Can Probiotics Cause Dog Diarhea?

by Bill Miller
( Pgh PA)

Reader Question: Probiotics and Dog Diarrhea

My beagle Lexi is 3 years old. The first year I had her on Eukanuba puppy food with no problems. At the end of the first year, I upgraded her to Eukanuba regular dog food. After 4 days, she had a bad case of diarrhea then 4 days later had a second bout.

I took her to the vet with stool sample and everything checked out okay. The dog was healthy and the Veterinarian gave her a shot and some pills to dry her up. We noted that we recently changed her food and he said my dog is very healthy and to change her food. I checked the label of the food and noticed a sticker that said something about those probiotics and thought that might have did it. I changed to Purina Pro Plan which didn't have the probiotics yet.

I've been lucky the past two years because Purina didn't convert their food to the probiotics. Not one episode of diarrhea. Yesterday, I went shopping and found only 1 small bag of the old food left and decided to buy a small bag of the new stuff with the probiotics. I mixed 1/4 cup new and 3/4 cup old yesterday and guess what. She had diarrhea today and I got yelled at from the family.

I will not feed my dog this crap probiotics again. I'm researching BIL-JAC next who doesn't put that crap in their food.

Can you advise?


P.S.: Family is really frustrated that EUK and Purina do not make 1 brand of the non-biotic stuff.

Vet Response on Probiotics as a Dog Food Additive

Hi Bill,

Your story is very interesting because probiotics are often used to treat dogs with diarrhea. I’ve heard of them causing gastrointestinal upset in large doses, but never at the level they are used at in dog foods. I wonder if these two dog foods have something else in common – a protein or carbohydrate source, or even a preservative. That said, any individual can have an unexpected response to anything they eat, so a reaction to probiotics is possible.

Many pet foods do not contain probiotics so with a little legwork you should be able to find one that agrees with your dog. If her diarrhea continues, make an appointment with your veterinarian and mention your concerns.

Good luck!

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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