Probiotic Strains: Choosing The Right Probiotic Strains For Dogs

Nov 28, 2023

In the realm of dog gut health, dog probiotics are key players. While many strains exist, Bernie’s Perfect Poop champions two particular superheroes for our probiotic supplements: Bacillus Subtilis and Bacillus Coagulans. There’s a method to our reasoning, and we want to help you understand more about dog probiotics and why we chose those two over several other common probiotic supplement strains.

Understanding Dog Probiotics: The Basics For Gut Health

Probiotics are live microorganisms, often called “good” or “beneficial” bacteria, that live in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. They play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy gut flora balance, which is essential to support digestive health and good overall health. For dogs, just like with human probiotics, these beneficial bacteria are vital for numerous bodily functions.

What Probiotic Supplements Do in a Dog’s Gut

Most importantly, dog probiotics help maintain gut health. Probiotics for dogs are often paired with digestive enzymes in supplements because they may help common conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, digestive discomfort, constipation, anxiety, and more. Probiotics help maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. This balance is crucial for proper digestion, nutrient absorption, and the elimination of toxins.

Additionally, probiotics for dogs not only help support digestive health but they also support the immune system. A huge portion of a dog’s immune system is housed in their gut. Probiotics strengthen this immune response, helping dogs fight infections and diseases, and may even help with food allergies symptoms and intolerances.

When it comes to digestive health, probiotics for dogs (often combined with digestive enzymes) aid in breaking down food, ensuring efficient absorption of nutrients, and facilitating smooth digestive processes. This is key for the health of your dog’s immune system and overall vitality.

And, just as human probiotics do in us, by occupying space and resources in the gut, dog probiotics help prevent harmful bacteria from overgrowing. This helps reduce the risk of gastrointestinal issues and infections, and works in collaboration with your dog’s immune system.

The Importance of Probiotics in a Dog’s Dietbowls of raw food for dogs are good for them

We talk so much about how important probiotics for dogs are because it’s true; they are. Research continues to show all probiotic supplements in dogs can do, but some of the things we specifically were looking to help our dogs with when we created Perfect Poop include:

  • Prevention of Gastrointestinal Disorders: Regular intake of probiotics can help prevent common issues like diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The truth is that Bernie’s gut was a mess and his gas and messy poops let us know. We wanted help for him and for us.
  • Enhanced Overall Health: A healthy gut microbiome full of beneficial bacteria is linked to improved overall health, including better skin and coat condition, improved mood, and increased energy levels. We knew the importance of human probiotics and wanted to ensure our dogs got the best too.
  • Support During Antibiotic Therapy: Antibiotics can disrupt the natural balance of gut flora. This can actually weaken their immune system, which is supposed to protect them. We didn’t want Bernie struggling after courses of medicine (and we really wanted to try to prevent issues) so we went looking for the best strains of dog probiotics when we decided to create a probiotic supplement. Probiotics can help restore this balance, minimizing the negative effects of antibiotic treatment.

Why Is A Probiotic Supplement Essential for Dogs?

Much like humans, dogs are exposed to various environmental factors that can disrupt their gut microbiome. Factors such as diet changes, stress, age, and medication can all impact the delicate balance of bacteria in the gut. Incorporating probiotics into a dog’s diet helps ensure that their gut flora remains balanced, which is crucial for their overall well-being.

Probiotics are not just beneficial for treating problems; they are essential for maintaining long-term gut health and, by extension, overall health in dogs. They contribute to a robust immune system, aid in efficient digestion, and can even impact mood and behavior, as the gut-brain axis plays a significant role in mental health.

Probiotics are a vital component of a dog’s diet, contributing significantly to their digestive health, immune function, and total health.

But the strains matter. There are many beneficial bacteria for dogs, and that’s why you may often see many differences in a probiotic supplement for dogs. The specific selection of probiotic strains is geared towards maximizing the benefits of abundant beneficial bacteria and ensuring the best possible care for our canine companions.

Popular Probiotic Strains For DogsDog supplements differ in efficacy

When we began supplementing Bernie’s diet with dog probiotics, we started giving him probiotic strains similar to the ones we took. We knew dog probiotics daily would benefit Bernie like as benefited us, and they’d help keep the harmful bacteria that was overrunning his gut at bay.

Then we began looking specifically for dog probiotics because even though humans and dogs are similar, we have different guts. Some of the popular strains of probiotics we found included:

  • Lactobacillus Acidophilus: A popular probiotic strain, this strain helps break down food (often combined with digestive enzymes) and fend off harmful bacteria. However, it’s less resilient in harsh stomach conditions than spore-forming Bacillus strains.
  • Bifidobacterium Animalis: This is another popular strain known for aiding in nutrient absorption and supporting immune health. While beneficial, it doesn’t have the same level of environmental resilience as Bacillus strains.
  • Enterococcus Faecium: Commonly used for its beneficial effects on intestinal health and consistency in stool formation (what we call perfect pooping). However, its ability to survive stomach acid varies, and we didn’t want to go with something that may or may not make it through the harsh environment in our dog’s gut.

Why Bacillus Strains Stand Out in Bernie’s Perfect Poop:

Our research with experts in the field of dog gut health and nutrition showed us the unique benefits of Bacillus Coagulans and Bacillus Subtilis. We call them superheroes when it comes to the best probiotics for dogs, because of how they function in your dog’s gut:

  • Spore-Forming Ability: Both Bacillus Subtilis and Bacillus Coagulans are spore-forming, which is crucial for surviving the acidic environment of a dog’s stomach. This ensures that the probiotics reach the intestines where they can be most effective. The best probiotics for dogs are ones that have spore-forming ability; otherwise, you may just be wasting good money on bad bacteria strains.
  • Gram-Positive Nature: This characteristic is what allows them to withstand antibiotics and other substances that could harm non-spore-forming bacteria.
  • Adaptability to Harsh Environments: Their ability to endure and function in various conditions makes them more reliable for consistent gut health benefits. Your dog’s stomach can actually be pretty hostile, so you want strains that can take the heat!

That’s why we chose Bacillus Subtilis and Bacillus Coagulans and combined them with premium fiber and digestive enzymes.

Bacillus Subtilis is a warrior! It’s an incredibly tough spore-forming bacterium, allowing it to survive the acidic journey through a dog’s stomach to reach the intestines where it does its best work. It produces additional enzymes that help break food down and enhances nutrient absorption for your dog. It’s a key player for a balanced gut because it’s a resilient and effective strain. Studies show that diets supplemented with Bacillus Subtilis improved fecal quality in dogs and reduced several biogenic amines.

Bacillus Coagulans is a magician! It’s also spore-forming, meaning this bacterium can endure harsh stomach environments to reach the intestines effectively. It produces lactic acid which helps to balance gut flora and is particularly effective in managing diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in dogs. It’s also a favorite of ours because it can help improve stool quality and odor and balance your dog’s microbiome. Research has shown that dogs fed with a diet containing Bacillus Coagulans showed increases in gross energy and organic matter digestibility​​.

It’s true; many probiotic strains that offer various benefits. At Bernie’s Best, we prioritize Bacillus Subtilis and Bacillus Coagulans for their unique resilience, adaptability, and specific benefits in promoting gut health and effective digestion in dogs. We wanted the best and most effective gut health answers, and these two strains packed the punch we wanted for our own best friends! 


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