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Kefir for dogs: The $2 health tonic you can make at home

Does your dog lick their paws? Do they have skin irritations and mood swings? Home made kefir for dogs could be the answer…

External health & skin issues can often be related to gut health. You’ll be surprised how much success you can get just by introducing probiotics into your dog’s diet.

Even if you feed yoghurt you should consider incorporating kefir as well.paw-licking-dog

Yoghurt keeps the digestive system friendly by feeding the ‘good’ bacteria. However, kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract with these wonderful single celled organisms. It also contains around 3 times the amount of beneficial bacteria than yoghurt. 

Probiotics in commercial dog food:

Have you seen all the promotions about probiotics in commercial, dried dog food?  What a load of codswallop!

Due to processing and cooking, most commercial kibbles contain a pitiful amount of living, beneficial bacteria by the time they reach your dog’s bowl.

It’ so much easier to make some wholesome milk kefir at home, and that way you know they’re getting the real deal!

What do probiotics actually do?

Beneficial bacteria helps dogs maintain a healthy inner ecosystem. However, often the balance of good bacteria and bad bacteria is  ‘out of whack’

When the bad bacteria outnumbers good bacteria, you run into a whole host of problems. The worst of these ‘bad’ bacteria is Candida. Candida overgrowth in dogs can present in a few ways:

  • Persistent scratching or itching behaviour.
  • Slow healing sores.
  • Excessive chewing & licking of paws.
  • Head shaking and ear infections (with yeasty wax build up)
  • Extreme shedding or hair loss

How to make kefir – the $2 health tonic:

kefir for dogs
Kefir ‘grains’ easily sourced from ebay.

Recently we bought some starter ‘grains’ – (though they aren’t grains in the usual sense)  from ebay for $2 and have been making daily batches for our dogs – and ourselves! 

So how do you do it?

  • Add a teaspoon of kefir grains to a cup of milk,
  • Cover the glass secure with cheesecloth (or a chux) and secure with a rubber band.
  • Let it sit out at room temperature, out of direct sunlight for about 24 hours.
  • During this time, the healthy bacterias in the kefir grains will ferment the milk, preventing it from spoiling while transforming it into kefir.
  • When done, the kefir will have thickened to the consistency of a smoothie and taste a little like yogurt.
  • Strain out the grains so you can use them in another batch and keep the kefir for yourself and your dogs!

For dogs you should feed about 3 tablespoons per day and for yourself aim to have a half a cup, to a full cup a day.

Have you tried kefir? We’d love to hear about how it worked out for your dog!

1 thought on “Kefir for dogs: The $2 health tonic you can make at home

  1. Should I keep it in the fridge once it has fermented?

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