Prebiotics & Probiotics: Their Synergy Defines Your Dog’s Gut Health

March 12, 2020 4 min read

cali raw prebiotics vs probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in many of our favorite foods and drinks like yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha. When ingested, probiotics serve as micro-factories in our gut biome, producing Vitamin B and providing an essential barrier against malicious bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, allergens, toxins, and cancer-causing agents. They promote proper digestion and help the body efficiently absorb essential nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and iron. As you can tell, they’re essential for our health!

On the other paw, if the ‘factories’ receive plenty of ‘fuel’ and are allowed to operate at peak efficiency, they will grow and expand their operations in the form of new colonies of good bacteria in the gut, leaving no room for the bad.

Most humans do not do enough to promote a healthy gut biome for themselves by way of supplementing their diet with probiotic-rich foods, so it is safe to assume that way, way too many dogs are having their own diets neglected in a similar fashion- even though the bacteria and microorganisms living inside of your pooch right now outnumber his or her own cells by roughly 95 to 1!

curious brown dog looking

We have written extensively about the benefits of a B.A.R.F. model raw fresh dog food diet, as well as how you can supplement that diet with probiotic-rich toppers and treats like plain yogurt and goat milk. However, probiotics are only half the battle, and that battle could be a lost cause if you aren’t considering prebiotics as well.


If probiotics are like little living factories, then an easy way to think of prebiotics is as the fuel that powers those factories. Without fuel, the factories slowly lose efficiency and will eventually shut down. Even after they are shut down, however, they remain behind, cluttering the landscape of your pup’s gut biome. In their shadows, rogue bacteria and other bad actors will thrive and your dog’s outward appearance and inner health will begin to decline.

On the other paw, if the ‘factories’ receive plenty of ‘fuel’ and are allowed to operate at peak efficiency, they will grow and expand their operations in the form of new colonies of beneficial bacteria, leaving no room for the bad.

If this factory metaphor isn’t working for you, simply put, you can feed your dog the world’s best probiotics in an effort to do the right thing, but without an infusion of prebiotics, they are just going to convert your effort into a pile of poo before they get any benefit from it.

There are some reputable over-the-counter prebiotic supplements made specifically for canine diets, but you know us here at Cali Raw- anytime we can keep it all-natural, that’s the route we prefer. Here are a few nature-made sources from Dogs Naturally Magazine that can provide the prebiotic boost your dog deserves.

apple for dogs gut health

  • Raw asparagus: This can simply be chopped and served.
  • Dandelion greens: 1 tsp dried for every 20lbs of body weight.
  • Apples: Read our two recent blogs aboutHealthy Treats andApple Cider Vinegar.
  • Bananas: Best if underripe. An inch per day for a 50lb dog is plenty.

We also suggest Green Tripe. It might not sound very savory, and it often smells even worse than it sounds, but it is absolutely loaded with prebiotic fuel and is known to help your dog’s digestive system. It provides an additional source of calcium and phosphorous and is a great all-natural anti-inflammatory.


Clearly, there is a major benefit to starting your puppy off on the right dietary track in life by avoiding all forms of kibble and cooked/processed foods and treats and instead, gifting them with a natural holistic raw dog food diet supplemented with naturally sourced probiotics and prebiotics.

Cali Raw Dog Food is great for puppies

Doing so will build an incredibly powerful immune system in your dog that will make them more resistant to allergies and illness.

For dogs recovering from a recent illness or surgery, particularly dogs who are on or were ever on a prescribed course of antibiotics, reestablishing a sustainable and strong gut biome and populating it with well-fueled probiotic factories is a key to a full recovery.

Trying to strike this perfect balance all on your own can be a daunting task and one that has your dog’s optimal health riding on it. There are many resources online but wading through them all can be time-consuming and frustrating when you constantly encounter opposing arguments with no clear consensus.

We understand that frustration. It was out of that feeling that Cali Raw was created: to add some clarity and take nearly all of the guesswork out of the wholehearteddecision to do the right thing for your dog’s diet.


When you give your furry friend a raw food diet for dogs from Cali Raw Dog Food, you can be confident that the nutritionally balanced meal that we have prepared for your pooch will cover all of the necessary bases for a balanced, ancestral diet. Then you can supplement our pre-made meals with the all-natural options that we have discussed in this article and others to fill in any gaps for your dog’s specific needs.

A raw diet also contains many of the probiotics and prebiotics we discussed in this blog, which come naturally from the raw meat they consume. By feeding our pups a natural, raw diet, supplementing with probiotics and prebiotics will not be necessary, since raw meat already delivers these gut biomes to your dog’s diet.

As always, we are here to help and to answer any questions you may have to ensure that you love your raw feeding experience just as much as your dog does. Our dogs are treated like family, and they should be fed like family too.