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Hi,
All this food supplement these past days hasn't really helped me come to a decision. Some people testify probiotics helped their dog greatly. Other say that the bacteria in the supplements are destroyed by food acid before it enters the gut (which seems completely plausible).

I don't know, it seem like there probably is some good science out there, but maybe it's difficult to find.

My feed my dog a dry kibble (Fromm Chicken). He does well on it most of the time, but every 4 or 5 weeks something happens and he gets runny poop. I thought maybe probiotics would help with this? He goes to the dog park regularly, and he has a tendency to eat stuff.

I brought a 3 month supply of probiotics, so I'll report back on how he does. In the mean time, if you have any experience, or knows of some website that has a more scientific explanation on what probiotics do for dogs, I'd appreciate it!
 

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Well I think it depends on the dog. I have one dog who is very prone to soft stools and along with a few other things the probiotics have helped immensely. The other two don't need them, so I don't bother to give them.

ETA: I wanted to add... if I run out or slack off, I definitely notice a difference. So for him, I'm sold.
 

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When my dog was about three/four months old she had a pretty bad case of the poops for two months. The only thing that helped her was probiotics. She was on fortiflora for awhile and then the vet switched her to a different kind which actually did nothing. So she went back on fortiflora and on a food that had probiotics in it and all became well.

If she ever has that problem again I wouldn't hesitate to put her back on fortiflora.
 

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I think it depends on the dog..I used the inclover optigest with my old girl, she had issues with her poop no matter what she ate(though different foods made various differences) and the optigest absolutly helped, if someone forgot to add it to her food, is was rather obvious..she could eat almost anything as long as she had the optigest added.
 

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There are all kinds of different probiotics, not just brands...I mean different strains of probiotics themselves. Some need to be refrigerated, some don't. Some work for dogs, some don't. Some are even organic. I really don't remember the ones I've heard that work best for dogs, but you could research this. I've used various brands and even some human forms. A while ago, my newest Cavalier, Laverne (who's been known to eat things she shouldn't) came down with a bacterial infection of the intestions. My holistic vet gave her an antibiotic and a powerful probiotic that also contained a prebiotic. It's called Vetri Mega Probiotics. Worked like a charm. I keep it on hand all the time now. Let me explain what I've learned since then about probiotics. It can be confusing and some people don't differentiate between enzymes and probiotics when they are speaking about these supplements.....so:

There are prebiotics: these are fibers that feed the good bacteria to keep them strong. You will see them mostly listed as FOS.
There are probiotics: these introduce the good bacteria and help them multiply.
A supplement with both is helpful.

There are also enzymes: these help the dog digest certain components of their food, like protein, fats, carbs, fiber, etc.
These are different than probiotics. Sometimes these supplements will contain a prebiotic and/or probiotics or just be a supplement by themselves. They can be plant based or animal based. I prefer plant based. (I won't go into all the explanation between the two right now, but you can research if you like).

FYI: Optagest or Fresh Digest (same product under a diff. name) is an enzyme supplement that contains a prebiotic, I believe. It does not contain a probiotic at all. But that is okay, because the prebiotic will feed whatever good bacteria is in the dog's gut so they can still mutliply. Some dog may need more, though, and a probiotic as well might help.

Here are some supplements that I've used and like:
1. Vetri Mega Probiotics - pre/probiotics multiple strains
2. Total Probiotics - pre/probiotics multiple strains
2. Wholistic Pet Digest All Plus - no prebiotic, but enzymes/probiotics (2 kinds of probiotics)
3. NaturVet Enzymes and Pre/Probiotics - just what it says...all 3 with 1 strain of probiotic
4. Ark Naturals Gentle Digest - pre/probiotic - 1 strain of probiotic
5. Holistic Select Solutions - enzymes, pre/probiotic - 1 strain

Of course, there are others that are great, as well. Forti-Flora is popular though I've never used it. Some folks will say none of them work, but I'm a firm believer. They have helped my dogs greatly, especially my seniors.
 

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There are all kinds of different probiotics, not just brands...I mean different strains of probiotics themselves. Some need to be refrigerated, some don't. Some work for dogs, some don't. Some are even organic. I really don't remember the ones I've heard that work best for dogs, but you could research this. I've used various brands and even some human forms. A while ago, my newest Cavalier, Laverne (who's been known to eat things she shouldn't) came down with a bacterial infection of the intestions. My holistic vet gave her an antibiotic and a powerful probiotic that also contained a prebiotic. It's called Vetri Mega Probiotics. Worked like a charm. I keep it on hand all the time now. Let me explain what I've learned since then about probiotics. It can be confusing and some people don't differentiate between enzymes and probiotics when they are speaking about these supplements.....so:

There are prebiotics: these are fibers that feed the good bacteria to keep them strong. You will see them mostly listed as FOS.
There are probiotics: these introduce the good bacteria and help them multiply.
A supplement with both is helpful.

There are also enzymes: these help the dog digest certain components of their food, like protein, fats, carbs, fiber, etc.
These are different than probiotics. Sometimes these supplements will contain a prebiotic and/or probiotics or just be a supplement by themselves. They can be plant based or animal based. I prefer plant based. (I won't go into all the explanation between the two right now, but you can research if you like).

FYI: Optagest or Fresh Digest (same product under a diff. name) is an enzyme supplement that contains a prebiotic, I believe. It does not contain a probiotic at all. But that is okay, because the prebiotic will feed whatever good bacteria is in the dog's gut so they can still mutliply. Some dog may need more, though, and a probiotic as well might help.

Here are some supplements that I've used and like:
1. Vetri Mega Probiotics - pre/probiotics multiple strains
2. Total Probiotics - pre/probiotics multiple strains
2. Wholistic Pet Digest All Plus - no prebiotic, but enzymes/probiotics (2 kinds of probiotics)
3. NaturVet Enzymes and Pre/Probiotics - just what it says...all 3 with 1 strain of probiotic
4. Ark Naturals Gentle Digest - pre/probiotic - 1 strain of probiotic
5. Holistic Select Solutions - enzymes, pre/probiotic - 1 strain

Of course, there are others that are great, as well. Forti-Flora is popular though I've never used it. Some folks will say none of them work, but I'm a firm believer. They have helped my dogs greatly, especially my seniors.
sorry about bringing this out but at what age do i start the double dosage for a small dog my chi is 7 yrs.old
 

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I think if your dog is doing well on the regular dose, then that's fine. You could try the double dose, but sometimes it might give the dog loose stools. I just give my 11 year olds the regular dose. Hope that helps.
 

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That's great! I forgot to add Vetri Science probiotic BD to my list above. It is similar to the mega probiotic but has some additional ingredients to help soothe the gut.
 

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Another brand I like is the Probiotic complex from GNC, they are designed to make it through the stomach acid and into the GI tract, they are also gauranteed for the count at time of EXPIRATION where as most brands are gauranteed at time of manufacture. You can get them from 1 billion live count (daily maintenence dose) up to 150 billion (great for emergency situations and after strong antibiotics).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Thanks everyone, and especially Stella, for the feedback. I appreciate the time you took to answer my question.

Follow up question: how far out is the expiration date for the types of probiotic you guys have used? Is it like 3 months or 6 months?
 

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GNC is usually 6-9 months and requies no refridgeration. although I do refridgerate my higher potency (25 billion) product since it's one I only use after an illness (dog or human). Maintenence dose probiotics (1billion for the pups and 4 billion for the humans) seldom last in the house over a month.
 
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