Kombucha seems to be all the rage these days. It’s good for your gut, your mood, your immune system; and so on and so forth. And the health benefits are catching on. In fact, I can personally attest to seeing the store shelves stocked with more brands of the stuff with each and every week that passes. But is this fermented beverage suitable for dogs? Can and should they drink it? Here is what you should know.
So, can dogs drink Kombucha? Dogs should be able to consume a small amount of unflavored Kombucha, although this is not a beverage they seem particularly keen to drink. Equally, if kombucha were to be consumed in excess it could result in digestive upset – such as gas and bloating – due to a combination of the carbonation and probiotic content.
Less is certainly more here.
In fact, like any new drink or liquid you want to introduce to your dog’s diet, there are certainly ways to go about it.
Let us now discuss those below so you know exactly if, when, and how to offer this tea to your dog.
Is Kombucha Good For Dogs?
Whether or not Kombucha is good for a dog depends on the brand, the amount consumed, the health condition of the dog, hydration levels, and other individual factors. That being said, a small amount, given infrequently, could provide some benefit.
In reality, it’s impossible to give a blanket statement.
There are many factors involved here.
For instance, some brands of Kombucha have minimal ingredients, are unflavored, and are naturally much lower in caffeine and even alcohol.
Others can be more of a diverse concoction of ingredients – with added sugars or other additives to either help preserve or improve the taste of the drink.
It’s therefore essential to consider Kombucha first and foremost.
From there, whether your dog benefits from this particular beverage is largely dependent on the dose.
And dose is dog dependent.
A small amount of Kombucha, in an appropriate amount for your dog, can introduce a range of beneficial probiotic strains and antioxidants.
And probiotics and antioxidants have been scientifically proven to provide a range of health benefits.
From supporting the healthy bacteria in the digestive system, fighting free radicals known to cause immune issues and diseases, all the way through to reducing allergies.
These are just some of the evidence-based benefits reported.
Although, it is important to remember that thus far, research has been specifically confined to just humans, and not dogs.
Should Dogs Drink Kombucha?
Whether or not a dog should drink Kombucha is entirely dog and circumstance-dependent. It’s not a beverage they need to drink, nor should it be one that is given without careful and slow introduction and close monitoring of a dog following.
In fact, it is best to consult your vet before introducing Kombucha to your dog.
At least to get their take on whether it is a good idea, will have any benefit for your dog, and to perhaps give some serving size suggestions.
For some dogs it could prove highly beneficial, for others, highly problematic.
Only vet will be in a position to make a fair and reasonable call – taking your dog’s history, health status, and other considerations into account.
Besides, there are different components in Kombucha that a dog may react to.
It could be the carbonation, it could be the sugar.
Either way, dogs with sensitive stomachs, or who are prone or vulnerable to digestive issues and upset, are not best suited to this drink. Typically.
How To Give Kombucha To Dogs
If your dog is fit and healthy, you source a good brand and get the go-ahead from your vet, then you can pour a small amount of Kombucha in their water bowl.
Mix it in with their regular water, as this will dilute it further and prevent your dog from drinking it all up right away.
It is essential to still provide a bowl with plain water, though.
If your dog does not like it, and most dogs do show disinterest in either a bowl of just Kombucha or even a mixed bowl, it’s important that they can still remain hydrated.
Alternatively, you can always mix it in with your dog’s food. A small amount is all that is needed here.
And once your dog has consumed some; keep a close eye.
If they do exhibit any adverse reactions: digestive upset, lethargy, bloating, etc – you’ll need to contact your vet.
While it is unlikely, it is a possibility.
How Often To Offer Kombucha To Your Dog
If you do decide to try Kombucha with your dog, consider that this is not something that you need to offer too regularly.
Besides, if your dog is eating a wholesome diet, they should be getting all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need.
So, assuming that Kombucha is safe to offer – once every 2-3 weeks, is a schedule you may want to try.
But every now and again, and a less formal approach, is how most dog owners approach it.
Whether or not you offer your dog Kombucha is a decision that ultimately, you will have to make.
But, it does make sense to consult with your vet first.
In fact, that’s a sensible approach with any change to the diet or introduction.
And talking of introductions.
If you do want to offer Kombucha, do so slowly.
Monitor and observe your dog and how they respond immediately after.
And if you find that your dog is disinterested in this beverage; well don’t force it.
It’s not for them.
Alternatively, if you find your dog licking from your bottle on the side; it’s usually nothing to worry about.
Just make sure it’s out of reach next time!
Lastly, if you do want to give Kombucha to your dog and you are yet to try – it’s probably best to source some from a store.
This way, you can check the full ingredient list, and control the sugar/caffeine/alcohol content by choosing an option with the lowest amounts.
Stick with unflavored options – usually, that’s the best way.
Thankfully, as a fermented tea, the sugar should not be too much of a concern.
And into brewing Kombucha yourself?
Just be mindful and vigilant. While you can control what goes into it unless you are highly skilled and know what you are doing – it’s challenging to control the caffeine and alcohol content.
And ultimately; water is all that a dog needs to remain hydrated. That should always be the focus and priority.
Plain, fresh, clean water, that is.