CBD Oil Alongside Probiotics for Dogs
If you have flipped through television channels or scrolled through your news-feed at any point, you’ve likely seen an advertisement for “Probiotics”. Aside from those ads recommending them to promote a “healthy gut” what do they have to offer? What is a probiotic? Can dogs take probiotics? What are the best probiotics for dogs and do they even really differ? When it comes to caring for our pets, there is a mountain of information to climb. We want our pets to live a healthy life and we don’t want them missing out on the nutrients they require, but we also don’t want to be swindled out of our hard earned money. This article aims to clear up those questions and give you a clear picture of what probiotics and prebiotics are all about and whether or not you should consider incorporating them into your pet’s diet.
What Are Probiotics
Before you can properly consider giving probiotics to your dog, you have to first understand what they are and how they interact with your dog’s stomach and intestines. To put it simply, probiotics are living microorganisms that are said to provide health benefits to the host when consumed. Mainly, health benefits for “gut flora”. Probiotics shouldn’t be confused with Prebiotics, however. While both are introducing those microorganisms to you or your pet’s gut, prebiotics are additional compounds in foods that are there to work with the bacteria and microorganisms already in the person or pet’s body. A slight difference, but a difference all the same.
Do Dogs Need Probiotics?
This question is where the information can sway to either side of the argument. Lots of research is still needed on this subject and the jury is out on whether or not people or pets truly need to ingest probiotics, but our research shows that it can’t hurt.
If you are considering introducing your dog to the world of probiotics or prebiotics, you likely won’t need to if your dog is still in their earlier years. As a puppy or younger dog, their gut health should be in tip-top condition. Unless there are some types of underlying health conditions that require them to focus more on gut health, there isn’t much of a reason to introduce probiotics or prebiotics to your younger dog’s diet. Once they begin to reach their middle-age, however, they may begin to experience issues and imbalances in their digestive system that a probiotic could assist with.
The canine gut contains a slew of bacteria that has evolved over thousands of years to be able to fight off certain pathogens from invading their intestines. It’s not a perfect system though and sometimes a pathogen or two get through and can cause a disruption in their health. The bacteria that fight to prevent this are: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus casei and Bifidobacterium breve. Over time these bacteria can break down or cease to work as well as they did in your dog’s more formative years. Probiotics aim to assist those bacteria to stave off the pathogenic bacteria we mentioned and strengthen their overall gut health.
Odds are, you’ve seen the result of your dogs gut bacteria being challenged. Diarrhea is the most common symptom of an imbalance in your dog’s gut health. Diarrhea or any other type of intestinal or stomach irritation where a probiotic could be used to help are usually caused by:
Medications: Antibiotics or Steroids
Any one of those causes can lead to an imbalance and irritation of the gut. Parasites can get in and lead to an upset intestinal tract, leading to diarrhea. The stress of adoption, moving or in general can cause an imbalance that canine probiotics may help with. Certain medications that may be prescribed for another reason can kill the gut bacteria in your dog and lead to a need for probiotics or prebiotics to protect and reintroduce those bacterium to your dog’s gut.
Best Dog Probiotics
Once you have decided whether or not your dog should be taking probiotics it will open up a completely new issue to work towards solving; what kind of dog probiotic is the best dog probiotic. They come in many different forms and all make similar claims. Choosing the best one for your dog can differ from brand to brand. Probiotics for your dog can come in many different forms. Special yogurts are among the best ways to introduce probiotic bacteria to your dog’s gut. If they aren’t a fan of that, options exist in powders, capsules, chews, specialty foods and more. The delivery system for probiotics varies, but it’s the content that matters.
Probiotics are usually measured by Colony Forming Units or CFU. This refers to the number of live bacteria in relation to a single serving. They can range from millions to billions and are usually the manufacturers main claim to why their product is the “best”. We can’t recommend one brand that we would consider the “best of the bunch”, but what we can offer is advice that if you are considering introducing probiotics or prebiotics to your dog’s diet, you should consult a veterinarian. Your vet will not only have the best knowledge of what your pet needs, but not be swayed by a single brand.
How CBD Can Help
CBD oil and treats are actually a perfect pairing when it comes to promoting a healthy gut within your pet. CBD oil actually eases most of the symptoms of a bacteria imbalance in your dog’s gut. Stress, diarrhea and inflammation are all symptoms that CBD can assist with. It’s interaction with the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the body can work at reducing said symptoms and, paired with a proper probiotic, can greatly assist to improve your pet’s quality of life. While pet CBD is completely natural, it is recommended that it is not taken with harsher steroid based or NSAID medications.
While there is research on puppy probiotic health, probiotics for dogs and prebiotics that boasts claims of maintaining a healthy gut, most of it is anecdotal. As with most holistic or natural medicines, probiotics still has lots of research that must be done. Mainly in the canine kingdom. Whenever you are thinking of introducing your pet to a new medicine like probiotics or CBD, always be sure to consult your veterinarian first. Not only will they be able to clear up any misconceptions you have on the matter, they will also strive to navigate you in the proper direction. There are tons of foods, treats and powders that claim to be the best choice in probiotic health for your dog. Figuring out which one will benefit your pooch can be overwhelming and your vet can help point you in the right direction.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can CBD oil for dogs be used with other medications?
Yes. CBD oil is a natural compound that can be used with most medications. However, medications like NSAIDs, some antibiotics, antihistamines, benzodiazepines, steroids, fentanyl and anaesthetic should be avoided when taking CBD.
What are the best probiotics for dogs?
The best probiotics for dogs are the brands that claim a higher number of bacteria per serving. All foods, chewables, powders and treats label these as “Colony Forming Units” or CFU.
Can I give my dog a probiotic?
Yes. While there is still much research to be done on the health claims, the research so far shows that probiotics are a healthy addition to your dog’s diet and is more useful in older dogs.
Is pumpkin a probiotic for dogs?
Pumpkin is a great natural probiotic for dogs, but you should dose it properly. A good rule of thumb is to give your dog 1 tsp of cooked or pureed pumpkin for every 10 pounds of body weight every day. However, always be sure to speak with your vet before you feed pumpkin to your dog.
What is a natural probiotic for dogs?
A great way to introduce a natural probiotic to your dog’s diet without having to purchase a branded food or powder is to add a spoonful of plain, low or non-fat yogurt to their food. One spoonful can offer digestive benefits for your pet.