Fermented veggies for dogs can be beneficial. Like us, dogs can benefit from incorporating vegetables into their diet. But how are they beneficial? And what’s the big deal about fermented veggies?
Should Dogs Eat Veggies?
Do you remember when you were growing up and your mother always told you to “finish eating your vegetables, or no dessert”? Yeah, me too.
Some people might argue the fact that, “My dog is a carnivore. Why would I feed her veggies?” The answer is simple. Your dog’s digestive tract is similar to their ancestors’. Wolves in the wild hunt and eat prey, such as rabbits. Rabbits eat vegetables. Thus, the wolf ingests the vegetables the rabbit has ingested prior.
Feeding Veggies Properly
Some raw feeders, and dog lovers in general, believe you shouldn’t just feed them vegetables raw. So, if you don’t feed them raw, then how should they be prepared?
Do your own research before you choose whether or not to feed vegetables raw.
How do you feed them, then? If your dog has cancer or another type of degenerative condition, we can help them out using methods like pureeing, grinding, or fermenting vegetables.
These methods break down the plants’ cellular walls and help dogs absorb all the nutrients available.
Fermented foods are rich in natural probiotics from the good bacteria that grow during the fermentation process. Probiotics also make it easier for your dog’s gut to break down the nutrients into what they can actually use and process.
Your dog’s immune system is primarily in their gut; so, by supporting the gut, you’re also supporting the immune system. It is possible to buy pre-made fermented vegetables, but many dog lovers prefer to make their own so they know exactly what they’re giving their dog.
Many pre-made fermented veggies or those in cans contain high amounts of sodium
If you have never fed fermented veggies to your dog before, it is best to start with a simple sauerkraut fermentation, like the one below.
- 1 head of organic green cabbage
- 2% himalayan salt (approximately 1 TBSP)
Himalayan salt is recommended over table salt because it is rich in minerals, whereas table salt is 97% sodium chloride with the trace minerals removed.
- Shred your cabbage as desired.
- Place shredded cabbage into bowl.
- Add 2% salt (compared to the weight of the head of the cabbage) to the shredded cabbage. Most cabbage you grab or pick around 2 pounds, so you would add 1 TBSP of salt.
- Massage the salt into the cabbage mixture and allow it to sit for 1-2 hours.
- You will know it’s ready to pack if you notice liquid on the bottom of the bowl.
- Squeeze cabbage mixture and pack into glass jar.
- Take a leaf from the cabbage head and firmly push on top of your cabbage mixture to keep it “packed”.
- If the weather is warm, your fermented veggie mix will be ready to eat in 3-4 weeks. In the wintertime it should take 5-6 weeks. For big dogs, you can start by feeding 1 TSP per meal. For small dogs, ½ TSP or less is recommended when starting to feed for the first time.
Not all vegetables are safe for dogs. Do your research to determine which ones are safe and which ones aren’t.
Summary of Benefits of Fermented Foods
Although you have to wait to feed fermented foods until they’re done, the benefits are worth the wait.
Fermented foods can offer a variety of benefits for dogs, just as they do for humans. These benefits are largely due to the probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, that are created during the fermentation process. Here’s a list of some of the potential benefits:
- Improved Digestive Health: Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, which can help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your dog’s gut. This can lead to better digestion and absorption of nutrients.
- Stronger Immune System: A large portion of the immune system is located in the gut. By promoting a healthy gut microbiome, fermented foods may help to strengthen your dog’s immune system and increase their resistance to infections.
- Support Skin Health: Some research suggests that probiotics can help manage skin conditions in dogs, including allergies and atopic dermatitis.
- Reduced Diarrhea: Certain strains of probiotics can help reduce the duration of diarrhea or even prevent it, especially when it’s related to stress or the use of antibiotics.
- Better Breath: Fermented foods can also help improve your dog’s oral health and potentially improve bad breath by balancing the bacteria in your dog’s mouth.
- Increased Nutrient Absorption: The fermentation process breaks down nutrients and makes them more bioavailable, meaning your dog can absorb and utilize them more efficiently.
- Detoxification: Fermented foods are believed to help the body’s detoxification process by promoting a healthy gut and supporting the elimination of waste.
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The FullBucket Daily Dog is a concentrated yeast-based formula that naturally supports digestion and immune function in adult dogs utilizing probiotic, prebiotic, digestive enzymes & L-Glutamine. It’s all natural, formulated and used by veterinarians, and assists in a healthy gut microbiome.
Do Your Research
Remember to introduce fermented foods into your dog’s diet gradually to avoid digestive upset. Also, not all fermented foods are safe for dogs, so it’s important to do your research or consult with a vet before adding these to your dog’s diet. Some dog-friendly fermented foods include kefir, fermented vegetables, and fermented fish stock.