We posted a bit about kefir in one of our raw feeding post and if you’ve read it, you’ll already know what kefir is and it’s many benefits. If you’ve yet to do so, continue reading to find out more about kefir!
I’ve been looking up on ways to help Lexie with her digestive issues as she’s quite prone to having soft stools. We’ve tried yogurt as there are probiotics and it’s supposed to help with digestive problems but it only helped to a certain extent as she would still get soft stools. I’ve seen a lot of posts about kefir and how it’s supposedly better than yogurt in the raw feeding group I’m in so I decided to do a little research of my own.
What Is Kefir?
Pronounced “Kah-Fear”, Kefir looks similar to yogurt but it contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt such as Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species.
Benefits Of Kefir
Kefir has anti-fungal properties which helps prevent allergies and promote healthy looking skin. It also has antibiotics and micro-organisms present to restore balance to your pet’s digestive tract and strengthen the digestive system. The Vitamin B in Kefir will regulate the normal function of liver, kidneys and nervous system. As there is probiotics in Kefir, it can help with IBD and eczema.
More can be found at DogsNaturallyMagazine.
Where Can You Find Kefir?
I may not have been searching much but so far, I do not know anywhere locally that sells milk Kefir or the grains. We bought our own grains online and started making our own milk kefir as it is super easy! You can try contacting Wooga as last I’ve heard, they were giving away Kefir grains.
Our Experience With Kefir
We started making kefir about four(?) months back. Ever since we’ve started, the number of times Lexie has had soft stool can be counted with one hand. This is a great improvement but what kefir helped my mom’s toy poodle with was really unbelievable.
Meet Patches, our family dog. She’s six this year and has had skin problems for the past two year. Here’s a picture about one to two months before she started eating Kefir.
She was flaky, had bald spots and we had to keep her shaved down as she’ll start itching very badly once her fur started growing back. Her skin was also saggy from all the scratching. We’ve been to the vet and all they can provide us with is steroids. We were also told that her liver might fail if she stays on steroids so after much consideration, we decided to stop. She was another reason why I decided to switch the dogs to raw. Raw helped to a certain extent but there was a period where my mom switched her back to kibbles and her skin became worse and when we switched her back to raw, the improvement was really slow.
Within a week after she started taking kefir, we noticed her skin was not as flaky and she wasn’t scratching as much. After a month, she stopped having flaky skin and she only scratched occasionally, like a normal dog! Her fur started to grow back and there wasn’t any bald spots. Her skin was no longer saggy as well. Over that course of say, four months, she made such a drastic improvement, one we never thought could happen. Here’s what she looks like now.
Her fur is pretty messy now but we’re waiting for it to grow out before we send her for grooming!
Kefir has hands down been the best decision I’ve made for them. The only down that we had with Kefir was overfeeding. I didn’t start slow and started straight with 1 tbsp. They ended up with bacteria overgrowth and constant diarrhea for two weeks. After we got that cleared up, I decided to give kefir one more try by slowly introducing it to them and it really did work out this time. Lexie stopped having soft stools and Patches recovered from skin issues.
Besides the pups, I too will take kefir at least 3-5 times a week. I’m not a fan of the taste so I don’t drink it but instead, I use it to make overnight oats! It was a suggestion given by Michelle and since I have a lot of Kefir that usually go to waste, I thought why not? Here’s a site with recipes I follow to make overnight oats.
Hope this helps you understand more about this up-and-coming “trend” and the power of Kefir!
Remember what Patches looked like a few months back? Well, her fur has grown! This is how she looks like now.
Miracle, ain’t it? You can follow her updates at #patchesthetoypoodle.