I thought I just posted this but it didn’t show….my dogs use http://www.thewholisticpet.com/products/canine-product-line/digestive-support/wholistic-digest-all-plustm.html. I’m almost out of it and would like to try the Mercola probiotic
http://probiotics.mercola.com/probiotics-for-pets.html. Do the dogs also need a digestive enzyme?
Ginger eats The Honest Kitchen in the mornings, Darwins every 3 days. Dr. Tim’s grain inclusive in the afternoon. Boone eats Darwins every morning and Brothers Allergy in the afternoon.
I still use a digestive enzyme sometimes if not with the meal, then in between meals for a systemic effect. Dr Becker talks about this in the product info. I have Mercola digestive enzymes and also a tablet which is easier to give without meals (Bio-zyme and Wobenzym). Although I definitely would give it with THK.
Here’s another link:
Since dogs in the wild would get digestive enzymes from eating prey, I go ahead and give mine some. The foods I’m feeding have some in them already, so I only give a half dose.
Thank you for the links, Sandy!
For a healthy dog eating raw or dehydrated foods which still have natural enzymes, I personally don’t think enzymes are necessary (they definitely aren’t going to hurt and if you have the extra money go for it, but I don’t think it’s a necessary expense). For a healthy dog eating quality kibble, I’d probably give half the recommended dose of an enzyme supplement. I think all dogs can benefit from probiotics, but unless the dog is having serious digestion issues I think some plain yogurt or (better yet) kefir or raw green tripe is enough to help keep the gut flora in balance. My dogs eat all raw and get green tripe nearly every day and about 1/3 c. kefir (the kefir I use has 12 strains of probiotics) every other day. I don’t add any supplemental enzymes or probiotics. When Gus was eating kibble I did give him 1/2 the recommended dose of Flying Bassett’s digestive enzymes daily and some plain yogurt or kefir a few times a week, but I quit giving this when I switched to THK and raw. I do like the medizym supplement Sandy posted a link to – GREAT for arthritis.
My dogs (lab/retriever mix) have been off and on antibiotics for the last year due to arriving with giardia. I had never even heard of it before. My first vet explained they would be carriers and never totally get rid of it after 3 treatments. After their next episode of green diarrhea, I went to new vet and he said that wasn’t true and we tried a stronger treatment of metronidazole and dewormer. He also suggested pre/probiotics, digestive enzymes and DGL. I was happy that he was trying something new. We have had 2 negative fecal tests so far. What a relief! He also recommended food change. I was using Kirkland. He liked raw best and suggested blue or nature’s variety. Wow! A vet that didn’t recommend science diet. So, anyway doing all of the above now. We have had a huge improvement in stools. Not perfect yet, but much better. I’m guessing after reading this website, it could take 6 months to totally recover from all the antibiotics they have taken and having parasites in their guts. My question is; is it safe to use these supplements long term? Will they become dependent on them? Also, wondering if anyone has heard of using DGL for dogs? Im using Vetri-probiotic BD right now. It has pre/pro and enzymes in it. I’m not sure about long term use.
Hi crazy4cats –
Supplementing with pre and probiotics long term is fine and actually very healthy. Many posters here supplement with probiotics daily or at least a few times a week for their healthy dogs. My dogs get 1/3 c. kefir every other day and raw green tripe almost daily (both are loaded with naturally occuring probiotics). DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) is often prescribed by holistic vets and is used to help heal the lining of the digestive tract. DGL is probably something you’d just want to use while your dog is healing and not something you’d continue long term, talk to your vet though. The Vetri-Probiotic BD looks okay, but it only contains 3 strains of probiotics – you could do better imo. I’d check out Total Biotics is has 14 strains of probiotics plus enzymes and prebiotics, Mercola’s has a 14 strain probiotic and they also sell a separate enzyme supplement (http://probiotics.mercola.com/probiotics-for-pets.html) and Garden of Life Primal Defense has 12 strains (http://www.gardenoflife.com/Products-for-Life/Digestive-Health/Primal-Defense.aspx).
Hi crazy4cats –
Long term supplementation with probiotics and enzymes is very safe and healthy, in fact many posters here supplement their healthy dogs’ diet with probiotics and enzymes. My dogs get 1/2 c. kefir every other day and green tripe almost daily (loaded with naturally occurring probiotics and enzymes). The Vetri Probiotic BD looks okay but it only has 3 strains of probiotics – I’d personally look for something with more strains. NWC Natural’s makes a digestive supplement for dogs called Total Biotics with 14 strains of probiotics, prebiotics and enzymes. Mercola also sells a good probiotic supplement with 14 strains and Garden of Life Primal Defense has 12 strains. A dog’s natural diet (raw prey) would naturally contain probiotics and enzymes so when feeding a processed kibble diet it’s good to add supplemental enzymes and probiotics. DGL is deglycyrrhizinated licorice and is often used by holistic vets to help heal the lining of the digestive tract. I’d assume this would only be need while your dog is healing and wouldn’t be supplemented long term, but you can talk to your vet about it.
Hi Hound Dog Mom-
Thanks again for your help. By the way, your dog is so cute with his hat on:) I will check in to suggested probiotics. I chose that one because it had all 3 in one. When feeding separately, I felt like I was giving more supplements than food! I’m glad you have heard of using DGL for dogs. I had never even heard of it, let alone for dogs. My next question is, if going to be giving probiotics long term, is it necessary to choose kibble that includes it? Also some kibble show fermented probiotics. Is this a better form of probiotics? Happy New Year!
The “fermentation” is just a method of creating the probiotics. If you’re supplementing with probiotics you don’t need a kibble with probiotics – I’d personally rather add my supplements separately rather than have then added so I can control the dose and I can pick the high quality supplements I want. If you continue the probiotics and enzymes after your dog is healthy, you certainly could continue to give them daily but I also think giving it a few times a week or daily in half the recommended dose would be fine for a healthy dog.
Happy new year to you too! And thanks, the dog in my picture is Gertie my 2 year old. 🙂
She’s very cute. One of my pups has, what I call a squishy face, like that. My cousin thinks they are part hound due to it. Who knows for sure. Did not get them (brothers) from a reputable breeder. They came with parasites and not really sure exactly they are really breed they said they were. Oh well, expensive lesson learned. Was in mourning from our 13 year old dog that passed and didn’t spend enough time choosing new pups. These new boys, however, are very sweet and friendly. Whatever they are, they’re ours! And I have to close with this: GO SEAHAWKS! Thanks for your help 🙂
Does the forum delay posts with links? When I posted my first response with the links for Mercola’s probiotic and the Garden of Life Probiotic it kept disappearing, so re-typed it without the links and it appeared immediately. Now reading back my posts with the links is now appearing so I have a double post..
Good morning all and thanks to those who responded. I apologize for taking so long in coming back to my own thread!
A few questions. Some of you have seen that we have another sheltie coming in the next couple of weeks. She’s in foster care but I don’t have a whole lot of info on her. She is 9 or 10, apparently healthy except for her teeth. She is in desperate need for a dental and after looking at her mouth, she has some extractions coming. She will have the dental and get spayed this week or next, then coming home with me. So, here is the rundown on the dogs:
Boone-almost 7, allergy and/or yeast issues. He will stay on Darwins in the morn and Brothers in the
Ginger-2.5yrs old, currently eating THK in the morn (Darwins a couple times a week) and Dr. Tim’s grain
inclusive (Pursuit) in the afternoon. She has no issues outside of frequent pooping on anything except
the same regimen as Boone but due to cost, can’t continue with that so that is why we’re trying the
Gemma-new gal coming. She currently eats Purina ONE chicken & rice senior. Even with her icky mouth
that must hurt, she eats dry food. I have THK Zeal here and Wellness Core’s salmon topper. Thinking
I should mix either the THK or canned with Ginger’s kibble. If I see any signs of arthritis or anything,
I will put her on Brothers since it’s grainfree.
So, what do you smarter than me DFA friends think I should do for probiotics and enzymes? Should they all get both? Kefir….where do you buy that? Is that something you order? Is it a pill or powder?
Hi Marie –
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage. The consistency is somewhere between yogurt and milk. It’s a lot richer in probiotics than milk and most brands I’ve seen contain at least 10 strands. I buy it for my dogs at the grocery store. I think that for healthy dogs that don’t need specialized supplementation it’s a much cheaper way to give them some probiotics.
Thanks HDM. I need to do some ordering today so trying to figure it out. I have to order a crate pad for the new gal coming too. Plus a collar. Maybe a leash. Some girly color of course LOL
I give my dogs raw grass-fed goat milk, can I eliminate probiotic supplement?
Raw milk naturally contains probiotics – pasteurized milk doesn’t because the pasteurization process destroys the probiotics. I would say that as long as your dog isn’t experiencing any digestive issues that would require high doses of probiotics, feeding him raw milk on a regular basis would be plenty for keeping his gut flora in balance. I feel that for healthy dogs without digestive issues that consume foods naturally rich in probiotics on a regular basis (such as raw green tripe, kefir, raw milk, yogurt, etc.) it’s unnecessary (and kind of a waste of money) to supplement with probiotics.
I just had an aha moment, lol. What do you think of raw green tripe for my dobergal? She can eat the canned green tripe w/out issue. Now I am thinking perhaps some fresh green might help..thoughts?
Hey Melissa –
If she has digestive issues and the canned tripe doesn’t cause any problems I’d definitely give it a try. It’s loaded with probiotics and enzymes so it might help her out. I doesn’t seem to me like raw would cause an issue if canned doesn’t…?
What is the dosage for a 15 lb dog when using your whole food vitamin mix? And how much vitamin E?
Hi Shelties Mom –
For a 15 lb. dog I would give about 3/4 tsp. For vitamin e I would give a 200 i.u. capsule every other day or a 400 i.u. capsule once or twice a week.
Just saw your previous post about your yeasty dog. My male sheltie was always itchy, female was not as bad but was scratching also for the past few years. Saw the vets multiple times, tried chinese herbs, vinegar foot soak, frequent baths, different natural shampoos etc.. but nothing worked. I often gave them fruits of all kinds daily, in the summer they get even more in addition to all the tomatoes and berries from my garden. They itch worse in the summer but they don’t get fleas, I don’t use flea meds. Then last fall I decided to do an experiment, I stopped feeding them fruits, tomatoes or any night shade veggies, their itching began to reduce more and more, they are 90 percent better. You may want to look at the diet, maybe there is something in the food that is causing the itching.
Thanks Patty for you recommending I try Mercola enzymes and probiotics. I feed Brothers Allergy to my one with intestinal Allergies and tried the white meat formula and she got very bloated so then we knew that protein source she cannot deal with. She eats the Allergy formula but not with gusto. I cannot. Wait for Brothers to bring back the original Allergy Formula. I have a bunch of bags of white meat formula (Thank you again Richard for sending that) 3 out 4 of my dogs eat it and one has to have the Allergy formula. I want to eventually get all 4 back on the Original Allergy Formula when it comes back out.
Getting back to the enzymes and Probiotics. My lil intestinal allergy girl is doing so much better now that I am adding 1/2 scoop of enzymes to her 1/8 cup food in the morning and in the evening we do 1/2 scoop of probiotics with 1/8 cup of food. So far so good.
The only thing that has my vet puzzled is in an Allergy Formula why would Chicken livers be added when Chicken is usually an allergy protein in some dogs? And then we have the other 3 on the white meat formula. They have been on Brothers since Dec 10, 2012 and we have had ups and downs but I am hopeful. They are all 4 still scratching and licking feet and one has yeast and bacteria in her ears and after using what the Vet prescribed (Tresaderm) she had a bad reaction and her ears turned blood red so I did some research on my own and ordered some Zymox and its been only Day 3 but its looking good so far.
Nectar Mom: A couple things: not all dogs who are allergic to chicken as a protein source have trouble with chicken livers, fat, eggs etc. One of mine is like that. He cannot have chicken as the protein source but he does great on Brothers Allergy and he’s done fine on other foods that have chicken something-or-other in it. . Every dog is different, no way can a dog food company make a food that will satisfy every single allergic dog.
oops, hit send too soon. I used to need Zymox too and hopefully it will help your dogs. Keep in mind, if you clean their ears, don’t use the Zymox til the next day (I believe it says this on the bottle, it used to anyway)
Thanks InkedMarie. I did not clean her ears prior to using it. She is still scratching at her ears but they are not blood red like they were. Did the Zymox work for your dog? I also bought some of the Zymox rinse but will use that after I am sure her infection is gone away.
Yes, if it was a really bad infection, we used the Zymox with hydrocortisone for a few days, then switched to the other one for a few days.
Yes I did get the one with Hydrocortisone. I love the fact that you only put it in the ear once a day. Thanks for your replies 🙂
I give my dogs Nature’s Variety Organic Chicken. I started giving them Kefir about a month ago. I did a detox for them for two weeks using PetAlive pills. Two weeks ago I had to get a lump removed from my boy’s front foot – tuned out to be a Benign tumor – Trichoblastomas.
Will giving him probiotics and enzymes help reduce the risk of recurring lumps? What type would work best?
Both my Schnauzer’s have indoor and outdoor allergies as well…
Hi schnauzermom –
I had a similar scare with one of my dogs (Gertie, the dog in my avatar) several months ago. I woke up one morning and there was a huge red lump on her paw that was not there the night before. Luckily it turned out to be a histiocytoma which is a benign growth common in young dogs, it disappeared on its own after about a month. Giving probiotics and enzymes will definitely help to keep his immune system in top condition. The kefir should cover his probiotic needs, most brands have well over 10 strains. You could give an enzyme supplement or, better yet, incorporate raw green tripe and/or pancreas into his meals. My dogs don’t get supplemental probiotics or enzymes but they do get raw green tripe several times per week and kefir daily. One enzyme, in particular, that appears to be effective in cancer treatment/prevention is bromelain – it’s derived from raw pineapple. You could puree some fresh raw pineapple to add to his meals a few times a week or purchase a bromelain supplement. Another supplement you may want to consider is turmeric or curcumin (the active concentrate found in turmeric). Turmeric looks to be a promising cancer preventative based on a few studies that have been done. When Gertie developed her histiocytoma I added 1/4 C. pureed fresh pineapple to her meal every other day and gave her 1 tsp. turmeric daily. I still continue to give all my dogs turmeric on a regular basis.
I use iFlora digestive formula (prebiotics, probiotics and enzymes) for the boys, in addition to plain kefir. We also feed raw green tripe. ( they had some for their breakfast this morning).
I really think the combination of these has helped tremendously to the over all health of both of the dogs.
We also supplement with turmeric, glucosamine and omega3 fish oil for joint health.
My vet recently suggested a spirulina powder for additional antioxidants, but we have not yet added that in.
I swear…I spend more time nd energy thinking about my dogs food than I do my own!
However, after seeing how well Hank did off the grains, I stopped eating them as well and now I am not having the horrible asthma issues I have been treating for 10 years. It has been 4 months since I stopped taking my singular and I have not had one issue. Amazing. I really wonder if there is something to the quality of the grains with the advent of GMO.
This is the spirulina supplement that my vet.
Animal Essentials Organic Green Alternative
Both my dogs are on Darwin’s, or we feed THK preference with an organic protein, or a balanced diet of rmb, meat and organ (usually kidney or liver). We also feed raw green tripe, and on occasion kibble with Merrick. ( we are switching from Evo red meat to trying our first bag of Brothers Complete Allergy. )
We also supplement with kefir, yogurt, cottage cheese, fresh eggs, sardines in olive oil.
We give pre and probiotic with enzymes daily, turmeric, glucosamine and fish oil also.
Adding in superfoods like spirulina also add micronutrients that may not be found in other foods. I always give some type of superfood supplement. I like to feed several different ones in addition to spirulina like kelp, alfalfa, wheat or barley grass, berries, mushrooms, spinach, kale, broccoli, etc. I make a homemade one and freeze it, or make one that HDM made a recipe for, or buy one like super green, ultragreen, or others. I rotate them just like I rotate almost everything else.
Hi dogmom2 –
I agree with Patty – I think it’s important to feed a variety of “superfoods.” While I’ve never used the Animal Essentials Green Alternative, I have used some of their Animals Apawthecary tinctures and I like the company and feel they make high quality products. I have posted a basic recipe for a superfood blend supplement I use – 1 part spirulina, 1 part kelp, 1 part wheat grass, 1 part alfalfa, 1 part bee pollen – however I do occasionally rotate in new ingredients for variety (chlorella, dulse, barley grass, etc.). The only thing I’d like to point out is that by purchasing a pre-made supplement your are paying way more than you need to. I purchase all organic ingredients from Swanson Vitamins in 1 lb. packages, mix them myself and my supplement comes up to around $11/lb. The Animal Essentials product you linked to is over $46/lb. You could save a lot of money by buying ingredients from a human supplement store and mixing your own supplement.
And they are human grade so you can take them yourself. Bee pollen, I recently discovered, tastes good and it’s supposed to help with seasonal allergies.
Thanks patty and hdm… We have a few good local natural food stores so I will look for the ingredients for your home made mix. I think I can find local bee pollen, also…which they say is best to use for allergies in your local area as it is made using local flora.
I think I can grow the wheat grass, too.
You guys are the best!
At what age should I start to give joint supplement? Any whole food or quality brands anyone can recommend?
Hi shelties mom –
I do believe that dogs should be fed a diet rich in joint maintaining compounds (glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, etc.) for a lifetime in order to promote optimum joint health. A dog’s natural ancestral diet which is rich in bones, cartilage and sinew, would naturally contain high levels of these joint health promoting substances. For those feeding a raw diet that includes bones/cartilage, it generally isn’t necessary to supplement with joint supplements unless the dog has an orthopedic condition (i.e. hip dysplasia) or until the dog reaches its senior years. For dogs not eating a species-appropriate diet I feel it’s a good idea to supplement the diet with whole foods naturally rich in joint health compounds (think fresh or dried trachea chews, gullet, poultry feet, etc.) or give a low dose of a joint support supplement for maintenance (the dosage can be increased as the dog ages or begins to show symptoms of arthritis). Some whole food supplements beneficial for joint health would be sea cucumber, shark cartilage or green lipped mussel (generally come in capsules or powder). A standard glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM supplement will also suffice. If a dog is showing signs of pain or inflammation it can also be beneficial to combine a joint maintenance supplement with a natural anti-inflammatory such as boswellia, yucca, turmeric, bromelain, tart cherry, etc.
Thank you for the detailed answer, that’s what I like to hear but wasn’t sure which foods are good for joint health. Now I know what I need to add to their diet. You are the best!
Thanks for the links community members !! keep it up and keep sharing such a nice articles.
Thanks A lot
Resurrecting my thread……I am hoping to have two of my dogs on Darwins for one meal and probably The Honest Kitchen for the second meal (may be kibble off & on, for ease). HDM, in the sixth post on the first page, you say if a healthy dog is eating raw or dehydrated, they probably don’t need digestive enzymes. Does Darwins “count” as raw or did you mean something not pre made?
If you think they should keep on the digestive enzymes, do you know if there are any at Swansons that are good? I’m finishing up the Mercola and it’s too expensive, would rather order from Swansons as I have a whole list of stuff to order from there. Anyone else is welcomed to respond as well, thank you!
Raw meat has digestive enzymes in it, enough for your dog to make up the rest. If you find after being off of the digestive enzymes for a few days one of them starts to have really stinky gas, then add digestive enzymes to that ones food. Micah will always get enzymes for that reason, he just needs the extra help. Yes, Swansons has many that are good. This one is fine.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by theBCnut.
Thanks Patty! The Mercola is fine but just too costly for me.
I know what you mean. I really like Mercola products, but they cost an arm and a leg. So far I have had as good a result with everything I have tried from Swansons, and it is way better priced.
I’m so glad to see that enzymes are helping your pets in so many ways! I just wanted to share my blog link, as I do have a few articles about enzymes/probiotics for dogs, although I also talk a lot about enzymes for other animals. I also love interaction and any suggestions on things you would like to see talked about. I am happy to address any particular enzyme or probiotic questions! The blog also has links to Twitter and Facebook pages, which are a little easier to be interactive with. I try to share any enzyme-related articles I come across, new research, etc.
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