Kefir For Dogs: Safe or Not?

I have made the irreversible decision to ensure my dog is healthy, regardless of its breed. When feeding your dog, focusing on high-quality and nutritious food should be a priority. One drink you will likely want to offer to your dog is kefir.

Kefir is a popular, nutritious drink from fermented cow, sheep, or goat milk. Preparing it requires adding yeast cultures and healthy bacteria to the milk. These cultures feed on the natural sugars in the milk to multiply, ensuring that fermentation happens quickly.

The surging popularity of kefir in households is thanks to its probiotic content, which is associated with various health benefits. However, the biggest question is whether this product suits your dog. Here are a few insights to keep in mind.

Can My Dog Eat Kefir?

Yes, you can offer it in moderation. Kefir is an excellent treat for your dog, thanks to its probiotic content. It is significantly low in lactose, making it an ideal choice for lactose-intolerant pets. However, this lactose content will often vary with the type of kefir you choose.

Introduce kefir to your dog gradually to avoid nausea and stomach upsets. Vets recommend starting with about half or a quarter a teaspoon of kefir per day, depending on the dog’s size and breed. As your dog grows, you can slowly increase this amount to four teaspoonfuls daily.

Your dog’s weight could determine how much kefir you can give it. For instance, dogs weighing 16 to 32 pounds can take between one and two teaspoons daily. On the other hand, a 100-pound dog needs up to four teaspoonfuls per day.

Kefir and Its Types

Kefir is a fermented product of cow, sheep, or goat milk. Sometimes, non-dairy milk could be used to make this product, including coconut and oat milk. There are two main types of kefir: milk and water.

Water kefir is a rich probiotic beverage whose base is water instead of milk. Besides being lighter, you can flavor water-based kefir differently, depending on personal preferences.

You’ll need kefir grains when preparing this drink. These grains are often yellowish or white, look like cottage cheese, and are rich in bacteria that help ferment the milk rapidly.

Kefir tastes like cultured milk, often depending on the level of fermentation. This taste is more robust, sour, and tart when well-fermented. You can alter its flavor by adding different frozen fruits and extracts, including strawberry and vanilla.

How Kefir Is Beneficial to Dogs

Kefir is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, phosphorous, calcium, and folate. These micronutrients guarantee different health benefits for your dog. Here is a breakdown of the positive health impact your dog will experience after consuming kefir.

Digestive Health

Kefir boasts a high concentration of probiotics, which are central to a healthy gastrointestinal and digestive system. Alongside yeast, probiotics help balance the beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, alleviating constipation in dogs.

Kefir is also rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps relax the nervous system. Enhanced relaxation allows the body to digest food properly and ensure food moves down the tract effortlessly.

Improved Heart Health

The bacteria in fermented kefir can help improve your dog’s cardiovascular system. First, it will lower cholesterol levels which can affect the normal functioning of the heart. In addition, these bacteria could trigger weight loss, translating to a fit and healthier dog. Improved fitness and weight loss put less pressure on the heart, guaranteeing better functionality.

Antibacterial Properties

Kefir is rich in antibacterial properties that will help your dog fight against various infections. It contains a unique probiotic, Lactobacillus kefiri, which inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, including salmonella, H. pylori, and E. coli.

Bone Density and Health

Kefir contains multiple minerals, including calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium, which are vital in enhancing bone and dental health. These minerals will help reduce the risk of osteoporosis among dogs, cushioning them against fractures. In addition, this drink is rich in vitamin K2, which helps metabolize calcium in the dog’s body.

Improve Immunity

Suppose you want your dog to have a more robust immune system. Then, offering it enough kefir will be an excellent idea. This product will help slow the growth of cancerous cells, tumor growth, and inflammation. It also stimulates your dog’s immunity, ensuring it is stronger and healthier.

Side Effects of Kefir on Dogs

While kefir is nutritious and low in lactose, it could cause adverse reactions in some dogs. This drink could trigger gastrointestinal irritation and stomach upsets, meaning your dog could experience diarrhea, bloating, vomiting, and runny stools. However, gradually introducing this drink to your dog could help avoid this side effect.

Bottom Line

Undoubtedly, you want the best for your pet. Offering it an enriched drink is the perfect way to boost its health. Kefir is suitable for your dog, thanks to its multiple health benefits.

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