Kefir is a milk drink originating from Caucasus. Kefir grains help turn milk either from cow, goat, or sheep into the fermented dairy product. The taste and consistency are comparable to thin, drinkable yogurt. Kefir may be used as an ingredient substitute of milk in cereals, smoothies, and soups. It may also be used for sourdough bread.
A good source of probiotics, kefir may be fed to your dog in moderation, but only if he has no known lactose allergy or intolerance. Though the fermentation process reduces the lactose content of kefir, it still contains trace amounts. Speak to your veterinarian beforehand to find out if your dog needs probiotics to improve his gut health. Plus, find out if the type of bacteria strain contained in kefir will benefit your pooch.
What to do if your dog accidentally eats kefir: As long as your dog is not intolerant or allergic to lactose, he should not react negatively to plain kefir. Unsure if your dog is allergic to dairy? Observe him for itching, rashes, and hives. Uncertain if he’s intolerant to dairy? Monitor him for gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, and vomiting.
If your dog accidentally ate or drank commercially sold kefir, check the nutrition facts label for ingredients that may be harmful for him. Xylitol, a sugar substitute, is one toxic ingredient he should not ingest. Contact your vet immediately if you spot this on the list. Similarly, be wary of certain fruits and spices present in flavoured kefir.
In summary: With your vet’s approval and guidance, probiotic-rich food may be carefully integrated into your dog’s diet. Plain, homemade kefir is the safest choice to give your pet. But you can also offer coconut kefir, a vegan option, to lactose-intolerant pooches.
Aside from kefir, learn which human foods you can give your canine pet. Explore our “can dogs eat” blog category.