Natural Probiotics for Dogs with Allergies

Probiotic supplements for dogs are becoming increasingly popular as pet owners seek to improve their dogs' overall health and well-being. But did you know that you can get this from natural sources? In this article, we'll delve into the world of natural probiotics for dogs and their benefits for your four-legged friends. Discover how these naturally occurring, beneficial bacteria can be a game-changer in managing allergies, often a common yet challenging issue in dogs. We'll explore various natural food options that are not only rich in probiotics but also dog-friendly, ensuring your pet receives the best in terms of both nutrition and allergy relief.

Foods that are rich in natural probiotics for dogs

For a healthy dog, especially one prone to allergies, maintaining gut balance is key. Incorporating the following probiotic-rich foods into their diet can significantly improve their digestive health and overall well-being.

Plain yogurt

Dog yogurt

In the world of good bacteria, one name stands out: Lactobacillus acidophilus. This tongue-twister, friendly bacteria is commonly found in the mouth (no pun intended) and gut. It has many benefits such as supporting the gut in breaking down food, allowing for better nutrient absorption, and fighting off unwanted microorganisms. It helps balance the gut microbiome, improves the digestive system, and bolsters the dog's immune system. Guess what food has a ton of lactobacillus acidophilus in it? If you said yogurt - you're right!

Incorporating plain yogurt into a dog's diet, especially for those prone to allergies, can be particularly beneficial. A strong immune system, supported by a healthy gut, can mitigate the risk of allergies and allergy symptoms. Moreover, the probiotics in yogurt contribute to a stronger intestinal barrier, further reducing the likelihood of allergens triggering immune reactions.

When picking yogurt, be sure to exclude those with artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol, which could be toxic for your dog. If possible, opt for high-quality, natural yogurt that contains live and active cultures. Yogurt should be given as a treat, or as a side of your dog's meals.



In Turkish, kefir means "feeling good after eating", and there's a reason for that! Similar to yogurt but with a more milk-like consistency, this fermented drink is rich in probiotics and thus can support gut health. These probiotics help the gut regulate its microbiome, improve immune health, and resistance against allergies and harmful microorganisms.

Originating from cow's milk or goat's milk, kefir is potent in vitamins such as calcium, protein, B, D, K2, and potassium. These nutrients play an important role in improving bone health, muscle, and nerve function. Kefir also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial for overall health. As a bonus, kefir is low in lactose, making it a safer choice for dogs with lactose intolerance.

Kefir has been creating a buzz in recent years thanks to many of its health benefits. It's an excellent source of probiotics that can greatly improve your dog's gut health. Remember to choose plain, unsweetened kefir without any added flavors. We'd also recommend slowly incorporating kefir into your dog's diet and watching for any signs of intolerance before increasing the portion.

Fermented vegetables

Homemade probiotics

Fermented vegetables make great probiotic treats. Loaded with beneficial bacteria, these probiotic foods support healthy gut flora, and robust digestive health and therefore are great for a dog's digestive system.

The concept of fermented foods is rooted in harnessing healthy bacteria and yeast, like lactic acid, to break down food substances. When you consume fermented vegetables, you're ingesting helpful gut bacteria that utilize proteins and digestive enzymes to convert nutrients into energy. Fermentation helps process complex food compounds, making these substances more bioavailable to the body. This aids the body in absorbing minerals and vitamins more efficiently. The acid from these foods can also inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut and boost immunity.

Fermented carrots, pickles, or green beans are high in probiotics for dogs and can be given to them as a treat or mixed into dog foods. Sauerkraut, a fermented cabbage, is extremely nutritious and rich in vitamin C and iron, which contribute to a healthy immune system.

When feeding your dog, it's crucial to steer clear of foods containing extra salt, spices, onion, or garlic, as these can be extremely harmful to them. Additionally, owing to their high fiber content, it's essential for dog owners to regulate the portions carefully served to ensure their pet's well-being.

Cottage cheese

Probiotic treats

Another natural probiotic food worth mentioning is cottage cheese. This type of cheese has many health benefits and stands out as a versatile and beneficial addition to a dog's diet. Unlike some other probiotic-rich foods that may be harder for dogs to digest, cottage cheese often comes as a more palatable and friendly option to the dog's stomach.

If you're already feeding your dog with kefir or fermented vegetables, cottage cheese can serve as an excellent complement. It's a milder option, which can be particularly useful for dogs that are new to probiotics or have sensitive digestive systems. The live cultures in cottage cheese, much like those in yogurt or kefir, contribute to a healthy gut microbiota, aiding in digestion and enhancing the overall immune response.

When introducing cottage cheese as a probiotic source, ensure to select brands that explicitly state the presence of live cultures. This is because not all cottage cheeses contain live probiotics; the processing and pasteurization methods used can sometimes eliminate these beneficial bacteria.

Unpasteurized goat's milk

Natural probiotics for dogs

Packed with natural probiotics, goat's milk is a good source of nutrients and can help balance the gut microbiome. It contains a high concentration of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B2, and C; all of which contribute to more healthy skin, better bones, and teeth, and stronger immunity against allergens.

There are several reasons why we think goat's milk is superior to cow's milk when it comes to digestive support. Goat's milk contains smaller-sized fat globules which makes it more digestible. Containing mostly A2 β-casein, which is the protein found in human milk, cow's milk is less irritating on the stomach lining and more gentle for dogs that are prone to allergies.

These are the reasons why unpasteurized goat's milk makes a great probiotic supplement for any dog's meals. Since pasteurization eliminates both good and bad bacteria, using unpasteurized milk will help maintain all the natural probiotic strains that are good for your pup. Just make sure to source your milk from a reputable brand and you're good go to go.

Benefits of probiotics for dogs

There are many benefits that probiotics have to offer when it comes to canine health. Those include:

  • Boost digestion & nutrition bioavailability

  • Strengthen immune cells to fight off infections

  • Reduce allergy symptoms

  • Regulate metabolism

  • Improve mood and behavior (a balanced gut for a balanced mind!)

  • Enhance overall bodily functions and longevity

Probiotics are particularly helpful right after an antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics are designed to kill harmful bacteria causing infections. As a result, they disrupt the natural balance of good bacteria in your dog's gut which probiotics can help restore.

Though healthy dogs with good gut balance don't necessarily require probiotics in their meals, it's best to feed them foods that are rich in probiotics once in a while, as a preventative option. If you eat yogurt regularly, occasionally save your dog a teaspoon or two. Fermented vegetables last for a long time in the fridge, you can use them as emergency probiotic dog treats when needed.

Side effects of probiotics for dogs

Side effects of dog probiotics

Despite having many wonderful benefits, probiotics do come with some baggage, aka side effects. Don't fret, these are super rare and don't last for long. Still, be aware that your dog may have some initial reactions to it.

Some of the most common side effects are gas, constipation, and in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms should only last for a few days as your pup's stomach is getting a makeover (hello good bacteria).

This is why it's best to start at a slow pace and observe for adverse reactions before fully integrating these foods into your dog's daily diet.

How can I tell if probiotics are working for my dog?

You can tell whether probiotics are helping your dog depending on the specific health concerns you intend for them to alleviate. If your dog has digestive issues, probiotics should help regulate their poops. In the case of allergies or infections, whether it's bacterial or yeast infections, you should see fewer symptoms, and symptoms occurring less frequently.

The key is consistency. If your dog regularly suffers from allergies, be it environmental or food allergies, taking probiotics daily can lead to gradual improvements over time. Observe for changes such as reduced itching, less frequent ear infections, or improved skin condition. Additionally, for dogs with mood or behavioral issues linked to gut health, you might notice an improvement in their overall demeanor and stress levels.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, understanding the profound connection between digestion and overall wellness is essential for any dog owner, particularly for those whose pets struggle with allergies. By focusing on healthy digestion through natural probiotic-rich foods, we can significantly boost our dogs' immune systems, enhance their digestive processes, and reduce the severity and frequency of allergic reactions. This approach is especially crucial for dogs battling seasonal allergies, where a strong and balanced immune system can make a noticeable difference.