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Latest health and behavior news and advice from the veterinarians at Tufts University.

Dog Food & Nutrition

Probiotics for Fido’s Sensitive Tummy?

Probiotics for Fido’s Sensitive Tummy?

Supplements with "good bacteria" are intended to improve and maintain your dog's GI health. But marketing remains out in front of the proof.

Almost a decade ago, the Canadian Veterinary Journal published a seminal study on probiotics for dogs showing that of 25 commercially available products tested, only two met criteria for quality control. Ten did not even list the bacterial counts in their merchandise, a critical point because probiotics are all about “good” bacteria flooding the GI tract to help calm a dog’s diarrhea or other gastrointestinal signs. Of the 15 that did list bacterial counts, only one in four actually contained what the label said. Some products mentioned bacteria that don’t exist, while others had bacterial counts that were too low to effect any beneficial changes in the gut.

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