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Showing posts with label Probiotics for Dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Probiotics for Dogs. Show all posts

Thursday, 17 May 2012

DIY Probiotics for Your Dog and Cat

If you would like to ensure that the probiotics you are providing for your dog and cat are viable, from a trusted source and are of the first quality you can make the probiotics yourself. Sauerkraut is quick, easy and very inexpensive to make. You can also make your own kefir - it is also simple to make, however you need to start by purchasing a few kefir grains.

Fresh Sauerkraut…

Fresh sauerkraut is a very concentrated source of probiotics.Typically fresh 'kraut contains 13 strains of bacteria and about 100 times more probiotics than most supplements; it is simple to make and most dogs enjoy the taste.


 The health benefits to your dog are many...
  • Aids in the digestion process;
  • Boosts the immune system;
  • Helps prevent cancer (sauerkraut contains compounds called isothiocyanates which protect against cancer);
  • Fights E. Coli, salmonella and candida;
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties (inflammation can trigger some cancers);
  • High in Vitamin A, B, C and E;
  • High in Minerals calcium and magnesium, folate, iron, potassium, copper and manganese;
  • High in phytonutirent antioxidants;
  • Helps alleviate anxiety and depression;
  • It helps generate omega-3 fatty acids;
  • It can help reduce allergy symptoms;
  • It is very low in fat and calories.

Kefir…
Is a creamy, naturally carbonated, fermented dairy product. Typically one tablespoon of kefir contains 5 billion beneficial bacteria. As a rich and concentrated source of beneficial bacteria the probiotics found in Kefir contribute to health in a wide variety of ways:


Contains a substantial amount of B Complex vitamins, Calcium, vitamin A, Vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus;
  • Contains typtophan, and essential amino acid;
  • Helps prevents illness;
  • Is easily digestible;
  • Is excellent for the immune system;
  • Natural antibiotic and anti-fungal properties;
  • Promotes anti-cancer and anti-tumour activity in the body;
  • Promotes the faster healing of wounds;
You can read more about the benefits in detail here.

So, let’s look at some simple but great recipes to make your own sauerkraut and kefir for your dog and cat- of course you can eat the sauerkraut and kefir as well, to gain the same health benefits.

Using organic products to make the recipes is always better than using non-organic, but either way the end product will be benficial for your dog and cat.


Sauerkraut Recipes



Recipe One - Simple Sauerkraut
  • 1 medium green cabbage;
  • 1 tbsp of sea salt;
  • Water - enough to submerge cabbage in jar(s);
  • 1 large mixing bowl;
  • 1 Mason jar (sterilized).
Optional ingredients
  • Fresh dill;
  • Juice of one fresh lemon.
This recipe makes about 1.6 litres of sauerkraut. See below for preparation instructions and amount to feed your dog.

Recipe Two - Confetti Sauerkraut
  • 1 medium green cabbage;
  • 1 medium red cabbage;
  • 2-3 tbsp of sea salt;
  • 1-2 cups water - enough to submerge cabbage in jar(s);
  • 1 large mixing bowl;
  • Mason jars (sterilized).

Optional ingredients
  • Grated carrot
  • Fresh dill or caraway seeds;
  • Juice of one fresh lemon;
  •  2-4 tbsp of fresh shredded ginger.

This recipe makes about 3 litres of sauerkraut.

Preparation

Make sure that you wash the cabbage prior to grating it and cut off any spots that are not fresh and healthy looking, cut off the bottom of the cabbage and save it. Once you place the prepared cabbage in to the Mason jar you can use the cabbage bottom that you have saved to press the cabbage to the bottom of the jar. Make sure that all utensils, surfaces, bowls, etc. are very clean in order to ensure that you do not contaminate the end product.


Shred or grate the cabbage, then mix in the salt. If you are using the optional ingredients mix them in as well. Press the resulting mixture into a mason jar. Make sure that you leave 2 to 3 inches empty at the top of the jar. Remember that the cabbage is going to ferment in order to become sauerkraut so you need to allow some space for the fermentation process to occur. Cut the cabbage bottom so it fits into the jar on top of the shredded cabbage and then firmly press the cabbage down into the jar until the juice rises above the shredded cabbage.


Now you are ready to seal the jar. You can squeeze fresh lemon juice over the jar rim and then the lid - this will ensure that any undesirable microbes are killed and that the sauerkraut remains pure and uncontaminated.
The sealed jar(s) should be placed in a location were they can sit at room temperature, away from direct light for a period of 4 to 10 days. Although you can eat the sauerkraut after 4 days, the longer the sauerkraut is allowed to sit and ferment the more variety and quantity of probiotics present - so waiting 10 days is best!

During the fermentation period you will likely see the cabbage (soon to be sauerkraut) bubble and change colour. You can periodically open the lid(s) to allow a little of the gas to escape, then use a clean utensil to push the cabbage back down leaving it submerged in the liquid.



Once you open a jar to eat it make sure you refrigerate it. The finished sauerkraut should be provided to your dog raw not heated as heating will destroy the probiotic quality as heat kills live bacteria. Kept in the refrigerator the fresh sauerkraut will preserve for several months.

Daily Dosage of Sauerkraut
  • Small size dogs - ½ tsp to 1 tbs
  • Medium size dogs - 1 to 2 tbs
  • Large dogs - 2 tbs to 3tbs
How to Introduce Sauerkraut to Your Dog’s Diet
As with any new foodstuff that you introduce to your dog’s diet you should go slow. The probiotics in sauerkraut are highly concentrated so give your dog’s system time to adjust. For the first few days to a week cut the recommended dosage in half. This will avoid stomach upset as your dog’s system adjusts to the increased quantity of good flora in their GI tract. You can bring the daily dosage up to the recommended amount over the space of a few days to a week or two. If your dog has a negative reaction to the new food stop providing the food to your dog. All of my dogs get kefir, sauerkraut and yogurt on a daily basis. None of my 10 dogs have ever had a negative reaction to any of these food stuffs.

Kefir Recipe

You will need the following utensils:
  • 3 wide-mouth quart jars complete with lids;
  • 1 wooden slotted spoon or fork;
  • 1 wire whisk that will fit inside jar;
  • 1 plastic strainer.
 
You will need the following Ingredients:
  • Whole, milk (organic, farm-fresh milk if possible) - enough to fill the jars leaving a little space at the top;
  • 1 tsp of kefir grains per each quart of milk.
  • You will need to purchase the kefir grains (or kefir starter) from a health food store or on-line;
  • You can, if you wish also purchase Kefir making kits.


Preparation
  • Sterilize the jars and all utensils;
  • Place the appropriate qty of kefir grains in the bottom of each jar;


  • Fill the jar with milk leaving to 2 to 3 inches empty at the top of the jar - the kefir will need room to ferment;
  • Secure the lids on to the jars;
  • Put the jars in a paper bag(s) and place the bags in a warm place (the ambient air temperature must be about 210C/70oF…leave the jars to sit, undisturbed for 24 hours;
  • After 24 hours the contents in the jars should have a soft, delicate solid consistency and when the jar is slightly tipped over there should be a little liquid that separates from the solid;
  • Place the jars (still in paper bags) in a cool, dark place to cure for an additional 8 to 10 hours - this time the ambient air temperature should be as close to 100C/50oF as possible;
  • After the 8 to 10 hour curing period gently shake the jar(s), remove the lid(s), use the wooden spoon to remove the kefir grains (you will notice that the kefir grains are larger as they have grown during the during process). Place the grains in another clean jar, secure a lid and set the jar aside. Once the kefir has been removed from the cured jar of kefir, use a wisk to beat the kefir to a smooth blended consistency;
  • Place the strainer over the wisked kefir and pour the kefir into another clean jar, secure the lid - the kefir is ready to drink, or you can refrigerate it for later;

  • You can then take the remaining kefir grains from the strained jar, combine them with the other kefir grains and start another batch of kefir. 



Daily Dosage of Kefir
  • Small size dogs and cats - 1 tsp
  • Medium size dogs - 1 tbs
  • Large dogs - 1 1/2 to 2 tbs

How to Introduce Kefir to Your Dog’s and Cat's Diet

As with any new foodstuff that you introduce to your dog’s and cat's diet you should go slow. The probiotics in kefir are highly concentrated so give your dog’s and cat's system time to adjust. For the first few days to a week cut the recommended dosage in half. This will avoid stomach upset as your dog’s system adjusts to the increased quantity of good flora in their GI tract. You can bring the daily dosage up to the recommended amount over the space of a few days to a week or two. If your dog has a negative reaction to the new food stop providing the food to your dog and cat. All of my dogs get kefir, sauerkraut and yogurt on a daily basis. None of my 10 dogs or my cats have ever had a negative reaction to any of these food stuffs.



DIY Nutritious Treats Made with Yogurt and Cheese
  • DIY Smoothies & Frozen Treats for Dogs and Cats – Nutrient Rich Refreshing Relief During Hot Weather - recipes and health benefits here.


Holistic Support

If you require additional support and guidance I would be pleased to assist you via my Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness Services:
  • Unbiased Diet, Nutrition, Product Advice is available via this service
  • Diet, Nutrition Wellness Plans are available via this service

Foods, Rich in Probiotics - Beneficial For Your Dog and Cat

Kefir and fresh sauerkraut are inexpensive, readily available and are two of the best sources of viable, high quality probiotics - in fact both of these foods contain more strains of bacteria and more probiotics than most supplements.

Sauerkraut typically contains 13 strains of bacteria and about 100 times more probiotics than most probiotoc supplements. Kefir typically contains about 10 strains and 5 billion beneficial bacteria. Only the best of Probiotic Supplements for dogs can match these two foods! Your dog gets all of the health benefits at a fraction of the cost of prepared supplements.

Kefir

Kefir is a creamy, dairy based food made from the milk of cows or goats, sheep, coconut milk, rice or 1soy. Kefir is one of the oldest forms of cultured milk. Although it is similar to yogurt, kefir provides even more health benefits than yogurt.  


History of Kefir
The use of Kefir dates back about 2000 years. It was developed by shepherds in the Caucasian Mountains. The shepherds carried fresh milk in leather pouches - on occasion the milk would ferment into grains and result in an effervescent beverage. The grains were considered precious. Upon discovery, the people of the mountain learned to culture kefir by talking the kefir grains and mixing them with fresh, raw, cow or goat milk which they left in goatskin leather bags to ferment. If you would like to learn more about the history of kefir you can check this site out.

Active Ingredients in Kefir
Fermented milk results in the formulation of ‘gains’ that look like small cauliflower florettes. The kefir grains are made up of casein and gelatinous colonies of friendly (beneficial) bacteria - predominantly Lactic Streptococci, Lactobacillus caucasicus, Leuconnostoc species, Saccharomyces kefir, Torula kefir. In addition the kernels include some yeast. Kefir is the only cultured milk product that has more than three types of beneficial mico-organisms, typically averaging about 10 strains of bacteria.


Lactobacilli (genus)
Streptococci/lactococci (genus)
Yeasts

Strains…
Lb. acidophilus
Lb. brevis
Lb. casei ssp.alactosus
Lb. casei ssp. rhamnosus 
Lb. casei
Lb. cellobiosus
Lb. delbrueckii ssp. lactis
Lb. delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus
Lb. fructivorans
Lb. helveticus ssp. lactis
Lb. hilgardii
Lb. kefir
Lb. lactis
Lb. kefiranofaciens
Lb. kefirgranum sp. no
Lb parakefir sp. nov.

Strains…
Lc. lactis ssp. lactis
Lc. lactis var. diacetylactis
Lc. lactis ssp. cremoris
S.  lactis
S.  salivarius ssp. thermophilus
Enterococcus durans
Leuconostoc cremoris
L. mesenteroides

Candida kefir
C. pseudotropicalis
K. bulgaricus 
K. fragilis / marxianus Kluyveromyces lactis
Kluyveromyces marxianus var. marxianus
Saccharomyces ssp.
Torulopsis holmii

Benefits of Kefir
Typically one tablespoon of kefir contains 5 billion beneficial bacteria. As a rich and concentrated source of beneficial bacteria the probiotics found in Kefir contribute to health in a wide variety of ways:
  • Contains a substantial amount of B Complex vitamins, Calcium, vitamin A, Vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus;
  • Contains tyrptophan, and essential amino acid;
  • Helps prevents illness;
  • Is easily digestible;
  • Is excellent for the immune system;
  • Natural antibiotic and anti-fungal properties;
  • Promotes anti-cancer and anti-tumour activity in the body;
  • Promotes the faster healing of wounds;

Caution
Sugar and artificial sweeteners are not good for dogs or cats so make sure you purchase plain, natural kefir.

How to Introduce Kefir to Your Dog’s Diet
As with any new foodstuff that you introduce to your dog’s and cat's diet you should go slow. The probiotics in kefir are highly concentrated so give your dog’s and cat's system time to adjust. For the first few days to a week cut the recommended dosage in half. This will avoid stomach upset as your dog’s and cat's system adjusts to the increased quantity of good flora in their GI tract. You can bring the daily dosage up to the recommended amount over the space of a few days to a week or two. If your dog has a negative reaction to the new food stop providing the food to your dog. All of my dogs get kefir, sauerkraut and yogurt on a daily basis. None of my 10 dogs have ever had a negative reaction to any of these food stuffs.

Recommended Daily Intake of Kefir or Yogurt
      • Small size dogs and cats - 1 tsp to 1 tbs 
      • Medium size dogs - 1/8 cup
      • Large dogs - 1/3 cup
      • Extra large dogs - 1/2 cup
      You can increase (either a little or by doubling) the daily intake noted above if you wish to increase the amount of probiotics ingested by your dog and cat on a daily basis. Just make sure to increase gradually over the space of days or weeks.

      You can read more about the health benefits of kefir and yogurt here .

      DIY Nutritious Treats Made with Yogurt and Cheese
      • DIY Smoothies & Frozen Treats for Dogs and Cats – Nutrient Rich Refreshing Relief During Hot Weather - recipes and health benefits here.

      Sauerkraut

      Sauerkraut is made by: combining finely shredded fresh cabbage and salt (about 1.5% salt), then packing the resulting mixture into an airtight container and allowing it to ferment for three days at 23 degrees Celsius and then for an additional eight weeks at a cooler temperature. 

      History of Sauerkraut
      Although many people think of sauerkraut as a German invented foodstuff, its true origins are thought to be ancient China. The Chinese have been fermenting cabbage since 200 BC. Over 2,000 years ago, Chinese labourers responsible for building the Great Wall of China ate sauerkraut as part of their daily diet - that early version was made using rice-wine. It is assumed that sauerkraut made its way to Europe 1000 years later during the 13th century when Gengis Kahn plundered China. The Romans carried barrels of sauerkraut on long campaigns - feeding it to soldiers in order to prevent intestinal infections. The Dutch sea faring traders ate sauerkraut on a regular basis as it could be easily kept on board ship, do not require refrigeration and helped to prevent scurvy due to its high vitamin C content. Captain James Cooke followed the example of the Dutch sailors.

      Active Ingredients in Sauerkraut
      Sauerkraut is a dense source of a wide range of benefical lactic acid bacteria. The predominate bacteria in sauerkraut is Lactobacillus plantarum. While commercially produced sauerkraut does retain these valuable properties, fresh sauerkraut is higher in beneficial organisms. Sauerkraut typically contains 13 strains of bacteria and about 100 times more probiotics than most supplements while being a lot less expensive! If you are purchasing rather than making your own sauerkraut, make sure it is in the refrigerated section of the store to ensure that it contains live bacteria.

      One of the best ways to ensure that you are providing your dog with fresh, probiotic sauerkraut is to make it yourself! If you would like to see some simple but very good sauerkraut recipes you can read this article. Sauerkraut is quick, easy and very inexpensive to make.

      Benefits of Sauerkraut
      Aids in the digestion process;
      Boosts the immune system;
      Helps prevent cancer (sauerkraut contains compounds called isothiocyanates which protect against cancer);
      Fights E. Coli, salmonella and candida;
      Has anti-inflammatory properties (inflammation can cause some cancers);
      High in Vitamin A, B, C and E;
      High in Minerals calcium and magnesium, folate, iron, potassium, copper and manganese;
      High in phytonutirent antioxidants;
      Helps alleviate anxiety and depression;
      It helps generate omega-3 fatty acids;
      It can help reduce allergy symptoms;
      It is very low in fat and calories.

      Each batch of fresh, raw sauerkraut contains different species of beneficial probiotics in different proportions. The table below provides a list of the bacteria species found in sauerkraut.

      Main Species
      Secondary Species

      - Lactobacillus brevis 
      - Lactobacillus plantarum 
      - Leuconostoc mesenteroides, - Pediococcus pentosaceus


      - Lactobacillus coryniformis 
      - Lactobacillus curvatus 
      - Lactobacillus sakei
      - Lactococcus lactis subsp lactis  
      - Lactobacillus paraplantarum  
      - Leuconostoc argentinum
      - Leuconostoc citreum
      - Leuconostoc fallax
      - Weissella species


      In addition, 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of fresh sauerkraut contains…

      Nutritional Information
      Vitamins
      Minerals
      Calories
      23
      15 mg Vitamin C
      48mg Calcium
      Carbohydrates
      4.3g
      .21mg Vitamin B6
      1.5mg Iron
      Fat  
      14g  
      1.5mg Vitamin K
      288mg Potassium
      Protein
      9mg

      14mg Magnesium
      Sodium
      661mg


      Water
      92g



      Caution
      Alcohol is poisonous to dogs so do not purchase wine sauerkraut. Make sure you purchase or make water based sauerkraut rather than wine based sauerkraut.

      How to Introduce Sauerkraut to Your Dog’s Diet
      As with any new foodstuff that you introduce to your dog’s diet you should go slow. The probiotics in sauerkraut are highly concentrated so give your dog’s system time to adjust. For the first few days to a week cut the recommended dosage in half. This will avoid stomach upset as your dog’s system adjusts to the increased quantity of good flora in their GI tract. You can bring the daily dosage up to the recommended amount over the space of a few days to a week or two. If your dog has a negative reaction to the new food stop providing the food to your dog. All of my dogs get kefir, sauerkraut and yogurt on a daily basis. None of my 10 dogs have ever had a negative reaction to any of these food stuffs.

      Recommended Minimum Daily Intake of Sauerkraut

      • Small size dogs - ½ tsp to 1 tbs
      • Medium size dogs - 1tbs to 2 tbs
      • Large dogs - 2 tbs to 3 tbs
      You can increase (either a little or by doubling) the daily intake noted above if you wish to increase the amount of probiotics ingested by your dog on a daily basis. Just make sure to increase gradually over the space of days or weeks.



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      Related Articles

      Probiotics for Dogs, Essential for Optimal Health - What, Why, When and How


      Notes

      1 If you live in North America, do not purchase kefir made from soy. 99% of soy grown in North America is derived from genetically modified (GM) seeds. GM Round-up Ready Crops are a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide used to kill weeds. The long-term health affects of ingesting GM foods is suspected of causing serious health problems. Numerous studies on animals suggest reproductive problems as a side effect of glyphosate exposure. In addition GM crops are seriously detrimental to soil health, and the health of important insects such as bees.

      As well, large factory farms use a method to process soy that leaves it very high in photoestrogens. Photoestrogens have been proven to interfere with reproduction and thyroid function. Factory farming processing methods for soy also result in a product that is very high in phytates. Phytates prevent mineral absorption as well as substances that prevent the normal function of enzymes required to digest protein. And one last thumbs down for large factory farm produced soy - it has one of the highest concentrations of pesticides found in North American crops. Traditional methods of processing soy by fermentation (as employed in Japan and China) greatly reduces photoestrogens, and phytates, thus making consumption of the resulting soy, safe and nutritional.