Probiotics are dietary supplements that contain advantageous bacteria that can aid dogs with specific health issues. They are frequently used by both pet owners and doctors to support canine intestinal health. Probiotics are now often used in both human and animal healthcare regimens.
Some dog owners are unsure whether a dog can consume too many probiotics. Numerous layperson-written articles on the subject can be found online, although they often lack context. I want to express some concerns I have with you as a veterinarian.
Despite being rare, a dog can overdose on probiotics. Large amounts of the supplement mistakenly consumed by dogs might cause mild to severe stomach distress. An ordinary dose of probiotics may potentially cause a bacterial infection in the blood in immunocompromised dogs.
What Is the Right Probiotic Dosage for Dogs?
Researchers are currently working to determine the ideal probiotic dosage for dogs. You must provide enough beneficial bacteria so that some of them can withstand the stomach’s digestive enzymes. However, if too many are given, dogs may experience negative effects (see below for details).
Dog probiotics are typically dosed between 100 million and 100 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) each dose of good bacteria and germs. (2)
Let’s examine two well-liked dog probiotics that veterinarians suggest. Each dose of Pro Plan Fortiflora® contains 100 million CFUs. Each dose of Proviable DC® by NutraMax contains at least 5 billion CFUs.
Probiotics with a lot more CFUs per dosage are definitely available, but more isn’t always better.
I advise my clients to stick with probiotics provided by reputable companies and designed exclusively for pets. My clientele have relied on ProPlan Fortiflora and Nutramax Proviable DC for many years. Unless specifically specified by your veterinarian, take the medication as instructed on the label.
How much probiotics would a dog need to become overdosed?
How many probiotics does it take for a dog to experience problems? The solution is unknown to scientists. There are no scientific studies that have examined a maximum dose of probiotics for dogs because consuming them rarely results in serious issues.
Additionally, because each dog is unique, some may experience no issues at all with 10 times the advised amount, while others may become ill enough to require medical attention.
Does a dog have a probiotic overdose?
Factors that Could Possibly Raise the Risk of Dog Probiotic Overdose
There have been stories of probiotic dosage recommendations making people quite ill. (5) Immune system disorders and/or gastrointestinal tract inflammation may make a person more susceptible.
Dogs with the same disorders have not been studied, but they may be at danger in the same ways. My recommendation? Before giving your dog any probiotic supplements at all, check with your veterinarian if they suspect an immune system disorder or persistent GI tract inflammation.
Beware of human probiotics that contain Xylitol sweeteners
The sweetener xylitol is present in many chewable human probiotics designed for kids. Xylitol is quite toxic to dogs but harmless for children.
It doesn’t matter how little of a probiotic supplement containing xylitol your dog consumed if they did. Dogs quickly develop severe blood sugar and liver issues with even little doses of xylitol. You must immediately seek veterinarian attention.
Symptoms of Probiotic Overdose in Dogs
Even at prescribed doses, probiotic supplements can have negative effects on dogs. Constipation, increased gassiness, nausea, skin rash, and hiccups are the most typical side effects.
We might anticipate experiencing diarrhoea, stomach pain, decreased appetite, and/or vomiting with severe overdoses. Theoretically, certain dogs could get infections, which could result in symptoms like fever, weakness, breathing difficulties, or symptoms related to the urinary system.
How to Handle a Dog Who Ate a Lot of Probiotics
You must call your veterinarian if your dog consumed more probiotics than is advised. You should bring the package (or what’s left of it) to the veterinary clinic. Knowing what and how much the dog ate will be useful to the doctor.
Your veterinarian can assist if the dog is already displaying symptoms like vomiting or diarrhoea by providing supportive care. Until their body can heal, your dog may need to remain in the veterinary hospital for IV fluids and anti-nausea medicines.
How to Safely Give Probiotics to Dogs
Consider it seriously if you decide to attempt giving your dog probiotic pills. Probiotic products sold by arbitrary pet supply firms should be avoided. At best, they won’t affect your dog at all, but at worst, they can contain organisms or quantities that are different from those listed on the label.
Consult your veterinarian for advice on the best dog probiotic to use for your particular dog. Most veterinarian offices in the United States carry Purina Pro Plan Fortiflora and Proviable DC. These are produced by reliable businesses with a long history of creating secure pet items.
Make sure you adhere to your veterinarian’s dosage recommendations (or on the product label). Giving your pet less or more could not be helpful and might even make them ill.
While it is conceivable for a dog to overdose on probiotics, doing so is usually extremely unlikely when the supplements are taken as recommended. The most typical dosage range for beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms is between 100 million and 100 billion colony-forming units per dose. Unknown is the most safe dosage of probiotics a dog can tolerate.
Dogs who have consumed too many probiotics frequently experience diarrhoea, gassiness, vomiting, and decreased appetite. Underlying medical disorders and weakened immune systems are two factors that may enhance the risk of probiotic overdose in dogs.