Probiotics For Dogs | The Ultimate Guide

probiotics for dogs

Having a dog can be one of life’s greatest joys. Yet, when they aren’t feeling well, it can make you feel helpless and frustrated. Did you know that there is a way you can help keep your dog from experiencing some of life’s upsets?

A great way to help keep your pooch happy and healthy is to have a quality probiotic for dogs as a part of their normal diet. If you aren’t quite sure what probiotics for your dog are, this is the article for you! (If you already know what dog probiotics are, we hope you find some new information in this blog. And with that new information, we hope you are able to apply it to keep your dog happy and healthy.)

What Are Dog Probiotics?

what are dog probiotics

Dog Probiotics are organisms found in your dog’s food or given in a supplement to improve your dog’s gut health. For dogs, a lot of the health issues they have stemmed from their overall gut health. Adding dog probiotics to their diet can give them an increased level of health and wellness. We believe a healthy dog is a happy dog, and this is just one more way to make that desire a reality.

Does this still sound a little confusing? Let us clarify for practical purposes.

We, as humans, want to keep our health up. To do this, we eat fresh fruits and vegetables as well as meats. In addition to making wise diet choices, we may also take vitamins and supplements to keep us healthy. This way, when we get sick, we’ve built a reserve to help us fight off illnesses.

In a nutshell, probiotics help to give your dog the health reserves they need. This increased health reserve allows your dogs to enjoy healthier lives. We hope this gives you the peace of mind you have always wanted.

Do Veterinarians Recommend Probiotics For My Dog?

vet opionin on dog probioitics

Yes. Veterinarians believe that probiotics can assist your dog by getting their gut health back on track. In fact, having probiotics as a normal part of their diet should allow your dog to stay ahead of the curve and hopefully prevent the illness from affecting them.  However, make sure you talk with your veterinarian about the probiotic options available for your dog. Each dog has different needs and health issues. Depending on the needs of your dog, these factors will affect what probiotic option is best for your dog.

Are Dog Probiotics Safe?

dog probioitic safety

Yes, when given appropriately. Research suggests that giving your dog a probiotic will increase your dog’s overall health. However, selecting the proper dog probiotic is of the utmost importance. If you do not give your dog enough probiotics, it will be an ineffective supplement. If you give your dog too many probiotics, it may result in stomach upset. Although, most times, extra probiotics are simply excreted out in their waste. For this reason, it is best to discuss with your veterinarian how to introduce probiotics to your dog.

What Are The Good Bacteria In Probiotics?

what are good bacteria in dog probioitics

The good bacteria found in dog probiotics are microorganisms that positively affect your dog’s health. Some of the positive effects that good bacteria offer your dog are the assistance with digestion, nutritional absorption, and the stimulation of their immune response. When you don’t have enough good bacteria, your dog’s health can become compromised and manifest as illness. Dogs often experience weight loss or loose stools as symptoms of these illnesses.

Do Probiotics Help My Dog’s Gut Health?

Yes! First and foremost, probiotics are naturally designed and function to give your dog the healthy gut that they have always needed. Probiotics are a mixture of microorganisms (good bacteria and yeasts) that help to break down food, bad bacteria, and other organisms. 

Numerous people have found that probiotics have corrected many of their dog’s gut health issues. Some of the most common health issues that have been corrected by using dog probiotics are diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting. Often times if these health issues go untreated, it will result in your dog losing weight and having no improvement in their health. However, don’t just take our word for it. 

When Jeannie Branthoover was looking for a way to improve the health of her dogs, she found her probiotic answer in raw dog food. Raw dog food is known for its quality levels of probiotics and helped to give her dogs the success they needed to grow properly. 

Do Probiotics Change My Dog’s Microbiome?

dog probioitics and microbiome

Yes, probiotics change dogs’ microbiomes, but in a good way. Your dog’s microbiome is how their body learns to respond to food, illness, and metabolize. In fact, the microbiome is responsible for many items related to your dog’s health because the microbiome is how your dog’s body responds to its surroundings. When something interferes with the microbiome, it can make your dog’s body respond outside of the norm.

By adding in a probiotic source, you can get your dog’s health to where it should have been from the start or, at the very least, headed in the right direction.

Do Probiotics Help My Dog’s Immune System?

dog probioitics for immune health

Yes. Research has shown that probiotics will improve your dog’s immune system. At this point, the science of probiotic health is still evolving, and we are constantly learning more. However, we have learned that probiotics help increase the good bacteria your dog needs to stay healthy.

Does Raw Dog Food Contain Natural Probiotics For Dogs?

natural dog probiotics in raw dog food

Yes! One of the best ways to ensure that your dog receives a quality balance of probiotics is to give them raw dog food. The reason raw dog food is so beneficial in creating a quality probiotic balance is that the probiotic organisms occur naturally. By giving your dog food that has naturally occurring probiotics, you can ensure that your dog is always receiving a natural source of the probiotics they need.

Does BJ’s Raw Pet Food Provide Probiotics For Dogs?

raw dog food for dog probiotics

Yes. And even more so, it does so in a natural and healthy way for your dogs. At BJ’s Raw Pet Food, we sent 7 of our most popular foods to Midwest Laboratories. Midwest Laboratories specializes in ensuring the quality of products in the pet food and feed industry.

Upon the scientific examination of the foods we sent them, all of our foods showed that we had Aerobic and Anaerobic Lactic Acid Bacteria. In other words, we have positively shown, through an independent lab, that our food naturally contains significant amounts of probiotic life. These levels of probiotics will give your dog the benefits we have been talking about!

Does Kibble Dog Food Provide Probiotics For My Dog?

bj's raw dog food natural source of dog probiotoics

Sometimes one of the biggest issues with dry dog kibble is that you are over-promised of what probiotics are in the kibble to begin with. In fact, Dig Labs tested 19  of the leading dog foods on the market for probiotics. None of these leading dog foods contained the microorganisms they had listed as present in their kibble. 

In fact, some companies had unknown organisms in their food, and they were not listed on the nutritional label. Even worse, 5 of the companies didn’t have any of the microorganisms in their food that they had promised to their customer.  Additionally, we find it concerning that these dog foods contained items not listed on the package. 

At BJ’s Raw Pet Food, all of our foods come with an easy-to-read ingredient label, and we never promise you something in our food that can not be proven! 

What Foods Contain Probiotics That Are Safe For My Dog?

safe foods for dogs with natural probiotics

Many foods contain naturally occurring probiotics that are safe for your dog. However, if you are trying to add probiotic-rich foods to your dog’s diet, make sure you do it at a reasonable pace. This will help you see how your dog responds to new foods and correct your course of action as needed. If you add in probiotic foods, gradually it will allow you to remove food from your dog’s diet more easily if they begin to show signs of allergies after consuming certain foods.

Raw Eggs

Raw eggs contain many vitamins and minerals essential to the health of your dog. Some recognizable nutrients found in eggs include Vitamins B 2, 5, and 12. Another less well-known but equally important nutrient found in the egg is Choline. Choline is great for your dog’s brain health.

However, an often overlooked microorganism found in the egg is Selenium. Selenium is a probiotic found in eggs that works by preventing infections and cell damage all throughout your dog’s body. This means that by adding raw eggs to your dog’s diet, they should be able to fight infections better. In addition to helping fight infections, they can heal sick or injured cells more quickly. This decreases the recovery time of your dog should your dog become ill.

Raw Sardines

When you hear of raw sardines, you may think this is a great treat for your cat. However, do not let stereotypes fool you. Raw sardines are loaded with the probiotic properties found in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are full of EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA work by helping to decrease inflammation in the body. In addition to decreasing inflammation in the body, these nutrients are also known to help with fetal brain development. This fact means you can help your unborn puppies have a head start (pun intended) on their health as your pregnant female passes along the benefits of these probiotics to her puppies.


Kefir is a fermented milk product that is similar to yogurt. However, kefir is lower in lactose.  Lactose is the sugar found in dairy products, and high levels of lactose can be difficult for some dogs to digest. Since Kefir has a lower lactose level, your dog may absorb more probiotic nutrients. In fact, most kefir has at least 12 strains of probiotic colonies, which is a great way to improve the microbiome of your dog’s gut!

Bone Broth

Bone broth may sound like broth with bones floating around in it. However, that is not at all the case. When prepared properly, bone broth extracts the probiotic nutrients found in bones and gives you several strains of probiotic nutrients. These probiotics will help heal your dog’s gut quickly and gently.

There are several ways the probiotics work in bone broth. Primarily, bone broth will give your dog glycine. Glycine is an amino acid that decreases inflammation and improves your dog’s gut tissue. 

Additionally, glycine functions as a neurotransmitter within the central nervous system. Within the central nervous system of your dog, glycine provides anti-inflammation and an antioxidant. Within the peripheral nervous system, glycine works as an immunomodulatory. In a nutshell, it will help regulate the immune system in combating illness and infection. 

Raw Meats

A raw meat diet for your dog is a great way to get the probiotic benefits we have discussed. The biggest indication that a raw meat diet has active probiotics is that the food tests positive for lactic acid bacteria. Lactic Acid bacteria, when balanced properly in a diet, gives your dog the building blocks of probiotics.

While this is not an exhaustive list of probiotic foods, we believe this is a great place to start your probiotic journey with your dog.

How Do I Know If My Dog’s Probiotics Are Working?

is my dog probiotic working

According to our veterinary resources, you can tell that probiotics are working when the health symptoms your dog is having are alleviated. This typically looks like loose stools returning to normal and your dog returning back to a healthy weight. It may be difficult to know if a probiotic is working for a dog if there were no issues prior to starting your dog on a probiotic food or supplement. However, not seeing issues with their stools may be indicative that the probiotic has been working all along and in fact prevented illness.

How Can I Give My Dog Probiotics?

how to give my dog probiotics

When you begin looking at a way to give your dog probiotics it can feel pretty daunting. Everyone seems to have “the way” to give your dog what they need. To help you understand which option is best for you we have listed three primary ways to give your dog probiotics.

Kibble Food With Probiotics

probiotic dog kibble

Some common foods that you can buy promise to have dog probiotics as a part of their makeup. However, as we learned earlier, many times kibble food companies do not follow through on their promises to you. We know that kibble food is an easy way to give your dog a full belly. Yet, it may not be the best way to give your everything that they need to thrive and be healthy.

Manufactured Probiotic Supplements

dog probiotics supplement

Manufactured supplements offer an easy-to-use supplement for your dog’s probiotic needs. However, at this point, there are no governing boards to ensure that what is on the label matches what is in the supplement.

In other words, the supplement you buy may not match the information on the label. With such relaxed regulations, this results in ineffective probiotic treatment for your dog.

Raw Dog Food

Raw dog food gives your dog many of the nutrients that your dog needs. Yet, unlike other options available on today’s market, raw food’s probiotics come from an all-natural source.

We firmly believe that getting your dog’s diet back to the way nature intended is better than getting your probiotics from a lab. When looking for an all-natural probiotic option, raw dog food entails everything you need.

Do Probiotics Help My Dog Stop Itching?

do dog probioitcs stop itching

Yes, probiotics for your dog may help stop the itching they are experiencing. Most times, itching is caused by some sort of inflammation within your dog’s body. Probiotics work at a cellular level to help heal the damaged cells and improve the over gut health. When the probiotics begin to work, you should see that your dog will not be itching nearly as much, and hopefully not at all. However, if the itching persists, you may need to take your dog to the vet as it may be a sign of a larger health issue or a behavioral habit. 

When Should I Give My Dog Probiotics?

when should i give my dog probiotics

Your dog should be given a probiotic when they show signs of GI upset. The sign of GI upset are usually diarrhea, gel-like stools, and or weight loss. A probiotic will work with your dog’s microbiome to help bring back the regular and effective good bacteria. You will know that the probiotics are taking effect when your dog has fewer loose stools and begins to gain back the weight they had lost. We also believe that the best way to help regulate your dog’s gut health is to give them a probiotic daily.

Is It Ok To Give My Dog Probiotics Daily?

can i give my dog probiotics every day

Yes. Probiotics help give your dog great gut health throughout their life. The only thing that may be an issue is knowing if the probiotic is “working.” Most times, probiotics are given to treat the issue of loose stools.

Why Does Raw Dog Food Contain Probiotics?

why does raw dog food contain probiotics

When you look at high-quality raw dog food, the bulk of the ingredients should be meat from whole animals. Animals naturally contain probiotics as a part of their genetic makeup. At BJ’s Raw Pet food, we use only healthy whole animals. This allows your pets to get the best opportunity for a natural source of probiotics. 

Do My Dogs Need Probiotics?

do my dogs need probiotics

Yes. Probiotics are a natural way to help keep your animals happy and healthy through better gut health. Ensuring that your dogs have high-quality probiotics in their diet, you help them get a head start on their health. Probiotics can help prevent illness from ever starting in the first place. This all occurs because probiotics work with your dog’s existing gut health.

What is the Right Amount Of Probiotics For My Dog?

how many probiotics does my dog need

According to Cornell University your dog should have 1-10 billion CFUs of probiotics per a day. To understand what this means, we will need to do a bit of math.

At BJs Raw Pet Food, we had several of our Raw Dog foods analyzed to see the amounts of probiotic nutrients readily available in the food. 

Our Goat and Salmon Blend, raw dog food, contains 89,019,000 CFU per ounce. If you feed your dog a 16-ounce portion of this blend, you will be giving them their daily probiotic need of 1,424,304,000 billion CFUS of probiotics completely naturally. 

This is just an example of one of our foods that have been tested and proven to have probiotics. Many of our other food blends contain the same types of whole meats used in this blend. However, we have not yet received full documentation on their probiotics status. We will continue to update you on the probiotic levels of our food as they are released. 

Can I Give My Dog Too Many Probiotics?

can i give my dog too many probiotics

No. Probiotics that your dog does not need will be excreted with your dog’s waste. Rest assured, your dog will stay safe when adding probiotics to their diet.

Can I Give My Dogs Additional Probiotic Supplements With Raw Dog Food?

can i give my dog raw food and probiotic supplements

Yes. While Raw Dog food is a great way to give your dog probiotics naturally, adding probiotics from a supplement or other natural sources is beneficial. The reason you may want to give your dog extra probiotics is to provide your dog with different strains.

Are Dog Probiotics and Antibiotics The Same Thing?

what is the difference between antibiotics and probiotics for my dog

No, probiotics and antibiotics are not the same things. Probiotics are the good bacteria that your dog’s body needs to function. Antibiotics kill bad bacteria that harm your dog. One reason that probiotics can be so beneficial to your dog’s health is they help to keep levels of good bacteria maintained for a healthy immune system. In turn, this helps to prevent bad bacteria from overloading the immune system and causing infection. 

Can I Give My Dog Probiotics Instead Of Antibiotics?

can my dog have probitoitcs instead of antibiotics

Possibly. If your dog is being treated for GI health issues, probiotics may help regulate your dog’s health problem without needing antibiotics. However, antibiotics are different from probiotics as they are designed to kill bacteria that are giving your pet health issues. Above all else, it is best to listen to the advice of your veterinarian when it comes to treating medical illnesses for your furry friend!

How Many Foods Does BJ’s Raw Pet Food Offer With Probiotic Properties?

BJ’s Raw Pet Food currently offers 7 raw pet foods that have been verified to contain probiotics. Each food has a different level of probiotic activity. The probiotic value does not mean one food is better than another. These values mean that each food offers a different amount of minimum probiotics per ounce.*

Goat And Salmon Blend 89,019,000 per oz

Rabbit And Salmon Blend 51,313,500 per oz

Turkey Blend 18, 427, 500 per oz

Turkey Mix 6,435,450 per oz

Tripe 4,224,150 per oz

Bruce’s Blend 1,244,565 per oz

Premium Mix 411,075 per oz

Using any of these raw foods is bound to give your pet a helping hand in their health. Some people even mix some of these foods so that their animals get several strains of probiotics. 

*Of note, BJ’s Raw Pet Food has several foods that are not listed with their probiotic levels. This does not mean that they do not have probiotic value, it simply means that other foods need to be verified with their

So What Sounds Good For Your Dog’s Food Bowl?

At BJ’s Raw Pet food, we have been committed to serving our community with high-quality probiotic raw food. Whether our food is for your high-quality show dogs or your beloved rescue, every dog deserves to have a hero! And you can be your dog’s hero by getting them the proper nutrients they need. So take a look at the food we have to offer at BJ’s Raw Pet Food. We are here to help you and your dog experience the best that life has to offer!


Why subscribe to BJs Raw Pet Food?

BJ’s Raw Pet Food subscriptions save precious time, energy, and money while keeping your precious animals happy and healthy. Our subscription system allows you to set up a recurring order, based on your timetable, for any of the products in our store. Not only does this make sure that your pet food will always arrive on time, but we also offer a 5% discount on all subscriptions, giving you ongoing savings on all subscription orders!