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Probiotics, for humans and dogs, have received more attention in the medical industry over the past several years, primarily for gastrointestinal (G.I.) issues. A healthy gut is essential for overall good systemic health. The gut microbiome is the “ecosystem” of the G.I. tract. Nourishing and supporting the gut microbiome is a way to improve digestive and overall health. But are probiotics good for dogs? 

 

Are Probiotics OK for Dogs?

 

In a healthy dog gut, good bacteria break down food particles and can help with digestion. If a gut is imbalanced, harmful bacteria can lead to G.I. abnormalities such as diarrhea, flatulence, poor or excessive appetite, and ill thrift appearance. A probiotic specially formulated for dogs can be beneficial to restore and maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria.

 

Probiotics & Dog Dental Health 

 

The oral cavity, which is the first part of the digestive tract, also has a unique microbiome. Periodontal disease disrupts the normal oral flora due to chronic inflammation. Common clinical signs of periodontal disease include halitosis (bad breath), gingivitis, and mobile teeth. Using a probiotic can help minimize the microbiome’s disruption, which leads to the rapid progression of periodontal disease. A COHAT procedure is warranted to address periodontal disease; however, a probiotic is a valuable part of the home care arsenal in minimizing periodontal disease.

Probiotics have received attention for oral health in human dentistry. The benefits of probiotics noted in human dentistry include managing dental caries, periodontal disease, halitosis, and even oral cancer. Although probiotics are not a cure for oral cancer, they have been used to improve and maintain oral health during cancer treatment and recovery. Oral health exists when the microbiome and host are in equilibrium. With the disruption of the normal flora due to oral disease, dysbiosis can lead to increased progression of periodontal disease and additional G.I. signs. 

 

Choosing a Probiotic for Your Dog 

 

There are numerous probiotics available for dogs and cats. Common formulations included powder, capsules, and probiotic-designed diets. It is crucial to choose a probiotic that is species-specific for optimal benefit. Commonly known probiotics that we recommend at Animal Dental Care and Oral Surgery include the following:

  1. Purina Fortiflora—This product contains individual packets that are sprinkled on food once daily. 
  2. Proviable DC—This product contains seven beneficial strains and comes in capsules as well as chewable tablets.
  3. Hill’s Prescription Gastrointestinal Biome Dry Dog Food—This diet is made with ActivBiome+ Ingredient Technology to rapidly activate the gut microbiome and help manage G.I. issues which can carry over to the oral cavity. Clients have reported reduced oral malodor while their pet has been on this diet. 

 

Board-Certified Vet Dentists in Colorado Springs

A probiotic will not cure existing periodontal disease, but it can be a beneficial adjunct to optimize gastrointestinal health, including the oral cavity. A healthy G.I. tract leads to improved systemic health. At Animal Dental Care and Oral Surgery, your pet’s oral health is our passion. Call us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your pet’s oral health needs.

 

 Photo by Edson Torres on Unsplash  (5/11/2021)

 

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