So what’s the deal with Probiotics for dogs?
Like humans, dogs also have beneficial gut bacteria that live in their digestive tract. Healthy gut bacteria families (called “phyla”) have fancy names like:
In each one of these families there’s thousands of different types of bacteria. Together these families make up your dog’s unique microbiome. A balanced microbiome can improve immune system, digestion, mood, and overall health. Probiotics are nutrients designed to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. These are commonly supplemented into dog diets with products such as:
- Green Tripe
- Goats Milk
- Specialized capsules, powders, or chews.
Of course, this is just a really brief overview, and I recommend you dive deeper into the world of probiotics before jumping in.
Can Probiotics Be Harmful?
Gut bacteria is a complex system that is constantly changing but always trying to balance itself. Drastic changes to the microbiome balance could have a negative impact. We call this Dysbiosis.
Dysbioses can lead to diarrhea, bloating, gas, bad breath, or even more severe effects such as diabetes or obesity. So before supplementing their diet – always consult with a vet.
Furthermore, when making homemade treats be sure to exclude human food that may be harmful. See the full guide on human food that dog’s can and cannot eat.
DIY Probiotic Dog Treat Recipes
1. Super Healthy Goat Milk Pupsicle
Photo Credit: WearWagRepeat
It may look a little strange (I’m sure Gorden Ramsay would love the plating) but what you’re looking at is packed full of healthy stuff.
Kale, coconut oil, goat milk (for probiotics), blueberries, and whole fish make up an arsenal of super healthy ingredients to give your dog everything they need. Not to mention it’s a perfect treat for a hot day.
2. Frozen Cranberry Probiotic Dog Treats
Photo Credit: HouseThatBarks
Another frozen treat but with a mega probiotic kick of goat’s milk, greek yogurt, and plain kefir. And of course, cranberries.
You may be wondering if cranberries are okay for dogs to consume. According to AKC it’s okay in small quantities. But if you’re worried you can substitute the cranberries for other dog-safe vegetables or fruit.
3. Probiotic Frozen Yogurt Treats – In 3 Flavors
Photo Credit: Traditional Cooking School
Here’s something that’s super easy to make and comes in a bunch of different flavors. Simply add plain yogurt to an ice cube tray, and throw in a few other blended or chopped healthy ingredients for that little bit extra.
It comes in blueberry-mint, parsley-carrot, and peanut butter. Which honestly sounds pretty good for humans too.
4. Make Your Own DIY Probiotics
Probiotics are expensive. Save some money by fermenting cabbage and making your own powerful probiotics at home (you may have caught on that we’re making Sauerkraut). You’ll need a fermenting kit and a little patience (it takes about 21 days to ferment), but you’ll have a whole jar of the good stuff.
There’s even a recipe for homemade Coconut Kefir, if fermenting isn’t your style. Again, it’s a bit of a process but you might save a ton of money.
5. Dairy-free Frozen Dog Treats
Photo Credit: Making Thyme For Health
What I like about this simple recipe is it cuts to the chase. Meaning, there’s no fancy ingredients, just a delicious and healthy peanut butter treat with a store-bought probiotic supplement.
This is especially good if you have a picky eater at home.
This is doubly good because it also brings in coconut milk, carrots, and some healthy fats from the natural peanut butter.
6. Homemade Fermented Berry Probiotic for Dogs
We’ve talked about fermenting with Sauerkraut. But let’s take it a step further by introducing powerful anti-oxidants from berries. Using strawberries or blueberries (or both), and a fermenting kit, you can easily make a super probiotic and disease fighting topping for your dog’s food.
7. DIY Dog Treats: Pumpkin Peanut Butter Yogurt Drops
A super simple recipe which introduces greek yogurt, pumpkin, peanut butter, and a little bit of carob powder (a dog safe chocolate alternative). Plain Greek yogurt is typically strained to remove lactose, making it a better alternative for those lactose-intolerant pups. It also has double the protein for building muscles.
And of course, look for yogurt that has a lot of live cultures for that probiotic effect.
8. 4-Ingredient Probiotic Pupsicles
Photo Credit: Fed and Fit
Finally we have this super-food packed treat that has loads of the good stuff. Plain probiotic yogurt (of course), sweet potatoes, brewer’s yeast, and turmeric. So what’s the the deal with the last 2 ingredients?
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant ingredient that has huge benefits for dogs.
Brewer’s Yeast is commonly used in dog foods, and is also a common supplment for it’s numerous health benefits (such as being a digestive aid, anti-oxidant, and rich in protein and B-complex vitamins and minerals)