Brewer’s yeast for dogs: understanding the benefits and risks

Brewer’s yeast is derived from a unicellular organism responsible for fermentation in beer. It is also a safe dietary supplement offering many potential benefits to dogs. As always, consult your veterinarian before giving new supplements to your dog.

What are the benefits of brewer’s yeast? 

Rich in vitamin B (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7 and B9) and antioxidants, beer yeast promotes healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver in humans and animals. In addition to these benefits, high levels of B vitamins can reduce anxiety in dogs.

Beer yeast is also rich in selenium, potassium, chromium, iron, zinc and magnesium. These minerals are essential for a variety of cellular, organ and overall health functions. It is important to note that brewer’s yeast does not contain vitamin B12, a necessary vitamin found in animal products and sometimes added to nutritional yeast.
In humans, brewer’s yeast can help control diabetes, the high levels of chromium naturally present in yeast help regulate blood sugar, but no tests have been done on dogs. Chromium is removed during the desareazation of the brewer’s yeast; so read the label carefully. Brewer’s yeast can also be used as a probiotic and digestive support.

What are the risks of yeast for dogs?

In large dogs, the amount of yeast required to act can cause stomach and bowel problems. Gas is the most commonly reported side effect in all dogs.

Beer yeast can interact with certain types of anxiolytic and antidepressant medications. It should not be given if the dog is immunocompromised, subject to yeast infections or if he is allergic to yeasts. It is also not recommended for dogs with colitis and other types of intestinal diseases. Beyond these specific factors, there is little controversy about the small amount of yeast given to healthy adult dogs.

Beer yeast is also high in calories and contains about 80 kilocalories per gram (or more if mixed with omega-3 oils). It is therefore important to calculate the number of calories in your dog’s daily intake. Be sure to read the label carefully to make sure there are no added ingredients that your dog might be sensitive to.


Does brewer’s yeast push fleas and ticks?

The short answer is yes. The longest answer is that there is not much scientific information available, some dating back to the 1950s. Recent studies have combined beer yeast with garlic or oils with mixed results. The amount of garlic in commercially available formulas is safe for pets. It seems that yeast is the essential ingredient, but its formulation is essential to effectively repel fleas and ticks. Scientists have tried to determine which part of the brewer’s yeast conferred this repellent property. None of the vitamins or minerals present in brewer’s yeast alone repel fleas and ticks. So there can be more elements working together.

Recently, prices have been tested for dogs containing yeast with and without garlic and there has been no difference in effectiveness. The premium hit a barrier to market entry because of the side effects in large dogs. Beer yeast mixed with omega-3 oils may have a stronger repellent effect.

It will probably take a few days to see a repellent effect on yeast fleas, and not all dogs will benefit from this benefit.

Therefore, it is best to add a topical or chewable product that kills fleas so that your dog is protected in two ways.