Too Much of a Good Thing? Can a Dog Overdose on Probiotics?

Jul 21, 2022

We know probiotics are good for our dogs, but you may ask, “Can a dog overdose on probiotics?” Great question, and we’ve got the answer.

At Bernie’s Best, we believe a better diet leads to a better life. We also believe that starts with the best dog gut health your dog can have and probiotics play a HUGE role in that.

But is more of a good thing better? Can a dog overdose on probiotics?

What do probiotics do for dogs?

Probiotics are bacteria–the good kind. They’re the good bacteria that help modulate your dog’s immune system. They produce short-chain fatty acids, which is important because they help crowd out harmful bacteria that want to take over your dog’s gut.Probiotics can also help your dog deal with digestive symptoms like diarrhealeaky gutconstipationirritable bowelstinky gasallergiesanxietybad poop breath and so much more! Science just keeps finding how probiotics help dogs, reiterating how daily dog probiotic supplementation may help their immune system and overall health. Even though your dog’s body maintains a microbiome for helpful bacteria to grow, sometimes things like sickness, medicines and even diet can mess their gut balance off, and probiotics help bring that balance back while also helping strengthen their immunity by aiding in digestion and maximizing nutrient absorption.

How should dogs take probiotics?

Probiotics can help with different digestive issues in dogs, but there are a few bacteria that are better suited for dog guts. There are tons of different probiotic strains that may be of benefit, but some definitely benefit dogs more than others.

Bacillus coagulans is one of the strains that we use in Perfect Poop. It’s an effective bacterial strain that can help battle many different digestive problems–things like antibiotic-induced disruption, IBS, giardia or more.  Bacillus subtilis strains also work on digestive conditions, and both strains are hardy, spore-forming bacteria. That means they have a better chance of withstanding the harsh acids and digestive juices of your dog’s digestive tract and once they get where they’re going, they’ll form more and more spores to create a thriving colony of beneficial colon warriors.

Probiotics for dogs are often available in powder, capsules and liquid, but that’s one thing that sets Perfect Poop apart–ours are in delicious bits that are easy to put on and easier (and more delicious) for your dog to eat right along with his meal. No mess of powder or liquid and a great taste that makes sure your dog enjoys every bite.

What’s the difference between prebiotics and probiotics?

Another great question–and an IMPORTANT one too, as prebiotics are what feeds your dog’s probiotics. They are a food supply for probiotics, and they’re necessary for your dog to maximize probiotic benefit. Prebiotics are found in green leafy veggies, whole grains, legumes, fruits and even mushrooms, but many dog diets lack that and prebiotic supplementation is key.

A big difference in prebiotics and probiotics is that prebiotics are hardy. They do a much better job of surviving heat, cold and stomach acids as your dog digests, and that’s important as they’re feeders for probiotics. All too often, if you’re paying for pricey probiotics but not ensuring your dog is getting enough prebiotics, you’re basically paying for those probiotics to die off without ever even making it to your dog’s gut and helping him.

Perfect Poop has inulin and XOS  (found in miscanthus grass) sources of prebiotics and these help feed the good bacteria in your dog’s gut. The small intestine can’t break them down, so supplementation helps ensure probiotics are well nourished and thriving.

Dosing of dog probiotics

When you start supplementing dog probiotics, it’s not uncommon for your dog to have some changes. You may notice they pass gas more, poop a bit more and even eat a bit less (good fiber will make them feel full with each meal).

Another major reason Bernie’s Perfect Poop was created was because we know figuring out the right dog probiotic dosage and delivery can be a pain. Formulating both of our recipes with correct dosages in mind, Bernie’s Perfect Poop bits make it easy to give your dog a safe and effective dosage of probiotics.

Can my dog overdose from probiotics?

Obviously, if you’re ever concerned about supplementing dosages of anything, checking with your vet is a good idea.

That said, it’s very uncommon and near impossible to ‘overdose’ on dog probiotics. Will you maybe see more farts and poops? Sure.

But another big issue is that you’re simply wasting money.  Giving your dog probiotics that aren’t able to withstand his harsh digestive environment or aren’t as effective strains as others is basically giving him money to poop out.

Which is exactly what will happen if you ‘overdose’ dog probiotics. He’ll likely poop out what his body doesn’t use, and that may cause some extra gas and even diarrhea, but it shouldn’t be more than that. If you feel your dog has ever had too much of something and is suffering as a result, it’s always recommended you consult your vet.

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