Antibiotics are often essential for a dog’s recovery from various infections, injuries, or surgeries. However, antibiotics can cause serious damage to gut health and therefore should be used consciously.
What Are Antibiotics and How Do They Affect Dogs’ Guts?
Antibiotics work against infections and kill bacteria or prevent their reproduction, but on the other hand, they also kill the bacteria beneficial to dogs’ gut health. Antibiotics in general can’t treat only one type of bacteria, so they affect the whole microbiome, sometimes creating serious damage to its health and balance.
A healthy microbiome is crucial for the normal functioning of a dog’s body and its immune system. Antibiotics can affect it in a way that they reduce the good bacteria in the gut and their diversity, and affect the immune and metabolic activity. Therefore, antibiotics can cause:
- Reduced apatite
- Stomach pain
- Yeast infection
When Should Antibiotics Be Used?
Antibiotics are, unfortunately, often prescribed even when they are not the best solution to the problem. They can eliminate bacteria, but are, for example, not effective with viruses and some other health issues.
The problem occurs when they are given too often which creates resistance and bacteria get harder to kill in the future. That’s why antibiotics should be prescribed only when necessary, and the vet should know what type of bacteria you are targeting exactly.
How to Restore Your Dog’s Gut Health?
After treating your dog with antibiotics, you should make sure to take care of its gut health and restore it while promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Probiotics for dogs are made to restore dogs’ gut and repopulate it with good bacteria after the use of antibiotics. The use of antibiotics can create an imbalance in a dog’s gut and affect its overall health.
Probiotics, on the other hand, prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria and promote the growth of beneficial ones, while also stimulating the immune system. You should give probiotics to your dog at the same time as you give antibiotics and after that, for at least two weeks.
Probiotics often come as supplements that you should feed to your dog with the food, about two hours after giving it the antibiotic.
Besides probiotic supplements, some food can work as a probiotic for dogs, too. For example, bone broth is very good for restoring dogs’ gut health, and works very well against inflammation. As it contains collagen, amino acids, and minerals, it will have a good effect on your dog’s gut recovery.
The nutrients in regular dry dog food are usually not enough for recovery from antibiotics, so you will make a big step and help your dog with preparing some bone broth at home.
Giving antibiotics to dogs may cause an imbalance in their gut which affects their overall health and can result in yeast infection. The symptoms of a yeast infection are itching on the skin and ears, paws becoming red, and a musty smell.
Yeast infections are difficult to get rid of, and while probiotics will help, the most important is the dog’s diet. As the yeast feeds on sugar, you must provide a low-sugar diet to your dog and avoid all processed food and carbohydrates.
The liver is essential in the recovery process after antibiotics, so it may need some extra support. In the recovery period, it is good to feed your dog food that is rich in protein, amino acids, selenium, and zinc.
A balanced and nutritious diet will already do great, but adding some supplements to your dog’s food bowl may even give better results and help faster recovery. To be sure you are doing the right thing, speak with your veterinarian and get the proper prescription and professional advice.
Excessive use of antibiotics in dogs can create various digestive problems, and in some cases even lead to secondary infections that can be even harder to treat. These negative effects of antibiotics can continue to cause problems to your dog even after it stops taking them, and it can take some time before the “good” bacteria restore the microbiome in the dog’s gut.
To help your dog recover fast and as easily as possible, give them antibiotics consciously and only when that’s absolutely necessary. Carefully select the dosage and follow the vet’s prescription and instructions. During and after the treatment with antibiotics, it would be good to supplement your dog’s food with probiotics and food that can help recover its gut health and balance.
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