When looking at getting more probiotics into your dog’s diet, there are actually a few natural alternatives to buying sometimes expensive supplements. Certain foods claim to contain a lot more probiotics for dogs than any of the supplements available on the market and are available at only a fraction of the cost.
Two such foods are kefir for dogs and fresh sauerkraut. Both are easily bought and said to contain more strains of bacteria and probiotics than most of the leading tablet supplements.
What is Kefir for dogs ?
Kefir for dogs is made from the milk of goats or cows and is a creamy, dairy-based food (often in the form of a drink). It is one of the oldest forms of cultured milk and is both a similar taste and consistency to yoghurt, except for the fact that it contains a lot more helpful bacteria for your dog’s digestive system.
Only the very best probiotics for dogs can come close to competing with the benefits of this one food source. One tablespoon of kefir for dogs is said to contain around 10 strains and almost 5 billion beneficial bacteria which is a lot cheaper to purchase at around $5 for 500ml.
Since Kefir for dogs does contain such a high concentration of good flora, introducing it slowly into your dog’s diet is recommended to allow their system time to adjust to the increased levels. Once the food has been slowly incorporated, the dose or amount can be slightly increased but always monitor your dog’s reaction to this and should any side effects become apparent at any time, always seek veterinary advice at the first instance.
Sugar and artificial sweeteners are dangerous for dogs, so make sure you purchase plain, natural kefir for dogs and not a product with any added ingredients that could cause illness.
What is sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is a mixture of salt (around 1.5%) and fresh cabbage which is then packed away and allowed to ferment for around 8 weeks. Fresh sauerkraut is said to contain 13 different strands of bacteria and about 100 times more probiotics than the supplements available on the market today.
Again with the Kefir above, sauerkraut contains a very concentrated level of probiotics and should be introduced into a dogs diet slowly to allow the body to adjust to the increased number of good flora in the gastroenteritis tract.
Can these be home-made?
Yes, both Kefir and Sauerkraut can be made at home and instructions on how to achieve this can be found on a number of different websites, however a good article can be seen here:
Disadvantage to not using supplements:
As mentioned above, yes both of these food sources are cheaper and can be home-made to provide good probiotics, however, they are not going to be an exact measurement or dosage due to them being more natural and in a yogurt form.
With probiotics for dogs supplements, it can clearly be seen exactly what is included in them and how much to safely give. Although, with the more natural food forms, this is never clear and the doses or levels in each may vary quite a lot.