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Does My Dog Have Fleas? What You Need to Know About Dog Flea Control and the Health Benefits of Brewer's Yeast

Updated on June 5, 2018
Healthyannie profile image

Pet health is just as important as human health. Natural remedies are often as effective as conventional treatments, and simpler and safer.

Brewer's yeast is safe for puppies
Brewer's yeast is safe for puppies

Does Brewer's Yeast Repel Dog Fleas? Yes, it does.

There are many excellent reasons why you should give your dog Brewer's yeast. Brewer's yeast is a safe supplement for most dogs and can help to enhance your dog’s health.

Brewer's yeast has been used as a pet health product for a long time, and many veterinarians recommend Brewer’s yeast as a dietary supplement.

Why should I give my dog Brewer's yeast? There is good scientific basis why you should consider adding Brewer's yeast to your dog’s health care routine but some of the top reasons include flea control, better skin and also an improved immune system.

I started to use Brewer's yeast as an alternative flea control after it became apparent my new puppy Sadie was severely allergic to all of the standard flea treatment such as Frontline and Advantix. Not only was she allergic to flea treatments. It turned she was allergic to certain dog food brands and dog shampoos.

What makes Brewer's yeast such a great supplement and flea treatment for dogs? Brewer's yeast is rich in Essential Fatty Acids, B vitamins and many antioxidants which can help to keep your dog healthy.

Sadie loves agility
Sadie loves agility | Source

How Brewer's Yeast Repels Dog Fleas

Flea control can become a problem if your dog is allergic to standard veterinary flea control treatments. I have tried many of the available flea treatments available but my dog sadly reacts in one way or another to all of them. On one occasion she had to be rushed to the vet with breathing problems and had to stay overnight in the veterinary clinic.

Researchers are still a bit baffled why Brewer's yeast is an effective flea treatment but it is generally thought it makes the blood taste unusual. There is another theory that seems to show the yeast creates a certain odor which may deter biting insects. It does contain sulfur compounds which could be considered unappetizing to insects.

Brewer's yeast is very rich in the B group vitamins which are vital when it comes to healthy blood so there can indeed be a link between improved blood health and insect control.

I have adding Brewer's yeast to Sadie’s diet for four months, and I have noticed despite warmer weather, she has not suffered from fleas and ticks.

Cats also benefit from Brewer's yeast as it often improves the quality of their coat and energy levels.


My 19 year old Yorkshire terrier Gonzo
My 19 year old Yorkshire terrier Gonzo

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Brewer's Yeast and Your Dog’s Coat

Since I have been giving Sadie Brewers yeast on a daily basis, I have noticed her coat looks healthier. She is a young dog so her health is excellent but since starting the daily supplement regime, I have noticed her coat has a definitive sheen to it. Another benefit seems to be that she sheds less.

I also have a 19-year-old Yorkshire terrier which always used to suffer from itchy skin. However, since I started to give Gonzo a Brewers yeast supplement, I have not had to resort to any specialist shampoo treatments, and he is certainly scratching less. Skin problems in Yorkshire terriers are very common and can be difficult to treat.

Antioxidants Found in Brewer's Yeast

One of the main reasons Brewer’s yeast works to improve both coat and skin quality is its high content of antioxidants.

The most common antioxidants found in Brewer’s yeast are chromium and zinc. Chromium helps to control blood sugar levels. If your dog suffers from diabetes, Brewer's yeast could be a good canine supplement. When it comes to food, chromium can be found in wholegrain cereals, liver, and red meat. Zinc is crucial for normal growth, immunity, and reproduction. It supports the digestion of enzymes and can be found in red meat, oysters, nuts and sunflower seeds.

All Curled Up

My dog Sadie curled up with her litter mates taking a siesta.
My dog Sadie curled up with her litter mates taking a siesta. | Source

The Role of Vitamin B in Canine Health

Which B Vitamin Does What
Role in Health
B1 Thiamin
Needed to make collagen and neurotransmitters. Aids absorption of iron from plant food
B2 Riboflavin
Release of energy from food, and for B6 and niacin to function
B6 Pyrixodine
Releases energy from proteins. Supports the immune and nervous system. Aids the formation of red blood cells
B3 Niacin
Needed for energy production in the cells
B5 Pantothenic Acid
Helps to Release energy from food
Biotin
Important in the synthesis of fat
Folic Acid
Required for healthy cell division, and the formation of DNA, RNA and proteins
B12
Crucial for making DNA, RNA and myelin. Needed for cell division
The members of the vitamin B group all have various functions but do work as a group

Stress and Brewers Yeast

Canine stress is not uncommon. Separation anxiety is perhaps one of the most common stress disorders in dogs but there are many other stress disorders which can affect your pet as well.

Stress can cause severe skin reactions in dogs, and they can suffer from bold patches or outbreaks of eczema.

Just like when humans suffer stress, dogs will use more B vitamins when they suffer from stress disorders. Brewers yeast is one of the best natural sources of vitamin B and is an excellent supplement time during stressful periods in your dog’s life.

The members of the vitamin B group are all water soluble and your dog’s body can't produce vitamin B. It is therefore essential your dog consumes enough vitamin B on a daily basis to stay healthy and maintain its nervous system.

Just like in humans vitamin B balance is vital, as a lack of vitamin B can also cause anxiety when excesses quantities of the hormones related to stress, adrenaline and epinephrine, are released.

How to Use Brewers Yeast and Safe Dosage

Most dogs are given Brewer's yeast in powder format, and the correct dosage would be about ½ teaspoon for every ten pounds body weight.

Brewer's yeast is also available in a tablet formula, and the tablets range from 300 mg to 500 mg. It is important to follow the extra on the packet to make sure your dog is getting the right quantity.

My dog Sadie likes the taste and she often enjoys her Brewer's yeast with her breakfast in the morning, most dogs don’t seem to mind the taste of this supplement. Getting your dog to take Brewer's yeast is not normally a problem.

Garlic is often added which can help to make Brewers Yeast an even more effective anti-flea treatment.

Can My Pet Be Allergic to Brewer's Yeast?

Just like any other product or food, your dog can be allergic to Brewers Yeast.

Common allergic symptoms include skin rashes, redness or inflammation of the skin.

If your dog has a sensitivity to Brewers Yeast, he or she might develop dry, flaky skin. If you suspect Brewers Yeast to be the problem, stop using the product and see if the condition clears.

Dermatitis Reaction on a dog's skin
Dermatitis Reaction on a dog's skin | Source

Dermatitis - A Common Allergic Reaction in Dogs

Skin disorders in dogs are becoming more common in dogs. A lot of dog skin disorders stem from additives in food, and just like in humans, additives in canine feed can trigger dermatitis and eczema. It is always advisable to feed your dog a food which does not contain additives such as colorants and parabens.

Canine Atopic Dermatitis is the most commonly diagnosed skin disorders in dogs and can be caused by food. It often appears between the ages of 3 months and 6 years but can also be seen in much older dogs.

It is a condition which can also be caused by an allergen in the dog’s environment such as shampoos, laundry powder, flea bites and sensitivity to certain plants especially grass seeds. There is a clear link between dermatitis and flea bites. Dogs can be allergic to flea saliva and this will show up as dermatitis.

It is important to catch the problem early on and find out what is behind your dog’s dermatitis. Dogs which are fed leftovers from ready-made meals are prone to this type of reaction. Hot dogs, a favorite snack, contains high levels of sulphites which can trigger an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, sulphites are commonly found in dog food.

Many dog owners have successfully treated their pets’ dermatitis with Brewers yeast and found it to be an excellent alternative to cortisone or long-term anti-inflammatory medication.

© 2014 Annie Messeri

Comments

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    • Healthyannie profile imageAUTHOR

      Annie Messeri 

      4 years ago from Spain

      Thank you Sadie is a cutie. Brewers Yeast is an excellent alternative to conventional flea treatments, so much prefer the natural approach.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 

      4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      I never knew Brewers yeast is good for canine. Very useful hub for dog lovers and your Sadie is such a cutie!

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