Can dogs eat kefir?

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At present, the advancement of veterinary medicine has made it possible to verify the many benefits of probiotics for the health of our dogs. Although there are commercial supplements that offer such probiotic action, the ideal is to prefer foods of natural origin to complement the diet of our furry dogs. Among the best natural probiotics, we find the kefir, a natural fermentation obtained from a privileged microflora composed mainly of beneficial bacteria. In the last decades, this natural fermented drink has recovered a lot of popularity in human diets, being indicated even by many nutritionists. However, it is an ancient tradition that goes back to traditional Oriental Medicine..

¿Wondering if dogs can eat kefir? Well, you have reached the indicated page. In this AnimalWised article, we tell you better what kefir is and what its properties are. We also present the benefits that this natural probiotic can bring to the health of our best friends. Read on to know how to give kefir to a dog.

You may also be interested: Can dogs eat eggs? Index
  1. Why are probiotics important for dogs?
  2. What is kefir?
  3. Water kefir or milk kefir for dogs?
  4. Kefir benefits for dogs
  5. Can I give my dog ​​kefir?
  6. How to get kefir nodules?
  7. How to make water kefir for dogs?
  8. Recommended kefir dosage for dogs

Why are probiotics important for dogs?

Just like us, our furry have a intestinal flora composed of a set of beneficial bacteria, which are essential to carry out a healthy digestive process. But this microbiota intervenes not only in digestion, but also in the metabolism and the immune system of dogs, since they guarantee the assimilation of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals..

Probiotics for dogs offer a strain of the beneficial bacteria (such as lactobacillus) that are naturally found in the intestinal flora. By supplementing the diet of our dogs with these microorganisms, we help them to strengthen their natural defenses, prevent the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria in the digestive tract, optimize nutrient absorption and prevent gastrointestinal upset, such as excessive gas formation and diarrhea.

As we have mentioned, you can find probiotic supplements in health food stores and even in some veterinary clinics. However, the ideal is to offer natural probiotic foods to your dog, such as kefir or yogurt, for example. Next, we will explain better what kefir is and what are its beneficial properties for dogs.

What is kefir?

Kefir is a natural probiotic food obtained from the fermentation of small nodules that contain a privileged bacterial microflora (bacteria, fungi and beneficial yeasts). Among the beneficial bacteria that make up the so-called kefir granules or nodules we find:

  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus
  • Lactobacillus helveticus
  • Lactobacillus casei subsp. pseudoplantarum
  • Lactobacillus brevis
  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis
  • Streptococcus thermophilus

The presence of beneficial yeasts and fungi has also been found in kefir granules, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida inconspicua and the Kluyveromyces marxianus[1].

It is common to hear that there are three types of kefir: water, milk and kombucha or tea kefir. But in reality, kombucha is a different fermentation, involving a different microflora and requiring a special process. Therefore, the truth is that there are only two types of kefir: water kefir and milk kefir.

Water kefir or milk kefir for dogs?

Milk kefir and its nodules receive many names, depending on the country where we are. The dairy probiotic drink It is commonly called "kefried milk ", "Bulgarian yogurt " or "bird yogurt " (in Chile, mainly). The nodules can be known simply as "Bulgarians " or "little worms " (in Uruguay, mostly).

Without a doubt, milk kefir is the most popular and consumed worldwide, perhaps because its taste and texture are very similar to that of traditional yogurt.. For its part, water kefir, also called "tibicos ", has a microflora almost identical to that of milk kefir and, consequently, its properties are very similar and equally beneficial.

The fundamental difference between water and milk kefir is the culture medium where the microflora develops and carries out the natural fermentation process. As milk is already rich in fats and sugars, it already naturally provides the food necessary for the reproduction of beneficial bacteria. Instead, the water requires the addition of these nutrients to allow the fermentation that will give rise to the kefirada drink..

Kefir benefits for dogs

As a natural probiotic, kefir is an excellent ally to achieve healthy digestion, promoting intestinal transit and preventing numerous digestive discomforts, such as constipation, food intolerance and gas. Its strain of beneficial bacteria also allows preserve the integrity of the intestinal flora, improving the digestive process and optimizing the assimilation of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Therefore, kefir is also considered an effective natural supplement for strengthen the immune system Y prevent numerous diseases and health problems [2], such as:

  • Malnutrition and nutritional deficits.
  • Inflammatory and infectious processes.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, including gastritis and gastroenteritis.
  • Allergies and skin diseases.
  • Asthma and respiratory allergies.
  • Arthritis.
  • Cancer.

Can I give my dog ​​kefir?

¡Yes! Our best friends can enjoy the benefits of kefir. However, it is essential to consult your trusted veterinarian before making any changes to your best friend's diet or starting to offer a natural or commercial supplement. The professional will be able to guide you in the administration of natural probiotics and establish the appropriate dose for your dog according to its size, weight, age and health status..

Although the flavor of kefried milk is usually more familiar, water kefir offers the same benefits and has the advantage of being able to be consumed by those who are intolerant or allergic to lactose. Therefore, the ideal is to prefer to offer our pets the fermented drink made from water, since dairy is among the main allergenic foods for dogs. Thus, faced with the previous doubt about whether milk or water kefir is better, we opted for give water kefir to dogs.

Another advantage is that water kefir granules require relatively simple care, making them easier to preserve. In addition, an excellent idea is to use kefried water to prepare healthy drinks for our dogs, such as a delicious probiotic soda with fruits that are beneficial to their organism, such as blueberries, strawberries and peaches, for example.

How to get kefir nodules?

Today it is possible to find kefiradas drinks in some natural product stores and even in supermarkets (in some countries). On the Internet you can also find some sellers of milk or kefried water, as well as offers of milk and water nodules. However, the ideal is to prepare your own probiotic that you can enjoy with your best friend, and get them through the kefir donation networks.

Although kefir has regained great popularity in our times, it is one of the first dairy products known and consumed by mankind. Very old mentions of kefir can be found in traditional Muslim culture, where its nodules, which were called "granules of the Prophet Muhammad ", were considered as one of Allah's manas, being used as a sacred and healing drink. For many years, kefir was only cultivated by practitioners of the Muslim religion and its formula was kept secret, as it was believed that this sacred food could not be consumed by members of other religions.

It is estimated that Marco Polo was the first Western man to be particularly interested in the properties of kefir, having mentioned this probiotic in some of his writings. And in the 19th century, kefir began to be used, in Western medicine, as a natural remedy to alleviate the symptoms of tuberculosis, which at that time had no cure, [3].

We explain all this to you not only as a curiosity, but also so that you understand that kefir is a culture and not a simple probiotic food. Among the many traditions that surround it, we find the worldwide network of donation and exchange of knowledge established among the followers of kefir. Traditionally, kefir granules or nodules, as well as kombucha mushroom, must be donated and not commercialized.

The intention is not only to remove the economic purposes of said cultivation, but also to generate a circle of learning and transmission of wisdoms that guarantees the survival of this cultural tradition. Therefore, the best way to obtain water or milk kefir nodules is to use a kefir donation network. You can find them with a simple search on the Internet, just type "donation of kefir " or "kefir in Spain " (or another country) in the search engine you usually use. And when your nodules begin to multiply during cultivation of kefir, you will be able to return the donation and contribute to the continuity of this significant tradition.

How to make water kefir for dogs?

Now that you know that dogs can drink water kefir and that it is the simplest and fastest option, we are going to explain how to prepare it at home. The process of making water kefir is quite simple and requires only a little care to ensure a successful and safe fermentation. Next, we offer you a very simple step by step on how to prepare water kefir for dogs and what materials will be essential in this process.

Ingredients and materials (for approx. 1 l of kefried water)

  • 3 tablespoons of water kefir nodules
  • 1 liter of clean water at room temperature (without added chlorine)
  • 2 tablespoons of pure honey
  • 1 dehydrated fruit (you can use figs, plums or dates, always without their seeds and bones)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Glass jar with wide mouth
  • Plastic drainer
  • Wooden or silicone spoon (¡not metal!)

A fundamental care is ensure that containers and materials used do not contain metal, as these elements interfere with the fermentation process of the water kefir nodules.

Elaboration

  1. To begin, we take the glass jar with a wide mouth and add 1 liter of water no chlorine inside.
  2. Then, add the other ingredients and mix or shake well until it is completely diluted in the water.
  3. When you complete this first part, you should not close the glass jar, as the fermentation process will generate gas. To prevent the drink from being contaminated with any impurities or insects, you can use a fine mesh and tie it with an elastic or string to the jar.
  4. Once these steps are completed, just leave the preparation stand for two or three days (until the fermentation process is successfully concluded). But it is important to ensure that the ambient temperature is between 15 ºC e 30 ºC to preserve the life of the microflora that make up kefir nodules.

Before giving your dog Kephir water, you must remember remove kefir nodules inside the fermented and you can now use them to produce more water kefir. As you will see, the microflora will reproduce and you will have more and more nodules. You can use part of these nodules to continue making kefir, but it will also be important to contribute to keep the essence of this incredible tradition alive..

When giving the natural fermentation to your best friend, you can choose to offer it alone or prepare a soft drink (or smoothie using beneficial fruits for dogs. And serving it is very easy: just pour the probiotic preparation into its drinker and leave it at the disposal of your furry. Kefified water is generally very well accepted by dogs, especially when it is flavored with their favorite fruits..

Recommended kefir dosage for dogs

Regular consumption of kefir and natural probiotics is very beneficial for our pets, as long as we respect a safe dose for their body. In general, the recommended dose of kefir for dogs is proportional to the weight of each animal. The basic calculation is similar for all natural probiotics: 1 tablespoon for every 15 or 20 kg.

However, it is essential to have the guidance from a veterinarian before including any supplements in your dog's diet. The trained professional will be able to guide you on the appropriate amount and the best form of administration according to the purpose of consumption, the specific needs and the health status of your dog. Thus, you can guarantee an optimal positive impact on the health of your best friend..

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