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The Dog That Kefir Saved


kefir is wonderful for dogs

Christian the Dog that kefir saved

Christian Some of the best friends I have today came to me through cultured foods. I meet people who are looking to be well – they either come to one of my classes or they find me through friends to purchase kefir grains. Dionne is one of those people. I immediately liked her and felt connected, too. She is not only a wonderful friend but her little girl, Anna, is one of my daughter’s best friends. It so happens that Anna raises chickens and used to be allergic to eggs, but now she can eat them a few times a week without major problems. They feed their chickens wonderful things and this is where I get my eggs from every week.

Dionne has a dog, Christian, that got very sick two years ago in February. He had bloody, explosive stools and vomiting. They took him to the vet and ran tests but couldn’t find anything. They put him on three medications that sort of helped, but he had to have a strict diet of chicken and rice. If they deviated from this diet, the bloody diarrhea and vomiting would return. This went on for seven months. In September, Dionne came to my class and got kefir grains and started making kefir smoothies for her family. She thought since it was so good for her family that it might help Christian. She mixed some kefir in his food because she  had run out of medication at that time. In three days of no medication and kefir every day, the bloody stools and stomach upset stopped.  Now Christian has a cup of kefir a day and can eat anything. He is as happy as he can be. Many times when he sees Dionne with the blender making kefir smoothies, he follows her around begging for more. She told me of this story and how awful it had been when he was sick. She could not believe that in three days, after months of being sick, kefir fixed him. They call him, “the dog that kefir saved.”

Health Benefits and Stories about Kefir

Christian and me. Kefir lovers forever! I have heard of so many stories of intestinal disorders which have been fixed with kefir

  • I had a man who came to my classes who had been on constipation medication for many years. He got off these medications quickly after consuming kefir for a few weeks.
  • I had another mom who had an infant with terrible ulcers that nothing seemed to help, but within a month of consuming kefir, the ulcers were gone.
  • I had another woman who came to my class whose husband had a rare disease – everything he ate had to be pureed or he would get very sick. After a few weeks on kefir, he could eat solid food again with no problem.

Never underestimate how much the colon loves the bacteria in Kefir. It is these very bacteria  that perform a myriad of functions every day.

The main functions of the colon are absorption of water and minerals, and the formation and elimination of feces. The colon contains nearly sixty varieties of microflora, or bacteria, to aid digestion, promote vital nutrient production, to maintain pH balance, and to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

These bacteria provide important functions such as the synthesis of folic acid and valuable nutrients from foods, including vitamins ‘K’ and portions of the ‘B’ complex. Bacillus coli and acidophillus comprise the majority of healthy bacteria in the colon along with many other contrasting types of bacteria in lesser numbers.

The process of digestion, from ingestion of food to defecation, normally takes between 12 to 24 hours, assuming that the colon is fully functional and non-toxic. Irregular or infrequent bowel movements can allow toxic residues, from the by-products of undigested foods, to remain in the colon.

Bottom line, your body needs these good bacteria to help them do their job. Give it to your kids, your dogs, and other animals in your house and watch what happens. Kefir saved me, too.

Here’s How to Make Kefir

Kefir (Using Live Kefir Grains)
Kefir grains last forever if you take care of them and they can last for generations. Kefir grains are not really grains but rather combinations of good bacteria and yeasts that infuse your milk or non dairy milk with over 50+ good bacteria and good yeasts. They look like little pieces of cauliflower and feel a little rubbery. They’re tough little guys and you can pull them apart, and they just grow more. Kefir grains are a little like having a pet. You have to feed and take care of them but that’s easy to do and I can show you how. If you need more help, check out our Faq's about kefir page. ~Donna
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Servings: Cups
Making Kefir
  1. Place fresh kefir grains in a glass jar and fill the jar with fresh milk (best not to fill jar more than 2/3 – 3/4 full)
    Place fresh kefir grains in a glass jar and fill the jar with fresh milk (best not to fill jar more than 2/3 – 3/4 full)
  2. Place a lid (or plastic wrap) on the jar and let sit at room temperature for approximately 24 hours (or until the milk has thickened or has become sour to your liking).
  3. Pour the contents into a strainer and strain the kefir into a container to separate the grains from the liquid kefir
    Pour the contents into a strainer and strain the kefir into a container to separate the grains from the liquid kefir
  4. Wash the jar, then place the kefir grains from the strainer back into the washed jar.
    Wash the jar, then place the kefir grains from the strainer back into the washed jar.
  5. Add fresh milk, then the whole process is simply repeated for the next batch.
Taking a Break from Kefir
  1. If you need to take a break, place your grains in milk.
    If you need to take a break, place your grains in milk.
  2. 1 tablespoon grains to a cup of fresh milk will last a week in your fridge before you need to change the milk.
  3. Add more milk if you have more grains.
  4. Your grains will continue to grow and multiply with every batch of kefir you make, so you will need to add more milk as they do.
  5. If you have to go on vacation, here is an article to help you. What to Do With Your Cultures While You’re on Vacation.
Kefir Changes
  1. Your kefir can ferment and be thin and pourable or thick like yogurt.
    Your kefir can ferment and be thin and pourable or thick like yogurt.
  2. The temperature in your house determines how quickly it ferments.
  3. In the summer it ferments faster and tends to be thinner. In the winter it ferments more slowly and is usually thicker and creamier.
Kefir Seperating
  1. If your kefir separates into whey and curds, don’t worry. It’s just a little over fermented and is still good to drink.
    If your kefir separates into whey and curds, don’t worry. It’s just a little over fermented and is still good to drink.
  2. You need to add more milk or shorten the fermenting time.
  3. Here is a post that can help: https://www.culturedfoodlife.com/the-thick-and-thin-of-kefir/
Creamy Kefir
  1. If your kefir separates into whey and curds, here’s a trick to make it creamier again:
    If your kefir separates into whey and curds, here’s a trick to make it creamier again:
  2. Remove the grains and place the over fermented kefir in a blender and blend for a few seconds.
  3. Place it in a jar in the fridge and let it sit overnight or for 8 hours.
  4. If you have more questions, check out our FAQ's about kefir page.
Recipe Notes

(*1) Most milk types are acceptable, including whole milk, fat-reduced, non-fat, pasteurized, and homogenized, although I mostly enjoy fresh raw whole cow’s milk to culture kefir.

149 Responses to "The Dog That Kefir Saved"
  1. Kefir may have saved my cat. He got very ill this summer, the vet thinks he got into some poison or else contracted toxoplasmosis, and he was left with limited mobility, weakness in his hindquarters, nerve damage, and nausea. He lost so much weight and got so weak, we thought very seriously about putting him down. He recovered a bit, then around three month later the symptoms grew worse, and he could hardly walk and seemed in pain constantly. When he stood up to eat, his back legs would slide out pathetically from under him, then he would sit hunched up after eating like his stomach hurt. We were giving him maybe a week or two before we thought he would have to be put to sleep.

    A friend gave us some coconut Kefir to try, and he drank it. It didn’t take long, a couple of days, and he was stronger and walking normally (before, his hind legs would drag the ground and didn’t walk in step with his front legs). After a week, and with our making Kefir for him daily, he could jump onto chairs again. The jury is still out, but he has been making steady progress and is now back to running and playing with our other cat, which is more than I could have ever expected. I have no idea how, but it seems like Kefir has pulled him back from the brink. Unbelievable to me.

      • I have recommended. This to several of my clients for their pets. My daughters dog had hairless from the waist back and down tail. His hair is coming back in and is soft instead of dry. One of my clients dog has chronic mouth ulcers. He has been on kefir for one month and I have already seen improvements that we didn’t see with antibiotics and steroids. Another clients dog had chronic yeast on his skin. They would do the antibiotics , steroids and medicated shampoos. It would start to clear up and come right back. I have seen him twice in 6 weeks and so far no yeast on the skin or in the ears. His coat looks great. I have another client who hopefully has started and I can’t wait to see her. She also has chronic yeast on her skin. Same thing, antibiotics, steriods, and medicated shampoos.

  2. Hi. I have suffered with Colitis for 11 years and 3 years ago I started making kefir which I now give to my Husband and three children also. My Colitis is the best it’s been and i have also noticed how much stronger all of our immune systems are. I have shared my grains with many friends whom have also noticed the benefits. In the last few days my Labrador has had diarrhea and i am feeding her only rice, she is fine in herself so i haven’t taken her to the vets but i read up on Cesar Milans website and he mentioned that a probiotic could help so i thought of kefir. But what i wanted to know please is can i give my dog the kefir that i make with cows milk?

  3. My 3 year old German Shepherd dog Trent eats;
    Cooked quinoa , rice. lentils. beans, split green peas etc… fish and chicken:
    added to his meats he eats some spaices good for anti-inflammatory or ant-bacterial , or anti-fungal properties as; orégano because is anti-bacterial and turmeric anti-inflammatory, etc….
    Very regulary he loves to eat oatmeal with cinnamon and flax seeds or keifir with cinammon and suflower seeds or pumpkin seeds , or
    almonds , or sesame seeds , or flax seeds ,or hazel nuts or fresh coconut
    Added to his meals he has a table spoon of flax seed oil,or fish oil, or walnut oil , or coconut oil
    all kinds of fruits and vegetables except Onions and Grapes, he even eats radishes!!!!
    Apple cider Vinegar with all his meals and kefir once a day
    I never have feed him dog food because I think it is not healthy.
    He is very healthy and full of energy , and his coat is brilliant shinny, his weight is perfect according to the vet doctor

  4. My 3 year old German Shepherd dog Trent eats;
    Cooked quinoa , rice. lentils. beans, split green peas etc… chicken and fish:
    added to his meats he eats some spaices good for anti-inflammatory , ant-bacterial and anti-fungal properties as; orégano because is anti-bacterial and turmeric anti-inflammatory, etc….
    Very regulary he loves to eat oatmeal with cinnamon and flax seeds; or keifir with cinammon and suflower seeds or pumpkin seeds , or maybe smothies of fresh fruit with kefir and almonds , or walnats , or sunflower seeds ,or sesame seeds ,or flax seeds ,or pumpkin seeds or fresh coconut
    His meals always have a table spoon of flax seed oil, fish oil, walnut oil, or coconut oil. In addition his meals always have a tablespoon of apple cidar vinager
    He eats all kinds of fruits and vegetables except Onions and Grapes; he even eats radishes!!!!. He is cracy about vegetabeles loves sweet potatoes and all kinds of fruits
    he drinks ; kefir at least once a day
    I never have feed him dog food because I think it is not healthy.
    He is very healthy and full of energy , and his coat is brilliant shinny, his weight is perfect according to the vet doctor

  5. Hi Donna,
    I’ve been happily making kefir for several months now and the grains are multiplying like crazy. I’ve noticed for a few weeks now that the grains have turned into more of a sheet instead of individual grains. When I strain everyday I lift out one entire sheet! What does this mean? There seems to be no difference in the quality or taste but I find it odd after all this time to see them joining together 🙂 Thanks for any insight you can give me.

    • its just what happens sometimes with change in temperatures and milk. It’s not a bad thing its just the way bacteria wants to make its cluters or sheets. I find it interesting when it happens and always seems to come during the early months of spring.

  6. Hi Donna I want to do the 2nd fermenting with the lemon peel but I am wondering if this is ok to give to me Shis Tzu?He loves his Kefir.

  7. Hi Donna my friend is doing her 1st batch of Kombucha and she said she had to burp it.I asked what she meant and she said the scoby had a big bubble on top of the scoby and was making scoby float almost out of bottle so she burst the bubble and it sounded like a big burp and they scoby settled down. Is this something that sometimes happens?Should she have burst the bubble?

    • It can happen and it is fine. It just means the good bacteria and yeasts are eating the sugars out of the kombucha and making carbonation and causing the scoby to rise. It’s a good thing!

      • OK thank you very much.She also said someone told her to make 1/2 the recipe u give and was using a smaller bottle.GBU Donna.

  8. Yes I feed my Lab and Jack Russell homemade kefir, along with a few tablespoons
    of my homemade sauerkraut, and a few tablespoons of Tripett green beef tripe with their dry high protein, no carb dog food.
    Dogs like all carnivores in the wild instinctually know what’s good for them.
    In the wild they would eat the contents ( grasses) of the stomach of the animal they brought down knowing that the gut bacteria of the dead animal will help it digest the meat of the dead animal they just killed and will consume later.
    They usually drag their kill up a tree, or bury it in the ground in order to let natures enzymes ( good bacteria ) air dry and break down the meat making it easier for them to eat, not unlike why we humans hang our beef 21 days or longer in order that our meat becomes tender and chewable.
    My dogs and myself have never been happier or healthier eating fermented foods.

  9. Hi Donna I am looking after a 13 year old Lab.I started him right away on Kefir and he loves it but I am not sure how much I should be giving him?

  10. My kefir grains are growing like weeds (yay!), but now my problem is I have too many grains for my amount of kefir consumption. I hate discarding the grains, but I really don’t have the resources and space to start making multiple batches of kefir that will just get thrown out because I can’t drink it fast enough. What can I do with the grains to ensure that they will benefit something without just “dying in vain.” Can I feed the grains to my cats and dogs, or just the kefir? Can I use the grains in my African violets as fertilizer?

  11. OH Help please…I bought a Scoby and my 1st batch of Kombucha turned out lovely(for that batch I used cane sugar)I didn’t know so I separated the Scoby and placed one in tea starter in fridge and started another batch using reg. white sugar.Today is 8 days and I thought it was ready so I took the scoby out but is only one scoby not 2,I thought it tasted ready but my husband said no is sweeter then last time.I didn’t know what to do so just put the scoby back in.Will it still work or should I just throw it and start again with saved scoby in the fridge?Why didn’t it form another scoby?

    • Did you add a cup of starter tea from the first batch? This is the most important thing – the starter tea and not the scoby. You don’t need both scobys it should do it with just one scoby fine.

        • The number one reason it doesn’t make a scoby is the temperature. If it is cold it doesn’t make one as well. Does it taste tart or sweet? If it is tart like kombucha it is done and use both scobys to make another batch and try to keep it warmer on a heating pad or brew belt.

          • It tastes like it is ready.So it is still ok to drink?I was worried too because I thought it had to grow another scoby.Yes I am thinking of getting the brew belt.Thank you.This is day 5 of my cleanse and I am having same issue as your daughter to the point I can’t stand myself.Showering does not help.

  12. Donna my Kombucha is ready.Do I take out the Scoby’s 1st and how do I take them out?Shoot should have asked this question before.

  13. Hi Donna,I did the 2nd fermenting of the Kefir and this is what happened.I have 3 layers,top is watery,2nd cheese like,and 3rd is sort of like kefir.I have tried to mix it up but it won’t.Help.

      • OK thanks Donna. I was out today getting supplies to make Kombucha and I bought cane sugar instead of organic white sugar,is this still OK to use?and does it matter how big the brew bottles are?How long will the Scobey last in the tea before I need to make a batch?Sorry for so many questions.

        • You can use organic white sugar. The brew bottles should be made for brewing heavy thick glass. The scoby can last in the tea about a month or even longer just depends on temperature.

              • Hi Donna when I started my Kombucha and put the scoby in it turned sideways and is now near the bottom.I hope my Kombucha turns out alright I so love it….I love your new Scoby….my friend just told me she bought Kombucha decaf dry in a box.I told her I have no idea what she has bought but it was not Kombucha am I right?and what in heavens name did she buy.I explained to her how it was made and that you said the one starting with the Sy was a good one.Thanks for always being so kind in helping me Donna.I really appreciate it.I only drank the Kombucha 2 days but I know I was starting to detox by my body odor.I tried to find more yesterday with no luck.:(

                • You are very welcome Pat.

                  It is no problem if the scoby turns sideways it really doesn’t matter if it float or sinks.

                  I am not sure what that would be, since kombucha is a living organisms so the benfits would not be the same.

  14. I found your site over a month ago and was so hopeful after reading this story. I have a 13 year old dog that has suffered with colitis for about 8 years. She goes through a cycle of gut rumbling when I know she will not eat for at least for 12 hours. She then eats, passes gas a lot, has loose stools and then is back to normal. She’ll be good for awhile then is back to the rumbling. I started her on the Kefir twice a day and she loves it! But it has not made one difference in her cycles of colitis; I was just heartbroken after being so hopeful. I feel that after 6 weeks I would have seen some some improvement 🙁

  15. I noticed that most of the kefir on this page is all milk. I am using sugar water kefir and fruit juice kefir instead of milk. Do you think that my dogs would benefit from the water kefir also?

    Thank you and this is an amazing amount of information. My sister-in-law just got me started on the water kefir.

      • Hi there

        Shadow, my almost 5 year old Dalmatian suffers with IBS since I had him (he was 4-5 weeks old and is from gypsies) and since Jan 2012 he suffers with epilepsy. I see the connection GUT / BRAIN and I am trying hard to sort his immunity and ‘heal’ his gut. The seizures are getting more frequent and violent. I only feed raw organic veg/nuts/seeds (made into a smoothie) and raw organic free range grass fed meat. He is intolerant to a lot of things including beef, organ meat, and other things. Someone told me to give him Kombucha and Kefir. So I am looking into it and like some more info and maybe someone who shares these conditions. Any input?

        • Yes, I did see the story. I am just very hesitant. I have tried ALL the supplements I can think off. Changed diet to cooked. Gone KetoVegan… stopped the bones as they are said to be full of glutamate and and and …. I am lost to what else I can try. Giving Colloidal Silver and Lobelia and Taurine at the moment and NO change. He is restless, nervous, JUMPY, almost seems scared of me and then other times he will lay cuddled up to me… And he doesn’t like people and doesn’t play…. It is heartbreaking… and those horrid Phenobarbitone kill the liver. Make the bladder thin and make the seizures worse. VICIOUS circle to say the least 🙁

          • I am controlling my own IBS with kefir and turmeric. Start very low doses of turmeric and build up to a teaspoon a day. I make a pleasant tasting drink with it.. You must add a bit of freshly cracked pepper, which apparently increases the potency of the turmeric 2000 times. I add a squeeze of agave syrup, and vanilla essence. Sometimes I also and some ginger powder and or cinnamon powder, and on brave days a pinch of cayenne too. All these spices are fabulous for good health.

  16. I was wondering could i give my dog water kefir. i dont make milk kefir because i cant get raw milk and i dont buy organic milk often.

  17. Hi Donna, on the GAPS diet kefir is not recommended for constipation. What is your experience and advice about it? I suffer from a life long constipation. Thank you,Teo

  18. Hi Donna please help.Last evening when I did my Kefir,I thought it looked different and this morning my husband says I think the milk has gone sour.Is the kefir garbage now and will my Kefir grains still be alright?PS I made your coconut choc.pudding and it was very good.

      • I looked at it today and it looks lumpyand awful compared to my others and no smell.I didn’t have the courage to try it.
        Of your new book and your DVD Trilogy which is the best to purchase or are they both different?I want to order one or other for myself and my Niece for Christmas presents?

          • OK thanks so much Donna,you are awesome!My Kefir grains seem to be alright but the finished Kefir that I had made with the possibly sour milk was what I was referring too that had no smell and even after stirring it,it wasn’t mixing tog..So it got chucked.
            The clear fluid in the bottom when you are making Kefir is that the Whey?Thanks again.

  19. Could kefir help my dog? She is 9 now and has so many issues because of surgery, hernia, bladder stones , spayed, her back knees. I feel she has been over vaccinated and too much antibiotics, prednisone etc. she also went through allergy testing and at least a 1 1/2 yr of shots. She is constantly scratching and smells with a greasy coat. Some skin eruptions. She needs a bath about every other day(dr bronner soap and vinegar/water rinse). It seems like all she can eat is canned rabbit by nature’s variety and canned green beans. No grains. I want to give her some comfort and the vets say it is seborrhea dermatitis. Please help I have tried so much. She is 12 lbs , peekaboo, how much should I give her and would she experience any kind of die off ? Like worst before better.

    • Hi Donna B, I have a Shih Tzu that was like yours with a greasy coat within 3 days of a bath. I checked on line for the answer….She needed thyroid meds. The greasy coat , weight gain, lethargic were all symptoms of low thyroid. The vet wouldn’t give her natural Armour they rood which is T3 & T4 combined & what he gave only partially helped. I take Armour & can’t take as much as my Dr prescribed so I checked on line for comparison & I add a fourth of one of my pills to hers & problem solved. No more grease ball Tzu.

  20. Hi Donna can you please tell me if there is a difference between coconut spread and coconut oil?Thank you

  21. Hi Donna how do I know if the Kefir grains I got are bad?I left them in milk over 24 hours and nothing happened and the grains floated to the top.

      • I think I found the problem the person who I bought them from,sent then in a small amount of milk and it took 5 days to get here.I called and she says that is odd because she keeps them in her fridge with no milk on them at all.

          • Now it smells like sour milk,is this normal and how thick should it be?The stuff I bought from store did not smell sour nor was it thick.

              • I don’t think so as I did not know there was a sweetened one.If I go away do I leave it in the fridge Donna?Thank you for helping me.Also on a sad note I lost my boy (Kirby-Cocker Spaniel)2 weeks ago today.I wish I had known more about the Kefir when he 1st got ill.:(

                • Oh Pat! I am so sorry about your baby. Hugs to you my friend. Yes you can leave it in the fridge. here are instructions.
                  Storing Your Kefir on Vacation.

                  If you don’t want to make new, kefir and want to store it, place it in at least 2 cups of milk remembering that if you have 1 Tbsp of grains to 1 cup of milk rule and adding a little more. I like to store mine in at least 3 cups of milk making sure that they have plenty of food to eat. Then you place this in the refrigerator. This will last for one week and then if you want to do it longer drain the milk and add new milk after 1 week. If you are going to be gone longer than a week double the milk you would add. It eats the lactose (milk sugar ) out of the milk and you want to be sure it has plenty to eat and won’t die. It is a living colony and needs food just as you do.

  22. Hi there

    Shadow my Dalmatian is 4.5 years old and I have had him since he was no more than 5 weeks old… LONG story… to keep it short, he is from gypsies and they lied to me about his age…

    Shadow was not weaned off, he weighed 2 lbs 2 oz and he started passing blodd when I only had him 2 weeks. He has not had pellets and I am cooking for him myself. He is not vaccinated either. In Jan 2011 he started having epileptic fits. Now the two conditions are making our day to day living hell. There is no blood since I cook for Shadow and he is mainly raw. Meat and veg… I changed his diet on August 2nd totally. I dropped the apples, pears and bananas and the raw chicken wings and carcasses. Shadow now has raw organic grass fed lamb mince ad only one raw veg, organic courgettes and I liquidize them and mix them with the raw mince and some organic raw ree range eggs (with shell)…. not a lot changed in his behaviour. He is a VERY restless, nervous, shy, jumpy dog and I am sure that all his life he has an inflammed gut. ;-( I am also feeding a number of supplements, but there are no changes…. Shadow is intolerant to a number of things. One thing is dairy, so could he still have kefir???

    • I believe he can have kefir because kefir is a completely different food than regular dairy. I would definitely try him on kefir I think it would help him greatly. Did you see the story about the dog on my lives touched page? Pretty incredible.

  23. I have a 9 year old Cocker Spaniel who has always had allergies but these dis improve after he was put on a natural meat diet with human grade supplements,but this summer he got an inner ear infection and had to be on a pretty potent antibiotic and then just weeks later another ear infection followed by another 2 week course of antibiotics with another prescription (different),during this prescription he had Diarrhea but it was after he stopped the last antibiotic that he really went down hill and was diagnosed with an upper bowel inflammation.I have never seen a dog have such severe diarrhea has he suffered for 4-6 weeks.He has sort of recovered but his coat is dry and coarse now and his hair on his back is coming in white.He has gone from not eating to couldn’t fill him up to not eating again.Please help I am just about at my wits end and will try anything to make my baby better again.I happened upon this site on a friends facebook page or maybe God sent me here.Also when he toots and it is often you just want to clear the room.

  24. I make plain yogurt every week. Will yogurt work for my dogs as well as kefir? I don’t know the difference between Kefir and yogurt.

  25. I have a 16 year old cat who is on Amoxicillan for a bacteria in her kidneys that she has been unable to shake. She is also on a medication for high blood pressure, as well as as hyperthyroidism. The problem I am having is that the amoxicillan is causing her to vomit and have terrible diarrhea. I am wondering if she can safely have Kefir in the hopes of restoring her digestion to normal while she is taking antibiotics? Any help is greatly appreciated to get my baby back on her feet!

  26. I have been making water kefir for two months now,been making milk kefir for about 3 weeks. I started putting water kefir starter in my chihuahuas water for about a month and a half. When we adopted this dog,he had been neglected something terrible,he was 8 years old and had heart worms. Poor little man was skinny,smelled bad and most of his teeth were missing or loose in his gums. We took him to the vet for some help and they put him on medication for the heartworms to keep his lungs from filling with fluid and to keep his blood pressure down. They also gave him an antibiotic for his teeth because he has the heartworms so bad they couldn’t sedate him to do anything let alone clean his teeth. I never give him dog food because he was fed table scraps for a year and a half before we saved him. poor thing was so weak that he would go out to tinkle and have to lay down before he could come back in. I started giving him red wine extract and he started feeling better,but he still had his issues. I made his food everyday and hand fed him everything he would eat.(yes he’s my baby,and spoiled rotten) When I started making kefir,we had to give it a try! I have found he stopped shedding like before,everyday he would shed enough hair to make another dog! He started eating better and his teeth tightened up in his gums. Instead of walking out to take care of his business, he runs out then back in again! We thought a year ago we would help him fill his bucket list,now he is helping to fill ours! My baby is going thru his second puppy hood:D Last night I was watering a plant I had in a pot with kefir whey, my little man started eating the dirt so I put some in a bowl and let him drink it. I could only compare it to watching a kid drinking chocolate milk. He has been wide open and feeling his oats ever since then. I don’t know what it has done for the inside of him,but it has sure added to the quality of his life as well as ours:)

  27. I have read many great stories about Kefir. I just started my dogs on Kefir. I have 4 mini Schnauzers. 3 boys and 1 girl. My female has been having really bad skin problems for about 2 years now. She has postules that break open and bleed and very itchy skin. The veterinarian recommended a shot of steroids and antibiotcs. Can she still have Kefir plain which she loves while still on antibiotics? She just received the shot today. I have been struggling with her allergic reactions for about 2 years. She is strictly on z/d ultra allergen free and Potatoe and rabbit canned food. As a treat she gets C.E.T. Chews for her teeth which she loves. Don’t know what else to do.

    • Yes, of course you can give your dogs kefir. Although the antibiotics will kill some of the probiotics it won’t kill all of it and can be very benificial.

  28. Hey Donna:
    I am new to kefir and the first couple of times I drank it my dog, Jack, kept trying to stick his head in my glass and drink some. I did not give him any because I didn’t know if dogs could have kefir. Then I say this post. I thought, why not. Since Jack has always been a finky eater, I thought I would have to hide it in his food. He did not like it that way. Then, I just poured some in a bowl and he drank it all. He kept wanting more, so I gave him some more. Now, I give him a bowl full in the morning and a bowl full in the evening. I have created a kefir drinking monster. 🙂 I am still learning how to make kefir (not successfully yet, but I am determined to learn to make it). He likes his plain and so do I, so that has helped in keeping him supplied with kefir. Thank you for introducing kefir to me. I am so glad I found your website.

    Jamie and Jack Bates

  29. I am now giving my 10 year old lab two full cups of milk kifer a day,he loves it and his coat is lovely,I have been given him high strength flexible joint with glucosamine and chondroitin,mms and omega 3,do you think he still needs to take this,will he get every thing from the milk kifer (thanks carol)

      • Hi Donna,
        I have been giving my german sherpherd dog ‘Kefir’ for a while now to help fight a bacteria infection on the undersides of his lips (have also applied it topically to the area).
        It seems to have helped a lot. Also seems to have stopped his stomach making weird noises in the early hours of the morning where he was needing to eat loads of grass and be sick.. I have also noticed he eats less grass in general now than before he had Kefir. I wondered though about tooth decay. As Kefir is full of lactic acid producing bacteria, I am now a bit worried that it might start to cause damage to his teeth. I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter? Thanks. Anne

        • It is wonderful for dogs and my dog did the same thing as yours and then lived to 19 years old. Both my dogs have done this with a third on the way. The question about the teeth is something I do not know. Tooth decay is caused by harmful growth of bad bacteria which kefir helps control and kill.

      • Do you want to use it or consume it.. If you just want to consume it you can leave it in the fridge a long time months but it does get more sour. If you want to use the way to make something with it I would recommend using it right away because it will have more good bacteria in it.

  30. This story is wonderful. I hope christian and all the pets of other commenters get healthy and stay healthy. i think it’s about time people start helping their pets with natural remedies instead of hurtful medication that vets prescribe- they mean well, but mother nature knows best.
    i have 3 guinea pigs and would love to give them kefir, but they are vegeterarians.
    May all our pets live long and be well!

    • You might want to try water kefir with your guinea pigs. Do not replace their regular water with it, and use extreme moderation at first to make sure they tolerate it. Once I got my cavy on 10cc of water kefir a week, she had much more energy and the once a month “I’m not eating today” episodes stopped. I even gave her a few ccs of kefir made with coconut water when she was dehydrated and it really helped. Water kefir is made with special water kefir grains, not the kind for culturing milk.

  31. I wanted to thank all of you for putting your stories/info out here. I have a little girl dog, Melody, who has had stomach/digestive issues all her life. We have ups and downs, but currently she is not eating and had a urinary tract infection (as near as the vet could tell – she has bloody urinations). She was on the 1st round of antibiotics, but had a high white blood cell count, so it was decided she isn’t over her UTI – now she’s on another antibiotic (Vet said “taking a different route with a totally diff antibiotic”). She was picky somewhat about eating but now doesn’t eat hardly at all.

    I have been making kefir for about 3-4months now thanks to a dear friend introducing me. I haven’t really noticed what all it does for me – I just love the flavor/taste of both the liquid kefir and the kefir cheese I make from it. Since some of you have given it to your dogs for their health, can someone tell me what I do? Does it need to be the 24hr Kefir or can it be the kefir cheese (usually 48-72hrs), or either? Do I just give 1Tbl each meal (she gets fed 2x per day though we’re lucky if she eats enough bites to make 1x/day)? Give her more? Does she have to be off the antibiotics for the kefir to do it’s job (given antibiotics kill both good and bad flora)?

    I do apologize for all the questions. I will appreciate any information someone has the time for. Oh, she is 10yrs old and part cocker part shih tzu. I’ve had her and her brother since they were 6wks old. They have been with me through losing my late husband (at age 42) to colon cancer (yes, wish I’d known about Kefir back then 2006)… They mean the world to me.

    Thank you so much, in advance.

    p.s. any suggestions on what to do with the Whey that is left over after the cheese gets made? I hate the idea of throwing it out, but don’t know if I can cook with it or just should drink it (kinda cloudy clear liquid)? 🙂

    • You can give her as much as you would like. Just start out no more than 1/4 of a cup and then you can give her whatever she would like after a few days of this. Give it to her as far away from the time she takes the antibiotic. You can use kefir whey to make culture vegetables or make kefir sodas. Always nice to have extra around for this. You can give her cheese or just straight kefir that has been cultured 24 hours. That would be best or second fermented kefir is even better.

  32. I think i might try giving my cat some water kefir grains. she has had stomach issues for the past five years and after 1.5 years of accidents and unhappy kitty we finally found an expensive rx food from the vet that keeps her mostly ok. but for the past 3 or so years she is still not 100%. So I’m going to mix some grains with wet food and see if she will eat them…..

  33. both of my dogs are generally healthy, but I still think this is good advice. I should start giving them some Kefir and see how they do with it. I already know that one of them loves yogurt. I make my own yogurt, and after making a batch, I keep it refrigerated in quart-sized recycled plastic yogurt containers. Lately, I’ve noticed that if I leave a recently-emptied container out By the sink to be washed, as soon as I leave the room, one of them will knock the container over and try to lick it clean.

  34. I have 1 child who will drink my ‘root beer’ kefir and 2 who will drink my apple juice kefir. The 3rd child (who is the one who needs it the most) won’t touch it. My husband drinks it, sometimes 2 quarts a day. It seems to help his stomache, but hasn’t ‘cured’ it. He has GERD very badly. I have given my dog some whey, and he likes that a lot. Is kefir (WKG) okay for cats? They drink out of the same water dish.

    • My wife had gurd for years and it didn’t go away unil she cut out all the grains… she’s a nurse and had tried everything medical, it wasn’t unitl the demise of the grains until she finally found peace. Love Kefir! have today started giveing it to our dogs! Thanks for all the valuable insight throughout this page!

  35. That’s really cool. I’m going to bookmark this link for my aunt. Our dog is old, but still fairly healthy. Howevr, information is always good…and I love kefir!!! I drank it all the time as a kid, and stopped for some reason. I think kefir is coming up soon on the GAPS intro diet. I’m still on STage 4. I’m glad your dog is doing well 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  36. 3 days ago I started giving my great dane kefir. She has become allergic to her food and breaks out in bloody spots all over her body. The Dr. doesn’t know why this is happening but I feel like it is something internal in her gut. He gave her antibiotics but I don’t see them helping her. No one in my family will jump on the kefir train yet so I have enough to give to my dog. She loves it and if I put just a tablespoon of beef broth in in she will drink it right up. It remains to be seen what it will do for her but I am hopeful.

    • Read your comment about feeding your dog kefir, did it help with allergy issues you mentioned? .. my dog (lab) seems to be suffering the same issues.

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