In this article, you will know the answer to the query “Can My Dog Eat Kefir?“.
One to three cups of kefir is a healthy addition to your diet, according to experts.
This drink should be on your list if you haven’t yet tried it.
It may already be in your possession. Perhaps it is one of your favorites.
It’s delicious and very healthy, so it’s no wonder why you can find it in most supermarkets or grocery stores.
It has been praised by many people.
But wait a minute. Can you share this safely with your pet? Can dogs eat this? Are there any precautions you should take?
You should be responsible enough as a dog owner to ensure that what you are feeding your pet is safe.
If you are planning to give your puppy some kefir, you should first read this article.
What is kefir?
The Caucasus Mountains in Eastern Europe are believed to be the origin of kefir, which is a fermented milk drink. Due to its numerous health benefits, it has become a staple in many cultures around the world. Nutritious, probiotic, and great protection against cancer and other diseases, it is one of the best sources of nutrients.
Kefir is almost like yogurt, but the latter has a stronger flavor and a thinner consistency. In addition to kefir grains, cow, sheep, and goat milk can also be used to prepare this drink. There is a tart, sour taste to it, and a little fizz from the fermentation process. The longer it ferments, the stronger the flavor becomes.
Apart from the health benefits we have discussed above, kefir may also help improve digestion, support weight loss, reduce inflammation, and promote bone health.
What are the main types of kefir?
There are two main types of Kefir:
You can usually purchase this probiotic beverage at your local grocery store. The starter culture is made of dairy kefir grains. Other possible ingredients are goat milk, cow milk, and coconut milk.
You should know that making milk kefir isn’t that complicated. If you watch the videos online and follow the instructions, you will end up with a delicious probiotic-rich beverage for you and your family.
In contrast, this type is dairy-free, although it requires a starter culture (kefir starter culture or water kefir grains). The main ingredients are water or fruit juice. Another option is coconut water.
The benefits of both of these types of kefir are numerous.
What are the benefits of kefir for dogs?
Kefir offers numerous health benefits to dogs just like it does to humans. The addition of it to your pup’s diet has been shown to help treat digestive issues, improve the immune system, and control eczema. This is due to the 61 strains of kefir found in this food item.
In the case of a dog that has taken antibiotics and is suffering from digestive problems, you can give him kefir to help balance the number of good bacteria in his gut. Additionally, probiotics are also said to be useful for increasing immunity markers. An older dog will especially benefit from this.
In addition to being an excellent immunity booster, kefir contains probiotics that can help prevent skin conditions in dogs.
What are the disadvantages of kefir?
Kefir contains probiotics that can cause side effects just like any substance that contains ingredients that cause changes in a living organism. If you aren’t already treating your dog diarrhea, constipation, or excess gas may occur. You may also find that the symptoms seem to get worse before the gastrointestinal tract tends to clear up in some cases. Due to the sudden influx of good bacteria, the gut needs time to adjust.
Another disadvantage of probiotics is that they can cause inflammation or systemic infection as well, although this is rare. It only occurs when there is an overgrowth of lactobacillus and the bacteria leak into a dog’s bloodstream.
Moreover, dogs can have an allergic reaction to the live bacteria in kefir. During this time, you should watch out for your puppy’s difficulty breathing, itching, and swelling of the lips and tongue.
If you plan to give your furry baby probiotics, make sure that you invest in products that contain high-quality probiotics.
How much kefir should you feed your dog?
You should give kefir to your dog slowly the first time you give it to him. You should start by giving him about 14 teaspoons. If you don’t, your dog may suffer from nausea or vomiting as well as diarrhea. After a while, if your puppy is doing well on the kefir you are giving, then you can gradually increase the amount according to your dog’s weight (1 to 2 teaspoons for every 16 pounds).
You can, however, give your dog 1 to 2 tablespoons of kefir a few hours after giving it the medication if he is on antibiotics and you are trying to replace healthy bacteria. For this matter, a veterinarian should be consulted.
Can a dog overdose on kefir?
However, milk kefir still may cause adverse reactions in some dogs, despite its low lactose content. It is very important that you don’t give your puppy too much of this fermented drink. Dogs may experience diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, and other digestive issues if they overdose on kefir. Some brands, especially those containing fruits, may also contain added sugar or an artificial sweetener like xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
Best selling brands of kefir
You can choose from a variety of flavors at Lifeway, including raspberry, blueberry, and cherry. You can also choose the plain one if you want something versatile that can easily be mixed with other foods.
Many consumers find this brand not too tart since it is milk-based. Adding the plain kind to fruits, shakes, cereals, and other recipes is a great idea. Additionally, it is a good source of protein, and it contains less sugar than other brands.
Green Valley Creamery
The Green Valley Creamery brand of lactose-free, organic, low-fat plain kefir is what you should look for. In this brand, the lactase enzyme is added to organic milk and cream before it is cultured. As a result, lactose-intolerant consumers can still enjoy the calcium and protein content. The product has a luxurious taste with no added additives.
Can kefir help dogs with allergies or diarrhea?
It’s safe to say that kefir can help dogs suffering from allergies or diarrhea since it is an excellent probiotic. Having a healthy gut helps maintain good immunity, so if your puppy is suffering from any of the said health problems, you should find ways to replenish the intestinal flora. In a healthy gut, the intestines should be able to function well, especially in absorbing beneficial nutrients and removing toxins from the body.
When your dog has allergies or diarrhea, plain kefir without artificial sweeteners is highly recommended.
Other ways to feed your dog probiotics
In addition to giving your dog kefir, you can give your dog probiotics in other ways. Consider the following:
It is possible to find dog foods that contain probiotics, and this could be an easy way for you to introduce good bacteria to your pet. It is important for you to keep in mind that these bacteria are sensitive to a number of factors, including temperature, moisture, and air, so you need to look for high-quality dog food with added probiotics. Understand their production methods as well.
Another easy way to add probiotics to your dog’s diet is by giving him treats containing probiotics. However, you must be careful as there are threats that don’t actually contain live probiotics. You may even find additives and extra preservatives in them that are harmful to your dog.
However, powdered probiotics are beneficial especially if you opt for live probiotics in individual pockets since exposure to air and moisture can be controlled.
As with powders, probiotics in the form of pills can be difficult to give to dogs because they may just spit them out. However, there are tricks you can use to give them to your pet. One is to hide them in canned food or treats.
Due to the probiotics that it contains, kefir is beneficial not only to humans but also to dogs. It supports the growth of healthy gut bacteria. To ensure your dog can reap all the benefits, however, be sure to choose a high-quality brand of kefir.
Additionally, you can give dog food, treats, pills, or powders with added probiotics to supplement this product. When your dog is suffering from allergies or diarrhea, you should opt for plain kefir. Kefir has disadvantages as well, so make sure you introduce it gradually to your dog’s diet.
If you want to read more about dog food tips, read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.