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.
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 pound puppies. However, she was incredibly sweet-natured, despite being very nervous, and simply wanted to find a loving home.
The veterinarian 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, we were 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.
Kombucha for Pets?
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, 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 antibiotics, Kombucha can assist in promoting a healthy gut for both pets and people. But remember, pets aren’t people so give them less. For smaller pets, you will want to keep the portion size small (1-2 teaspoons), once a day. See how they respond and then increase to once per feeding if they tolerate it well. The larger the pet, the more you can give them.
Sydney enjoys a splash of Kombucha or Milk Kefir with her food (especially when her poops don’t look good). She gets a 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!
Kombucha poured over dry food may cause it to clump up and your dog (or cat or bunny or horse…) might not find it appealing. Add it to wet food, a wet/dry mix or to their water bowl!
As an alternative, for those who only serve dry food to their pets, adding the Booch to the water dish makes it easy for pets to enjoy the benefit of fermented foods, again 1-2 teaspoons for smaller animals, 1-2 ounces for larger ones, one or two times a day. Some animals sensitive to smell, may hesitate to drink that water at first. Simply reduce the amount 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.
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 (THRIVE, AMZ) to apply directly to the affected area. It should soothe some of the discomfort as well as drive away fleas as they do not like the acidity.
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 (AMZ) 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.
SCOBY Chew Toy
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 =)
AnneAugust 11, 2019 at 9:34 am
I have been giving my dog some milk kefir with every meal for over a year. It has helped her to have more consistently formed poop, which was a problem. I haven’t tried her on kombucha, but now that I know it’s safe, maybe I will. I brew, and that’s what I drink as I got tired of the kefir.
Ms. LindaJuly 11, 2019 at 6:32 am
I have a 7 month old chihuahua who had a bit of an upset tummy for a couple of days. She couldn’t keep anything down and just wasn’t her normal rambunctious self. So I decided to give her a sip of brine from a mixed vegetable ferment I had just finished off. She kept that down and dozed off. When she woke up I gave her a sip of decaf green tea kombucha. Within the next couple of hours she was up and sniffing for food. I gave her about a quarter cup of chicken broth and she kept that down too. This morning she is wagging her tail and chasing my grandson thru the house as usual. Thank goodness for your article, and kombucha!
Cindy PowellJune 16, 2019 at 9:41 pm
I recently got a 10 week old puppy. I found her sipping away at one of my kambucha brews stored at the bottom of my pantry. Oh my goodness. Who new. Thank you so much for all the great comments.
Mary RiosApril 18, 2019 at 7:01 pm
Hello, I have given my kiddoes the scoby. I cut it into small pieces and mix it into their cooled off scrambled egg. Sometimes I roll it into a slice of Turkey, they just swallow it up.
Den8March 24, 2019 at 10:54 am
Get it straight people! Cats are carnivores, which means they need a high amount of animal protein. DOGS ARE OMNIVORES! Meaning they need some protein but can eat other things also. JUST LIKE US! Wolves are carnivores but some evolved into dogs, which are omnivores.
PattyFebruary 28, 2019 at 3:21 pm
Many years ago, I had a mini dachshund who was diagnosed with a cancer that gave her 2 to 4 months to live. My children cried so hard! I started putting my homemade Kombucha(before Kombucha Kamp was formed!)into her food and she lived another 11 years! Every year on her annual check up, her vet cried, MIRACLE”! YEAH, KOMBUCHA!
EdieFebruary 28, 2019 at 12:14 pm
I found out about Komucha from Dogs Naturally magazine. The article suggested Komucha for dogs.I googled Kombucha and a link came up for Komucha Mama. I bought all my brew stuff from Komucha Mama and I have been brewing for a while now. I grow calendula and the dried flower petals can be made into tea. I used calendula pedals to make Kombucha tea but Kombucha Mama said calendula pedals can mess up my SCOBI! Calendala is a good herb for man and animal. If my SCOBI gets messed up I’ll use one in my hotel. My dogs and I both enjoy Komucha tea.
Hannah CrumMarch 10, 2019 at 5:47 pm
Thanks for your feedback – how did the calendula Kombucha turn out?
EdieAugust 4, 2022 at 1:52 pm
Hi Hannah. It is now August 2022. I haven’t been on the Kombucha Kamp website in quite a while. The calendula Kombucha came out great. I even drank it.
Anthea TayagAugust 11, 2022 at 12:42 pm
We appreciate the update and we are glad to hear that the Kombucha Calendula Tea turned out great for your dog and yourself.
LindaFebruary 28, 2019 at 6:28 am
About 4 years ago when I started making Kombucha, I would brew in a small container K made mostly with green tea. I gave this my dogs and I can truthfully say it cleansed my dogs from the last of mange lingering inside the body. It also had other health benefits!
SuNovember 17, 2019 at 1:22 pm
I have a six month OLS puppy recent bloos test showde Jos liver funtion is nog good. IT could be genetic Will iT be safe for HIM to sip a teaspoon or two of combucha Will iT help Jos condition?
Hannah CrumNovember 18, 2019 at 9:19 am
We are not veterinarians so you will want to confer with them prior to adding anything new to your pet’s diet. We’d advise sharing KV or Kombucha Vinegar with your pet rather than a flavor that you would enjoy to ensure the sugar content is very low. You might even just dip your finger into it and allow them to lick a few drops off to see how they respond.
Lora NelsonSeptember 14, 2018 at 8:13 pm
My dog won’t touch kombucha, but today I gave him a small, quarter sized peice of scoby and he ate it. My question was if it was safe to feed my dog bits if scoby. I think that was answered here but was double checking for an opinion on this. Thank you!!!
Hannah CrumOctober 2, 2018 at 6:33 pm
Yes! Many different animals instinctively enjoy consuming SCOBYs. Some also dehydrate the SCOBYs & smear them in peanut butter as a healthy treat.
MaryAugust 20, 2018 at 5:46 pm
My Bru-Knows the Boxer loves SCOBY, will eat it right out of my SCOBY hotel,but I go the dehydrated route…I don’t want to mess around in my SCOBY hotel everyday. But I will start his day off with some kombucha with his breakfast from now on, thanks.
Missa WaldoJune 26, 2018 at 7:54 am
Just a side note about using peanut butter with dogs as you mentioned for pieces of dried scoby treats… several years ago they began adding xylitol to many peanut butters. Dogs died from it, as it’s toxic to their liver.
Be sure to read your PB label to make sure it’s all natural and doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners before offering it to your pet!!
Hannah CrumJune 27, 2018 at 8:26 am
Thanks for the tip!
Mary-Kay PerrisAugust 16, 2021 at 6:48 am
I give my dog organic raw almond butter – she loves it – that is how I mix her probiotics. I will now start to give her Kombutcha and scoby to see if it will get rid of the crystals in her bladder,
CathyMay 28, 2018 at 11:47 am
I am just seeing this post about booch for pooches. I have a small dog that incessantly itches. I can’t afford fancy dog food, trips to the vet or allergy medicines. I do, however, have a bunch of scobys in my scoby hotel. Can I just cut up a few tiny pieces of one and see if she will eat it? I’d love to be able to use up my scobys. Thanks for any help.
Hannah CrumAugust 3, 2018 at 5:32 pm
Yes! Let us know how your dog likes it!
Char MoserSeptember 1, 2017 at 3:02 am
I’ve been giving my little dog kefir for about 3 weeks now , 1tsp twice a day for his yeast problems and have had great improvements but not totally gone. I want to try kombucha but should I stop the kefir or can I give him both?
Hannah CrumJune 8, 2018 at 11:48 pm
All beings need a diversity of inputs for a healthy system. Try adding a little in (1 tsp) to see how they respond. If your dog experiences frequent elimination or loose stool, then cut it back or eliminate one of the probiotic drinks until they have stabilized, then try again. Hope your pooch feels better soon!
ShaunaJuly 25, 2017 at 11:44 am
I prefer to flavor my kombucha in a gallon jar overnight, and then decant into bottles. My dogs love blueberries and other fruit. Yesterday I made a blueberry and hibiscus booch. I just added the blueberries (I pinched with my fingers first to open them) and hibiscus to my jar, and poured my kombucha over the top. I sealed it with the lid and let it sit for about 12 hours. I removed the blueberries and shared them with my dogs and hens! They loved it!!!! I know it’s not full strength, but I’d like to think there was some bacteria present on the fruit for my animals.
Lyne GAgnéJune 21, 2017 at 7:16 am
hello and thank you
can I give the one I buy at the store, I havent started to make it my self
as for antiotic, us and our dogs dont get that here
we only use colloidal silver
Lyne Acces holistique xx
Hannah CrumMay 17, 2018 at 10:04 am
We’d recommend unflavored Kombucha if buying at the store. We’d also recommend allowing it to ferment longer on your countertop to remove any excess sugar as many brands make a sweeter product for consumers versus what you might make at home.
cheryl wilsonApril 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm
Hi Hannah, Thanks for such great info.I bottled my first brew yesterday. My bull terrier girl was the first to try it.Ruby has had chronic ear problems since she was attacked by a savage dog 3 years ago. I’ve avoided anti-biotics because she reacts by becoming thrushy and then needs anti-fungals to suppress the reaction. Our Vet fully supports my holistic and natural rearing beliefs. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it goes. I’m going to try adding a tiny bit of vegemite to the brew would make it more palatable as Ruby gets used to it. Thanks again.
LisaApril 1, 2015 at 3:38 pm
How do I know when kombucha brew is ready for cats, taste-wise and health-wise. I still have a hard time figuring out when it’s ready for my own consumption. Thanks!
Hannah CrumApril 2, 2015 at 11:00 am
Taste is king. When the Kombucha has the sweet/sour balance that you enjoy most, then it is ready to consume. We recommend starting with just an ounce or two when giving to animals – observe how they respond to it.
VivienneMarch 25, 2014 at 2:30 pm
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
MorticiaMarch 18, 2014 at 10:27 am
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!
Hannah CrumMarch 23, 2014 at 6:29 pm
Will do! & Kisses to Napoleon =)
KirstenNovember 2, 2013 at 8:42 pm
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.
Hannah CrumNovember 4, 2013 at 9:48 am
Any type will do. Start with small amounts in the wet food or the dog might turn up its nose at it.
KristinJuly 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm
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!
KateFebruary 13, 2013 at 6:10 am
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!
PhyllisOctober 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm
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.
Linda C.August 13, 2012 at 11:41 am
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).
Hannah CrumAugust 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm
Thank you for sharing this Linda!
lisaAugust 13, 2017 at 6:54 pm
Thank you for sharing this, I wondered how it would work on cats. I can now share it with my cat!:)
PatAugust 4, 2012 at 7:15 am
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.
Hannah CrumAugust 7, 2012 at 8:03 am
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 ArthurApril 14, 2014 at 12:20 pm
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!!
AngieApril 13, 2016 at 8:54 am
I recently found out my dog has lung cancer. The vet said she has between 1 week and 3 months to live. I took her home and immediately changed her diet to organic meat with almost raw veggies and started giving her 1/4 tsp of zeolites 4 times per day. She was so weak, she couldn’t even lift her head to drink and I was terrified she wouldn’t make it, but after the zeolites for only 7 days, she is up and running, barking and has even more energy than she has had for months! In a week or so I will take her back in and get more xrays to see a comparison. I’m anxious to see the results.
EdieFebruary 28, 2019 at 12:18 pm
Hi Angie, I hope your dog is better. Your post made me cry.
Dawna GrayJuly 29, 2020 at 10:04 pm
Hi please look into Rick Simpson Oil for cancer. CBD and THC tincture has done wonders for aging dogs and dogs with cancer.
Erika Lukas via FacebookJuly 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm
I’ve been recommending living foods such as kombucha to my doggy patients for quite some time now. Thumbs up!
carolFebruary 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm
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 🙂
LaurieFebruary 26, 2014 at 11:25 pm
Dogs are carnivores., raw diet is best
MichaelApril 12, 2015 at 11:35 am
Cats are strictly carnivores. Dogs are omnivores. They eat grass out of instinct.
JulianAugust 2, 2015 at 5:30 pm
Dogs are NOT omnivores and repeating this falsehood does not make it true. It is a fact of science that dogs are carnivores, biological. Examine their physiology, their jaw, and their teeth, and read the scientific literature, and you can verify this fact.
CaroleJune 27, 2016 at 1:13 pm
Dogs are carnivores. The only reason they can eat like an omnivore is nature’s way of starvation prevention. In the wild, dogs, coyotes, wolves eat meat – raw meat. In the United States the ranchers in Montana, Wyoming & Idaho will shoot wolves for killing their livestock – not for grazing in their corn fields!
I too felt bad about the poor dog being fed a vegetarian diet. Yes, the dog will survive, but not at optimal health levels. BTW, a cat WILL DIE on a vegetarian diet. They are strict carnivores, whereas a dog is simply a carnivore, not a strict carnivore.
LaurenDecember 19, 2011 at 6:16 am
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.
hellaDOctober 12, 2011 at 8:45 pm
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 🙂
Vincent DiClaudio Lobascio via FacebookOctober 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm
what a great article!
Kim Waite-Williams via FacebookOctober 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm
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.
LaurenDecember 19, 2011 at 6:17 am
I totally agree with the veggies and brown rice. I hope that little pooch gets some protein
LCCSeptember 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm
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.
MichaelApril 12, 2015 at 11:32 am
I agree will LCC. Dogs will at least need vitamin B12 supplemented in their diet. Kombucha has vitamin B12 but with the smaller doses of kombucha for a dog i would guess that you should also at the very least give them vitamin B12 supplements. I have seen them made in the form of dog treats.
melissaJanuary 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm
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
AnonymousOctober 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm
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.
LaurenDecember 19, 2011 at 6:19 am
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.
AiluOctober 5, 2010 at 2:10 am
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
AiluOctober 5, 2010 at 2:08 am
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
StinaOctober 3, 2010 at 11:16 pm
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!