What dog doesn’t love treats… am I right?
And whether you buy treats or make your own, we’re pretty sure you pay attention to ingredients and trying to find healthy options.
Some of our favourites are probiotic treats for dogs. Not only do dogs love them, we love them because we know they’re doing their bodies good!
And we often make our own!
But before we tell you how to make them, let’s run through why we do!
Why Probiotics are Important
You’ve heard us say it many times before, but it is always worth repeating: gut health is crucial for overall health. If the gut isn’t healthy the entire body can suffer. After all, not only does up to 80% of the immune system live in the gut, but the gut microbiome communicates with so many other systems in the body, telling them how best to perform their various tasks.
If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your pet’s gut health, probiotics are the way to go. These teeny tiny microorganisms play a BIG role in overall health.
The right ones can:
- Improve nutrient absorption
- Aid digestion
- Fight off unfriendly bacteria
- Regulate the immune system
- Helps to reduce inflammation
- Help the body produce important postbiotics like short chain fatty acids
But don’t forget the prebiotics!
Probiotics are incredible, but they’re a team player, and love to be supported. Prebiotics feed the probiotics, helping them to thrive in the gut and do what they’re supposed to. They work together – they need each other. (Don’t worry, we’ve covered both in the treats to follow.)
Probiotic Treats for Dogs: 5 Simple Recipes
1. Superfood Smoothie
When we make smoothies in our house, they double as dog treats! But you can add extras to make them even healthier for your pup. This is an easy one that covers probiotics (the kefir) and prebiotics (the berries and greens).
- 1/2 cup plain kefir
- 1/4 blueberries
- 1/8 cup dandelion greens
Blender together everything in the blender, then add a tablespoon or so on top of your pet’s dinner, or on a plate on its own as a treat!
2. Pumpkin Perfection
Not only is pumpkin a great digestive aid, it’s also a good source of prebiotics! Goat’s milk is another potent probiotic, and is very easy to digest.
- 1 cup goat’s milk
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree (we use canned pumpkin – just make sure it’s not pumpkin pie filling!)
Take an ice cube tray and fill the sections half full with the pumpkin puree, then top with goat’s milk and freeze!
**Note: if your dog is a gulper or inhaler of food, be careful with ice cubes – you don’t want your animal to swallow them whole and choke!
3. Creamy Iced Cream
Make a batch of this and keep it on hand, ready for maximum treat distribution!
- 1 cup plain kefir
- 1/4 cup chopped strawberries
- 1/4 cup banana
Again, blend everything together in the blender until smooth, then pour into ice cube trays and feed an ‘ice cream treat’ whenever the urge strikes!
**Tip – you can do this with the smoothie too!
4. Savoury Stink Bombs
Don’t let the name fool you – your pup will gobble these up like they’re gold! Tripe is loaded with beneficial bacteria and enzymes, in addition to prebiotics!
- 1 cup goat’s milk
- 1 cup raw green tripe (not bleached!!)
In a bowl, gently mix together the goat’s milk and green tripe. Then either feed a hearty spoonful on a plate, or freezer them in molds to give as a frozen treat.
5. Fermented Fiesta
Fermented vegetables are a great source of probiotics, as well as valuable polyphenols, digestive enzymes, and various other vitamins and nutrients.
- 1 cup fermented veggies (you can even make these yourself – here’s our favourite recipe)
- 1/4 finely diced apple
Mixing these two ingredients together is a great topper that ticks both the pre and probiotic boxes. Serve it on top of your dogs food, or just give a few teaspoons as a treat!
Here are a few additional tips for making probiotic treats for dogs at home:
- Kefir may also contain artificial sweeteners, which can be dangerous for dogs. Only ever get plain kefir, and read the ingredients carefully
- Other prebiotics you can add to any of these include asparagus, apples, bananas, and broccoli
- Add a pre and probiotic supplement like Love Bugs to get a really good variety of different probiotic strains. Fido’s Flora is another great option – plus it has the research to back it!!