Help! My Dog Ate Probiotics

Help! My Dog Ate Probiotics

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Don’t worry if your dog accidentally ate probiotics, whether they were meant for humans or for animals. Your dog will eliminate the excess bacteria in probiotic supplements since the bacteria are not harmful to him. Probiotics are beneficial for dogs since they can help restore the balance of the intestinal microbiome. In this way, the dog’s digestion is improved and he can absorb nutrients more effectively.

The purpose of this article is to explain “Help! My Dog Ate Probiotics“.

Their tongue is one way they use to explore the world and they are notoriously curious about it. Your pet may be attracted to the bottle of probiotics left on the table and help himself to it.

Help! My Dog Ate Probiotics

Of course you should talk to your dog about his behavior but other than that no worries.

He would not suffer any ill effects after taking probiotics even if they are not designed specifically for four-legged animals.

You might want to consider giving your dog probiotics as well.

What are probiotics?

Organisms. Bacteria normally found in the gut of your pet are probiotics. They are important for your health just as they are in your own guts.

I’m not trying to scare you off but your adorable pet is mostly a heap of bacteria. A dog has about ten bacteria per living cell. Most of them are beneficial. The majority of these live in your dogs digestive system mostly in the intestine making up what is known as the intestinal microbiome. Researchers have been studying the role of microbiomes in recent years and have even referred to them as ‘the forgotten organ’. Research is mostly focused on humans but dogs are included as well.

There are trillions of microorganisms bacteria fungi and viruses living in the intestinal microbiome. The microbiome of each dog is different so there are different numbers of microscopic components. If you want its like an individual fingerprint. The composition of the microbiome changes over time unlike fingerprints. Among the many factors that may influence it are diet stress certain medical conditions or taking various medications especially antibiotics. When the balance of this microbiome is disturbed your dogs health will suffer.

In the gut of all animals including dogs there are six types of bacteria families and each subfamily is made up of different subtypes. The two most important bacteria for dogs are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium but there is a whole medical treatise dedicated to analyzing them all.

Can a dog overdose on probiotics?

As with any medicine probiotics can cause side effects such as nausea vomiting or diarrhea. These symptoms are rare however.

Follow the recommended dose but do not worry if your dog eats more than that. Bacteria are harmless and the excess will be eliminated. So it is impossible for a dog to take too many probiotics.

What dogs shouldn’t take probiotics? 

Even though probiotics are generally beneficial for a dogs health they are not recommended in certain conditions. If your dog has a problem with his immune system you should not give him probiotics especially prior to discussing the potential benefits with your vet.

Probiotics should not be administered to dogs who have recently undergone surgery. They might be very helpful to restore gut health if your pet was given antibiotics after surgery as is often the case.

Consult your vet if you can give your dog probiotics if he has a chronic illness.

How do probiotics differ from prebiotics?

The case for prebiotics is completely different. Prebiotics are non-digestible food compounds that reach the intestine largely unchanged which makes probiotics extremely happy since they feed on them. Starch is prebiotic that is fermented by probiotics.

The good bacteria in the gut eat the same foods as your dog but in order to thrive they need this prebiotics which can also be administered as dietary supplements.

In summary your dog needs prebiotics for the probiotics in his gut to thrive.

Seven benefits of probiotics for dogs

The dogs gut bacteria colony and the dog have a symbiotic relationship. They both benefit from each other. Bacteria enjoy a nice place to live and are fed but they return the favor by helping the dog digest protecting him from toxins and raising his immunity levels.

  • Diarrhea for example is often treated with probiotics. They are responsible for restoring the balance in the microbiome whether it has been disturbed by an infection stress dietary changes or antibiotics. In addition they can be used for senior dogs whose digestion changes and whose intestinal microbiome balance is disrupted.
  • Infections are frequently caused by pathogenic bacteria colonizing the digestive tract. Consequently if the intestines are populated with good bacteria they will fight off the pathogens. As a result the bad guys will start building their own colonies inside the dogs gut a condition called dysbiosis. Eventually this can lead to inflammatory bowel disease obesity colitis and even cancer.
  • Various enzymes needed for digestion are produced by the good bacteria in the microbiome.
  • Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are produced in the dogs intestine when bacteria digest the fiber in the dogs diet. Minerals are absorbed more readily by the dog when SCFAs are present. In addition to protecting against food allergies probiotics are recommended for dogs with food allergies.
  • These SCFAs are also essential for the development of T-cells in the dogs immune system which fight infect serotonin is a key neurotransmitter that controls mood and aids cognitive function which is produced by good bacteria in the got action. Your dogs brain is sharpened by serotonin which is essential to learning and memory.
  • Additionally probiotics support dental health as bacteria are found not only in the gut but in every part of the digestive system including the mouth.

How can you tell if your dog needs probiotics?

Every dog has a different microbiome so diagnosing an imbalance is extremely difficult. In order to diagnose a gut issue you need to look for symptoms that indicate it. Digestive stress is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Fleas or ticks are not the cause of constant itching and scratching
  • That leads to bad breath
  • Body odor thats way beyond whats normal for a dog
  • Stinky poop
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing whining and sniffing
  • Skin that is dry and flaky

Which foods contain naturally occurring probiotics?

The chances are that your dog isnot getting enough probiotics if hes eating commercially available food.

Probiotics are mainly found in fermented foods like yogurt kefir some types of cheese (Gouda mozzarella or cheddar) as well as various pickles sauerkraut kimchi and kombucha. Probiotics can also be found in organic apples

Dog probiotics vs human probiotics are they the same?

Your dog would not have a problem stealing some of your probiotics. Still its bacteria that he already has in his intestines.

It is best to use products designed for dogs since their guts tend to house a different microbiome if you want to build up your dogs health and help his digestion.

A variety of dog probiotics are available from pet pharmacies and online stores. Make sure you check the ingredients before purchasing. These ingredients should be present:

  • Dairy products contain the bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Additionally dairy-based foods strengthen the immune system by fighting against the proliferation of pathogens. Lactobacillus acidophilus Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium animals are particularly effective against diarrhea in both puppies and adult dogs.
  • It is a type of yeast that can treat diarrhea of various origins Saccharomyces boulardii.
  • A type of probiotic commonly found in soil and water that helps produce vitamins and antioxidants. Anti-inflammatory properties make them useful for treating urinary tract infections as well.

Powders capsules and chewable are some of the forms in which probiotics for dogs are available. As capsules are best suited to protecting delicate microorganisms they are preferred. The bacteria must be alive when fed to the dog in order to be of any use. Several capsules must be kept in the refrigerator because they are sensitive to high temperatures.

You must follow the directions on the label when storing probiotics for your dog.

In addition when you buy probiotics for your pet make sure you read the insert to determine the appropriate dose. In most cases your dog needs a daily dose of probiotics to maintain gut health.

Although chews are more appealing and powder can be sprinkled on your dogs regular food using capsules will require you to train your dog to take his medicine without making a fuss every single day. By hiding the capsule in meat you can trick your dog but do not be surprised if he spits out the medicine. Dogs are intelligent enough to figure out the trick. It would be better to come up with a game such as playing catch with the daily capsule.


Donot worry if your dog accidentally ate probiotics whether they were meant for humans or for animals. Your dog will eliminate the excess bacteria in probiotic supplements since the bacteria are not harmful to him.

Probiotics are beneficial for dogs since they can help restore the balance of the intestinal microbiome. In this way the dogs digestion is improved and he can absorb nutrients more effectively. Probiotics are also an effective remedy for diarrhea caused by different causes. Dogs with a healthy gut have a stronger immune system because they are protected from bad bacteria.

You should not share your probiotics with your pet since dogs have different needs than humans.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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