Prebiotics for Dogs: Your Complete Guide

Nov 10, 2023Nathan Baker
If you're not sure how to incorporate prebiotics for dogs into your dog's lifestyle, then click here for your complete guide!

Did you know food moves three times quicker through your dog’s stomach than yours? No wonder your dog’s gut health may impact their wellbeing!

Your dog’s gut is a vital and active part of their system. You’re dedicated to making sure your furry friend has the best possible gut health. So you may have heard that prebiotics for dogs help.

Read more to find out how to integrate these powerful helpers into your dog’s life.

Gut Health 

Before you introduce prebiotics to your pet, you’ll want to how they work. You may have heard of prebiotics and probiotics. They both impact your dog’s gut microbiome.

Just like you, your dog has an active gut microbiome. Your dog’s gut houses trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other tiny organisms. These organisms make up the microbiome. 

The bacteria and organisms in your dog’s gut microbiome range from harmful to helpful. Scientists believe damaged gut microbiomes may link to inflammation, cancer, and autoimmune disorders.

Antibiotics usage appears to disrupt human gut microbiomes. Using antibiotics can reduce healthy bacteria species diversity. Other disruptors include high stress and poor diet.

Similarly, antibiotics usage and stress can also impact your dog’s stomach health. A stressful kennel stay or a round of antibiotics may disrupt your dog’s gut microbiome. When your dog’s gut is unbalanced, there are three types of dysbiosis

  • reduction or loss of helpful gut bacteria 
  • an abundance of harmful germs and bugs
  • loss of bacterial variety

Scientists have observed that patients suffering from disease often have dysbiosis. These three forms of dysbiosis are often found in patients suffering from inflammation. It’s also found in those with allergies, diabetes, and more.

Dogs with irritable bowel disease also have fewer healthier gut bacteria. The bacterial strains they lack are those linked to SCFA production.

SCFA, or short-chain fatty acids, are produced by helpful gut bacteria. SCFAs help regulate immunity, inflammation, and gut health in the body.

There is no clear scientific proof yet how exactly dysbiosis correlates with disease. But scientists believe there is a strong link. 

The good news is that you may be able to repair and support your dog’s microbiome even if damaged. You can do so by using nurturing prebiotics and probiotics. 

Prebiotic vs Probiotic

You’ve probably seen probiotic capsules for sale. Or you’ve heard you should eat fermented foods and yogurt for a probiotic boost. Your dog can also benefit from prebiotics and probiotics.

So what’s the difference? When your dog takes a probiotic, they’re ingesting healthy and helpful gut bacteria.

A probiotic contains live cultures. That means healthy gut bacteria that your dog’s gut microbiome may be lacking.

A prebiotic contains fibers that feed the good bacteria already in the gut. Prebiotics contain soluble fibers, meaning they ferment in your dog’s gut. As they ferment, they provide food for the healthy bacteria in the body.

This means the prebiotics may be able to encourage the good bacteria to grow. As they do, they may be keeping the more harmful strains at bay.

You can think of probiotics as seeds that you’d like to plant in your dog’s microbiome. Think of prebiotics as rich and nourishing soil. Prebiotics help the probiotic bacteria grow and remain in your dog’s gut. 

Scientific Research: Prebiotics for Dogs

Although larger-scale research is needed, research on prebiotics is promising. Scientists believe that your pet’s health is dependent on supporting their gut health.

Researchers find that prebiotics and probiotics may boost the immune system. Not only that but they’ve been linked to weight loss. Scientists observed an improvement in feed intake after prebiotics.

Along with that, they saw an improved healthier gut microbiome in dogs. Giving your dog prebiotics may also reduce the presence of undesirable bacterial strains.

A study of prebiotics for dogs suggested multiple health benefits. Researchers saw better gut barrier functioning. They also saw that prebiotics encouraged SCFA production in dogs taking prebiotics.

Besides boosting SCFA production, it appears that prebiotics impact the gut itself. Part of a healthy system is the ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Prebiotics for dogs may improve mineral absorption

Probiotics and prebiotics may also help regulate digestion. In a trial on shelter dogs, scientists gave newly arrived dogs supplementation. Dogs who took prebiotics were less likely to have an upset stomach and diarrhea.

How Do I Incorporate Prebiotics? 

You can incorporate a prebiotic for your dog using food or products. Some folks choose to feed their dog’s cooked mushrooms. Certain fungi and plant compounds contain prebiotics.

Prebiotic foods for dogs can encourage a healthy gut microbiome. But many owners don’t have time to cook and prepare prebiotic foods. Additionally, you must use caution with plants and fungi.

Make sure you cook it thoroughly to protect your dog. Raw mushrooms are irritating for dog’s stomachs and can lead to vomiting and illness. 

You may be looking for an easier way to incorporate a prebiotic for dogs. If cooking isn’t for you, a quality product is a great option to consider.

As prebiotics support your dog’s gut, keep an eye out for prebiotics paired with CBD oil. Your dog may benefit from a combination of prebiotics and CBD. CBD could have a positive impact on gut health, making it a great match for prebiotics.

CBD and Prebiotics

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of 80+ cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. CBD has been a buzzword you may have heard praised in health and wellness circles. It’s not just for humans, though.

Preliminary research shows positive impacts on pets. Dogs and cats may feel less stressed and experience an immune boost.

Owners also report fewer tummy troubles when taking CBD. Many pet owners have observed CBD’s calming, relaxing effect on their pets.

Further research is required, but CBD shows a lot of potential for humans and dogs alike. Researchers are focusing on CBD’s impact. CBD may help with inflammation, chronic pain, and gut health.

A 2015 study done on mice given CBT showed a drastic improvement in gut health. The effects were visible to scientists within weeks of implementing CBD. 

Choosing the Right CBD

Look for a product that combines both CBD and prebiotics. Immune-boosting ingredients are another bonus to keep an eye out for. These supportive ingredients include flaxseed, fish oil, and vitamin E.

Fish oils are a healthy form of omega 3s. Omega 3s are linked to heart health, as well as healthier fur. It also appears to reduce inflammation in both humans and dogs.

Don’t let the fact that CBD derives from hemp worry you. CBD products are legal due to the FDA’s 2018 Farm Bill. Any CBD product that contains THC will always contain less than 0.3% as per the FDA’s rules.

When choosing a CBD product for your dog, make sure you find a company that uses organic ingredients. Also, keep an eye out for transparency: the company should share its lab results online.

This means you can check their third-party lab results. An unaffiliated lab will test to ensure the product is contaminant and toxin-free.

When using CBD products for your dog, make sure you find one specifically for pets. The carrier oil can vary, and CBD pet products will have oil that’s soothing for your pup’s stomach. 

How Do I Give My Dog a Prebiotic?  

Always consult the instructions of your prebiotic product. Sometimes, your dog may be disinterested in supplements and capsules. If you’re using a CBD and prebiotic blend, you’re in luck.

CBD products for dogs are flavored, ensuring your pup will want to have a taste. Follow the dosage instructions on your product.

If you have a large dog, make sure you look for products geared to their size. That way you make sure the dosage is the best fit for your furry friend. You can incorporate the prebiotic CBD by putting a few drops in your dog’s food bowl.

Some owners prefer to mix the oil into their dog’s food. You can also put the dose on your pup’s favorite treat. Some owners even opt to place the dose straight into their dog’s mouth. 

Protecting Your Pup

Your dog is a vital part of your family. They make you laugh, keep you active, and are endlessly loyal. It’s no wonder you want to protect your companion.

You can use prebiotics for dogs to help nurture your dog’s gut microbiome. You now know how to implement a quality product that combines both CBD and prebiotics.

Your pup may reap the benefits and you’ll know you’re helping support their gut and immune systems. Ready to try a quality product to support your pup?

Check out our products page to find the right choice for you and your dog. 

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