top of page

Should I give my dog or cat a Probiotic?

Misty the Jack Russel Terrier

Probiotic bacteria are friendly, beneficial bacteria that are found in our Intestinal tract, mouth, nose and on the skin. It may shock you to hear we are all the proud hosts of trillions of benefical bacteria! These beneficial bacteria aid in digestion, make nutrients and vitamins, strengthen the immune system and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria like salmonella, E.Coli, and Clostridia.

Examples of probiotic bacteria include Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium, Bifidobacterium lactis.

If these beneficial probiotic bacteria are detroyed animals can experience GI issues (diarrhea, gas, cramping, bad breath). They may also experience anxiety issues.

What can destroy these beneficial probiotic bacteria?

Infection, antibiotics, stress (boarding, moving, being lost or dropped off at the animal shelter), old age, steroids and parasites.

What are the benefits of giving my pet a probiotic?

Probiotic beneficial bacteria help animals with stomach and intestinal problems, liver disease, anxiety and phobias. They help improve the quality of the skin and haircoat and decrease allergy symptoms. They help prevent yeast infections like chronic ear infections due to yeast. They regulate bowel function improve immune function. The probitoic bacteria Bifidobacterium longum helps reduce anxiety and phobias.

Animals with the following conditions would benefit from Probitotic beneficial bacteria:

Chronic diarrhea or loose stool

Excessive gas


Cats with chronic, recurrent upper respiratory infections (Feline Herpes Virus, Calicivirus)

Cats with immune suppressive dieases like Feline Leukemia, FIV, FIP


Kidney disease


Anxiety Disorders like thunder phobia, noise phobia, fireworks phobia, separation anxiety

Give probiotics before any stressful event - like boarding, training classes, vet visits or dog shows.

Give probiotic to your pet if they are taking antibiotics

Can I give my dog or cat human probiotics?

Human probiotics will not harm your pet, but an animal specific probiotic would work better. Human and animal intestinal pH and digetsive enzymes differ. It is best to use a product tested in animals and designed for your pet.

Examples of Probiotics for dogs and cats include Forti Flora (Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements), ProViable- DC (Nutramaxx) and Calming Care (Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements). Calming Care is used for anxiety realted problems.

Should my dog or cat take a probiotic when they are taking antibiotics?

Yes. Give the probiotic 2 hrs before or after the antibiotic. Do not give them at the same time.

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are nutrients that help probiotic beneficial bacteria grow. Examples include insoluble fiber like pumpkin, apples, banannas, mushrooms, beet pulp and green leafy veggies.

Questions?? Contact us at (630) 859-0471 or

Judy L. McBeth DVM

Certified in Veterinary Acupuncture

Fox Ridge Veterinay Clinic

Your pet's family doctor

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page