Probiotics and prebiotics are different. Probiotics are living microorganisms from the group of lactic acid bacteria or yeasts. In contrast, prebiotics is mostly short-chain carbohydrates that are indigestible for the body’s own enzymes.  

Prebiotics and probiotics in dogs positively affect the entire digestive tract and stimulate the immune system.

What Exactly Are Probiotics And Prebiotics?

Probiotics and prebiotics in dogs affect the intestinal germs (intestinal flora) and their metabolic activity. In particular, the intestinal flora’s support using probiotics as a feed additive has a tradition going back over 100 years and goes back to the Nobel Prize winner Metchnikoff

He developed the probiotics concept, which is successfully used in human medicine. In dogs, there is currently a lack of sufficient studies under clinical conditions to reliably confirm the positive findings of prebiotics and probiotics made so far.

Probiotics – Healthy Microorganisms

As a living microbial feed additive, probiotics can maintain the balance of the intestinal flora and generally positively affect health through their immune-stimulating effect.

Natural Probiotic Source for Dog

The fact is many things produce natural probiotics. Yogurt, kefir, pineapple, garlic, sweetheart, leek, kimchi, and Jerusalem artichoke are frequently mentioned on the probiotic food lists.

Few products are not safe for dogs, such as onions, and huge numbers of garlic are harmful and should be stopped. The safe one is focused on milk items, like yoghurt, depending on the dog.

Some of the best natural source of probiotics are:

  1. Kefir
  2. Sauerkraut
  3. Miso
  4. Tempeh

#1 Kefir

Kefir is one of the finest materials of probiotics. It is rich in living good bacteria.

The Tibetan mushroom, the kefir mushroom, is a yeast that turns milk into a carbonated and vitamin-rich power drink that contains many health-promoting substances:

  • Lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, acetic acid bacteria
  • carbonic acid
  • Alcohol (between 0.1 and 2%, depending on the temperature during production and maturation period)
  • Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D
  • Minerals: folic acid, niacin, calcium, iron, iodine
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (when using organic milk)

The exact composition varies depending on the type of milk and storage.

Regular consumption of kefir can positively affect intestinal health, strengthen the immune system, and support the treatment of parasite infection, allergies, and intestinal problems.

#2 Sauerkraut

If your dog has digestive problems, sauerkraut can also help. But the same applies here: Rinse the vegetables thoroughly so that the acid is rinsed out.

  • If the dog is constipated, mix cooked sauerkraut with his food. When cooked, the vegetables have a digestive effect on the organism. The sauerkraut for the dog should at most be lukewarm when you offer it to the pet.
  • If your dog has a problem with diarrhea, a little raw sauerkraut will often help. If the feces are bloody, you should see a veterinarian.

#3 Miso

Miso is a common seasoning in Japanese cuisine that contains over 160 probiotic strains. It has a good fragrance and a high sodium content, so it goes a long way!

Much of the taste comes from soy and grains such as rice or barley. Lactic acid bacteria inside ensure the mass fermentation and get a traditional flavor during the lengthy ripening (often over a year).

The commonly made miso includes many lactic probiotic acid bacteria and many proteins and fiber. Since miso is produced without animal products, it is also suitable for vegans as a probiotic snack.

#4 Tempeh

In tempeh, the probiotic content is not as large as kefir, sauerkraut, or miso. It’s still worth it, though.

It is a substantial cake consisting of fermented soybeans. It’s not tofu. The distinction between tofu and tempeh is the fermentation method.

Tofu is made of unfermented soy, which has no living bacteria.

Normal tempeh fermentation breaks down these bacteria to absorb their proteins and to build probiotics. But because of its estrogenic qualities, you should only feed your dog mildly.

Probiotics for Dogs with Allergies

Zesty Paws Allergy Immune SupplementPetVitalityPRO ProbioticsVetri Mega Probiotic are the example of probiotics for dogs with allergies.

Probiotics provide an easy and gentle cure for dogs with skin allergies by restoring healthy amounts of GI bacteria that can directly and substantially enhance the immune system’s functioning.

With none of the harsh toxic chemicals used in pharmaceutical medicines, probiotics remove allergies by better GI health with the good bacteria required to protect a dog’s health and wellbeing overall.

Non-Dairy Probiotics for Dogs

Non-dairy probiotics, including fermented vegetables, are a positive idea to support. For example, the ones that are classified as whole foods.

Whole foods will offer your dog more live and prosperous communities. These probiotics appear to escape the gut and enter the intestines intact.

However, the drawback of whole foods or, in specific, fermented vegetables is that your friend actually would not eat them because their flavor is not nice. Typically they are tangy.

If so, you should easily apply fermented vegetables to your dog’s daily meals and blend them into them. You can currently give them just a limited amount per day as per 20 pounds of weight in around 2 or 3 teaspoons regular. Try to start young before your dog gets accustomed to it.

When you have a dog that consumes absolutely everything, you should feed them directly with fermented vegetables. The following whole food sources is good for dogs:

  • Kimchi is a perfect way to make sure your dog has the correct amount of probiotics. You can like the flavor if the kimchi isn’t too spicy. 
  • Apple cider vinegar is composed of apples and water, which means that your dog is absolutely clean. Not only deals for microbes in the gut, but it also helps to breathe poorly, repel fleas, and regulate pH levels in the body. A teaspoon to a tablespoon is applied to the bowl to enjoy the several advantages provided by ACV. 
  • Pickled Vegetables are also good. Look for pickled, low sodium baby cucumbers or beets without onions. Remember to give them just a bite or two per day, so their stomach may get too irritated.
  • The chocolates that are finely sliced, raw and fermented with different forms of bacteria also work. 
  • Chop a little Sauerkraut and combine it in a bowl of wet dog food to make the lunch tasteful.
  • Tempeh is a popular Indonesian soy food produced from fermented soybeans. This probiotic supply is safe for dogs unless it arrives with unhealthy ingredients such as onion and garlic.

Prebiotics – Indigestible Carbohydrates

Prebiotics are plant-only fibers that pass undigested through the small intestine. It stimulates the growth of “good” bacteria that colonize the large intestine by acting as a substrate for them. They are, in fact, the food of probiotics.

One of the key differences is that prebiotics is not alive. So they resist heat, cold, and adverse humidity conditions, which is why their use in feed formulations is more recurrent.

However, the use of prebiotics in dogs with sensitive digestion should be viewed with caution, as undesirable microorganisms can also ferment prebiotics. These bad bacteria can obtain the nutrients necessary for their growth.

Natural Prebiotic Source for Dogs

Prebiotics are usually obtained from chicory, artichoke, sucrose, or lactose. They are indigestible carbohydrates, i.e., dietary fiber, increasing the “good” intestinal bacteria consumed in sufficient quantities. Basically, prebiotics is the food source of intestinal bacteria, including inulin and oligofructose.

While probiotics are commercially available as pure dietary supplements, you can find high-quality prebiotics in the form of pomace from which the sugar has been removed.

Inulin and oligofructose, also known as fructooligosaccharides (FOS). They are polysaccharides or so-called multiple sugars component in many plant species. Since the animal’s body cannot break down these multiple sugars, they reach the intestine undigested and support the healthy intestinal flora in there.

Inulin or fructooligosaccharides are prebiotic fibers found in numerous vegetables, fruits, and grains such as:

  • Chicory,
  • Onion,
  • Banana,
  • Flaxseed,
  • Psyllium,
  • Barley,
  • And Wheat.

Unfortunately, these foods are in short supply in today’s diet.

Because bacteria need fiber as a source of food for activity and growth.

Besides, fiber swells up in the intestines, increasing the stool volume and promoting good digestion for dogs.

Such safe, popular choices that function in conjunction with your prebiotic foods and supplements are:

  • Oatmeal
  • Sweet pumpkin or canned pumpkin
  • Asparagus (steamed)
  • Moderate apple slices (which give your pooch a nutritious and tasty treat!)
  • Barley (an excellent grain to combine with dog food)
  • Flaxseed meal or perhaps the seeds

How Prebiotic Affects Your Dog Compared To Probiotic

Prebiotic substances are water-soluble fibers broken down by the probiotics in the large intestine and partially fermented. Important vitamins and short-chain fatty acids are released, which have a positive effect on the intestinal environment.

Prebiotics like inulin improves the absorption of vitamins D and E, while oligofructose stimulates the growth of bifidobacteria in the intestine and increases calcium and other minerals’ absorption. 

As a result, the microbiome’s health and function improved and can counteract osteoporosis development. Prebiotic foods can even help improve sleep behavior by positively influencing the body’s stress physiology. 

However, how exactly this works and which mechanisms modulate sleep and stress physiology is still unclear according to the current state of research.

Other Things You Need to Know

When Does It Make Sense To Give Prebiotics And Probiotics To Dogs?

In principle, food additives such as prebiotics and probiotics should only be given to dogs if necessary. Giving probiotics and prebiotics without the correct dose can make your dog gets diarrhea. It is best to speak to a veterinarian before giving your dog any supplements.

Should I Use Probiotics and Prebiotics in dog treatment?

Probiotics and prebiotics are required if a dog is already suffering from indigestion disorder. Here, the use of probiotics offers itself as a supportive measure.

This applies to appropriate diets to the same extent as to the administration of antibiotics. But only in the case of proven bacterial and prolonged infections of the gastrointestinal tract.

A disturbed intestinal flora also affects the supply of vitamins. Therefore, giving minerals and vitamins is part of the treatment of digestive disorders.

If other causes do not require medication, the dog is given light food.

  • Light protein and highly digestible feed.
  • Vitamin A, E, and B12 in the amount of two to three times daily.

The gift of the “Morozchen carrot soup” is successful for diarrhea. It consists exclusively of carrots, a little salt, or meat broth. This often makes the administration of antibiotics no longer needed.

Attention: In the case of persistent digestive disorders of more than two days, you must consult the veterinarian to prevent life-threatening situations.

What are Preventive Measures to Avoid Dog’s Digestive Problems?

Dog owners can avoid damaging influences on the intestinal flora with simple approaches:

  • No sudden change of feed,
  • Avoid proteins that are difficult to digest or overdosed,
  • Avoid excessive amounts of carbohydrates,
  • Lactose-containing dairy products can have a negative impact,
  • Stop eating carrion and other unknown substances.

Tip: An undetected pancreatic inflammation often leads to disruption of the intestinal flora. In the case of recurring digestive disorders, dog owners should speak to their vet about it.

Final Thoughts

Without prebiotics, the living probiotic microorganisms lack the fuel to multiply, so they are less able to colonize the intestines. If probiotics are missing from the diet, the intestine’s intact functioning can suffer, and stomach diseases can even develop.

Prebiotics belong to the dietary fibers and ensure that the bowel activity gets going, and digestion is improved. So they can be an effective remedy for constipation and constipation.

However, “too much” doses can overload the intestines and lead to gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Dog with sensitive intestines should start with around 1 teaspoon of prebiotic fiber per day and, depending on tolerance, can slowly increase to 10 grams for dogs.

In humans, consuming about 30 grams of dietary fiber is recommended per day. The quantities of around 5 to 10 grams of prebiotics per day are generally well tolerated and offer health benefits.