Brewer’s yeast, used in the production of beer and bread, is often taken by humans as a probiotic to aid digestion. It is also used as a dietary supplement to enhance energy and support immune health in both humans and pets.
This nutritional supplement can promote your dog’s skin and coat health, reduce stress, and aid in digestion. Keep reading to learn more about brewer’s yeast for dogs.
What is Brewer’s Yeast?
Brewer’s yeast is a flaky substance yellow in color. It is made from a one-celled fungus called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which has latin words meaning sugar-fungus. It is a source of chromium, which helps maintain the human body’s blood sugar levels, but this has not been tested in pets.
Brewer’s yeast is also a source of B vitamins and antioxidants, and is high in potassium, chromium, magnesium, selenium, iron, and zinc, all of which are essential for your dog’s overall well-being.
Is Brewer’s Yeast Safe for Dogs?
High quality brewer’s yeast made specifically for dogs is safe. “Low quality brewer’s yeast contains by-products leftover from brewing beer that can cause your dog to become ill,” warns Dr. Jennifer Frione, owner of Lakeside Animal Hospital in Florida.
Any supplement can be dangerous to use in large amounts. “Always follow the guidelines by the manufacturer of the supplement and your pet’s veterinarian,” suggests Frione.
If you see brewer’s yeast as an ingredient in a supplement for dogs, research the brand and look for products that have been formulated by veterinarians and that undergo third-party testing.
Benefits of Brewer’s Yeast for Dogs
Brewer’s yeast has many health benefits to dogs. “It may improve your pet’s skin and coat, promote overall health, and may support the immune system,” says Frione. “It is a high source of essential amino acids and protein, which helps support lean muscle mass as well.”
The tiny organisms in brewer’s yeast can help maintain the digestive tract in humans. Similarly, in dogs, when given as a nutritional supplement, it can aid in digestion. The B-complex vitamins it contains can help reduce stress and anxiety. Daily brewer’s yeast supplements, when combined with omega-3s, can also aid in repelling ticks and fleas—though it shouldn’t be used as a substitute for flea and tick prevention.
“Another added bonus is that brewer’s yeast also helps boost the flavor of your dog’s food,” says Frione.
Here are some potential benefits of brewer’s yeast for dogs:
- Supports the immune system.
- Relieves stress and anxiety.
- Repels ticks and fleas.
- Improves digestion.
How to Give Your Dog Brewer’s Yeast
For humans, brewer’s yeast comes in the form of powder that can be mixed with juice or milk. When it comes to dogs, this supplement can be added to food as a powder or given as an ingredient in a pill, supplement, or chew.
Frione warns pet parents not to give any supplements that contain garlic, a popular ingredient often paired with brewer’s yeast to repel fleas and ticks.
“Use caution when giving your dog any supplement or vitamin that has garlic added or even garlic alone,” she says. “It can be toxic and toxic doses of garlic can cause damage to the red blood cells leading to anemia.”
Brewer’s Yeast Dosage for Dogs
The proper dosage of brewer’s yeast depends on your pet’s weight and there are tablets and supplements on the market with specific formulations made for different sizes.
If giving a supplement or treat containing brewer’s yeast to your dog, make sure to read the label carefully to determine the right portion for your pup.
Pet parents should discuss with their veterinarians before introducing this supplement to their pet’s diet.
Brewer’s Yeast Side Effects for Dogs
Brewer’s yeast is considered safe to give to your dogs, with a few side effects such as bloating and gas if given in larger quantities.
Additionally, Frione warns that the addition of brewer’s yeast may not be a good fit for dogs with yeast allergies or colitis flare ups.