Can a Dog Overdose on Probiotics? What to Look For

HealthCan a Dog Overdose on Probiotics? What to Look For

Dogs cannot overdose on probiotics. When the body receives a sufficient amount of probiotics, it will eliminate the rest. This can cause short term digestive issues such as gas and diarrhea, but there is no immediate danger when a dog consumes too many probiotics.

Probiotics are a big topic for health in dogs. Providing proper nutrients for your dog’s diet is one of the most important aspects to ensure a long, healthy life. Dogs are curious about the world around them and can get into things that cause changes in their health. So, where do probiotics fit in?

What Probiotics Can Do

Probiotics are used to bring balance to your dog’s gut health. They are a form of healthy bacteria that support the digestive process.

Dogs’ bodies consist of many natural bacterias that sometimes require a boost. Sickness, diet, and even medications can throw off the natural balance.

This is true for humans as well. Probiotics can aid in bringing balance back, along with aiding in digestion, providing nutrients, and helping build immunity.

Digestive Issues in Dogs

Just like us, our pets can suffer from digestive issues. Some minor, while others pose more problems.

This can occur when an abrupt change happens in your dog’s diet. This can be a change of food or from the ingestion of something not typical to their diet. When changing your dog’s diet, make the change gradually so their body can adjust.

Trauma and stress can be a cause for digestive issues as well. Allergies and some medications can bring imbalance to your dog’s gut health.

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Some medications can cause diarrhea and other side effects when treating an initial issue.

If you see any of these issues arise in your pet, contact their veterinarian for further guidance before starting your dog on probiotics.

Methods for Consuming Probiotics

Different probiotics can help with different issues. Some may help with mild diarrhea, such as Bifidobacterium animalis. Lactobacillus acidophilus is another probiotic that can help with the bowel health of your dog.

Before looking into probiotics, always consult with the veterinarian to ensure your dog can benefit from them and to ensure there is not an underlying condition.

Probiotics are available in capsule, powder, and liquid form. Capsule form is the recommended form due to its ability to preserve probiotics. Ensure you are refrigerating your dog’s probiotics if required.

Benefits of Probiotics

Probiotics can benefit your dog in a few different ways. They can help prevent urinary tract infections, reduce inflammation in the bowels, help combat the growth of harmful bacteria, help treat diarrhea and other intestinal disparities.

Probiotics may also help your dog experience fewer side effects while on medication and boost their immunity for future illness.

They can even help improve your dog’s coat quality and help support dental health.


Another factor in your dog’s ability to absorb probiotics effectively is their intake of prebiotics. Prebiotics are the food supply for probiotic bacteria. These are essentially the necessary carbohydrates needed to utilize the probiotics your pet is consuming.

By ensuring your pet has a good balance of both, you allow for your dog to create an environment internally that allows the probiotic bacteria to flourish.

Prebiotics you should consider incorporating into your dog’s diet include green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. Before feeding your dog anything that is not part of their regular diet, be sure to look up whether it’s safe.

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Human Probiotics

Though probiotics essentially serve the same purpose for humans taking them, be aware of the differences in formulas.

Human probiotics should not be given to your dog. As with most things that humans can take, remember that our pets have different needs. Always seek a probiotic that is specific for your dog to ensure the correct ingredients and dosage to promote your dog’s health.

Vet/FDA Approval

When choosing a probiotic for your dog, you want to ensure the product is vet approved. This ensures the quality and safety of the product you are giving to your dog.

If you need guidance on choosing the best probiotic formula, seek professional guidance from your local veterinarian. Vet and FDA approval ensure the highest level of safety in a product for your pup.

Correct Dosing of Probiotics

When giving your dog probiotics, you need to ensure you are providing the right dose. This is dependent on the size and weight of your dog.

There is a label with the recommended dosage for most probiotics that you purchase specifically for your dog. If a full dose is too much for your dog, you can split the dose in half to provide at two different times in the day.

Measurements of CFUs

To understand dosing, you must understand CFUs. This is the measurement you will see when comparing probiotics.

CFU means colony-forming unit. This is the number of live bacteria in the probiotic. Depending on what purpose you are buying for will determine the amount you need.

For a daily dose given consistently, lower CFUs are acceptable. For treating digestive disparities, you may look into a higher dosage of CFUs.

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Dogs typically need 1-4 billion CFUs from day to day. This typically breaks down to 1-3 billion daily for smaller dogs and 3-5 billion for dogs over 50 pounds.

Always be sure you’re providing the correct dosage pertaining to your dog’s weight to ensure the amount will be sufficient.

Side Effects

Though side effects from probiotics are rare, they are still possible. In some instances, your dog may experience nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. This can be due to other underlying conditions, such as a weakened immune system. This can also come from consuming a higher dose than what is needed for the weight of your dog.


Though many great things can come from taking probiotics, you want to ensure you are providing the safe amount.

We know that, at times, our curious friends can get into things they weren’t supposed to. You may find that your dog has taken more than the recommended dosing.

In short, dogs cannot overdose on taking too many probiotics.

The way they are broken down in the body allows them to be passed through their system for elimination.

Some dogs may experience diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting from consuming too much. To prevent this, ensure that you are always providing the correct dosage recommended for your dog.

Store your dog’s probiotics accordingly to ensure they remain preserved and out of reach for your furry friend.

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Bryan Harkins
Bryan Harkins
Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.

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