Up until 1822 which is only 200 years ago we did not have refrigerators. So storing and preserving food was a priority for our survival. And one of the oldest and safest methods to preserving food is fermenting The process of fermenting food is over 10,000 years old.
We actually still use fermented foods every day, such as coffee, beer, wine, cheese, many of the gourmet meats, salami, pepperoni, tempa, miso, sour dough bread, kiefer And most are familiar sauerkraut. Now that we have refrigeration, people don’t eat fermented foods as we did in the past, however it’s making a comeback because we discovered health benefits. And it’s trickled it’s way into the diet of our k9s.
What we’ve discovered is that fermented foods encourage the growth of certain organisms that are beneficial for our bodies which is a lactic acid bacteria which is a group of organisms that help to stimulate the immune system and aid in digestion. In fact fermented food provides beneficial bacteria’s that help with pre-digestion by breaking down elements making it more easy for the body to digest and absorb vitamins and minerals. Particularly proteins and carbs.
Fermented food can be helpful for dogs and with dietary issues, poor digestion, immune issues, and senior dogs. One of the things that I found to be very interesting….. is that the healthy bacteria that is found in fermented food is not found in the veggies themselves but it happens during the process of fermentation. Another words these health benefits don’t exist in its raw state but rather in its decomposed state. So fermented foods actually unlock vitamins and minerals that are not found in its natural form.
One of the reasons that I feed fermented foods to my dogs is because it offers diversity in the microbiome. Many people are aware that the immune system is housed in the gut, but did you know that 95% of serotonin is also produced in the gut. Which means a health microbiome not only effects the digestion and immune system but also makes us feel happy. And it works for dogs too……………….
Being that I work with dogs from a training aspect, I’ve always been fascinated about how gut health affects our dogs ability to learn and how it contributes to behavior. What I’ve learned is by feeding a species appropriate diet and creating a healthy and diversified gut bacteria can change dogs behaviors. In addition to the more obvious which is the physical health.
Instead of feeding fermented food a lot of people will consider giving their dog a probiotic. The difference between giving your dog a probiotic and fermented food is that the probiotic might have trillions of beneficial bacteria but they only might be three to five different strands, whereas fermented food offers far more elaborate and diverse bacteria colonies. The reason this is important is that the more health bacteria you have begins to edge out harmful bacteria. Understanding that there’s good and bad bacteria in the gut but the more gut friendly bacteria you put into it it begins to push out the bad stuff, this leaving a healthier gut, stronger immune system, and makes us feel happier giving us a sense of well being.
And so do you have to buy fermented food of course not fermenting food is one of the easiest processes to learn and you can ferment a lot of different types of foods. Check out our video for recipe and how to make your own fermented sauerkraut.