Not All Pet Probiotics Are Created Equal.  6 Tips for Choosing the Right Probiotic for Your Dog

Not All Pet Probiotics Are Created Equal. 6 Tips for Choosing the Right Probiotic for Your Dog

One of the most efficient and effective ways to help a dog maintain a healthy microbiome is with a high-count, multi-species probiotic that contains live bacteria, but NOT all probiotics are the same. In fact, probiotic supplements for dogs come in different forms (capsule vs. powder), different strains, different prices, and have different amounts of bacteria. So how can you choose the best probiotic for your pet?  Here are six tips to help you evaluate and choose the best probiotic for your dog.

 

TIP 1:  CHOOSE A PROBIOTIC THAT IS FORMULATED SPECIFICALLY FOR DOGS

Simply put, a probiotic made for your human microbiome will probably not work for your dog’s microbiome.  Many dog parents give their dogs probiotics designed for people without understanding their dog's stomach is likely to be 10 to 100 times more acidic than the human stomach. In fact, most probiotics developed for humans aren't appropriate or as effective for dogs.  Profauna 100 was specifically formulated for dogs as an alternative for consumers using human probiotics or canine probiotics that have not been effective. Each of the 8 strains of bacteria in Profauna 100 was reviewed for its ability to tolerate stomach acid, low pH and bile acids to make sure it travels all the way through the dog's GI tract and adheres to the intestinal wall.  Make sure you are selecting a probiotic with ingredients backed by research and science for use specifically in dogs. 

TIP 2:  CHOOSE A PROBIOTIC WITH APPROVED INGREDIENTS

Probiotics formulated for dogs are referred to as "direct-fed microbials" by the animal feed regulatory body AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials), and they are live bacteria that help to develop and maintain a healthy environment in the dog’s stomach and digestive system.  Research shows roughly one-third of probiotics for dogs contains ingredients that are not listed in the AAFCO Official Publication (OP).  Profauna 100 only contains bacteria and maltodextrin -- no other junk or additives!  All the ingredients in Profauna 100 are listed and generally considered safe by AAFCO.  Be sure you’re giving your dog a product that contains reputable ingredients that are safe.

TIP 3:  CFU COUNT IS IMPORTANT

We often get feedback from pet parents that other probiotics they’ve tried, with lower CFU counts, did not properly support their dog’s digestive health needs.  This comes as no surprise because your dog already has trillions and trillions of bacteria in her body that come in over 1000 different types.  No one knows exactly how many of these bacteria are “good” and how many are “bad”, but with that many bacteria in the dog’s microbiome it’s important to have a high-count multi-strain army of good bacteria to help tilt the balance in favor of good bacteria. Good bacteria are not only essential for the health of your dog’s gut, but good bacteria, such as the kind found in probiotics, are just as important for your dog’s immune health, digestion, assimilation of nutrients, and overall wellness.  Probiotics are typically measured in colony-forming units (CFU) which simply refers to the number of live and active micro-organisms capable of dividing and forming colonies.  When choosing a probiotic for your dog, you’ll notice product counts can range from 1 million all the way up to 100 billion CFU per serving.  Probiotic bacteria should be able to tolerate stomach acid, low pH and bile acids to make sure it travels all the way through the dog's GI tract and adheres to the intestinal wall, so pick a probiotic that makes you confident that there are enough viable CFU’s in each scoop of powder to support maximum digestive health and immune function.  Bottom line, it's important for your dog to consume probiotics in sufficient higher amounts.

Available upon request, Profauna 100 has smaller dosing cups available which make modifying to lower dosages very simple. 

TIP 4: CHOOSE A PROBIOTIC WITH MULTI STRAINS SPECIFIC FOR DOGS

Research suggests that probiotics work better as a team.  Multi-strain probiotics are more effective against a variety of health issues in contrast to single bacteria strains.  It’s important to look for a product with the most effective multiple strains to work throughout your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.  In order for a probiotic to be effective for your dog, each bacteria strain bacteria should be supported by science and research.

Profauna 100 contains 8 strains of bacteria supported by published clinical evidence and species-specific research:

  1. Enterococcus thermophiles
  2. Lactobacillus plantarum
  3. Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  4. Bifidobacteria animalis
  5. Lactobacillus acidophilus
  6. Lactobacillus brevis
  7. Lactobacillus casei
  8. Bifidobacterium bifidum

TIP 5:  DON’T JUST LOOK AT PRICE.  LOOK AT THE COST PER BILLION CFU

When buying anything, what’s one of the first things we all tend to look at?  Yep, the price!  When evaluating a probiotic for your dog you should take a deeper dive in your price comparison and actually calculate the price you’re paying per 1 billion CFUs, not just cost per dose or serving.  You will also want to look at how many doses the brand is recommending per day, and if you’ll need additional items such as pill pockets to conceal the probiotics as this can add to the “price.”  You may be surprised to discover you’re actually paying too much per dosage for your dog. Here’s a simple calculation to help you figure out the cost per billion CFU for your probiotic, and you’ll also find a comparison chart of Profauna 100 and some other leading dog probiotics below.

  • Price of product / # of tabs, capsules, or scoops available in the bottle = Cost per tab, cap, or scoop
  • Cost per tab, cap, or scoop / # of billions of bacteria per bottle = Cost per billion

Example

Profauna 100 is $39.99 / 30 powder scoops per bottle = $1.33 per scoop

$1.33 per scoop / 100 = $0.0133 cost per billion CFU

Product Name

Product Form: powder, cap, chew, tab, etc.

# Strains

CFU per serving

Price

# tabs/cap /scoops

Cost per tab, cap, or scoop

Cost for 1 billion CFU

Profauna 100

Loose Powder

8

100,000,000,000

$39.99

30

$1.33

$0.0133

Dog Probiotic 1

Capsules

8

112,500,000,000

$45.95

40

$1.15

$0.0102*

Dog Probiotic 2

Soft Chews

6

3,000,000,000

$24.97

90

$0.28

$0.0925

Dog Probiotic 3

Loose Powder

6

1,000,000,000

$25.99

120

$0.22

$0.2166

Dog Probiotic 4

Capsules

7

5,000,000,000

$38.99

80

$0.49

$0.0975*

Dog Probiotic 5

Powder Sachets

1

100,000,000

$27.99

30

$0.93

$9.3300

*may require extra costs for pill pockets

TIP 6: CHOOSE  A POWDER PROBIOTIC

There are many benefits of choosing a powder probiotic over a capsule probiotic. 

  • Saves time and money: Easy-to-dispense tasteless powder (no pills or capsules to mess with)!  That means no pill pockets needed and no hassle trying to force feed capsules or tablets to your furry friend.
  • Convenient and easy to give:  Just add the powder to your dog's wet or dry food.  That's it!  
  • No taste. No odor: We’ve taken pride in creating a probiotic with essentially no flavor so your dog should not be able to detect it in the food.  In fact, 8 out of 10 pet owners who participated in our free trial program said their pets could not detect Profauna 100 in their food.    
  • Considerate for all dogs: Powder can be given to dogs who cannot swallow capsules for physical reasons (throat or tongue abnormalities). 

Profauna 100’s proprietary loose powder mixture contains 8 strains of bacteria delivering ≥100 billion live bacteria per 1 gram of powder, which is one of the highest count probiotics available for dogs.

When you’re picking a probiotic for your dog, go with your “gut”!  Choose a probiotic that you feel will work best for your dog based on your dog’s needs and your research.  You may also need to consult with your veterinarian and discuss your probiotic options to help with your decision. A good probiotic will replenish good bacteria in the digestive tract will provide an abundance and variety of bacteria to support a dog’s digestive health, immune health and overall wellness.

If have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at customerservice@themicrobial.com.

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