Kombucha for your Pooch-a!

Have you ever considered what Kombucha might do for your pets? Well, I had that exact question about my dog, Sydney.  I have to say, the results have been very pleasing for both of us.

Sydney my dog, shortly after she was rescued, still showing bad signs of mange and skin conditions.

When we first got Sydney, she was not in good health. About 6 months old, undernourished, a little runty and with a bad case of mange, Sydney had clearly lived a rough early life like so many other dogs.  However, she was incredibly sweet natured, despite being very nervous, and simply wanted to find a loving home.

The veternarian prescribed a very powerful monthly antibiotic medication that literally knocked this little dog off her feet for days at a time after it was administered.  Her mange started to improve, though the effects of the medication seemed to worsen each month.

Still, I was informed that Sydney would continue to require this treatment. “For how long?”, I asked.  “Forever, or it might come back.”  What?!?! That seemed like a terrible idea, considering how much the medication impacted her activity level.

I headed for my local Co-Op and found a homeopathic medication for her mange, which was basically a probiotic mix for dogs.  Lo and behold, she continued to improve without the heavy duty medication.  Not having to poison her each month was a great relief, and her vitality also improved weekly.

I really feel a bit silly that I hadn’t considered Kombucha at the time. The bacteria and yeasts of Kombucha are healthful not just for humans, but for many other animals as well.  Depending on your dog’s diet (I have a friend who feeds her dogs a strictly brown rice and veggies!), your pet may be subsisting on processed food that may not digest well and can cause issues, just like processed food does to humans.  This can lead to many ailments – halitosis, overweight, skin conditions and more.

Kombucha may help to restore balance to your pet’s digestive system. Especially after being administered anti-biotics, Kombucha can restore a healthy balance of flora to your pet’s gut.  But remember, they aren’t people and the dosage isn’t going to be the same.  For smaller pets, you will want to keep the portion size small (1-2 teaspoons), once a day.

Sydney's coat is looking smoother and more even here, her mange has been reduced, but she's not better yet.

Her fur filled in fairly quickly on doggy probiotics. Kombucha helped finish off the recovery.

I give Sydney Kombucha every morning with her food.  She gets a very small splash from the Continuous Brewer over her wet/dry mix. Though she sometimes snorts at the first smell of the booch, she always finishes her breakfast!

I wouldn’t recommend Kombucha be poured over dry food or it will just clump up and your dog (or cat or bunny or horse…)  might not eat it.  Only wet food or a wet/dry mix.

As an alternative, for those who only serve dry food to their pets, you might try adding the Booch to the water dish, again 1-2 teaspoons for smaller animals, 1-2 ounces for larger ones, once a day.  Some animals sensitive to smell, might hesitate to drink that water at first.  Simply reduce the dosage until they are comfortable with the flavor, then gradually increase.

As a result, her bowel movements are more consistent and much easier for me to clean up.  Her coat, which has improved over time, has grown even shinier and glossier since adding Kombucha to her daily routine.  Plus, I’ve noticed she has fewer fleas in the summer months.

Sydney loves Kombucha and Hannah Crum

In fact, if your pet has any skin ailments or external evidence of fleas on your pets, you can use Kombucha in a spray bottle to apply directly to the affected area.  It should soothe some of the pain as well as drive away fleas as they do not like the pH levels.

Also, if your pets are dirty, grab that same spray bottle, fill it with a Kombucha/water mix (and a drop of tea tree oil if you want – but just 1 small drop!), get yourself a rag and give them a few sprays.  Use the rag to wipe them clean and you will see the dirt come off very nicely.

Not only that, because Kombucha is anti-microbial, it prevents that “wet-dog” odor from taking hold, instead leaving your dog smelling fresh.  And just like human hair, Kombucha will soften your pet’s fur whether you spray it on or feed it to them.

A dried out SCOBY Kombucha Mushroom rests on a plate, ready for other uses.If you want to get really creative, some dogs enjoy a chewie treat made from a dehydrated SCOBY.  Simply dry out an old SCOBY that you were ready to retire anyway, then smear it in peanut butter or some other delicious substance and watch the dog go nuts on it.  The texture of the dried out culture is like pliable leather.  The probiotics work their balancing act.

I guess it should be no surprise that Kombucha can be a healthy addition to your pet’s life.  However, just like with humans, Kombucha is a detoxifier, so keep the servings very small, especially at first, and observe how your pet reacts to the Kombucha treatment.

Do you feed Kombucha to your pets?  Share your story in the comments =)

Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mamma!Hannah Crum is The Kombucha Mamma, founder of Kombucha Kamp, Industry Journalist & Master Brewer, educating others about Kombucha since 2004. Connect with her on Google +
Kombucha Mamma SCOBYs & Kits ship free in the US!
28 Responses to Kombucha for your Pooch-a!
  1. Stina

    Good to know!! I was JUST reading about probiotics for dogs. My little one is on antibiotics after mouth surgery. Didn't even think to give her Kombucha. Thanks Hannah!

  2. Ailu

    Love the idea about drying out a SCOBY, turning it into a probiotic dog chewie. I tried giving them a bit of wet SCOBY but the didn't like it too much. But I know they'd love it as a dried out chewie! Now I finally know what to do with my extras. Can't give them away anymore, as all my friends make Komucha now. lol

  3. Ailu

    Love the idea about drying out a SCOBY, turning it into a homemade probiotic dog chewie. I tried giving them a bit of wet SCOBY but they didn't like it too much. But I know they'd love it as a dried out chewie! Now I finally know what to do with my extras. Can't give them away anymore, as all my friends make Kombucha now. lol

  4. Anonymous

    I have just started giving it to my dog who is a young, very healthy (well fed) dog, and will probably start my cats today. I am most interested in hearing stories of anyone who may have their horses on it. I plan on starting mine very soon.

    • Lauren

      I know that many farmers give horses raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, which has many characteristics shared with kombucha. It is used as an antiparasitic. Provides potassium and flora.

  5. melissa

    no dog on the face of the planet evolved to be a vegetarian, however i do think that holistic pet remedies are the way to go, so at least thumbs up on that

  6. An “A” for kombucha for pets, but an “F” to your friend who feeds her dog strictly brown rice and vegetables. That’s so sad, and a real disservice to a carnivore.

    • Lauren

      I totally agree with the veggies and brown rice. I hope that little pooch gets some protein

      • LCC

        You need to have a chat with your friend about feeding her dogs species appropriate diets. Homemade food is great as long as it’s balanced for the animal you are feeding it to. Her dogs are going to have long lasting health problems due to their diet. Dogs are carnivores, and regardless of whether we are vegetarians or not, we have to respect that they don’t have a choice. They must eat meat. As well as fat, vitamins, minerals, calcium, etc. She should check out some of the good websites on homemade dog food and how to create a balanced diet for dogs. I like balanceit.com but there are others.

  7. Vincent DiClaudio Lobascio via Facebook

    what a great article!

  8. Wow fantastic article! That is so great you have your little pooch off of the antibiotics! I’m gonna try and see if Mishka will eat her food with kombucha on it. I need a continuous brewer!!! I’m gonna repost this :)

  9. Lauren

    I give my dog booch and occasionally a little peice of scoby. She loves it. I discovered her liking of it one night when I spilled a half gallon on the floor. She was licking it up. This morning I could tell her tummy was bothering her and she wouldnt eat or drink, so I was dipping my fingers in booch and putting it up to her mouth. Within five minutes, she was eating. Kombucha is one of the best things there is. I brew my own and usually have about five gallons on hand.

  10. carol

    I have never heard of Komboocha or scoby……….. is it available in the Uk do you know?

    Re the brown rice and vegetables and someone saying that is cruel to do to a carnivore – dogs aren’t carnivores they are omnivores so a non meat diet isn’t cruel in anyway as long as they get all the proteins/vitimins and additives they need for health :)

    • Laurie

      Dogs are carnivores., raw diet is best

  11. Erika Lukas via Facebook

    I’ve been recommending living foods such as kombucha to my doggy patients for quite some time now. Thumbs up!

  12. Pat

    I just found out my precious little Shih tzu have massive cancer tumors all through her digestive system. I found out to late about vaccinations and dog food. I am making Essiac tea for her and was wondering about Kombucha. Has anyone tried this for their dogs with cancer. I pray someone has and will let me know if it is safe. I don’t want to cause her anymore pain. Thanks so much.

    • I cannot vouch for how KT will or won’t work for you lil pooch. In a severely compromised immune system, it is not certain how the organism (in this case your dog) will respond to detoxification. You might try giving small amounts in her food and see how she reacts. Hope she recovers soon!!

    • Mary Arthur

      I think Kombucha will help any animal, that is all humans are any way~
      On the tumors, an herb called cat’s claw will help slow tumor growth & in about 80% of those who take it, the tumors will shrink and sometimes disappear!
      I will keep your doggie in my thoughts~
      Remember Miracles can & do happen especially if you believe in them!!

  13. I have sworn by Kombucha for two of my cats. One had irritable bowel syndrome and chronic sinusitis. We struggled with these conditions for years. We used every antibiotic and combination of antibiotics available-multiple times. Zero results from any of them, hence the diagnosis of chronic sinusities. The cat sneezed and blasted copious amounts of snot everywhere. Everywhere. Two months on kombucha (2 tbls/day) and his chronic loose stools and sinusitis were GONE! Gone!!!! I kept up the daily kombucha for over a year. I then began giving him 1 tbls. a couple times a week and his good health has maintained itself for almost a year and half. Amazing. My other cat has lost drastic amounts of weight over the past 3 years. Down from 12 lbs. to 6-7 lbs. All blood work has been normal. the vet could not explain it. The cat refused tuna, wet food, shrimp, cooked meat, etc. I just started him on kombucha and in not quite 2 weeks this cat has put on nearly a pound and half. This is a miracle. I’m hoping for a full recovery.
    If you have pet ailments-try kombucha (homemade, not store bought).

  14. Phyllis

    I haven’t used kombucha yet but I’m thinking about it. I had never heard of it until last week. It might make a good Christmas present.

  15. My dogs both love kombucha, as well. No need to add it to their food. I just put it in their bowl and then lap it right up. I have not tried giving them a scoby, yet. I just started brewing my own KT and do not have any to spare! Soon though!

  16. This is fabulous! I have a friend who is trying desperately to boost her dog’s immune system, and I have thought about scoby as a supplement. I’m so excited to see you have tried it and had great luck! Thank you so much for this post!

  17. Kirsten

    Is there a specific type of kombucha to give a dog with mange? My puppy sounds a lot like the ladys dog above and would like to try giving it to him.

    Thank you

    • Any type will do. Start with small amounts in the wet food or the dog might turn up its nose at it.

  18. Morticia

    Oh. My. Gosh. Your sweet Sydney looks just like my little Napoleon!! He is much older, but he had a similar background with mange and all. Luckily, the lady who rescued him before we adopted him had him successfully treated and his coat is gorgeous, if now graying!
    I am new to kombucha and so excited that my fur-babies can benefit from it, too!! Thank you for the great information and protocol!

    Give Sydney a big kiss on the forehead for me!

  19. Vivienne

    Hi Linda C. There is one question I would like to ask, if you don’t mind. HOW on earth did you administer the Kombucha to your cats? I would love to get my 3 cats on it. Viv

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