Fermenting for Your Dog's Gut Health
Updated: Feb 15, 2020
If you are reading this it is likely because you want to ensure that your dog receive optimal nutrition: fermented foods are one of the best approaches to supporting good gut health, which supports the health of the entire body.
It is no secret after the past decade of extensive gut microbiome research that the gut is the key to a strong immune system and a healthy mind.
Now before you get concerned about the cost involved with fermenting for your pet, consider using the scraps of food one would either discard or compost. This is the ultimate in maximizing the value food from your quality, organic, vegetables. Not only does this eliminate waste, but provides a nutrient-dense, fiber-rich snack for our furbabies.
Dogs have been coexisting with humans for thousands of years and have always been there to consume what we would normally discard. Fermenting (or fur-menting as some call it) is a great way to enhance your pet’s diet with vegetable nutrients, necessary fiber, and naturally occurring probiotics.
The focus here will be vegetables from the cruciferous family (note that if your pet has thyroid issues it is advised to steer clear of cruciferous varieties), root peels, and low glycemic vegetables. I choose not to include those from the nightshade family: white potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant - as these tend to be inflammatory with less nutrient dense peels and skins. No alliums or sugary fruits, either.
THE HOW TO:
Collection: Carrot peels, stalks from broccoli, cauliflower, bruised bok choy leaves, red and/or green cabbage outer leaves, kale, collards, a mushy apple or beets, are all good examples of veggies to gather. Collect these raw cast-offs in a glass canning jar or container (avoid plastics), tossed in the freezer and stuffed to capacity so you can make several batches.
When you have collected enough scraps, warm jar(s) to room temperature, salt with Celtic Sea Salt or Pink Himalayan. Be generous and mix well to ensure even salt distribution. General rule of thumb for a ferment is 1 teaspoon of salt per 1 pound of veggies. It is ESSENTIAL you use a natural salt, one that is not filled with additives, especially anti-caking agents. Otherwise your ferment will not ferment and will not be as healthy for your pet.
Next, a trip to the food processor to create a chunky mix.
Tightly pack a wide mouth quart jar and place a cabbage leaf on the top of the ferment to ensure the contents stays below the brine. You are creating an anaerobic (no oxygen) environment. You can use Pickle Pipes to allow the carbon dioxide to escape. One can also use a canning band and lid but then you must ‘burp’ the jars daily.
Let sit at room temp out of direct sunlight for 3 days. Best use a plate under the jars to catch the juices in case you get an extremely active ferment. Once a day it is a good idea to push the pulp back down to keep it well packed. Remember, this food is alive! After 3 days you can then place the jars in refrigerator, replacing the pickle pipes, if used, with lids. The fermentation will continue but more slowly at the cooler temps.
This nutritious blend is now vibrating with vitality for your pets!
Daily recommended dose: 1 teaspoon per every 20 lbs (about 9 kg) of dog.
Also, don't hesitate to ask me questions! I am here for you and want you to succeed in regaining your furbaby’s optimal health.