From Freddies and Fidos to Bellas and Baileys, we know the doggos in your life bring you happiness, joy, chewed up shoes and slobbery balls.
And we also know you want to give them the very best to keep them healthy, vibrant and full of energy.
Yup, it sure is! That said, it’s important to consider your individual pupper’s overall diet and health needs. But in general, probiotics like those in kefir have been found to be safe for dogs to take. Yay!
And if you're wondering what the heck this kefir stuff even is, know this: kefir is a cultured, fermented drink that’s a bit like kombucha. It’s made using a starter of yeast, protein and good bacteria.
When you combine this starter (known as kefir grains) with liquid – usually milk or water – the good bacteria multiply and ferment the sugars.
What’s left is a seriously delish, probiotic-filled kefir with awesome benefits, like:
There are loads of studies on the health benefits of kefir if you’re keen to learn more.
So, if it’s so great for us, why not share it with our four-legged buddies? Surely they could also benefit from those amazing probiotics, right?
Good news: just as they are for humans, the probiotics found in kefir are awesome for our doggos. In fact, pupper-specific research has shown that these incredible probiotics can help our dogs by:
Probiotics are particularly good for dogs that have taken antibiotics or had a recent bout of diarrhoea.
That’s because antibiotics and diarrhoea can both do a number on the balance of good and bacteria in your dog’s gut. And an unhealthy bacterial balance can lead to longer-term digestive problems and health issues.
Probiotics are amazing at helping to restore balance and getting your pooch’s tummy back on track.
Your dog’s gut, just like your own, acts as an immune barrier. What does that mean? Well, simply put, your gut plays an important role in protecting your body from toxins, bacteria, viruses and other potential nasties. In fact, some experts estimate that up to 70 per cent of your immune system is located in your gut.
And research into the benefits of probiotics for dogs has shown that probiotic use may increase immunity markers for them too, especially in older dogs.
That’s great news for anyone wanting to give their ageing doggo a much-needed immune system boost.
Finally, much like probiotics may help to reduce eczema in babies and toddlers, they might also help to keep puppies from developing the condition.
More research is definitely needed, but these early results are a promising sign that probiotics really can benefit your doggo’s health in several ways.
Dogs are generally smaller than humans, and they vary quite a bit in size between breeds. On top of that, they typically have more limited diets than we do.
So how much kefir should you serve your dog? The answer is very much “It depends.”
First up, if you’ve never given your dog kefir before, it’s really important to start slowly.
Depending on your pupper’s size, you could start with a quarter or even an eighth of a teaspoon, then increase this over a week or two up to:
And of course, if you notice their poop getting overly sloppy (sorry, we had to go there), reduce the dosage!
When it comes to the benefits of kefir, we can’t forget our feline friends!
The good news is that kefir is safe for cats (keeping in mind their overall health and dietary needs).
And just as they do for dogs (and humans), the probiotics in kefir may provide a range of health benefits for cats. There have been fewer studies on probiotic use with cats than with dogs or humans, but the research out there looks promising.