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Enterococcus Faecium for Dogs: Benefits & Side Effects

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog in grass_Hebi B._Pixabay

Enterococcus Faecium for Dogs: Benefits & Side Effects

As pet food allergies become more prevalent, it is crucial to be vigilant about what goes into your dog’s food. Part of that includes carefully reviewing the dog food label to ensure that it does not contain an ingredient that could harm your beloved animal.

However, you won’t be able to tell whether a particular ingredient is safe for your pup if you don’t know much about it. For example, Enterococcus faecium is common in many pet products, but what is it, and what role does it play in dog food? Read on to find out!

What Is Enterococcus Faecium?

Enterococcus Faecium_Kateryna Kon_Shutterstock
Image by: Kateryna Kon, Shutterstock

Good gastrointestinal (GI) health is one of the most critical facets of our overall well-being. Good gut bacteria, known as gut microbiota, are the agents responsible for GI health. Scientists sometimes refer to gut microbiota as the “forgotten organ” in our bodies. Similarly, your dog requires an optimal balance of good gut bacteria in their GI tract to maintain a healthy gut environment.

Enterococcus faecium are bacteria that appear naturally in your dog’s gut. However, since the levels of these bacteria tend to fluctuate, pet food manufacturers add E. faecium to their foods to help dogs maintain a healthy balance.

The 5 Benefits of Enterococcus Faecium

The following is a breakdown of the benefits that E. faecium provides to dogs.

1. Alleviates Digestive Issues due to Illness or Stress

When your pup is ill or under stress, the balance between good and bad gut bacteria becomes disrupted, leading to stomach cramps, diarrhea, gas, and bad breath. By feeding your dog a food that contains Enterococcus faecium, you will alleviate the severity and duration of those clinical signs.

This probiotic is also beneficial to dogs suffering from chronic intestinal distress, as it replenishes their guts with healthy bacteria.

dog lying_Pexels_Pixabay
Image by: Pexels, Pixabay

2. Allows Safe Changes in Diet

If your pup has been eating a particular food for a long time, they will likely suffer from an upset stomach when you switch to another food. But if the new food has Enterococcus faecium, there is a good chance that the dog will not experience GI distress.

3. Promotes Better Skin, Coat, and Dental Health

An imbalance of bacteria in the stomach is one of the leading causes of skin allergies, as gut health and a robust immune system are intertwined entities. By improving your pup’s gut health, you can reduce their susceptibility to skin allergies, resulting in better skin and coat. Probiotics like Enterococcus faecium also support dental health by inhibiting the actions of bad bacteria.

Image by: Black17BG, Pixabay

4. Improves Quality of Life for Senior Dogs

One of the effects of aging is a weakened immune system, and up to 70% of the immune system is housed in the gut. Therefore, keeping the GI tract in good condition is arguably the best way of maintaining a robust immune system. Feeding your aging dog food that contains Enterococcus faecium might help them remain healthier for longer.

5. Promotes Better Behavior

A sign of an ailing dog is behavioral changes. Sick pups can experience emotional issues, resulting in behaviors like excessive licking, irritability, and other obsessive-compulsive actions. If their overall health is supported through maintaining a healthy gut, your dog will be less likely to develop bad behaviors.

playing with dog_Olena Yakobchuk_Shutterstock
Image by: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

What Are the Side Effects of Enterococcus Faecium?

The main reason E. faecium is the probiotic of choice in most pet foods is its ability to withstand extreme conditions, making it remarkably effective at maintaining good gut health. Unfortunately, Enterococcus faecium’s resilient nature can reduce antibiotics’ effectiveness. Antibiotics do not discriminate between bad and good bacteria.

Therefore, elevated levels of E. faecium in the dog’s body can make the animal resistant to antibiotics. While promoting good bacteria is not a bad idea, it is crucial to practice moderation.

dogs eating_Phuttharak_Shutterstock
Image by: Phuttharak, Shutterstock


Enterococcus faecium is a safe ingredient for dogs. It is essential for keeping your pet’s digestive system in good condition, and the strength of your pup’s immune system also depends upon the state of their gut health. Therefore, formulas with E. faecium are highly recommended for all dogs. Still, it’s important to discuss its usage with your vet, especially if your dog is on antibiotics.

Featured Image Credit: Hebi B., Pixabay

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