In aid of World Animal Day, we’re treating our furry friends and boosting their gut health!
Here’s all the info you need on why probiotics are good for your pets, and a simple recipe you can make in less than 5 minutes.
What is Kefir?
Kefir is a fermented milk drink that is full of live active cultures. It comes from the Black Caucasus Mountains of Russia, where the inhabitants lived very long and healthy lives.
What are the health benefits of drinking Kefir?
Chuckling Goat Kefir is full of live active cultures and is a significant source of Vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus, and Vitamin A.1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4854945/
Our kefir has been lab-tested and proven to actively support your digestion, skin, and immune system.
Other tests prove that our kefir contributes to your normal muscle function, a reduction in tiredness and fatigue, and supports your psychological function.
It can also help you by contributing to the:
- maintenance of normal vision
- maintenance of normal bones
- maintenance of normal teeth
- normal blood clotting
- maintenance of normal mucous membranes
- normal function of cell membranes
- normal iron metabolism
- normal functioning of the nervous system
- normal red blood cell formation
Pets and probiotics
So, we know how good kefir is for people… but what about our furry friends?
It works by re-populating the gut with the healthy balance of good bacteria it needs to function properly, so symptoms connected to gut health, including skin conditions and digestive issues, will alleviate.
Our kefir is immunomodulatory, which means it regulates the immune system – 70% of which sits inside the gut microbiome! Research shows that increased immunity markers are one of the many benefits, especially in older pets.2https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2019.00666/full
Kefir and dogs
For smaller dogs, we would recommend giving them one tablespoon (20ml) daily, and for larger dogs two tablespoons (40ml) daily, neat, mixed in with their food, or as a frozen treat (recipe below 😉)
Kefir and cats
Just like dogs (and humans), cats benefit from probiotics. Although there are fewer studies on probiotic use with cats, the research that is available looks positive!3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5504723/
Cats are more pernickety when it comes to introducing new foods. We’d suggest a very small amount – 10ml daily, neat if possible, or mixed into their favourite food.
It’s important to start slowly to allow their little tums to adjust.
Frozen Kefir treats
These homemade frozen kefir treats contain dog-friendly fruit, veg, and probiotic Kefir. All you need is a blender, silicon moulds, and a freezer. You can also create custom recipes, adjusting to your dog’s taste!
Banana and peanut butter paws:
Serves 1 large dog – 20ml of Kefir per treat, two a day (enough for 7 days).
- 280ml Chuckling Goat Kefir
- 1 small banana
- 1 TBSP peanut butter
Serves 1 small dog – 10ml of Kefir per treat, two a day (enough for 7 days).
- 140ml Chuckling Goat Kefir
- Half a small banana
- 1 TSP peanut butter
Please check your peanut butter is dog-friendly and does not contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that is lethal for dogs.
- Place the silicone moulds on a cookie tray, and set aside.
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Pour or scoop the mixture into the silicone moulds.
- Place the cookie sheet with the filled moulds in the freezer. If you can’t fit the cookie sheet, carefully place the moulds on a flat surface in the freezer. Leave in the freezer overnight or until firm – around 4 hours.
- Remove from moulds, and store in the freezer until ready to serve to your pooch.
- Storing option – pop treats out of silicone moulds and store in a zip-lock bag in the freezer.
- If you don’t have any silicone moulds, you can use ice cube trays.
More flavour combinations –
- Chuckling Goat Kefir
- Melon (cantaloupe)
- Chuckling Goat Kefir
- Berries of choice (strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries)
- Chuckling Goat Kefir
- Chamomile tea
Any food outside of a pet’s normal diet should be given in moderation, regardless of whether they are dog treats or healthy alternatives. If you’re unsure whether a specific treat or ingredient is appropriate for your pet, speak with your veterinarian for guidance.
Check out our recipe section on the blog 😊
Any questions? Contact one of our Nutritional Therapists via live chat, we’re available on weekdays from 8am to 8pm.