How To Support Your Dog After Taking Antibiotics
Antibiotics.. it's a pharmaceutical that we've all probably taken before. It's likely that your dog will have to take it at some point in their lives as well. Antibiotics can be a life saving medication and I believe, should be used with respect. Taking antibiotics too often or every time your dog needs an antibacterial can have detrimental effects, as I'll explain below.
This blog post is intended to give you facts about antibiotics and how to support your dog afterwards. I am not telling you not to give your dog antibiotics, if necessary. There are herbal remedies that can work really well as an antibacterial for more non-serious situations that we can talk about in a later blog post, if desired.
What You Need To Know About Antibiotics
- Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics if they are taken too often or for the wrong reasons i.e viral infections. This is risky because if your dog is to have a more serious condition that needs antibiotics to truly work but your dog has over taken them, then they could be useless in a time of real need.
- Antibiotics kill off your dogs beneficial bacteria: Your dogs body should have a plethora of beneficial bacteria that ultimately covers their whole body. These bacteria colonies help fight off bad bacteria, yeast and viruses. The digestive tract is full of a wide variety of bacteria that aids in healthy digestion, effective assimilation of nutrients and proper immune function. When antibiotics are taken, they kill off the beneficial bacteria in your dogs digestive tract.
How To Support Your Dog After Taking Antibiotics:
- Probiotics - Giving probiotics to your dog during and after a round of antibiotics will greatly help their digestive function and begin to increase their immune system. Since antibiotics kill off the beneficial bacteria you are going to want to help replenish your dogs microbiome (digestive bacteria). You can give your dog probiotics during the course of antibiotics to help your dogs beneficial bacteria not hit ground zero. To do this, you will want to feed probiotics between the servings of antibiotics. Example: if you give antibiotics at 6am and 6pm you would want to give the probiotics around 12am (which might not be possible) and 12 pm. In this scenario, right before bed would be better than not giving them at all. You want to give them at opposite times of the day because ultimately the antibiotics are going to kill off most of the probiotics you are supplying. The most important factor is that you sufficiently supply probiotics after the course of antibiotics. This way you can rebuild and repopulate your dogs digestive tract. If you don't, your dog will start to produce some very smelly gas, they will start to not absorb their nutrients as well and their immune system won't be as strong. The effects of not providing probiotics will be the main symptom you will be able to visually see and smell, over the rest of the issues, presented below.
- Immune strengthening herbs - If your dog is struggling with any type of bacterial infection then it is important to think about strengthening their immune system. The immune system is the defense system to the body. Since a bacterial infection was able to develop without the body fighting it off, that is the first reason to think about supporting your dogs immune system. The second reason, is because antibiotics kill off the digestive bacteria. Like I said above, a healthy and populated digestive tract is one of the first defenses within a strong immune system. Since antibiotics kill off the good bacteria, it is important to build up the immune system in other ways, too. There are only certain herbs that "build" or "strengthen" the immune system over "activating" or "bombing" If you don't know my castle analogy of the immune system, take a look at another blog "10 Ways To Keep Your Dogs Immunity Strong" Some herbs that can be beneficial to supply your dog would be Reishi Mushroom, Turkey Tail Mushroom and Astragalus. Here is another blog post I wrote called "How To Support Your 3 Stages Of Immunity" that goes into even more detail about how these strengthening herbs work. These herbs can be made into a strong tea that can be poured over their meals, simmered in bone broth, taken as an extract that's put on their food or made into treats.
- Liver Support - After taking a round of antibiotics it is helpful to gently "detox" your dogs liver. Antibiotics can definitely be beneficial in killing a bacterial infection but that does not mean that everything in them is healthy for your dog or easy for your dog to process. Providing some support for your dogs liver to process the extras in antibiotics will only help your dog thrive. Some herbs you can use are Milk Thistle, Dandelion Root, Burdock Root and Schisandra Berries. I have a blog post called "8 Ways To Detox Your Dog Naturally" that goes into even more details on ways you can supply these herbs for your pups. Like most herbs, there are multiple ways you can feed these to your dog. Bone broth is one of my favorites because it's so simply, tasty and nutritious. You could even put immune strengthening mushrooms and liver supporting roots int he same bone broth to keep the process super simple.
I believe it's important to know the facts about the medications you choose to give your dog. Western medicine is amazing for life saving and very serious conditions. When your dog needs to take these medications, don't stress too much about it. Just make sure that you have some ideas on how to support them afterwards so they can continue to thrive and live a happy, healthy life.
If you have any other questions about how to support your dog after they take antibiotics, please write them in the comments below. I'd love to chat!