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You can get creative and make some homemade probiotics for dogs. Probiotics provide a healthy source of beneficial bacteria to the body. Homemade probiotics are healthy and easy to make.
They are available commercially as supplements or formulated in dog food. You can also find some dog foods infused with some little probiotics.
You should consult your vet before starting your dog on a new diet. Always use natural foods for your dog’s diet. Processed foods may cause allergies and can be toxic.
I strongly recommend that you check this list from the American Kennel Club that outlines the dangerous foods for dogs.
Continue reading to find out some common foods that are rich in natural probiotics for dogs and 5 recipes that you can try.
Foods that Contain Probiotics & Prebiotics
This is perhaps the most widely known natural probiotic food. Yogurt is made from fermented milk through the action of bacteria.
These bacteria work by producing lactic acid which makes the milk ferment.
The common bacteria species used in the fermentation process are; Lactobacilli, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus thermophilus.
Not all yogurts have live bacteria cultures. Some probiotics are destroyed during the processing stage. You need to check if the product you intend to buy contains active/live culture. It is even better to make some yogurt at home.
Yogurt has the potential to shape the digestive system of your dog. It repopulates the gut with beneficial microflora. This reduces the possibilities of diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Yogurt is one of the foods that you can give your dog for an upset stomach for quick recovery.
These bacteria species are crucial in relieving dogs from gastrointestinal disease and infections. Always use plain, unsweetened yogurt for your dog’s diet.
Kefir is made from fermenting milk by using kefir grains. You can make this using cow’s, goat’s coconuts, or rice milk.
Not all dogs are tolerant of all these types of milk. You should only rely on a diet that is friendly to your dog.
Kefir grains are strains of lactic acid bacteria that resemble cauliflower. They contain many species and strains of bacteria, vitamins, proteins, and yeast.
3. Traditional Buttermilk
Buttermilk is another great source of probiotics. It is a byproduct of the processing of butter hence its name.
It contains live bacteria culture that was used during the fermentation process.
Buttermilk has low-fat content and it provides other essential nutritional benefits to your pup. It contains vitamin B12, calcium, riboflavin, and phosphorus.
Do not heat the buttermilk before giving it to your dog. Heating will kill the bacteria within the food.
4. Goat Milk
Fresh goat milk contains prebiotics, unlike cow’s milk which doesn’t. The oligosaccharides prebiotics will support your dog’s digestive system and gut health. It provides sufficient resources for the microbiome.
Find out more about the differences between prebiotics and probiotics for dogs.
Goat’s milk is much easier to digest than cow’s milk. It is therefore good for puppies because their digestive system is still developing. It has also been found to relieve intestinal disorders in dogs.
Goat milk contains a higher amount of calcium than cow’s milk. Other nutritional elements available are minerals, vitamins, trace elements, proteins, and fatty acids.
5. Green Tripe
Tripe is the intestinal lining of grazing animals like cows. Green tripe is that which has not been processed or treated. It is an excellent source of probiotics and digestive enzymes for your dog.
It has living cultures of Lactobacillus Acidophilus and amino acids. This is a superfood for dogs that helps to fight pathogenic bacteria such as salmonella and Escherichia coli.
Green tripe has other nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, and vitamins B3 & B12. It also helps to boost the immunity of your dog.
Green tripe is delicious for dogs, and you may not be required to infuse it with any sweetener.
If your dog is lactose intolerant, then you should consider getting them dairy-free products. Fermented vegetables are good sources of probiotics.
You can sweeten the fermented verges to motivate your dog to eat enough. Always use natural sweeteners like carrots, fruits, honey, etc.
Ensure that your vegetables are not mixed with onions. The allium family (leeks, garlic, ramps, shallots, spring onions, and chives) are all harmful to dogs, whether cooked or raw.
The following are some of the vegetables that can be used to supplement your dog’s probiotics:
Sauerkraut is made by fermenting shredded cabbage using lactic acid bacteria. This is an old traditional food that was very popular in Eastern European countries.
This homemade probiotic is very easy to make and it contains many living Lactobacillus bacteria. Giving your dog this food will also increase their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
You can serve your dog plain sauerkraut or use it as a topping for your dog’s favorite dishes.
2. Sweet Potato
The dietary fiber in sweet potatoes is a good source of prebiotics. This makes them a super food for the bacteria already existing in the dog’s gut.
This food will replenish and provide the necessary resources for the existing bacteria. Sometimes your dog just needs to have the right resources for the existing bacteria in their gut.
The bad and good bacteria will compete for limited resources if the prebiotic is not enough in your dog’s food.
Sweet potatoes are also a natural sweetener for your dog’s food. This is a good option to use when trying to switch your dog’s diet from artificially sweetened foods.
Other nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes include vitamins C, B6 & A, fiber, and minerals.
Bananas are also rich in prebiotics which stimulate and support the growth of good bacteria in your dog’s GI tract.
Inulin has been proven to provide the necessary resources for beneficial bacteria in dogs. Bananas are natural sweeteners and they serve as good alternatives to the artificial sugars in food.
You can mix banana chops with your dog’s dish to encourage them to eat enough.
Apples contain fiber which provides a good prebiotic source for your dog. Fermented apples have live bacteria cultures that can improve your dog’s gut situation.
Make sure you go for organic apples when making food for your dog. Apples with pesticides are toxic for dogs and they may cause other health concerns.
How to Make Safe Canine Homemade Probiotics
Always use safe ingredients when making homemade probiotics for dogs. If your dog is lactose intolerant, then you need to avoid using milk products for their diet.
Avoid products with artificial sweeteners and preservatives. You can boost the taste of the food by including natural sweeteners like bananas and honey.
Clean your hand thoroughly before preparing your dog’s food. Most procedures will involve mixing and you can best do it with clean hands.
If your dog experiences side effects, then stop giving them these foods and speak to your vet.
5 Easy Homemade Probiotics for Dogs Recipes
You can follow these five simple recipes to make delicious probiotic foods for your dog. The ingredients used in these recipes are enough for two medium-sized dogs.
Store the remaining food in jars and refrigerate to increase the shelf life.
1. Pepperful Sauerkraut
- 1 small-sized Cabbage
- 1 medium-sized sweet pepper
- 1 tablespoon of Sea salt
- Shred the cabbage finely using a knife and put it in a glass bowl.
- Finely chop the sweet pepper and mix it with the shredded cabbage.
- Sprinkle the sea salt evenly on top of the layer and mix the ingredients for about 10 minutes.
- Place the mixture in airtight jars and let them sit for 21 days to ferment.
- The sauerkraut should be consumed within 2 weeks.
Serve it plain to your dog or use it as a food topping. Once opened, keep the remaining food in the refrigerator.
2. Coconut Milk Yogurt
This is a dairy-free yogurt treat that is best served to lactose-intolerant dogs. You can use this recipe during the summer to cool your dog down and increase their nutritional intake.
- 12 ounces of coconut milk
- 1 cup peanut butter
- ½ ripe banana
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1 tbsp probiotic powder
- Mix all the ingredients in a glass bowl for about 10 minutes.
- Blend the ingredients using a blender to form a smooth puree
- Place the puree in air-tight containers.
- Freeze for about 5 hours.
Use sugar-free peanut butter. Avoid products that contain xylitol; it can be toxic for dogs.
3. Simple Puppy Popsicle
- 1-pound sweet potato
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- A pinch of grounded ginger
- ¼ teaspoon of brewer’s yeast
- A pinch of Turmeric
- Bake the sweet potato in an oven at 375 °F for about 50 minutes until soft.
- Peel the sweet potato and mash using a fork to form a rough paste.
- Mix all the ingredients and blend the combination
- Place the mixture into ice cube trays.
- Freeze for at least 8 hours.
Turmeric is rich in antioxidants. It helps to fight cancer-causing radicals in the dog’s body. The popsicle probiotic is a wholesome treat, and your dog will love it.
You can use cinnamon instead of garlic to alter the taste.
4. Sweetly Burst Blueberry
- 1 cup blueberry
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp drinking water
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- Mash the blueberries using a fork.
- Mix all the ingredients in a glass bowl.
- Place the mixture in an airtight container.
- Let it sit in the dark for 24 hours.
Fermented berries are best served as toppings for your dogs’ food. You can substitute the blueberry with any other type of berries (blackberry, strawberry, raspberry).
5. Pumpy Yogurt
- ½ cup mashed pumpkin
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- ¼ cup unsweetened peanut butter
- A pinch of turmeric
- Mix all ingredients and blend until it forms a smooth texture.
- Place the mixture in a buttered cupcake pan.
- Freeze for at least 8 hours.
Best served during hot weather.
How To Store Homemade Probiotics for Dogs
Homemade probiotics for dogs can be stored easily at home. They do not have preservatives like the commercial canine probiotics supplements.
Refrigerate your homemade probiotics to increase their shelf life. Refrigeration does not pose a danger to the living bacteria in homemade probiotics.
Put your products inside an airtight jar and keep them in a refrigerator/freezer. You can remove the probiotics from the freezer and let them warm up before giving them to your dog.
Do not heat your dog’s probiotic food. Heating will destroy the living bacteria.
RELATED: 30 Homemade Dog Treats Ideas
It’s Your Turn Now!
Making homemade probiotics for dogs is an easy and enjoyable errand. Always be careful not to use foods that may be toxic to dogs when preparing their meals.
If you’re out of time, you can order probiotics for dogs online. Don’t let your pup miss out on the benefits of a healthy gut.
Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.