What is Brewers Yeast?
Brewers Yeast is produced by a single-cell organism that is the driving force behind beer production. Its traditional use is in the production of bread and alcohol, and it has a distinctively bitter taste.
However, Brewers Yeast has other uses and is often used as a dietary supplement for human consumption and can supposedly offer a range of health benefits.
It is even one of the core components of the controversial spread, Marmite, and the source of many of its supposed benefits.
In addition to these health benefits, Brewers Yeast provides some minor nutritional value, including a range of beneficial vitamins and minerals.
However, observant dog owners will have also noticed that Brewers Yeast is sometimes present in pet food recipes.
Why Is Brewers Yeast In Dog Food?
Dog owners who pay close attention to the ingredient list of their dog’s favorite food will have noticed that there are sometimes small quantities of Brewers Yeast present.
At first, there were only a few select brands utilizing Brewers Yeast in their recipes, but this trend has grown significantly over time, and now there are dozens that use it.
Just as Brewers Yeast is used to providing health benefits or nutrition to humans, it is included in dog food recipes for the exact same reason.
While many dog food brands used to focus on the core nutrients in their recipes, like protein and fat, many are now taking a closer look at vitamins and minerals, and Brewers Yeast is an excellent natural source of many of these.
Health Benefits Of Brewers Yeast For Dogs
Brewers Yeast is particularly rich in B Vitamins such as Vitamin B3, B6, & B9. These B Vitamins are important for several reasons and can promote healthy skin, hair, eyes and improve a dog’s liver function.
While not as proven as other benefits, some people also believe that high levels of B Vitamins can reduce Anxiety in dogs which is a growing problem. The other alternative treatment for Anxiety in dogs is a medication that many dogs owners are reluctant to adopt or consider.
However, it is important to note that Brewers Yeast does not contain Vitamin B12, and as a consequence, it is sometimes added to Brewers Yeast or dog food as an additional supplement.
B vitamins aren’t the only thing present in Brewers Yeast, and it is also high in a number of minerals such as Selenium, Chromium, Zinc, Potassium, and Iron.
These minerals are necessary for many bodily functions and processes and while they are found in other foods, additional levels can help many dogs.
Some examples of benefits from these minerals could be Iron which is used in the production of red blood cells, Zinc which is essential to maintain a healthy immune system; and Chromium which can influence blood sugar levels.
Risks of Brewers Yeast For Dogs
While most dogs will not have any issues with Brewers Yeast, there are a few things to consider. Brewers Yeast can cause some dogs to experience digestive issues such as additional gas or Bloat.
While this will only have minor consequences to most dogs, if you own a dog that already has problems with its digestion or you own a dog breed that is prone to Bloat or other pressing issues, then it may be ill-advised to feed them a diet high in Brewers Yeast.
While we won’t go into specific details in this article, Brewers Yeast can also interfere with certain medicines that some dogs take.
If your dog is being prescribed medication, it is vitally important that you let your vet know what your dog is consuming, especially if it includes Brewers Yeast within a dog food recipe or as a dietary supplement.
While the tiny amount in most dog recipes is unlikely to interfere significantly with any medication, it is crucial your vet is fully informed of the situation so they can adapt as needed.
Can Brewers Yeast Repel Ticks and Fleas?
There is some evidence to show that Brewers Yeast, alongside some other foods like Garlic and Oils, can help repel pests like Ticks and Fleas.
While this evidence to support this claim is relatively limited, it should not be ignored entirely and has great potential given how much of an issue Ticks and Fleas can be.
Brewers Yeast does offer itself as a “natural” remedy to Fleas and Ticks, and with the safety and risks of other Flea repellents often being brought into question, it should at least be considered by some dog owners.
However, if your dog has a severe outbreak of fleas or other pests, we strongly recommend you visit a vet to seek medical attention and not rely on minor remedies like Brewers Yeast.
Dog Food Brands That Use Brewers Yeast
As we mentioned earlier, the number of dog food brands that now use Brewers Yeast in their recipes has expanded greatly over the last decade.
You can see a good example of the use of Brewers Yeast in a dry dog food recipe in the below ingredient list of Purina Pro Plan’s Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon Large Breed Adult Formula.
Some may pose the question, why have other dog food brands chosen not to use Brewers Yeast in their recipes?
There isn’t going to be a single answer to this, but some dog food formulas already contain a plentiful supply of vitamins and minerals and don’t need additional supplements like Brewers Yeast.
It may also be the case that some brands or canine nutritionists don’t believe that Brewers Yeast can provide strong benefits or are concerned about its drawbacks.
If, for some reason, you are concerned about Brewers Yeast being in your dog’s food, we recommend you carefully review the ingredient list of the food to see if it is present.