacteria!
With dogs having a variety of food sensitivities, these probiotics needed to contain few ingredients.
It was a bonus if they were free of gluten, lactose, and other problematic fillers.
A higher number of colony-forming units (CFUs) in each probiotic, the more colonies that can form in the intestinal tract, the more beneficial bacteria can grow.
You know this, and other dog parents do too — giving your dog medicine can be tricky!
They will sense and sniff when there is something in their food. These probiotics should not make your life harder than it needs to be.
Using the rules above made it easier to pick the best from the bunch.
The list of pros for each brand also contains additional benefits that we thought were worth mentioning.
Now onto the actual list of the best dog probiotics!
If you are the type of dog parent who cares about what goes inside your dog, as we do, then this is the one for you.
Made with minimal ingredients and containing a proven strain of beneficial bacteria, Probiotics for Dogs from Tails ‘N’ Tummies takes the top spot on our list.
Allow us to emphasize this point — finding a probiotic with the fewest ingredients possible is no easy task!
Because it only contains a few, we think it is the best choice for dogs with food sensitivities as it doesn’t have problematic ingredients.
Your dog will have no gas, bloating, cramping, or any other side effects that generally come with probiotics.
The tablets are small and mix easily with food, so giving them to your dog should not be a problem.
Because the tablets are time-release, only one dose a day is needed to work around the clock.
The only negative we found was that you would need two bottles for a month’s supply if your dog weighed over 50 pounds.
But at the lower-end price of $24.95 per bottle, as of this writing, that may not be an issue.Learn More
Picking the runner-up on our list came down to Daily Probiotic from Petaxin and Probiotic Support from NomNomNow.
Ultimately, we picked Petaxin over NomNomNow because dogs prefer soft chews over powder, and it’s easier to give.
We love the fact that this dog probiotic contains prebiotics, although studies haven’t shown dogs need it, and the chews come in a cute heart shape.
Although it’s a good product, we did not place this at number one because it contains ingredients that can be problematic for your dog.
Chickpeas can cause gas, abdominal cramps, and bloating. Potato flour and cane molasses are carbohydrates that may be unnecessary, especially if your dog is overweight.
Lastly, if your dog has any lactose intolerance, the cheddar cheese may cause issues.
It’s also worth mentioning that the chews contain chicken flavor, and it may be best to avoid it if your dog is allergic to chicken.
If your dog has no food sensitivities at all, Daily Probiotic is a great choice, and they sure love eating it!Learn More
Like Probiotics for Dogs from Tails ‘N’ Tummies, Probiotic Support from NomNomNow contains minimal ingredients.
As mentioned above, probiotics that contain few ingredients are great for dogs with food sensitivities.
It makes it easy for the probiotics to do their job inside of your dog’s intestinal tract.
However, Probiotic Support’s strength may be its weakness because it may be too bare minimum for dogs and their owners.
It has no flavor at all, and it comes in powder form that you have to add to your dog’s food.
You may know this — it’s not easy to give dogs powered medicine, and they may stare at their food suspiciously.
But you will have to determine how picky your dog is and if they will be receptive to it.
If you want to make it work, a favorite trick among dog parents is to add it to peanut butter to disguise it.
NomNomNow makes good products, and this probiotic is no exception.Learn More
Another probiotic in powder form, Pet Ultimates, is a solid choice to give your dog probiotics.
It’s very similar to Probiotic Support from NomNomNow in that it contains minimal ingredients and no flavor.
But unlike Probiotic support, this one contains inulin as its first ingredient for prebiotics.
You will often hear that prebiotics is necessary for probiotics, but no study has shown this to be the case in dogs.
Too much inulin can cause gas, bloating, and abdominal cramping in dogs.
It is unclear the exact amount of inulin in this formula, and it may not be something to worry about but something to keep in mind.
This dog probiotic is an excellent choice by a reputable dog brand.Learn More
Rounding out our list is FortiFlora from the well-known dog brand, Purina.
If you have done any prior research on probiotics for dogs, you have probably come across it.
It is probably the most familiar probiotics for dogs product on the market, and for a good reason because it works.
Unlike the other two powdered form probiotics on our list, this one contains liver flavoring, which can be more palatable for dogs.
However, unlike Probiotic Support from NomNomNow and Probiotics from Pet Ultimates, this one is not minimal in ingredients.
Except for yeast, which is known to cause some issues in dogs, all the other ingredients are acceptable.
One packet a day in your dog’s food is all they need to get the beneficial bacteria in their bodies.Learn More
We hope that our list of the best probiotics for dogs this year helps you determine which dog probiotic to give to your furry friend.
Just like vitamins, we recommend giving your dog probiotics for as long as possible to maintain healthy levels of good bacteria in their body.
With stress, antibiotics, and processed dog food being ever-present factors, it is crucial to supplement your dog’s diet with it continually.
Your dog’s health and immune system will thank you for it.
Discuss this list of recommended dog probiotics with other dog parents below and let us know what you think!