Stop the Confusion!
When it comes to probiotics for dogs, we see a haphazard approach to formulation ranging from extremely low CFU, (under 500 Million) to extremely high CFU (up to 58 Billion). This leads many to wonder: What is the right amount of probiotics for my dog?
What is CFU?
A probiotic’s CFU count represents the amount of viable (living) bacteria in a serving. CFU stands for Colony Forming Units. The total CFU in a probiotic formula will be the combined total of all bacterium included in the formula. Each "strain" or species of probiotic may be listed with its individual CFU, or the formula may combine all strains into 1 CFU count on the product label.
What About Human Probiotics for Dogs?
It is more common than not, for companies to take an existing human formula and market it for pets. For this reason, you will notice pet supplements all over the map when it comes to the amount of strains and CFU.
Can I Give My Dog Human Probiotics?
Yes, but for best results you should not. The truth is, your dog's stomach and GI and digestive makeup is different than yours and certain species of bacteria will work better than others. Some may not be beneficial at all. Because of this, your dog requires a supplement made just for him.
How Many CFU of Probiotics Do Dogs Need?
The amount of CFU needed depends on the problem that is being treated—every dog has different needs. The research available for dogs is not as robust as it is in humans, and we find that the dog owner is the best at discerning how much is needed. Owners that monitor their dogs health during probiotic therapy can judge by the reaction/improvement, or otherwise, if the dose should be increased or decreased. But, we do provide a "rule of thumb" for dosing probiotics for your dog.
Probiotic Dosage for Dogs
Our findings show, that for general health maintenance, 1-4 Billion CFU daily is very effective for dogs depending on the dog’s weight. Under 50 lbs, start off by giving your dog 1-3 billion CFU per day. Dogs over 50lbs should be given 2-5 billion CFU per day. Breaking the dose up to twice per day at mealtimes is also a good idea. For a pet with IBS, a much higher CFU count is more effective. For dogs with diarrhea, a standard or lower CFU of probiotics is in order. Higher counts of probiotics may be contraindicated for dogs with diarrhea.
When to Decrease Probiotic CFU Dosage
Dogs who are sensitive or immune-compromised may have a reaction after the initial dosage of probiotics during the adjustment phase. While reactions are rare, they can include gas or loose stool. In extremely rare cases, probiotics may cause diarrhea or vommiting. If any of these symptoms occur, it was not "caused" by probiotics, it is the result of your dog's body rebalancing and purging the toxins built up over time. Try decreasing the dosage by half, once per day for a week, then increase to twice per day until your dog seems to have adjusted. Once adjusted, you may increase probiotics to the regular dosage. The important thing is not to stop probiotics—they are the natural answer to maintaining a healthy dog.
Should I Give My Dog High Amounts of Probiotics?
While a high CFU may not be harmful to your dog, we do not advocate supplying every dog with large amounts of probiotics indiscriminately. At a certain point, you may be overdoing it, or just wasting money on high doses. Especially as it pertains to supplying multiple probiotic strains (above 6 individual probiotic strains), we believe that super-high doses may not be beneficial for dogs. Some strains have been known to compete for absorption and their use, even in humans, is somewhat controversial in health.
We recommend Probiotic Miracle for dogs since each scoop provides 1 Billion CFU which makes modifying dosages, higher or lower, very simple.