By Honor Tarpenning, NextDayPets.com Staff
Brewers yeast, a byproduct of the beer brewing process, is widely used as a canine dietary supplement and is believed to have a broad range of benefits to your dog. There is some conflict surrounding the use of brewers yeast as a dietary supplement for pets and humans.
The greatest controversy surrounding the use of brewers yeast in dogs is that most forms available on the market include garlic in their recipes. Garlic is a cousin of the onion, which is known to be toxic to dogs. Ingestion of large quantities of onion by a dog can lead to hemolytic anemia, an abnormal breaking-down of red blood cells; but what about garlic? The general consensus seems to be that garlic is toxic to dogs in a similar way, but to a significantly lesser degree. Garlic has been used in dog food and treats for decades for its health benefits and to make the food more palatable. It has been established by many vets that there’s very little chance a dog would or even could eat enough garlic to establish a harmful level of toxin in his system. On the other hand, the benefits of garlic to dogs are the same as those for people—the advantages certainly outweigh the vague and unlikely possibility of slight toxicity.
Supplementing your dog’s diet with brewers yeast in conjunction with garlic has a vast array of alleged benefits. It is widely used as a non-chemical method to control fleas, ticks, and even mosquitoes. It is believed to stimulate the immune system, lower the pH of urine to protect your yard, repel worms in the digestive tract, improve circulation, lower blood cholesterol, act as an expectorant, expelling irritants from the lungs, clear-up skin conditions, improve the quality of dog’s coat and reduce shedding, and is even believed to reduce that pungent “dog smell.”
Brewers yeast is also a great source of protein, amino acids, phosphorous, iron, calcium, B vitamins, and chromium.
Brewer’s yeast comes in powder or in tablets. You can sprinkle the powder or crumble the tablets over your dog’s food, or give the palatable tablets to your dog as a treat.