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Lactobacillus Plantarum: A Probiotics Powerhouse for Your Dog

Explore Lactobacillus Plantarum's benefits for dogs in our post. Learn the science behind this probiotic and its role as the key ingredient in our Probiotic for Dogs supplement.

Written by Morgan Messick. Published in November 2023.
  • Lactobacillus Plantarum is a probiotic bacteria naturally found in dogs’ mouths and guts.
  • It’s a complex and beneficial probiotic for maintaining your dog’s health.
  • It aids in breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, and controlling harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.
  • Beyond basic functions, it helps in defending the body against potential threats.

For many of us, our dogs and cats have evolved into true family members - so it's no surprise that studies about their health and wellness are on the rise! And one area of interest in recent years has been the gut microbiome - a complex ecosystem of microorganisms that live in our pets' digestive systems.

Exploring the use of probiotics for dogs is a huge part of this research.

Probiotics for dogs are gaining in popularity among owners - and for good reason! Giving your pup a daily probiotic can provide TONS of benefits, including immune system modulation, stress reduction, protection against intestinal infections, and improved growth and athletic performance.

And while there's still much to learn about the application of probiotics in companion animals, we are SO excited to see more and more studies being published on this topic.

How Can I Decide Which Probiotic Is Best for My Dog?

As with most pet stuff, there are innumerable probiotic supplements currently on the market for dogs, each with its own unique blend of ingredients and benefits. So how can you decide which probiotic is best for your pup?

That’s where we come in!

Today, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the star ingredient of our Probiotics for Dogs supplement: Lactobacillus Plantarum - a probiotic strain whose functionality is just as complex as its name.

This powerhouse of a probiotic has SO many benefits for your pup’s health, from reducing inflammation to fighting infection to regulating gut health and more! But before we dig into the specifics of this impressive strain, let’s first learn how to pronounce it.

Lactobacillus Plantarum is pronounced LACK-TOE-BA-SILL-US PLAN-TARE-UM and is a member of the Lactobacilli species of probiotics. Check out this video to hear the pronunciation in English.

What is Lactobacillus Plantarum?

Lactobacillus Plantarum is a strain of probiotic bacteria that is naturally found in your dog’s mouth and in their gut. This living microorganism is responsible for a lot of necessary functions within your pup’s digestive system, from breaking down food to absorbing nutrients.

Plus, Lactobacillus Plantarum can help control the population of "bad" microorganisms in the digestive tract that might otherwise cause disease!

To put it simply, Lactobacillus Plantarum is an amazingly complex probiotic that benefits your dog's health! Let's dive in and find out why!

What Does Lactobacillus Plantarum Do?

Now that we have a good understanding of the vital role that probiotics play in maintaining gut health, let’s take a closer look at what Lactobacillus Plantarum is used for specifically.

As with most probiotics of its kind, Lactobacillus Plantarum’s basic functions include breaking down and absorbing nutrients, as well as defending the body against potential threats. But that’s not all she can do!

Lactobacillus plantarum actually has a lot of really unique capabilities that most people are unaware of. In addition to breaking down food and defending your dog’s gut, Lactobacillus Plantarum can also help manage and treat the following conditions.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Inflammatory Bowel
High Cholesterol

In addition, Lactobacillus Plantarum is said to sharpen memory, enhance athletic performance, and promote weight loss.

Sharpens memory
Enhances athletic performance
Promotes weight loss

Improving Digestive Health with Lactobacillus Plantarum

When you think of probiotics, you think of gut health. These two are like a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich - you just can’t have one without the other! But how exactly does Lactobacillus Plantarum help to improve your pup’s digestive system? Let’s take a closer look.

Because research is limited, much of what we surmise about how Lactobacillus Plantarum works in dogs comes from our understanding of how it works in humans. And how do we determine the inner-working of a substance for humans? With experimentation.

In 2012, the World Journal of Gastroenterology performed a case study attempting to prove that lactobacillus plantarum benefits the digestive system. For this study, 214 people with IBS received either a capsule of Lactobacillus Plantarum or a placebo every day for four weeks straight.

At the end of the four-week period, those given Lactobacillus Plantarum showed a greater decrease in pain and bloating compared to those given the placebo - a strong indicator of just how beneficial this probiotic may be for digestive health.

What we do know for a fact, however, is that Lactobacillus Plantarum enhances nutrient absorption and promotes regular, firm bowel movements. Combine these benefits with the potential improvements for digestive disorders, and you’ve got a probiotic that’s pretty hard to beat!

Check out more information on the 2012 World Journal of Gastroenterology case study that shows the benefits of Lactobacillus Plantarum on the digestive system here.

Read Study

Inflammation, Who?

In addition, Lactobacillus Plantarum can be used to reduce inflammation, as evidenced by the Toxicology Report’s study entitled “Efficacy of Lactobacillus plantarum in the prevention of inflammatory bowel disease.”

In this study, it was revealed that “Lactobacillus Plantarum can be protective against inflammation, although the mechanisms remain unknown.”

So let’s talk a little bit more about what conditions are caused (or worsened) by inflammation and how Lactobacillus Plantarum can help to reduce it.

Unbeknownst to many, inflammation is a VERY common problem that contributes to a variety of major health concerns, including:

Autoimmune disease
Cardiovascular disease
Some types of cancer

In this study, read more  how Lactobacillus Plantarum can help reduce inflammation and prevent inflammatory bowel disease.

Read Study

A discussion on what exactly inflammation is and how it works is a topic for another day, but suffice it to say that unregulated inflammation can quickly make a bad condition worse. In fact, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences estimates that “chronic inflammatory diseases contribute to more than half of (human) deaths worldwide.”

The good news is that to every problem, there is a solution - and that’s where Lactobacillus Plantarum comes into play. With regular use of this powerful probiotic, you can wave “goodbye” to inflammation and say “hello” to healing.

Immune System Support

Proponents of Lactobacillus Plantarum also suggest that daily usage may improve the strength of your dog’s immune system, which can, in turn, improve the body’s response to environmental issues, such as seasonal allergies.

Improved immune function can also help your dog’s body fight off dangerous diseases while simultaneously improving skin and coat health. Much of this information can be surmised from human studies on the effects of Lactobacillus Plantarum on eczema.

In 2012, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology published the results of a small clinical trial on the effects of Lactobacillus Plantarum on children with atopic dermatitis (the most common form of eczema). This study involved 83 children, ranging in age from 12 months to 13 years, with atopic dermatitis.

At the end of the study’s 12-week treatment period, those given Lactobacillus Plantarum showed greater improvement in symptoms compared to those who received a placebo.

Check out more information from the 2012 clinical trial of Lactobacillus Plantarum’s effect on the symptoms of atopic dermatitis in children.

Read Study

Lactobacillus Plantarum Can Even Improve Oral Health

When tartar and plaque begin to take over your dog’s mouth, it can contribute to periodontal disease, which is super uncomfortable. Fortunately, Lactobacillus Plantarum may be able to help with this issue as well.

Again, much of the evidence used to back up these claims is derived from human-based studies, and this is no exception. So let’s take a look at the effects of Lactobacillus Plantarum on human oral health!

In 2016, PubMed published a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted to examine the effects of heat-killed Lactobacillus Plantarum on the outcome of periodontal therapy. The results?

“These clinical findings suggest that daily HK L-137 (heat-killed Lactobacillus Plantarum) intake can decrease the depth of periodontal pockets in patients undergoing supportive periodontal therapy.”


So it’s safe to assume that Lactobacillus Plantarum can also have a positive impact on oral health - combined with regular dental cleanings and at-home care, of course.

There are many ongoing case studies dedicated to finding out how exactly this impressive probiotic works because, although the evidence we have access to now is slim, we can’t deny the facts - Lactobacillus Plantarum makes people (and their dogs) feel better!

Read more about Lactobacillus Plantarum’s impact on oral health, as discussed in the 2016 PubMed study.

Read Study

How Does Lactobacillus Plantarum Work?

Now that we have a good understanding of what Lactobacillus Plantarum can do, let’s take a closer look at the science behind it all to learn how she functions!

Lactobacillus plantarum is a bacterium that ferments sugars to create lactic or acetic acid, as well as ethanol and carbon dioxide. These metabolic processes aid its survival through the gastrointestinal tract despite exposure to bile salts and acids.

Thanks to these metabolic processes, Lactobacillus Plantarum is one of the most hardy probiotic strains out there. In fact, Lactobacillus Plantarum can thrive in any environment between 33-140 degrees Fahrenheit and can also adapt to a wide scale of atmospheric pressures!

To prove just how tough Lactobacillus Plantarum is, several studies have proven that this strain is undeterred by problematic gut environments and antibiotic treatment.

Even when the digestive system is being actively wrecked by antibiotics or other such threats, Lactobacillus Plantarum continues to maintain a healthy environment for your pup’s gut and keep pathogens at bay.

The bottom line? Lactobacillus Plantarum is one of the toughest and most impressive probiotic strains out there - and our understanding of the potential advancements this strain can offer evolves by the day!

In these studies, find out how resilient Lactobacillus Plantarum can be even when your pup is on antibiotics.

Read Study

Side Effects of Lactobacillus Plantarum

As you can see, Lactobacillus Plantarum is chock-full of benefits, but it’s not without its drawbacks as well. Some users experienced GI-related side effects after taking this probiotic, such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

In addition, those with a weak or impaired immune system are advised to use caution with Lactobacillus Plantarum (and any other probiotic strain) as its use could contribute to intestinal damage or cardiac issues.

How Does Lactobacillus Plantarum Compare to Other Probiotic Strains?

Think of these differing probiotic strains as though they were the Justice League - each member has its own unique strength and superpower, but they really work best when used together.

But just as we all have a favorite superhero, different strains speak to different people. So to help you determine the best choice for your pet, let’s take a look at some other common strains in comparison to this one.

Lactobacillus Plantarum vs Lactobacillus Acidophilus
Lactobacillus Plantarum vs Bifidobacterium Animalis
Lactobacillus Plantarum vs Enterococcus Faecium

Probiotics for Weight Loss

In a recent study published by MDPI, researchers attempted to measure the effects of both Lactobacillus Plantarum and enterococcus faecium separately in a group of mice with high fat-induced obesity (achieved by introducing a diet that was nearly DOUBLE the calorie count and fat percentage of a standard mouse diet). And the results were quite surprising!

Despite the similar anti-inflammatory properties of these two strains, researchers found that Lactobacillus Plantarum simply “outperformed” enterococcus faecium in reducing both obesity and elevated liver enzymes.

The potential benefits unlocked by this study have not been lost on the scientific community. In addition to soothing an upset tummy and maintaining ideal gut health, probiotics could actually be a natural solution to weight loss, skin issues, inflammatory disease, and even cancer! Talk about a powerful probiotic.

Click here to learn more about the MDPI study about Lactobacillus Plantarum’s effects on weight.

Read Study

How to Incorporate Lactobacillus Plantarum into Your Dog's Diet

Now that we’ve discovered just how awesome Lactobacillus Plantarum really is, we know that it is an essential purchase for any doting dog parent. After all, your pup deserves only the best! Now let’s discover where to find this powerful probiotic and how to make it a part of our pup’s everyday diet.

Lactobacillus Plantarum Supplements

The easiest, most cost-effective way to give your pup his daily dose of Lactobacillus Plantarum is by feeding a dog-friendly supplement like Probiotics for Dogs. Not only will your pup’s probiotic work more effectively in a compressed tablet form, but he’ll also get to enjoy the following awesome benefits.

Better taste

Comes in tantalizing pork flavor that dogs love

Time-released action

Ensuring the probiotic releases in the stomach

Gluten and soy free

So your pup doesn’t digest any possible allergens

Made in the USA

Ensuring quality production

60 billion CFUs per bottle

The number of living probiotic cells

But if your pup absolutely will not take a pill to save his life, let’s look into some other options as well.

Lactobacillus Plantarum Foods

Aside from supplements, Lactobacillus Plantarum can be found in the fermented food items listed below.


By adding a few of these ingredients into your dog’s diet, you can help them maintain stronger immune systems and healthier guts for years to come! Just make sure to get the “okay” from your veterinarian first as some fermented foods may exacerbate underlying conditions.

FAQs About Lactobacillus Plantarum

“Is Lactobacillus Plantarum safe for puppies and senior dogs?”

According to a 2021 study published by PubMed, lactobacillus plantarum is beneficial for dogs of all ages. Research has shown that it can help improve gut health in dogs of all age groups - puppies, adult canines, and senior dogs alike - as well as reduce anxiety and manage diarrhea. It may also be helpful in managing canine aggression.

However, when giving probiotics to any dog (especially young puppies or seniors), it is important to consult with your veterinarian first to ensure the safety of the product. Probiotics should only be given in the form of supplements or food sources that contain live, viable bacteria.

“How long does it take to see benefits after starting my dog on a Lactobacillus Plantarum supplement?”

It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to start seeing the benefits of lactobacillus plantarum in your dog. Lactobacillus plantarum is a probiotic that helps to balance the microorganisms in the gut, which can help improve digestion and overall health. It also helps to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system, so you may see an improvement in your dog's energy levels and coat condition after taking it for several weeks.

Talk to your vet about what dose is best for your pup and how long it should be taken for optimal results.

“Are there any specific dog breeds or ages that benefit more from Lactobacillus Plantarum?”

Studies have shown that this strain of bacteria is especially beneficial for puppies, as well as older dogs. It has been found to reduce diarrhea in both puppies and seniors, while also helping to improve stool quality.

It is however important to note that not all probiotics are created equal, and different strains may work better for different dog breeds or ages. For example, Lactobacillus Acidophilus has been found to be especially advantageous for puppies, while Bifidobacterium Animalis (strain AHC7) helps with acute diarrhea in adults.

Therefore it is important to be judicious about which probiotic strain(s) you purchase to ensure maximum effectiveness!


It’s clear to see that Lactobacillus Plantarum is a powerhouse of a probiotic that has SO many benefits when used as part of your pup’s daily diet. From actively reducing inflammation to improving gut health, athletic performance, and more, lactobacillus plantarum is perhaps one of the most well-rounded probiotic strains yet discovered!

Boost Their Gut Health with Probiotics for Dogs

Facing digestive issues in your furry friend? Our Probiotics for Dogs is a blend aimed at enhancing gut health, boosting nutrient absorption, and promoting overall wellness. Dive into a world where your dog’s tummy troubles are eased. Your beloved companion deserves a life of comfort and vitality. Discover the benefits today.

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