A daily probiotic supplement for dogs can restore the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut and help your dog with an upset stomach, constipation, diarrhea, skin conditions, allergies, and even anxiety.  But dogs are not humans, so it’s best to purchase probiotics formulated specifically for dogs rather than use those designed for us.

Our vet advisor, Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM, reviewed dozens of probiotics for dogs, and she chose Proviable DC for Cats and Dogs as her top pick. With 7 species of probiotics and two prebiotics to help stimulate probiotic bacteria growth, this probiotic helps to support healthy digestion and a healthy immune system. Read how she chose her top 5 picks.

Our Vet’s Top Pick

Proviable DC for Cats and Dogs

For the best option overall for a dog’s probiotic, look no further than Proviable DC for Cats and Dogs.

Of course, all instances of constipation, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms won’t resolve with just probiotics, so if you have any questions or concerns, talk to your veterinarian.

Our Vet’s Top 5 Probiotics for Dogs

Here are the top picks from our veterinarian. Compare the ratings and features of different products.

Vet’s PicksModelRatingTypeProbiotic StrainsDosing
Best OverallProviable DC for Cats and Dogs4.8Capsules7 StrainsDaily as Needed
Best Budget BuyRx Vitamins Essentials Biotic Powder for Pets4.7Powder6 Strains1-4 scoops/daily
Best for DiarrheaProviable-KP Probiotic Digestive Health Supplement Kit for Dogs4.8Paste & Capsules7 StrainsVaries by Weight
Best PowderPurina FortiFlora Probiotics for Dogs4.7Powder1 Strain1/daily
Best for AnxietyPurina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements Calming Care Canine Formula Dog Supplements4.4Powder1 Strain1/daily

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Who Should Buy a Probiotic for Dogs

  • Owners of dogs with curious appetites- Dogs who tend to eat things off the ground are more likely to develop gastrointestinal upset, and daily probiotics can help prevent symptoms from developing.1
  • If your dog has digestive concerns – Dogs with some types of chronic digestive issues may benefit from a daily probiotic supplement, which can help your pup deal with unwanted symptoms and discomfort.2
  • If you’re looking to improve your dog’s overall health – The bulk of the immune system is in your dog’s gut, and an adequate amount of good bacteria in the gut may contribute to a dog’s overall health and well-being.3

Who Should Not Buy a Probiotic for Dogs

  • Owners of dogs with severe tummy troubles – If your dog has new, relatively severe symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, schedule a veterinary visit before reaching for the probiotics.
  • If your dog’s food contains probiotics – Your dog’s regular food may already contain probiotics, and if it does, you may want to skip the probiotic supplement or give less of it.

Research Tips (From a Veterinarian)

Pet parents often wonder if they should give their dog a probiotic supplement and how to choose the best probiotic for their dog. If your veterinarian has recommended a specific product, use that product. If it doesn’t seem to be working, talk to your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can help you pick the right product for your dog and answer any questions you might have. Here are some tips and best practices to consider when purchasing a probiotic supplement for your dog.

  1. Think about chews – Probiotic chews taste better than pills. Your dog might think that a tasty probiotic chew is a treat, making him more likely to take it eagerly, which is especially handy for dogs who don’t take pills easily.
  2. Powders are easier to “sneak in” – You can easily sneak a powder into most dogs’ food without too much fuss. There are several beef or chicken flavored probiotic powders, but if your dog prefers his food as it is, flavorless powders won’t disrupt the usual taste of your pup’s food.
  3. Consider syringes – Syringes aren’t just for injections, some are designed for oral administration of probiotics in a gel form. This isn’t a method you can hide, but it could be the easiest way to administer probiotics to some dogs.
  4. Check out the CFUs – CFU stands for Colony Forming Unit and it references the number of live bacteria in each serving. Some probiotics for dogs can have very high numbers of CFUs, but a higher number doesn’t always mean a better product.4 Over time, the number of CFUs will diminish, so you’ll want to make sure you’re using probiotics before their expiration date.
  5. Get what your dog needs and nothing more – Pick the right probiotic based on your dog’s specific needs. Different probiotic strains and/or additional ingredients are meant to be used under certain circumstances – newly developed diarrhea versus health maintenance versus anxiety, for example.
  6. Purchase from reputable manufacturers – Purchase products made by reputable companies with a history of making safe and effective supplements. Avoid supplements that are made by companies without a good (or any) track record or those that contain ingredients that don’t have evidence supporting their use.

How Much Do They Cost?

A product’s quality and quantity both drive the price of your dog’s probiotic supplement, but in general, you can expect to spend about $30 a month on his probiotic. For the occasionally used supplement meant to treat stomach issues rather than prevent them or maintain overall gut health, obviously, you’ll be spending far less – possibly as little as just a few dollars. For bigger dogs with more frequent concerns, you may be spending upwards of $50 a month.

Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet Life Today

I’ve recommended probiotics that are made by companies with a well-deserved reputation for their excellent quality control standards and/or meet industry-imposed standards and pass a third-party audit (NASC, for example). Probiotics are living microorganisms and can only be effective if they survive manufacturing, transport, and storage. Also, there is little regulation over the nutritional supplement industry, and some manufacturers take advantage of that and make sub-par products. The manufacturers of the products listed below provide the information important to decision-making on the product’s label. These probiotics are commonly recommended by veterinarians, and vets report having had good success with them. – Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM

The Best Probiotics for Dogs: Full Reviews

Our Vet’s Top Pick

Proviable DC for Cats and Dogs

For the best option overall for a dog’s probiotic, look no further than Proviable DC for Cats and Dogs.

Proviable DC for Cats and Dogs not only contains a comprehensive list of 7 probiotic species to give your dog the beneficial bacteria he needs to maintain a healthy immune system and healthy digestion, but also two prebiotics that will support the growth of probiotic microorganisms in the intestinal tract.

The once-daily dose can be sprinkled over your dog’s food or, if he’s a good pill-taker, you can simply slip it to him, followed by a treat. It doesn’t have a strong flavor or aroma, so it won’t alter the flavor of your dog’s food.

Pros
  • 5 billion CFUs per capsule
  • 7 probiotic species
  • Can be sprinkled over food
  • 2 prebiotics to support probiotic growth
Cons
  • For either dog or cat, not specialized
  • Same dosage for all dogs and cats
Best Budget Buy

Rx Vitamins Essentials Biotic Powder for Pets

The Rx Vitamins Essentials Biotic Powder for Pets will give you plenty of bang for not a lot of buck.

Rx Vitamins Essentials Biotic Powder for Pets is a great supplement to help boost your dog’s overall health and wellness. There are six strains of probiotics as well as prebiotics in this supplement, including fructooligosaccharides, which can help stimulate the natural growth of probiotics in the gut.

For regular maintenance of gut health, simply mix one level scoop into your dog’s food once daily, reseal the bottle, and refrigerate to preserve optimal freshness. The instructions on this probiotic list the proper dosage for dogs on antibiotics and for those who are currently suffering from stomach problems, too.

Pros
  • Hypoallergenic, vegetarian formula
  • Up to 3-month usage per container
  • Can minimize diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting
Cons
  • Dosage dependant on need, not weight
  • For either dog or cat, not specialized
Best for Diarrhea

Proviable-KP Probiotic Digestive Health Supplement Kit for Dogs

Proviable-KP Probiotic Digestive Health Supplement Kit for Dogs will help get your fur baby’s digestive system back to normal.

The Proviable-KP Probiotic Digestive Health Supplement Kit for Dogs includes probiotic capsules and a rapid-acting paste. The capsules in Proviable-KP contain 7 strains of probiotics to ensure the ideal balance of gut bacteria for day-to-day comfort and a healthy immune system, as well as prebiotics to support probiotic bacteria growth.

The paste, which should be administered by mouth, includes kaolin and pectin, ingredients that help to firm loose stools and coat and soothe the gastrointestinal tract to support normal intestinal function, as well as additional probiotics and prebiotics that can speed recovery from acute illness. You can use this same supplement for your cat, as well, with a separate dosage for cats and dosage recommendations for dogs based on weight.

Pros
  • Can sprinkle capsule contents on food
  • Dosage based on weight
  • Includes prebiotics
Cons
  • Paste may be difficult to administer
Best Powder

Purina FortiFlora Probiotics for Dogs

For a powder that’s easily sprinkled and hidden in your dog’s food, try Purina FortiFlora Probiotics for Dogs.

Purina FortiFlora Probiotics for Dogs is made with a single probiotic, Enterococcus faecium, but one that has research supporting its use.  With this probiotic, in combination with the antioxidants included in the mix, you’ll appreciate the effect FortiFlora has on your dog’s comfort level, and so will he.

If you find it difficult to give your dog a powder supplement but have good luck administering chews as treats, then you’ll also be able to purchase the same probiotic in a chewable tablet that your dog may enjoy.

Pros
  • Research supporting its effectiveness
  • Easy-to-feed; sprinkle over food
  • For all age dogs
Cons
  • Single dose for dogs of all sizes
  • Only one probiotic species
Best for Anxiety

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements Calming Care Canine Formula Dog Supplements

If your pup has a case of anxiety, the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements Calming Care Canine Formula Dog Supplements may offer some relief.

The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements Calming Care Canine Formula Dog Supplements is a powder supplement that contains Purina’s proprietary blend of the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium Longum (BL999). It’s designed to give your dog a long-lasting calming result that can improve his quality of life. It’s excellent for external stressors that affect him on a routine basis, like separation, unfamiliar sounds, travel, and strangers.

The extended use of this probiotic supplement will allow your dog to maintain a more calm emotional state and can help maintain healthy cardiac activity during stressful situations.

Pros
  • Minimizes anxious behaviors
  • Liver flavor makes it tasty
  • Gradual improvement – no abrupt behavioral changes
Cons
  • Up to 6 weeks for full effect
  • May require long-term use

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a dog probiotic? Is it different than human probiotics?

A probiotic is a type of bacteria that does not cause your (or your dog’s) body any harm and can, in fact, support good health. They’re naturally occurring, but occasionally the body’s microbiome (normal community of microbes) will become imbalanced and that will start to have some consequences. An imbalance can cause diarrhea, inflammation, irritated skin, and so much more. 5 Dogs can take human probiotics, but products that are based on the distinctive microbiome of dogs should be more effective, and it’s easier to ensure you are giving the correct dose.

Can a dog overdose on probiotics?

No, a dog cannot, strictly speaking, overdose on probiotics. In fact, in 2009, a study showed that dogs handled probiotics well with no safety concerns.6 The higher the CFUs, the better, generally speaking. However, there’s a point at which more CFUs probably won’t offer additional benefits, which will be different for each dog and each specific condition you’re trying to manage. Follow the directions on the label or those given to you by your veterinarian, and if your dog gets into significantly more, call your vet for advice.

Do probiotics really work for dogs?

There is scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of probiotics for a number of different conditions. However, they aren’t miracle cures. If your dog has a specific and serious health concern, there’s a good chance your vet will prescribe medications to treat the underlying health concern or alleviate symptoms, and those medications will probably provide better results than a probiotic alone. Probiotics can help with minor discomforts and be used in combination with other treatments, but you will still need to talk to your vet.

Can dogs take probiotics everyday?

Yes! Dogs absolutely can take a probiotic every day. A 2009 study conducted at the Procter & Gamble Pet Care Technical Center tested the effects on dogs using probiotics for twelve consecutive weeks with no ill effects.7 And, for chronic conditions, studies have shown that probiotics need to be given regularly or their effects rapidly wane. You can feel confident giving your dog a probiotic daily to maintain digestive health, bolster your dog’s immune system, and manage anxiety.
  1. Xu H, Huang W, Hou Q, et al. Oral Administration of Compound Probiotics Improved Canine Feed Intake, Weight Gain, Immunity and Intestinal Microbiota. Front Immunol. 2019;10:666. Published 2019 Apr 2. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2019.00666
  2. Jensen AP, Bjørnvad CR. Clinical effect of probiotics in prevention or treatment of gastrointestinal disease in dogs: A systematic review. J Vet Intern Med. 2019;33(5):1849-1864. doi:10.1111/jvim.15554
  3. Grześkowiak Ł, Endo A, Beasley S, Salminen S. Microbiota and probiotics in canine and feline welfare. Anaerobe. 2015;34:14-23. doi:10.1016/j.anaerobe.2015.04.002
  4. Probiotics: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. ods.od.nih.gov. Published June 26, 2019. Updated June 3, 2020. Accessed February 27, 2021.
  5. Grześkowiak Ł, Endo A, Beasley S, Salminen S. Microbiota and probiotics in canine and feline welfare. Anaerobe. 2015;34:14-23. doi:10.1016/j.anaerobe.2015.04.002
  6. Kelley RL, Park JS, O’Mahony L, Minikhiem D, Fix A. Safety and tolerance of dietary supplementation with a canine-derived probiotic (Bifidobacterium animalis strain AHC7) fed to growing dogs. Vet Ther. 2010;11(3):E1-E14.
  7. Kelley RL, Park JS, O’Mahony L, Minikhiem D, Fix A. Safety and tolerance of dietary supplementation with a canine-derived probiotic (Bifidobacterium animalis strain AHC7) fed to growing dogs. Vet Ther. 2010;11(3):E1-E14.
Dr. Jennifer Coates