So you drink kombucha around the clock and have been noticing its amazing benefits for humans. But can dogs drink kombucha?
Kombucha for dogs is likely safe and (possibly even beneficial) in tiny amounts. Make sure to give a small amount to your pup and see how they feel. Only serve them with unflavored kombucha since certain additives may affect your furry friend.
Stick around as we delve deeper into the world of kombucha for dogs, where we’ll uncover the dos and don’ts, potential benefits, and how to safely introduce this fermented wonder into your pup’s diet!
Can I Give My Dog Kombucha?
Humans love Kombucha for many reasons, primarily its probiotic health benefits. And it’s natural to think that using the same substance can help relieve your dog’s gastrointestinal issues.
It’s totally possible that kombucha can help a dog in the following cases:
- Digestive problems: Kombucha can help with bloating, flatulence, and indigestion.
- Inflammation: The antioxidants in kombucha can reduce inflammation caused by arthritis or other conditions.
- Bad breath: Kombucha has antibacterial properties that can improve bad breath.
- Post-antibiotic treatment: Kombucha can help restore the balance of good bacteria in the gut after a course of antibiotics.
But as with all things, the poison is in the dose, and it’s always best to start with a tiny amount to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Start by giving your dog one teaspoon of unflavored kombucha a day. If your pup responds well to this portion, you can consider giving them up to 2 teaspoons of this probiotic drink.
If your dog weighs less than 10 pounds, it’s best to avoid giving them any kombucha or provide them with a very small amount through a dropper to test their tolerance.
The Golden Rules For Kombucha For Dogs
These are the best practices for feeding your furry friend this probiotic elixir:
- Keep the amount very small and build up over time
- However, don’t give kombucha to your pup all of the time. Stick to treating mild tummy symptoms or re-establishing your dog’s biome after a round of antibiotics
- Research the level of caffeine in the type of kombucha you’re using
- Make sure the kombucha you use isn’t flavored, or contains flavorings that are safe for your dog
- Consider learning how to make kombucha so you can control your batches and make sure they’re safe
- Give your dog your kombucha SCOBY, a great alternative to a kombucha dog drink (more on this below)
- Monitor your dog’s reaction when you give your dog kombucha to make sure they aren’t having any adverse effects
By following these simple but important rules, you’ll likely have no trouble sharing this fizzy concoction with your pup.
Is Kombucha Safe For Dogs?
Yes, plain kombucha is generally safe for dogs, primarily due to its probiotic content which can support digestive health. However, certain factors need to be taken into account.
Kombucha is typically brewed using black and green tea, both of which contain caffeine. While the caffeine content is considerably reduced during the fermentation process, trace amounts are still present in the final product.
As per the FDA, an 8 oz serving of an average tea contains around 30–50 mg of caffeine. Given this, an 8-oz bottle of kombucha could pack anywhere from 10–15 mg of caffeine. However, this figure could rise if the kombucha is brewed using a strong tea base.
Decoding the Caffeine Levels in Various Kombucha Brands
Kombucha’s caffeine content can vary significantly across brands. Some brands, such as KeVita Kombucha, are known for their high caffeine content, averaging up to 68 milligrams per serving.
Other brands, like Brew Dr. Kombucha, contain roughly 15mg of caffeine in a 14oz bottle – comparable to a cup of decaf coffee.
Quick Caffeine Calculations for Your Dog
- Caffeine becomes dangerous for dogs at levels around 140mg/kg of their body weight.
- This translates to roughly 63mg of caffeine for each pound the dog weighs
- Kombucha contains an average of 10-15mg of caffeine per bottle
- For an average size dog, this means that 1-2 teaspoons of kombucha per day should be safe. But make sure to do your calculations first!
Let’s Discuss Kombucha Flavorings and Dogs
Flavored kombucha often contains various ingredients like cocoa, nuts, and spices that may not be suitable for dogs. To stay on the side, only give your pup unflavored versions of this fermented drink.
Here’s a list of ingredients to avoid when giving kombucha to dogs:
- Nuts or nut oils (including coconut oil)
- Dairy products
- Excessive sugars
- Artificial sweeteners like xylitol and sucralose
- Alcohol (most commercial kombucha is non-alcoholic, but check the label to be sure)
Potential Problems With Giving Kombucha To Dogs
Feeding kombucha to dogs isn’t without its risks. The caffeine content can lead to toxicity if consumed in excess, which can cause serious, potentially fatal symptoms.
I don’t want to be alarmist, but it’s always important to know the signs of danger so you can react quickly and responsibly if anything goes wrong.
These may include:
- Elevated heart rate
- Abnormal heart rhythms
Moreover, kombucha often contains additives, such as artificial sweeteners, that can be harmful to dogs. For instance, xylitol, a common sweetener, is highly toxic to dogs and can cause hypoglycemia (a sudden drop in blood sugar).
This can lead to additional symptoms like:
- Coordination problems
In severe cases, xylitol can even cause liver damage. Other additives like certain fruits, spices, or nuts can cause gastrointestinal upset, pancreatitis, or allergic reactions in dogs.
As always, contact your vet if you are concerned about the safety of kombucha for your pup.
Can Dogs Eat Kombucha SCOBYs?
Yes, dogs can safely consume Kombucha SCOBYs (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast).
SCOBYs: A Fantastic Probiotic Alternative for Dogs
A Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY) is a living home for the bacteria and yeast that transform sweet tea into tangy, fizzy kombucha. It’s a great alternative probiotic for dogs primarily because it doesn’t contain as much of the tea itself and none of the potentially harmful flavorings.
Here are some creative ways to serve your dog a kombucha SCOBY:
- Dehydrate the SCOBY: You can dry out the SCOBY in the oven or a dehydrator until it becomes a chewy treat for your pet.
- Mix it with Dog Food: Break up a small amount of the SCOBY and mix it directly into your dog’s food.
- Enhance Flavor with Chicken Broth: Dribble a bit of chicken broth (ensure it does not contain onion or garlic) onto the SCOBY to make it more palatable for your pet.
- Blend it Up: Blend the SCOBY into a smooth paste that can be easily mixed with your dog’s food or used as a treat.
- Freeze it for Later: If you have an excess of SCOBYs, you can freeze them and use them later as a cool treat on a hot day.
Remember, always introduce new foods gradually and monitor your dog’s reaction. Consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about adding kombucha SCOBYs to your dog’s diet.
How Do You Make Kombucha Dog Treats?
While you can simply give your dog a piece of a raw SCOBY or dehydrated SCOBY or pour some liquid in their water bowl, I know you want to make sure that your dog is getting the most out of their kombucha treat.
So, here are two recipe options that you can try at home to improve your furry friend’s digestion:
SCOBY and Dog Food Probiotic Treats Recipe
Creating a probiotic treat for your pup using kombucha SCOBY and ground-up dog food is a simple yet nutritious way to pamper your pet. Follow these easy steps:
- 2 Kombucha SCOBYs
- 1 cup of your dog’s favorite dry food, ground into small pieces
- Start by dehydrating your SCOBYs. To do this, preheat your oven to its lowest setting, typically around 150°F.
- Place the SCOBYs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Dehydrate in the oven for approximately 4–5 hours, or until the SCOBYs are fully dried and have a chewy texture.
- Once the SCOBYs are dehydrated, let them cool and then mash them into a fine, crumbly texture.
- In a separate bowl, grind your dog’s food until it’s a fine powder. You can use a food processor or a mortar and pestle for this.
- Combine the mashed SCOBY and ground dog food in a mixing bowl. Add a bit of water to create a paste, but not too much to make it soupy. Stir until the mixture is well incorporated.
- Using a spoon or your hands, shape the mixture into small, bite-sized treats. Make sure the treats are appropriately sized for your dog to prevent choking hazards.
- Once shaped, place the treats on a lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 150°F for 10–15 minutes or until the treats are firm and golden brown.
- Allow the treats to cool down before serving them to your dog.
Remember, these treats are a supplement and shouldn’t replace your dog’s regular meals. Serve these in moderation and always monitor your dog while they’re enjoying new treats!
An Even Easier Method
If you’re looking for an even simpler method to introduce your dog to kombucha SCOBYs, this one’s for you.
- Cut the SCOBY into bite-sized pieces appropriate for your dog’s size. Be sure the pieces are small enough to prevent any choking hazards.
- Soak these pieces in a small amount of plain chicken or beef broth. Ensure the broth is unsalted and does not contain any harmful ingredients such as onions or garlic.
- Place the soaked SCOBY pieces in the refrigerator and leave them overnight.
- The following day, these broth-soaked SCOBY pieces can be fed to your dog as is. Monitor your dog as they enjoy this new treat to ensure they’re reacting well.
The Bottom Line: Can Dogs Drink Kombucha?
I’d like to reassure you that dogs can indeed enjoy the benefits of kombucha and it’s safe in small amounts.
However, moderation is key. Always ensure that the kombucha you’re offering is free from harmful additives like caffeine, alcohol, and certain fruits or spices. It’s also important to know how long kombucha is good for after opening so you only give your furry friend the freshest product possible.
With careful selection and controlled servings, your dog can partake in the wellness journey with you, enjoying the fizzy delight of kombucha.
Want to read more of my Kombucha articles? Check out this article where I help you find the best kombucha starter kit for brewing your own batches at home. From choosing the best kombucha bottles to considering additional supplies, I’ve got you covered.
And if you’re ready to start brewing your own kombucha, take a look at the Kombucha Brewing Starter Kit by Cultures for Health. This all-inclusive, high-quality, and extremely affordable set will help you achieve kombucha making master-status in no time.