It has long since been known that fermented foods are extremely beneficial for human health, but did you know that the same applies to your dog too?
There are many fermented foods out there, including yoghurt, fermented vegetables and apple cider vinegar, but the one that will likely benefit your pooch the most is kefir.
Here is everything you need to know about kefir for dogs…
What is Kefir?
A fermented milk drink, kefir was first used around 2000 years ago, as a way to strengthen health and boost immunity.
Kefir is made from kefir grains, which are small yellow or white particles that look similar to cauliflower. The grains consist of a mixture of bacteria and yeast, along with milk proteins and complex sugars.
When those grains are added to milk, the milk ferments, adopting the beneficial bacteria from within the grains.
When the kefir milk is consumed, the good bacteria in the kefir helps to balance out the bad bacteria in your dog’s gut, which can lead to a number of incredible benefits…
Can my Dog Eat Kefir?
Many compare kefir and yoghurt, since their taste and appearance are quite similar.
Wondering if puppies can have kefir too?
Yes, and it can actually be extremely beneficial when it comes to helping them grow.
Benefits of Kefir for Dogs
Kefir contains several different strains of beneficial bacteria and yeasts, as well as numerous vitamins.
These provide some fantastic benefits for dogs, such as:
- A huge boost to the immune system
- Strengthens the digestive system
- Anti-cancer benefits, thanks to the way in which it
- Can help with gas, bloating and heartburn
- Increases bioavailability of the nutrients your dog consumes in food
- Regulates the liver and kidneys
- Fights allergies
- Encourages healthy skin and coat
- Can help with bad breath
Is Kefir Better Than Yoghurt?
However, there is one major difference…Kerfir contains several important strains of “good bacteria” that are not commonly present in yoghurt, making it a much more powerful probiotic. It also contains beneficial yeasts that can control and eliminate destructive yeasts in your dog.
Most dogs love the taste of kefir milk, so it won’t be too difficult to incorporate this into your dog’s diet.
How Much Kefir Can my Dog Have Each Day?
When it comes to a daily dosage for kefir, here are some guidelines:
Small dogs (and cats) – 1 teaspoon
Medium dogs – 1 to 2 teaspoons
Large dogs – 2 to 3 teaspoons
Your dog’s digestive system will need some time to adjust to kefir, meaning that you will need to begin slowly.
Start off with around a quarter of that amount for a few days, and then increase this to a half before moving on to the full dosage.
You can either mix this in with your dog’s food, or feed it on its own as a treat.
What happens if you feed too much?
Your dog may experience digestive upsets, such as diarrhoea.
Where can I get Kefir?
As mentioned above, kefir can be made by mixing kefir grains with milk.
If you have a friend who already makes kefir for dogs or for themselves, ask for some spare grains. The grains grow and multiply with each batch, and it isn’t long before a person will have more grains than they know what to do with. (If this happens to you, you can feed some of your extra grains to your dog too!)
There are also many kefir Facebook groups where members will share their spare grains, for nothing more than the cost of postage.
Alternatively, you are likely to be able to find somewhere online to purchase kefir grains.
If you don’t want to make kefir yourself…
You will find pre-made versions in health food stores, as well as many grocery stores.
Whether you buy it or make it yourself, kefir is a fantastic fermented food to add to your dog’s diet.
Not only will your pooch really enjoy the taste of it, but the health benefits that it will bring to your dog really make kefir worth trying. Plus, you can have some too!
For more info on Kefir, we suggest you check out these amazing articles:
- Should we give kefir or goats milk to dogs? – Keepthetailwagging
- Kefir Daily Amounts – Planet Paws
- Kefir for dogs – Kefir Blog
How has kefir helped your dog?