Can Dogs Eat Kefir?
Yes, dogs can eat Kefir. In fact, Kefir is loaded with probiotics that have been scientifically proven to promote skin health and fight allergies in dogs. Kefir is rich in a number of vitamins including B vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and many other vitamins that are essential for your dogs. Kefir is a great addition to your dogs diet to promote health.
What is Kefir?
Kefir is a natural probiotic. Probiotics are living, good bacteria that promote balance in the intestines. Kefir is a cultured, fermented drink similar to yogurt but thinner. As a result of the fermentation process, Kefir has a sour taste and is slightly carbonated.
There are two types of kefir – water kefir and milk kefir.
Why are Probiotics Important for Dogs?
Probiotics like kefir offer many health benefits for dogs. They help good bacteria thrive. Some probiotics that are found in kefir can also benefit your dog’s immune system.
Health Benefits of Kefir for Dogs
Studies have shown that Kefir has many health benefits for dogs. Kefir can strengthen your dog’s immune system and promote their general health. On top of this Kefir can help to fight disease and allergies.
Kefir has a long list of health benefits for dogs including:
- Promotes dog skin health
- Helps prevent allergies in dogs
- Fights off disease
- Strengthens your dog’s immune system
- Helps with irritable bowel and other stomach issues
- Fights cancer in dogs
- Acts as an antibiotic for dogs
- Can help with depression and anxiety in dogs
Kefir Dose for Dogs
As with all changes to your dogs diet, introduce kefir gradually.
When it comes to doses of kefir, your dog only needs small amounts.
As a guide;
Small dogs – 1 tablespoon
Medium dogs – 2 tablespoons
Large dogs – 3 tablespoons
If you do not want to give your dog kefir there are other ways you can introduce probiotics into your dog’s diet and these include foods such as:
- Fermented Vegetables
Below are some more probiotic options that you can add to your dogs diet.
How to Make Kefir for Dogs?
Water kefir is the easiest and fastest type of kefir to make. It doesn’t take much effort or care to make, making it the perfect option for your dog.
Ingredients needed to make Kefir (per litre of water kefir)
- 3 tablespoons water kefir nodules
- 1 liter of water at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons of pure honey
- Dehydrated fruit (eg. dates or figs)
- ½ lemon – juiced
Process of making Kefir
Ensure that you do not use metal utensils when making kefir. Metal may interfere with the fermentation process of the kefir nodules.
To begin, simply add all of the ingredients together in a glass jar and mix until everything is diluted into the water.
Leave the jar open, but to avoid contamination cover the top of the jar with a piece of fine mesh. This can be secured with an elastic band. You must now leave your mixture for a few days to ferment. The fermentation process should take about 2 to 3 days.
While your kefir mixture is fermenting it is important to regulate the temperature. The ideal temperature is between 15 degrees and 30 degrees celsius. This temperature will allow the kefir nodules to survive.
Kefir Supplements for Dogs
Although the process for making kefir for your dog at home is simple you may not want to make it yourself. The good news is that kefir is now readily available in all leading supermarkets in the UK and online. As well as this, there are many probiotic supplements available for dogs that are easy to find.
Other Probiotic Options for Dogs
Along with kefir and probiotic supplements, there are many natural probiotic options for dogs.
- Chia seeds
Any of the above ingredients can be added to your dogs diet to support your dog’s digestive system.