Pet Probiotics: Sometimes Easy Is Good (Part 5)

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This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small affiliate commission from sales made through this link, but there is no additional cost to you if you make a purchase through the link.  That being said, we love using probiotics for our dogs and cats and our editor, Robbi Hess, has a poodle who has greatly benefited from her use of Probonix during the time she’s been on antibiotics. 

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Oscar & Felixx Give You the Straight Poop on Probiotics

Hi! Mom here. Today our post is all about YOU, the pet parent. Well, okay, maybe not all about you, but mostly about you. Now you know what pet probiotics are and why probiotics are good for your pet. And you’ve learned a little about how to choose a probiotic for your pet – as well as a few things about the science of pet probiotics and why good manufacturing practices (GMP) are important. All of this great information focuses on your pet’s health – which is, of course, your reason for wanting to know these things.

I know you’d do just about anything for your dog or cat. But, you know, you are a participant in this dynamic, as well, and you have real-life factors that play into how you take care of your pet. Oscar and Felixx will help me talk about a few of these factors, so you can make the best choice possible regarding your pet’s probiotics.

Lifestyle Matters: Probiotic Formulations and Handling
Oscar: “I love camping.”
Felixx: “Well, someone has to. It’s not likely to be me. There are no couches in the woods.”
Oscar: “Trees to pee on. Rocks to pee on. And we get to sleep in a tent!”
Felixx: “Come to think of it: There are no refrigerators in the woods either. Remember that one time when you and Mom went camping, and she didn’t-…”
Oscar: “We promised never to speak of that. Mom was really, really sorry.”

*sigh* It’s OK boys. That was one of those trial-and-error things that turned out to be a BIG error. You see, I decided to take Oscar camping for a couple of weeks. His probiotics needed to be refrigerated, and…well, you see the difficulty. With all the excitement and new experiences, Oscar’s digestive issues resurfaced after a few days, and…

Let’s just say that tent was unusable after the trip.

Whether your pet’s probiotics are in powder form, pill form, or liquid form, they have to fit the constraints of your lifestyle.

What to consider:

  • Does the product need refrigeration to work effectively?
  • Do you need to use a spoon or scoop that might get lost to measure it out?
  • Do you need something to wrap it in (in the case of a pill) to get your pet to take it?

Getting Probiotics into Your Pet: The Struggle Is Real

Oscar <giggling>: “Remember that one time when Mom tried to give you probiotics in a pill? You were like a tiny tiger!”
Felixx: *snork* “Yeah, the silly woman! She had to ask the neighbor to help bandage her up afterwards.”
Oscar: “Yeah, and then she…” <suddenly serious> “Heyyyy, wait a second. That’s not funny.”
Felixx: “No, I suppose it wasn’t. I didn’t mean to hurt her. I think it was three days before I came out from under the couch.”
Oscar: “You were pretty upset. And I missed you. I’m glad Mom switched probiotics.”

I’m glad I did, too. Felixx and I were both pretty traumatized.

The thing is, probiotics are only beneficial if your pet takes them. And, frankly, if it’s a struggle, you might just give up and try to do without them. Hunger strikes, force-feeding attempts, and worse can turn feeding time – normally a bonding time between your and your pet – into a battlefield. Yuck.

But avoiding giving your pet probiotics can be costly, too. Other medications and supplements can be expensive, especially if your pet suffers from chronic conditions like diarrhea, constipation, gas, bad breath, allergies…all things probiotics can help.

What to consider:

  • Does your pet take the probiotic without a fight? Would a different formulation help (e.g. powder vs. pill or liquid vs. powder)?
  • Will your pet eat their food or drink their water if the probiotic is added to it?
  • Is it easy for you to give it (e.g. measure out, put on food or into water, etc.)?

There’s No Excuse for Poor Taste

Felixx: “Why aren’t you eating? You usually gulp your food like a heathen.”
Oscar <staring mournfully into his bowl>: “There’s no sauce.”
Felixx: “Sauce? What are you-… Ohhh. The probiotic for your IBS.”
Oscar: “You call it probiotic. I call it delicious, liver-flavored goodness. And Mom FORGOT it!”
Felixx <sniffing his bowl>: “Rats! She forgot mine, too. Now I’ll itch all day.”
Oscar: “And your food won’t be as yummy.”
Felixx: “And that.”

Believe it or not, some pet probiotics taste good. When you’re considering which probiotic is right for your pet, read the label for flavoring ingredients, too. There are plenty of products that offer flavoring that make taking probiotics not only easy but also pleasant for your pet.

But be careful! Some flavorings are derived from common allergens (such as pork) or from sources that tend to be genetically modified (such as corn). If you’re going to the trouble to buy the most effective probiotic for your pet, you should check all the ingredients, including the “inactive” ones, like flavorings, to make sure they won’t derail the whole system.

What to consider:

  • Does your pet like the probiotic’s flavor?
  • What ingredients (active or inactive) might interfere with or enhance the flavor?
  • What is the source of the flavoring? Is it something your pet is allergic to?

Thanks for reading about our journey with probiotics and pet wellness. We learned a lot, and we’re happy to have someone to share it with.

Come on out and visit us on the Humarian site, where we’re ambassadors for Probonix Pet Probiotics. Oh, and if you’re reading this and you’re a human (I hate making assumptions!), you can check out Humarian’s probiotics for humans, too – along with a whole lot of information about health and healing. Use the code: PositivelyWoof to get a discount!

Read the rest of the series

Part 1: The Health Benefits Of Probiotics For Your Dogs & Cats

Part 2: Four Ways Probiotics Can Help Your Pet

Part 3: Choosing The Right Probiotic

Part 4: Why And How Probiotics Matter

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Larry Kay is the award-winning coauthor of Training the Best Dog Ever, which became a #1 best seller in dog training on Amazon Kindle. He is Leader of the Pack at Positively Woof, which helps shelter dogs get adopted by making videos and raises awareness and funds. Larry is an award-winning dog filmmaker and has been a frequent contributor to the American Animal Hospital Association and Dog Fancy magazine.
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