Monday, July 2, 2012

Making your own pre/probiotics!

A few years ago I went on a search for a probiotic that didn't use sugar or milk as the starter or carrier as both sugar and dairy can feed and start yeast in dogs and humans. Without sharing all my lengthy research with you, I also discovered that any probiotic worth it's weight needs to be refrigerated. Of course this poses a problem with mass production and distribution, they also cost more because of the additional refrigeration & transportation cost and it costs more to keep it on the shelves in stores.

Then I ran across a great article on Whole Dog Journal about probiotics called It's All In How You Make It. It speaks at length about using lacto-fermented vegetables in your dogs diet, and it's good for you too! Rather than using a sugar or dairy based carrier I learned that you can use unrefined sea salt! The unique thing about lacto-fermented vegetables is they qualify as both a prebiotic and probiotic and they are cheaper and easier to make then you think.

I purchased my crock from Cultures for Health.
I purchased the unrefined sea salt from When I first bought these they came in a 6-shaker case, but I'm already on my 3rd or 4th shaker. Now it looks like they come in single bottles.  It's also now purchasable in 1 pound bags.
May 6, 2015 Edit - The Lima Unrefined Sea Salt is no longer available through Vitacost, I found many reasonable sources of unrefined sea salt on

I use cucumbers because of their ease to purchase, grind and crush through my juicer and how quickly they are ready to use. I go through a batch in a little over a week, they only take two hours to adequately ferment , but I leave it mine for 24 - 48 hours, then store it in the refrigerator in a seal-able container. Each dog gets a couple Tablespoons scooped out daily with their dinner. They will lap it right out of the bowl by itself, they are quite tasty! The batch pictured below is from 6 large cucumbers and I used 2 Tablespoons of unrefined sea salt as the starter per gallon. The valve on the top of the crock lets air escape without letting air in. I left the skins on because I grew these cucumbers myself, but I peel those I buy from the store.

If you want to read more about yeast in dogs, you can read this copy of the WDJ article titled Canine Candida.

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