Dog Probiotic Side Effects: What You Want to Know About Dog Probiotics

Apr 5, 2022

If it seems like we do a lot of talking about dog probiotics, it’s because probiotics are REALLY important to your dog’s overall health and vitality. Every dog owner should know that good health begins in the gut, and that involves ensuring that your dog’s gut is full of helpful bacteria—probiotics. But, you may wonder if giving your dog probiotic supplements has any side effects. That’s a great question, so read on to know about dog probiotics side effects and what you want to know about them when you include them into your dog’s diet!

What are canine probiotics?

It seems like that’s all you hear these days…but do you even know what probiotics for dogs really are? In a nutshell, Probiotics are a mixture of live bacteria and/or yeast that lives in your dog’s (and your) body. Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that help keep your dog’s gut strong and healthy, and help your pet’s immune system be strong too.

So when you’re ‘giving your doggy probiotics you’re actually supplementing beneficial bacteria into his body. The typical bacteria are the ones that will colonize in your dog’s gut and help crowd out harmful bacteria that can get into his system in a number of different ways (eating the cat’s poop or consuming a poor diet that throws the balance off, for instance?). Supplementing probiotics for your dog can help them have the optimal levels of beneficial gut bacteria and this helps them be healthier, have better digestive comfort and more energy overall.

Why do people give dogs probiotics?

Most of the time, you’ll hear of a dog being given probiotics when they’re struggling with health problems. Maybe it’s severe diarrhea or constipation. Maybe they have excess gas or allergies so bad they scratch their fur right off their bodies. Sometimes vets will advise dog owners to give their dog probiotics because they’ve had a round of antibiotics for illness (antibiotics kill ALL bacteria, even the good bacteria) or maybe it’s for some other gastrointestinal tract issue.

But the truth is that dogs can (and do) benefit from being given probiotic supplements daily! Your pet’s gut microflora (the bacteria colonies living in his gut) is very important to his overall health because a thriving gut will be what protects him from pathogens that try to make him sick. Daily, animals battle viruses and diseases and conditions that disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria, but intestinal flora that’s full of probiotics (the friendly bacteria species, remember) will fight that off! They’re living organisms that have crazy health benefits on your dog’s gut and that’s every day–not just when your puppy is suffering from an issue. Supplementing probiotics and other nutrients daily helps prevent the colonization of bad bacteria in your dog’s gut, and that means your pup is able to absorb all the nutrition he can (instead of the bad bacteria competing for that nutrition and making your puppy ill).

Do dog probiotics cause side effects?

The ‘side effects’ of dog probiotics aren’t what you typically think of when you think of ‘side effects of probiotics’.  Because they are bacteria, there will of course be an effect–that’s what you actually want. You want more and more healthy bacteria and less and less bad bacteria, virus and disease in dog’s gut.

As your local vet will probably explain to you, that’s sometimes a process, though, as the virus, bacteria and disease don’t often go easily. Typically in the process of the good bacteria working to overtake the bad, you’ll maybe see residual digestive issues—some extra gas, a difference in stool quality, digestive discomfort, some runny poopvomiting or even diarrhea, rash or constipation. Your dog’s symptoms might even get worse before they start getting better when consuming probiotics for the first time.  This is completely normal and to be expected some as your dog’s digestive system is suddenly being fed additional ‘good’ probiotic bacteria. Rest assured, though, those are signs of probiotic supplementation doing what you want, because it means the bad bacteria are giving their all to stick around before they’re crowded out. Once the probiotics establish dominance in your pup’s gut, and his microbiome becomes accustomed to a newer, healthier gut flora, these issues should subside. If your dog experiences any of these temporary side effects of dog probiotics, you can cut the amount of nutritional supplements you are serving back and slowly build his gut up. Hence, at first, consider it like a trial and error period. You can be sure though that your daily supplementation has numerous benefits, as it helps ensure the good bacteria ultimately remain the ‘top dogs’ in the microbiome.

Veterinary specialists estimate that it’s a one in a million chance a person (or dog) may have an allergic reaction to probiotics. Some speculate it’s because of an adverse reaction that occurs as the bad gut bacteria are making their last stand. It is still unknown as to why, and extremely rare, but if your dog starts excessively itching or has difficulty breathing or walking after you’ve started to supplement probiotics, see the vet immediately. The cause of these side effects must be immediately detected.

Low quality dog probiotics may cause side effects

We’re just going to be honest. Not every dog probiotic is the same quality and offers the same benefits…and to be super honest? Not every pet company is concerned about your pet’s health–well, not as much as they are concerned about profit. They’ll produce cheap, unstable supplements with low quality bacteria strains that don’t have the ability to make it anywhere near your dog’s intestines before they’re destroyed by digestive juices and stomach acids. These supplements also come in several forms which sometimes be difficult to administer such as the tablet form. Basically, you think you’re giving your dog the best probiotics for him but unless those probiotics get to your dog’s intestines, you’re wasting money, really.

Additionally most bacteria are ‘host-specific’. This means that they have preference of host, and many probiotic companies will use less expensive human probiotic strains–which do NOTHING for your furry friend. In fact, they could harm him and make him vomit, have diarrhea or dehydration.

A quality probiotic supplement made of natural ingredients (like Bernie’s Perfect Poop!) will have the right amount of live cultures and colony forming units (CFU) to actually be beneficial to your dog’s gut. They’ll also be probiotic strains that are hardy and offer benefits to dogs. Remember this when buying probiotics and make sure to read the guaranteed analysis section on the packaging.

Why choose Bernie’s Perfect Poop for your dog?

Probiotics are obviously uber important! These live microorganisms can help with everything from bad gas to reducing inflammation and replenishing your dog’s gut after a course of medicine (especially after antibiotic use). But even more, the right probiotics are the KEY to optimal nutrient absorption for your furry friend without experiencing heavy side effects.

And that’s just what Bernie’s Perfect Poop was designed for. Perfect Poop has premium fibers that ensure the food you give your dog moves through his tract at the perfect speed for maximum nutrient absorption. It also serves as food for the probiotics in his gut, and we’ve already learned that well-fed, good bacteria is a GREAT thing for your dog’s health. Perfect Poop also has digestive enzymes that allow his food to be broken into better absorbed pieces, and this fuels his body at a cellular level.

Mostly, though a healthy gut that’s full of healthy bacteria is one that will optimize the absorption of minerals and vitamins while getting rid of all the icky toxins, waste, virus and pathogens that could threaten your dog’s life. The probiotics work to reduce inflammation in your dog’s GI tract so the poop is the right consistency and help with a host of issues many dogs struggle with, especially if they are of old age.

Bernie’s Perfect Poop uses premium strains of bacteria: Bacillus subtillis and bacillus coagulans.

Both are hardy bacteria, gram-positive and spore producers, which means they get in the intestines and start reproducing spores quickly for your doggy’s health. They are particularly strong and able to withstand the harsh stomach environment dogs have, and that also means they’re good at standing up to bad bacteria that would try to crowd them out. The Bacillus genus strain actually survives a lot more than other strains of typical probiotic species and while they’re high-quality, combined with our fiber and digestive enzymes, they’re an affordable way to ensure your pet’s best health with every meal!

The truth about dog probiotics side effects is that they’re very few, if any, and the benefits DEFINITELY make up for it! Give your best friend the best gut health he can have with Bernie’s Perfect Poop, and be proud of yourself for choosing premium dog probiotics!

Sign up now to receive the latest updates via email.