We are so excited to have guest fermenter and coach Cynthia Farris writing on Canine Sauerkraut for our blog this month! She's doing amazing things in the animal community, helping to keep both the pups and their humans happy and healthy. Here she is telling us all we need to know on canines and fermentation.
Dogs Eat Kraut?
The savvy ones do! Like all of us, dogs need plant-based, probiotic-rich foods for health and vitality. Both conventional and holistic vets agree our canine companions need more antioxidants to fight free radical damage and they need probiotics to support their microbiomes (the trillions of microorganisms that live on and in them (and us) that are involved in virtually every aspect of health). Fermented veggies contain both in readily digestable forms.
Following are a few of the benefits of including probiotic rich foods in your dog’s diet, and in yours:
Probiotics + Enzymes
Probiotic + enzyme supplements are being prescribed at record numbers to support digestion (e.g. gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, etc.). Again, just like your diet, supplements may or may not make it thru the highly acidic stomach to do their job in the colon. Food-based, probiotic + enzyme-rich foods, such as krauts and cultured vegetables, are amazing ways to support our shared health.
Pup Got the Sniffles?
Gut vitality is critical to overall immune strength. On-going feeding of probiotic rich foods build immunity and strengthen your pooch’s resilience.
Anxiety + Toxins
The 21st Century pup is exposed to myriad toxins given their proximity to exhausts and pollutants that settle on the ground where their highly permeable paws absorb them. Probiotics support detoxification helping rid the body of damaging chemicals and heavy metals.
Dogs with a history of neglect, stress, malnourishment, and lack of exposure to nature, can especially benefit from krauts and fermented vegetables.
My Dog Won’t Touch the Stuff
You’d be surprised at how many dogs actually love vegetables. If yours is a veggie virgin, start with raw or cooked foods they show interest in (e.g. green beans, peas, carrots, apple or pear). Then, take their favorites and add them to a simple kraut and slowly add to their favorite meal. Be sure to honor their timing and level of interest in the new foods.
Stick with Basics Blends
It’s not that Rover won’t lap up your amazing blend of Curried Kraut with Green Apple & Raisins, but not all people food is good for dogs. For a conservative list of potentially harmful foods see the ASPCA’s site and do your own research. Raisins are no-no’s and curry may have onions/garlic which generally aren’t recommended for dogs.
How Much Do I Give My Dog?
Probiotics can have a powerful effect on the GI system. Initial reaction could result in some bacterial die off. So, go slowly. Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, in this video and how-to, suggests starting with 1-3 teaspoons for every 20 pounds of body weight. This cutie (photo) started with a nibble, and came back 3xs for more.
Sharing is Caring
Whole food, probiotic rich foods are amazing to share with our canine families. Do some experimenting and find that irresistible blend you both love.
About Cynthia Farris
Cynthia is a passionate dog person, functional nutritionist + lifestyle coach. She makes Custom Canine Krauts (for pups and people) for her Denver-based clients and educates those around the globe how to make special blends for their four legged pals. Reach her at Cynthia@cynthiafarris.com + soon: www.cynthiafarris.com.
The content of this post is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or mitigate disease in you or your pet. Dietary foods can interact unexpectedly with your or your dog’s unique physiology. Food can also interact with prescription medications. If you or your dogs are taking prescriptions, become informed about possible interactions.