Benefits of Brewer's Yeast for Dogs

Unconventional methods of treatment tend to have their followers and haters in equal measure. Using brewer's yeast for dog allergies is one such method, and this Buzzle article attempts to clear the air.
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Benefits of brewer's yeast for dogs
Did You Know?
Brewer's yeast is made from a one-celled fungus called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is used to make beer.

We're perpetually on the lookout for that one pet health supplement that acts as a miracle healer for all that ails our beloved furries. And then we chance upon brewer's yeast, which just makes us go "really?", considering its primary use as a brewing agent.

Brewer's yeast, in fact, has been traditionally used as a nutritional supplement, being an antioxidant and a good source of B-complex vitamins, chromium, and selenium. The B-complex vitamins in this yeast include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folic acid, and biotin. These are required by the body to break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, support the nervous system and digestive muscles, and maintain overall health.

Brewer's Yeast for Flea Treatment

This supplement brings about an improvement in the quality of the dog's skin and fur. In fact, some even advocate the use of brewer's yeast for flea treatment in dogs. It is believed that its consumption emanates a peculiar odor from the skin, which acts as a flea repellent. Although this has not been conclusively established, there are several dog parents who have seen a relatively flea-free pet after being given the supplement.

But don't these supplements contain garlic?
Garlic is proven to be toxic to dogs, which is why pet parents are reluctant to try these supplements as they do contain traces of garlic. However, the proportion of garlic is minimal, and it poses no real threat to the dog. That said, if you are still in doubt, it is best to have a chat with your vet, who should be able to advise you appropriately.

Rather than relying entirely on the supplement to take effect, you may want to keep other measures in effect as well, in case the flea infestation is severe. Brush your dog's coat daily, and frequently vacuum the seating, bedding, and upholstery. Keep your dog's sleeping area clean at all times and bathe him regularly.

For a Healthy and Shiny Coat

The presence of antioxidants makes brewer's yeast a worthy ingredient to boost healthy skin. This means that your pet's skin does not get dry and itchy anymore. Also, healthy skin translates to a soft and shiny coat, which can be achieved with a combination of nutritious food, plenty of water, lots of exercise, regular brushing, and of course, this health supplement.

For Anxiety Relief

If your dog is prone to suffering from separation anxiety or displays other symptoms of stress, brewer's yeast supplement may prove helpful. The B-complex present in the supplement aids in calming the nerves and alleviating the ill effects of stress. It further helps in restoring the vitamin B levels that are rapidly depleted. Once this balance is restored, the brain sends signals to thwart the release hormones like adrenaline and epinephrine that trigger feelings of anxiety.

The rule of thumb to follow in case of pets is to never, ever self-medicate them. Firstly, most medicines meant for humans are not suitable for dogs, and in case they are, there is a huge difference in the dosage. Even when it comes to "natural" health supplements, such as brewer's yeast, always consult the vet before you feed them to your dog. If not, follow the dosage instructions on the label because it varies according to the weight of the pet. Any mistakes here, and your dog may suffer from some serious side effects.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by a veterinarian on the subject.
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Published: April 25, 2014
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