Friday, 11 January 2019

Why I Don’t Recommend Brewer’s Yeast for Dogs and Cats

Going against the grain. 

Why I don’t recommend Brewer’s yeast for dogs and cats. 

Discover safe, health supportive alternatives.

The Pet Food Industry and Pet Supplement Industry wants you to believe brewer’s yeast is good for your dog and cat.

The industry promotes brewer’s yeast as a desirable ingredient to repel fleas, aid appetite, support fur and skin health. All good right?



The pet industry fails to divulge the rest of the story - the FACT that…

Brewer’s yeast can trigger and contribute to health issues and conditions.

There I said it.

So why would the pet industry ardently promote the use of brewer’s yeast? Maintenance of high profit margins. Brewer’s yeast is a very low-cost, readily available substance. 

What Is Brewer’s Yeast?

Brewer’s yeast is a type of one-celled fungus – scientific name “Saccharomyces cerevisiae”. The word Saccharomyces comes from the Greek word for sugar. The fungus species name ‘cerevisiae’ comes from the Latin language, and means beer.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae was discovered thousands of years ago.

Mesopotamians made an alcoholic beverage with sugar and water fermented with yeast. This beverage later became known as beer.

Today there are three main sources of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Brewer’s yeast).

One – brewer’s yeast is still used by breweries to make beer.  Breweries cultivate the yeast on hops, malted barley or other grains. Yeast sits in the grain-liquid solution to ferment. Yeast microbes lose their viability when used many times. When no longer useful to ferment beer, inactive yeast (waste-yeast) is replaces with new yeast.

Two - brewer’s yeast is also grown on molasses made from sugar beets or sugar cane. This yeast is grown for human and non-human-animal food. It's also used in the making of 'health' supplements.

Three - Saccharomyces cerevisiae exists in the natural environment. It's also present in human and non-human animals gastrointestinal tract. On the skin of humans, and non-human animals including cats and dogs.

Brewer’s Yeast Use in Food and Supplements

Breweries sell the inactive yeast to the food processing industry. The inactive yeast is a food and supplement ingredient. Used for humans, and non-human animals – farm animals, zoo animals, and domestic animals. Brewer's yeast, a waste product of alcohol manufacturing, makes money for the industry.

Brewer’s yeast appears in a wide range of made-for-pet products. Products advertised as "high quality", "all natural", "holistic". Veterinarian Prescription pet food, treats and supplements contain Brewer's yeast..

Beneficial Properties of (inactive) Brewer’s Yeast

Protein (non-mammalian protein)

Vitamin B


Harmful Properties of (inactive) Brewer’s Yeast

Degraded, Toxic Source of Minerals, Protein, and Vitamin B

Most brewer’s yeast is cultivated on conventional grains. Glyphosate is sprayed on conventional grain to desiccate (dry-out) the crops prior to harvesting.

Glyphosate is also used on GMO grains, GMO sugar beets, and GMO sugar cane.  These crops contain high levels of glyphosate residue.

On March 20, 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released its findings on glyphosate. IARC’s conclusion; there is “sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity”. 

Conventional crops are cultivated with synthetic chemical fertilizers that contain (toxic) heavy metals.

Heavy metals are drawn into the plants via the root system and remain in the plant after harvesting. 

Glyphosate, heavy metals and other toxins used to grow grain crops result in a crop deficient in nutritive value. The crops are also toxin-contaminated.

Vitamins and minerals yielded from these crops are of poor quality. Brewers' Yeast is cultivated on these crops. The resulting yeast provides poor quality nutritive value contaminated with toxic residue.

Brewer’s Yeast – A source of MSG

The protein in Brewer’s yeast is a source of free glutamic acid – also known as MSG.

Glutamic acid (MSG) has an inflammatory effect on the brain. Inflammation contributes to onset of cognitive issues such as dementia. MSG is known as the 'silent killer'.

Brewer’s Yeast Contributes to Overgrowth of Bad Bacteria

Brewer's yeast can exacerbate bad bacteria overgrowth. Dogs and cats prone to, or experiencing overgrowth of bad bacteria should not consume Brewer's yeast.

The pet food and supplement industry does NOT want you to know Brewer’s yeast IS an inflammation-promoting substance.

Brewer's Yeast Proven to Be Ineffective as a Flea Repellent

Inactive Brewer's yeast; this is the type of Brewer's yeast used by the food industry has been proven ineffective as a flea repellent for dogs and cats

You Will Hear

You will hear people say, “since I put my dog on Brewer’s yeast his skin and fur is so much better”. Or “my dog isn’t getting so many fleas since I put her on brewer’s yeast”. A dog may experience an improvement in one set of symptoms. But the dog or cat is also exposed to an increased toxic load. Also increased risk of inflammatory issues and conditions in the short and long-term. The Pet Industry profits while your cat and dog pay the ultimate price. Degradation of long-term health. An unfair and unnecessary outcome when there are so many safe, affordable, alternatives.

Alternatives to Brewer’s Yeast

Supplemental Foods That Help Repel Insects and Parasites

There are many supplemental foods that can help your dog and cat be less-attractive to fleas. 

These alternatives are inexpensive, readily available, and don’t have adverse side effects.

These supplemental foods and herbs support health and make your companion animal less attractive to insects and parasites. For instructions on dosing and use of these items is go here.

Species Appropriate Foods for Cats, Dogs - Rich in B Vitamins and Protein

A few examples below.  You can go to the link for each item to read more, including how to include the item in your dogs and cats diet...

Holistic Wellness and Behaviorist Services

Do you need holistic advice to support your companion animal's health and well being? Become a client. Book your consultation. My professional holistic nutrition, wellness and behavioral services are available to you:
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✅  Maintain Health, and;
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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld


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Important Note

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

2.0 Definition of Holistic…

Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press


"relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

"Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

4.0 Leave a Comment

I review all comments and publish those deemed appropriate for this site.

I answer questions deemed appropriate when I have time to do so.

Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

Karen Rosenfeld
Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats