Healthy Ingredients for Your Pet: Brewer’s Yeast

The next ingredient we’re covering in our ongoing series on Healthy Ingredients for Your Pet is brewer’s yeast. Brewer’s yeast is used in many pet foods, and is a common supplement you might consider adding to your pet’s diet.

What is Brewer’s Yeast?

Brewer’s yeast comes from a one-celled fungus called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is typically associated with the fermenting process of beer, wine and bread. As a fungus, it is neither plant nor animal.

Brewer’s Yeast contains a rich supply of protein, B-complex vitamins and minerals and contributes to the efficient metabolism of food and reduction of stress.Why would it be in pet food?

In addition to be vitamin and mineral benefits outlined above, Brewer’s Yeast is frequently recommended to kill ticks and fleas.  

It is known to support good digestive health and aids in controlling diarrhea. Brewer’s yeast is also rich in antioxidants which can make your dog’s skin healthier and his coat shinier. If your dog tends to suffer from itchy, dry skin, brewer’s yeast may be helpful.

Brewer’s Yeast is rich in chromium, a trace element that helps to maintain blood sugar levels in the body and has been used to help control Type-2 diabetes in humans. While this benefit has not been studied in animals, it might have the same impact on your pets.

This supplement can also help to reduce stress and to calm nerves due to its high concentration of B-complex vitamins.

Are there any risks to feeding your pet Brewer’s Yeast?

The proper dosage of Brewer’s Yeast is dependent on your pet’s weight. It can be found in pill or powder form and sprinkled on their food. Since it is high in calories, be sure and factor those calories into your pet’s daily calorie intake. And be aware that the proper dosage for large dogs may result in unwanted side effects (increased gas).

If your pet has yeast allergies or suffers from colitis, steer clear of Brewer’s Yeast.

Brewer’s Yeast Factoids:

  • Brewer’s yeast is naturally rich in glucose tolerance factor (GTF), the compound that contains a biologically-active form of chromium which has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and boost blood sugar control in those with diabetes.
  • The scientific name for Brewer’s Yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is derived from three different Latin words.  Saccaro, meaning "sugar", myces, meaning "fungus", and cerevisiae, meaning "beer", and so translating into "sugar fungus of beer".Pet foods that contain Brewer’s Yeast:

There are many foods that already contain Brewer’s Yeast, or you can add it as a supplement to your pet’s diet. Check with your vet for proper dosage and then hit your neighborhood pet store or the internet to purchase. Be sure and administer based on your veterinarian’s recommendations.

Some foods with Brewer’s Yeast:

Abound Salmon & Brown Rice (Cat)

Castor & Pollux Natural Ultramix (Dog)


Personalize your pet’s daily meals.

Feed the right amount each day with the SmartFeeder and SmartDelivery.