Brewer’s yeast for dog. Application in supplementation.

Published by Renata

Did you know that yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), in addition to being used in the production of baked goods or the production of alcohol, in the right form is a valuable addition to the diet of dogs?

When analyzing the composition of pet foods, treats and supplements, you can see that yeast is often mentioned in the list of ingredients in these products. It is also one of the basic supplements in the raw and cooked diet.

What is the importance of brewer’s yeast in the diet of pets? Which dog yeast is the best? What ingredients does yeast contain? You can read about it in the article! 🙂


What is yeast?

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a single-celled, non-pathogenic fungus. They are widely used in the food industry, e.g. in baking, distilling, wine-making and brewing. They contain many biologically active compounds (such as B vitamins, MOS, beta glucans, a number of micro- and macroelements), which make brewer’s yeast a valuable addition to the diet of animals. In the production of feed additives from these fungi, whole yeast cells, individual components (e.g. purification to obtain β-glucans) or selected metabolites formed in their fermentation are used.


Is brewer’s yeast (dry) and baker’s yeast the same thing? Can I give my dog baker’s yeast?

In order for the yeast dough to rise, it is necessary to use live yeast, capable of carrying out fermentation (dried yeast or yeast flakes will not fulfill this task). As a result of this process, the yeast cells produce carbon dioxide, which causes the dough to expand, creating bubbles in it. For the production of yeast pastries, the following are most often used: fresh yeast in cubes, more expensive instant dried yeast. Live yeast is also used to brew beer (or other spirits). Such yeast – live – cannot be used in animal supplementation! The use of live yeast in dog supplementation will manifest itself in various ailments from the digestive system – bloating, indigestion, and may even lead to intestinal torsion.


What yeast can be given to dogs?

Only inactive (dried) yeast should be used in supplementation. They are a remnant of beer production, hence their name “brewer’s yeast”.

Such a product does not contain alcohol, and to improve the palatability, the yeast undergoes a bittering process. Drying causes the yeast to die and is unable to carry out fermentation. Brewer’s yeast for animals is usually available in powder form.


Nutritional value of brewer’s yeast

Brewery yeast cells consist of approximately 50% of proteins that are highly assimilable by the body. This protein contains all the essential amino acids (it is complete), which makes it similar to animal proteins. However, due to the limited amount of brewer’s yeast in the diet, they will not cover the needs of the dog’s body for protein. Brewer’s yeast is best known as an organic source of B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9), which are an important component of many metabolic pathways in the body. These vitamins are not stored in the body, so they should be included in the daily diet to avoid deficiencies.

  • B1 (thiamine): regulates carbohydrate metabolism in the body, supports the functioning of the nervous system. Deficiency in dogs may include: as a result of regular consumption of large amounts of raw fish containing the enzyme thiaminase, which breaks down vitamin B1 in the meal.
  • B2 (riboflavin): plays a large role in the energy processes of the body, it is also involved in the formation of red blood cells,
  • B3 (niacin): supports the functioning of the nervous system, skin condition, regulates the metabolic processes of fats and carbohydrates,
  • B5 (pantothenic acid) – regulates the processes of metabolizing proteins, fats, carbohydrates, participates in the production of hormones and red blood cells
  • B6 (pyridoxine) – regulates the process of metabolizing proteins, carbohydrates, affects the functioning of the nervous and immune systems
  • B7 (biotin): has a beneficial effect on the coat, prevents shedding, regulates energy metabolism in the body,
  • B9 (folic acid): regulates the work of the nervous system, especially important during pregnancy, deficiencies accompany inflammation of the intestines, stimulates the process of hematopoiesis

Importantly, brewer’s yeast will not provide vitamin B12 in the diet in the right level, they contain its trace amounts. B12 deficiency can occur with anemia or intestinal inflammation.

In addition to B vitamins, yeast provides many important minerals, including: iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium. They take part in the production of red blood cells, metabolic changes, support the functioning of muscles, the nervous system and regulate the action of hormones. Yeast has a beneficial effect on the condition of the skin and coat.


How to recognize high-quality brewer’s yeast?

  • light color: this proves the low temperature used for drying them, i.e. less loss of nutrients. Dark yeast (brown) is the result of drying at high temperature, which reduces the nutritional value of the product.
  • delicate, pleasant smell: reminiscent of bread/beer,
  • no flavorings, dyes, sugars, salt, etc.

Brewer’s yeast as a prebiotic

Brewer’s yeast, thanks to the content of MOS (mannanooligosaccharides), supports the multiplication of beneficial intestinal bacteria, which at the same time hinders the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Scientific research also shows a positive effect on the lengthening and thickening of the intestinal villi, which increases the absorptive surface of the intestines. Brewer’s yeast has a positive effect on digestive processes.


Contraindications to yeast supplementation

  • Yeast Allergy – Pets can be allergic to yeast. Foods that contain yeast should be avoided. Supplementation of B vitamins in dogs on home diets must be replaced with other preparations.
  • tendency to yeast infections, weakened body immunity – in these cases, the addition of yeast in the pet’s diet should be consulted with a veterinarian
  • taking certain medications – drug interactions should also be consulted with a veterinarian

If the introduction of brewer’s yeast into the dog’s diet is accompanied by an increase in gas production (which can occur despite the lack of fermentative activity), then the amount of supplement added should be reduced.

Dried brewer’s yeast is a natural preparation containing a complex of vitamins and minerals, one of the tastiest supplements for dogs. Due to the high content of B vitamins, minerals and amino acids, brewer’s yeast is a great way to enrich your pet’s diet. Yeast has a beneficial effect on the animal’s body – it improves the condition of the coat and skin, supports the nervous and digestive systems, and stimulates immune processes. This supplement is suitable for dogs of all ages.

Yeast is not only healthier nutrition for the dog, it also improves the taste of eaten meals (they naturally contain monosodium glutamate). Most pets like their taste very much.


Check out our Game Dog BARFER Brewer’s Yeast product. It is 100% brewer’s yeast, providing a complex of B vitamins and a perfect supplement to the daily diet of dogs.





  3. Baker NF, Farver TB. Failure of brewer’s yeast as a repellent to fleas on dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1983 Jul 15;183(2):212-4. PMID: 6885593.
  4. Lin CY, Alexander C, Steelman AJ, Warzecha CM, de Godoy MRC, Swanson KS. Effects of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product on fecal characteristics, nutrient digestibility, fecal fermentative end-products, fecal microbial populations, immune function, and diet palatability in adult dogs1. J Anim Sci. 2019 Apr 3;97(4):1586-1599. doi: 10.1093/jas/skz064.
  5. Martins MS, Sakomura NK, Souza DF, Filho FO, Gomes MO, Vasconcellos RS, Carciofi AC. Brewer’s yeast and sugarcane yeast as protein sources for dogs. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2014 Oct;98(5):948-57. doi: 10.1111/jpn.12145. Epub 2013 Dec 4. PMID: 24304448.
  6. Strompfová V, Kubašová I, Mudroňová D, Štempelová L, Takáčová M, Gąsowski B, Čobanová K, Maďari A. Effect of Hydrolyzed Yeast Administration on Faecal Microbiota, Haematology, Serum Biochemistry and Cellular Immunity in Healthy Dogs. Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins. 2021 Oct;13(5):1267-1276. doi: 10.1007/s12602-021-09765-9. Epub 2021 Mar 12. PMID: 33710512.
  7. Infographic: Effects of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product-supplemented diet on circulating immune cells and oxidative stress markers in dogs, Journal of Animal Science, Volume 100, Issue 9, September 2022, skac278,
  8. Theodoro SS, Putarov TC, Tiemi C, Volpe LM, de Oliveira CAF, Glória MBA, Carciofi AC. Effects of the solubility of yeast cell wall preparations on their potential prebiotic properties in dogs. PLoS One. 2019 Nov 25;14(11):e0225659. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225659. PMID: 31765439; PMCID: PMC6878821.
  9. Kroll FSA, Putarov TC, Zaine L, Venturini KS, Aoki CG, Santos JPF, Pedrinelli V, Vendramini THA, Brunetto MA, Carciofi AC. Active fractions of mannoproteins derived from yeast cell wall stimulate innate and acquired immunity of adult and elderly dogs. Anim Feed Sci Technol. 2020 Mar;261:114392. doi: 10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2020.114392. Epub 2020 Jan 10. PMID: 32288071; PMCID: PMC7126846.
  10. Wilson SM, Oba PM, Koziol SA, Applegate CC, Soto-Diaz K, Steelman AJ, Panasevich MR, Norton SA, Swanson KS. Effects of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product-supplemented diet on circulating immune cells and oxidative stress markers of dogs. J Anim Sci. 2022 Sep 1;100(9):skac245. doi: 10.1093/jas/skac245. PMID: 36044986; PMCID: PMC9433306.
  11. Avramia I, Amariei S. Spent Brewer’s Yeast as a Source of Insoluble β-Glucans. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jan 15;22(2):825. doi: 10.3390/ijms22020825. PMID: 33467670; PMCID: PMC7829969.
  13. Ferreira CS, Vendramini THA, Amaral AR, Rentas MF, Ernandes MC, da Silva FL, Oba PM, de Oliveira Roberti Filho F, Brunetto MA. Metabolic variables of obese dogs with insulin resistance supplemented with yeast beta-glucan. BMC Vet Res. 2022 Jan 3;18(1):14. doi: 10.1186/s12917-021-03106-2. PMID: 34980115; PMCID: PMC8722019.