There are so many probiotic supplements on the market these days that say they’re for pets… How do we know how to pick the best probiotic for our pets
How to Choose the Right Probiotic for Pets
Let’s think about it. A dog, cat, animal, is not the same as a human. Many pet probiotic formulas say they are for pets, even birds, but are really just human formulas with a pet-friendly label on it.
A human’s digestion and gut is far different than a cat or dog. So, when looking for a probiotic supplement for your dog or cat, look for a formula that is created for pets specifically.
Identifying features of a quality probiotic for pets:
- Displays exactly how many CFU is contained in the formula. A good number to shoot for is 1-4 billion CFU in a serving. This is particularly important when it comes to pet probiotics. If the ingredients panel does not state the amount at all, it is likely that the probiotic contains an insignificant amount of probiotics. Conversely, a pet probiotic with up to 50 or 60 billion may not be ideal for an animal’s smaller digestive tract—the research does not support these levels of CFU for pets. Also, for a cat or dog with diarrhea, high CFU counts may be contraindicated.
- Human-grade (not “feed” grade). Many cheaper quality probiotics are “feed” grade and contain unreasonably low amounts of live bacteria. In addition, they may contain other undesirable ingredients in the formula that can be toxic to your pet in the long term.
- Made in the USA. Purchasing a product made in the USA will ensure you are purchasing a product that was manufactured under strict guidelines.
- Are stabilized. A stable probiotic will not require refrigeration. This is a key feature of any stable probiotic since an unstable probiotic will begin to have die off around 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Contains prebiotics. Prebiotics nourish probiotics and support their growth. The best and most common forms of prebiotics are FOS or inulin fiber.
- Contains the correct strains (or species) of bacteria. Anyone who looks for pet probiotics will find formulas containing as little as 1 or 2 strains to as many as 14. The truth is, research for pet probiotics can be found for only about 6 strains. So, while 1 or 2 strains will not be enough for a good probiotic formula, multiple strains (more than 6) may compete for absorption or have other undesirable results in pets—not to mention, could be a waste of money. Look for these strains specifically: B. animalis, L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, L. salivarius, L. fermentum, L. reuteri. (research suggests that E. facium is a controversial strain which can take on pathogenic qualities, so we recommend avoiding formulas with this particular strain).
How do we know which probiotics are for pets and not humans?
There is research regarding probiotic strains for pets. Probiotics have been researched in animals (pets; dogs and cats), which is why we always recommend Probiotic Miracle® by Nusentia. Probiotic Miracle has been used for pets for many years and is backed, not only by science, but the honest feedback of countless pet owners.
For more information on the research behind pet probiotics, visit: Understanding Probiotics for Pets: Strains and CFU Explained