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Probiotics are starting to be recommended by veterinarians to help manage behavioral issues in dogs, either as support in addition to behavioral medication or just on their own.

This presentation explores:

  • Are they actually effective?
  • How could adding bacteria to the GI system affect the brain?
  • How long term must they be given?
  • What changes might you expect, and what diagnoses are they helpful for?
  • Are there side effects? What’s the best brand to buy, or can you make your own?


Join Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD, a research scientist who specializes in the biology of behavior, for a deep dive into the exciting new findings coming out about probiotics and behavior in dogs.

Dr. Jessica Hekman | Probiotics for behavioural health

  • Jessica is a veterinary researcher who is fascinated by dog behavior. She received her veterinary degree in 2012 from the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts, where she also received a Master’s degree for her work on stress behaviors in hospitalized dogs. After graduation, she completed a year-long internship specializing in shelter medicine at the University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program. She received her PhD in genetics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studying a group of foxes (often known as the “Russian tame foxes”) which have been bred over many generations to be friendly to humans. She is currently working at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard as a postdoctoral associate, studying the genetics of behavior in pet dogs through the Darwin’s Ark project and the Working Dogs Project. Her ultimate goal is to find genetic causes of fearfulness in dogs, to work with behaviorally challenged shelter dogs, and to help people better understand the science behind dog behavior. She also frequently teaches online classes and webinars about canine genetics and behavior. Jessica lives in Raymond, NH with her husband and two dogs. You can follow her on Twitter @dogzombieblog or on Facebook at

  • 25th July 2021

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