My Dog Ate My Probiotics [Gut Instinct Gone Wrong]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Well, you won’t believe the escapade I’ve got to share with you today.

Picture this: it’s a regular evening, and I’m all excited about my latest batch of probiotics – you know, the gut superheroes.

But hold on to your hats, because in a classic twist of fate, my dear canine companion decides to turn the tables.

Yes, my dog ate my probiotics, and if you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, stick around to learn about human probiotics and dogs, what they might do to them, and getting the right types for your pooch.

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Can You Give a Dog Human Probiotics?

Can You Give a Dog Human Probiotics

Bacteria can be good or bad for you and your dog’s body. 

When I say probiotics, I’m talking about the good kind of bacteria that actually do something well to a body.

Let’s just picture probiotics as good soldiers that can keep gut health in check by balancing the bacteria in them.

Probiotics are great for helping digestion and fighting harmful bacteria that are causing digestive issues.

But can you give your dog human probiotics?

Well, technically you can give your dog human probiotics. But you can’t be sure if it’ll help your dog’s condition.

Human probiotics have different amounts of good bacteria, which can cause more damage than help your doggy.

I know you mean well, but giving your dog human probiotics may just bring more danger.

Besides, there are probiotics out there that are specifically made for dogs. Just use those instead.

What are the dangers of human probiotics for dogs?

Giving your dog human probiotics one single time will most likely not cause any harm. 

But if you’re planning to add human probiotics to your dog’s diet, now that’s a different case.

Regular ingestion of human probiotics has dangers to your dog.

Instead of giving your dog a healthy immune system and great gut health, things will turn for the worst.

Human probiotics can disrupt your dog’s gut bacteria and worsen your dog’s diarrhea or vomiting.

I mean, human probiotics are made for humans who have different gut health needs from doggies so what could you expect?

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Thank you. The rest of the article continues below.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: does wet dog food cause diarrhea?

What would happen if my dog ate human probiotics?

If your dog only ate a small amount of human probiotics, nothing could possibly happen.

Eating human probiotics for one time won’t make a huge change in your dog’s gut health, especially if he isn’t suffering from any digestive issues.

But some dogs have an overly sensitive tummy.

Eating human probiotics may cause diarrhea, constipation, or allergic reaction depending on how much human probiotics the dog has eaten.

If your dog isn’t showing any of these signs after eating human probiotics, just remain watchful since these side effects may take time to show.

What are the symptoms of human probiotics ingestion in dogs?

If your dog has ingested human probiotics, it’s seldom to observe any symptoms of such ingestion.

This is because dogs just usually pass human probiotics without any problem.

However, you’ll be able to see symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, lack of appetite, and allergic reaction if the human probiotics have xylitol sweetener in them.

Human probiotics may have ingredients that can irritate your dog’s tummy, so these symptoms may occur after ingestion.

Can a dog overdose on human probiotics?

Dog overdosing on human probiotics RARELY happens. 

It’s very unusual for dogs to overdose on human probiotics since your dog will merely pass the excess probiotics.

But if your dog ingested a really hefty amount of these good bacteria, side effects may occur such as loose stool and flatulence, which some dog owners regard as overdose symptoms.

How much human probiotics would cause an overdose in a dog?

It’s hard to tell how much human probiotics would cause an overdose in a dog since they have mostly not been tested on dogs.

If you’re worried that your dog might overdose on human probiotics, just remember that he can consume a lot of those good bacteria.

If your dog consumes a high amount of human probiotics, his digestive system will just eliminate the surplus.

Plus, dogs who are at least 40 pounds can actually consume the whole human dosage of probiotics without problems.

What Are Probiotics for Dogs?

Probiotics for dogs are like human probiotics, but specifically made for your furbaby.

These probiotics are good or friendly bacteria that live in your dog’s gut and because they’re the good kind of bacteria, they fight off the bad microbes.

They help your dog have a smooth digestion and a stronger immune system by creating nutrients too!

But sometimes, your dog might eat something that upset the balance of these good bacteria in your dog’s gut.

When this happens, the bad bacteria overrun the good bacteria and digestive issues will occur to your poor doggy.

To bring back the balance, you’ll have to directly feed him probiotics for dogs.

These probiotics for dogs can come in so many forms to make them more appetizing to your dog, so you don’t have to worry if he won’t eat them!

You can buy probiotics for dogs such as yogurt, chews, and powders! Your pup won’t even notice that he’s eating an actual bacteria.

Difference Between Dog Probiotics Vs Human Probiotics

Difference Between Dog Probiotics Vs Human Probiotics

When it comes to probiotics, both for dogs and humans, they share a common goal of promoting gut health, but there are a few important differences to consider. 

Think of probiotics as tiny superheroes that help in balancing the gut environment.

Now, while human and dog probiotics both contain beneficial bacteria, they are formulated with specific strains tailored to each species. 

Dog probiotics are designed to cater to the unique digestive needs of your dog, addressing issues like canine-specific gut flora and digestion processes. 

On the other paw, human probiotics are formulated with strains more suited to our human digestive systems. 

So, although the concept of promoting gut health is similar, it’s essential to use the right probiotics for the right bellies— one for your pup and another for yourself.

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What Are the Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs?

Digestive health

Probiotics make sure that your dog’s gut health is balanced so that digestion will be easier.

Plus, probiotics also help in quickening the absorption of nutrients in your dog’s tummy, leaving your dog free from constipation.

They are even more helpful for doggies whose stomachs are very sensitive and more prone to digestive issues.

Immune system

Probiotics work hard to produce good bacteria that can fight off the bad bacteria in your dog’s gut.

Probiotics, once rooted in your dog’s tummy, will uproot any potential bad bacteria that can cause health problems!

With probiotics, your dog’s intestinal barrier will be more protected too, which can hold off harmful bacteria from entering his body.

When my dogs went through a period of poor gut health, I gave them this probiotic from Purina and it worked wonders.

Purina Pro Plan FortiFlora Dog Probiotic Supplement

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Top veterinarian-recommended probiotic supplement (Kantar Vet Tracker, 2020).
Supports puppies and adult dogs with diarrhea, aiding dietary management.
Proven probiotic for canine gut health and balance.
Enhances immunity and includes antioxidants for robust health in dogs.

How Do You Know If Your Dog Needs Probiotics?

It’s easy to know if your dog needs probiotics, you’ll just have to observe his digestion and bowel movement!

If your dog is experiencing diarrhea, his gut health may not be in its best condition.

There could be an unbalanced amount of bad bacteria in your dog’s tummy, making it hard for him to digest fully thus causing diarrhea.

When this happens, it’s time to give your dog a healthy amount of probiotics.

Allergies are also a telltale sign that your doggy needs probiotics.

Most of the time, dogs have allergic reactions when something they eat disrupts the balance of their gut health.

By providing your dog with probiotics, his gut health will eventually turn back to normal.

Another sign that your dog needs probiotics is flatulence. If your dog is dropping smelly gas bombs all the time, probiotics may help with that.

How Much Probiotics Does Your Dog Need?

How Much Probiotics Does Your Dog Need

You can measure the amount of probiotics your dog needs through colony-forming units (CFUs).

And most vets recommend that dogs need at least 1 billion CFUs to 10 billion CFUs a day.

You can adjust this dose depending on your dog’s digestive health.

Most pups will need more probiotics if they’re prone to digestive issues. But if your dog has a sufficiently healthy gut, sticking to the minimum CFUs will be enough.

Of course, it’ll be better to check with your vet first before deciding on how much probiotics you’ll give your dog.

That’s to make sure that he’ll get the proper amount of probiotics to keep him healthy.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Probiotics on Dogs?

You’re probably asking, “I thought dog probiotics are good for dogs, so why would there be side effects?”

Well, the side effects of probiotics on dogs rarely manifest. They mostly only do when your dog has just started on their first probiotics.

Your dog’s gut will have to adjust to the new good bacteria that’s been added, so little side effects here and there may happen.

You don’t have to worry though because these side effects will eventually pass after a few days.

Anyway, you just gotta watch out for these possible side effects of probiotics on dogs:

  • Loose stools
  • Nausea
  • Lack or increase in appetite
  • Flatulence or bloating
  • Constipation

How to Give Probiotics to Dogs Safely?

There are many ways you can safely give probiotics to your dog, you’ll just have to be a bit wiser if he’s a picky eater.

Probiotics in capsule form are the easier choice if your dog is picky with everything he eats.

You can simply insert it in his food or treat, then hand-feed it to him in one quick go.

For those doggies who eat whatever is on their plates, powdered probiotics are a good choice.

Simply add the powder to your dog’s meal, and he’ll happily eat everything up.

What Types of Dogs Shouldn’t Take Probiotics?

Perfectly healthy puppies

If your young puppy has no digestive issues, it’s best not to introduce any probiotics to their body yet.

Puppies have naturally balanced gut health, and giving your pup probiotics for no apparent treatment reasons will only disrupt his gut flora.

But if your dog is experiencing digestive issues at such a young age, then, by all means, give him dog probiotics suitable for his age. 

Dogs with severe allergies

Although probiotics are very helpful for dogs who have allergies, there are still some dogs whose allergies become worse when given probiotics.

Sometimes, probiotics turn out to be one of the triggers for a dog’s allergic reaction.

Hence, if your dog has a history of allergies don’t give him probiotics unless your vet said so.

What Makes a Good Dog Probiotic?

A dog probiotic is considered good if it contains 1 to 10 billion CFUs per daily serving. This means that each serving will already be enough to maintain your dog’s gut health.

It’s also best to choose probiotics that contain the usual bacteria found in the canine’s gut like lactobacillus acidophilus, enterococcus faecium, and bifidobacterium lactis.

You’ll be able to know if the dog’s probiotic has those bacteria by checking its packaging. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What to do if your dog ate a large number of probiotics?

Your dog most likely will just experience flatulence after eating a large number of probiotics. Nonetheless, you’ll still have to keep an eye on him in case side effects worsen to diarrhea. When this happens, keep him on a bland diet with plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Which foods do probiotics naturally occur in?

Probiotics naturally occur in some fermented food like sourdough bread and yogurt. Olives, apple cider, and kimchi also make it to the list of foods that have naturally occurring probiotics.

What’s the difference between prebiotics and probiotics?

Probiotics are the actual living bacteria that our bodies consider as the good ones since they protect us from bad bacteria. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are plant fibers that feed probiotics so that these good bacteria can continue protecting our health.

Can dogs have yogurt, kefir, or other kinds of fermented foods?

Dogs can have yogurt, kefir, or other kinds of fermented foods so long as they don’t contain any artificial sweeteners or additives.

Can dogs take probiotics with antibiotics?

If your dog is on medication with antibiotics, don’t give him probiotics and antibiotics at the same time. Wait for at least 2 hours before giving your dog his prebiotics. This way, the antibiotics won’t destroy the prebiotics.

How long should you give your dog probiotics?

You can give probiotics to your dog regularly for a long-term basis as part of his healthy diet.

How long does it take probiotics to work in dogs?

It is highly dependent, but most probiotics take about 2 days to start working in dogs. However, some dog owners also shared that it took up to 6 weeks for probiotics to work on their dogs.

Are probiotics for people harmful to dogs?

Probiotics for people aren’t harmful to dogs as long as they don’t consume too much of these. But your dog will get little benefits from taking such probiotics since human probiotics are specifically made to cater human’s needs. Hence, it’s best to stick with dog probiotics.

In Conclusion: My Dog Ate My Probiotics

So there you have it, a tale of probiotics, pups, and unexpected hilarity.

Remember, a vigilant eye and a few preventive measures can save your probiotics from becoming a canine delicacy.

Hey! If you found this post useful, check out these dog care tips too:

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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