The Benefits of Kefir for Dogs
Kefir, pronounced ‘Kah fear’ is, according to the people who live in the Caucasian Mountains, the “grain of life”. It is not just good for humans but, kefir is good for dogs too. Read our Holidays4Dogs article to find out more about this super-food.
Kefir contains many probiotic organisms which have incredible healing properties. While it is of a similar consistency to plain yoghurt, it packs more punch because it contains far more strains of friendly bacteria crucial for a healthy gut.
Advances in veterinary medicine have confirmed that the benefits of probiotics for our dogs are vast. This is because they can promote all kinds of health gains; from strengthening the immune system to guarding against allergies and diseases. Research has also investigated the connection between imbalances of gut flora to anxious behaviour in canines.
So, what exactly is Kefir?
Kefir is made from fermenting small grains that contain bacteria, fungi and yeasts; all of which are beneficial to the body. There are two main types of kefir – water and milk. It can be made from cow, sheep, or goat’s milk, but it can also be made with coconut water. If your dog is lactose intolerant a water-based kefir might be best, or one made with goat’s milk.
You can make your own kefir at home. However, it is now readily available in leading supermarkets and online. Kefir is said to be far better than commercially made probiotic supplements.
The health benefits are huge. There are over 30 different strains of good bacteria contained in kefir, along with vitamin B complex, vitamin A, D and K as well as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium minerals.
Some of the excellent health benefits kefir provides are:-
- Antibiotic and anti-fungal properties.
- Helps prevent allergies.
- Promotes healthy skin.
- Strengthens the digestive system.
- Helps with heartburn, gas, irritable bowel and upset stomach.
- Can counteract bad breath.
- Helps with pancreatitis, joint disease, anaemia, and leaky gut syndrome.
- Potentially reduces the increase of cancerous cells.
- Can help with malaise, depression and anxiety.
Like people, dogs can consume far too many carbohydrates and often don’t get enough exercise. Commercial pet foods, for instance, can contain up to 70% carbohydrate. Since carbohydrate breaks down into sugars this then provides an awful lot of sugar which can fuel yeast in a dog’s body. This yeast can be detrimental to overall health; in humans and other animals.
How much kefir should I give to my dog?
As a guide; Small dogs 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon
Medium dogs 1 – 2 tablespoons
Large dogs 2 – 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 such as sauerkraut
Whenever you change or add anything to your dog’s diet, it is best to do so gradually and then feed in moderation. If you are at all concerned about your pet’s health – your first port of call should always be your veterinarian.
On searching for Kefir we came across this Yorkshire-based business where further information and purchases can be made https://www.livekefircompany.co.uk/
Also, this Wales-based business shares lots of information on the excellent benefits of Live Goats Milk Kefir and how to purchase https://www.chucklinggoat.co.uk/
Kefir can also be purchased from supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.