About nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast popular with human beings whose preferred dietary choice is for a vegan or vegetarian diet. A significant source of B-complex vitamins, nutritional yeast for dogs is an equally necessary part of a plant-based canine diet.
Nutrients in nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast is rich in glutamic acid. It’s also rich in B vitamins and very often fortified with vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin involved in the metabolism of every cell your dog’s body.
It is also a good source of protein, making it an important ingredient in the diet of any dog fed a plant-based, non-meat protein diet. In fact as a “complete protein”, it can provide a dog with all 10 essential amino acids that it requires from its diet that it cannot produce itself.
And it’s a good source of fibre. With a nutty or cheesy flavour it can be useful as a flavour enhancer if ever your best friend is off his or food for whatever reason.
One of the longest ever-lived dogs, Bramble, a Border Collie from Dorset, lived to the age of 27 on a wholly plant-based diet.
Admittedly since then the commercial pet food industry has given products such as nutritional yeast a bad name. But that’s only because of its overuse of plant-based proteins instead of more expensive, meat protein sources.
Nooch for your pooch
To its many fans, nutritional yeast is lovingly known as nooch. If you want to feed your dog a meat-free, plant-based diet, the wider the variety of protein sources the better. That’s why I’ve included nooch, nutritional yeast, in my homemade dog food recipes for those who wish to feed their dog plant-based dog food.
Plant-based dog food guide
Especially for those who want to feed their dog a plant-based diet, I have written a complete Plant-Based Dog Food feeding guide. It’s a step-by-step guide for anyone wanting to feed their dog a vegan or vegetarian homemade diet.
To that end, there is both a vegan and a vegetarian version to download.
As a canine nutritionist I personally favour a more traditional, meat-based diet for dogs. That said, I believe there is sufficient evidence to suggest that a dog can live a long and happy life on a properly balanced plant-based homemade diet. Bramble’s story attests to that fact.
There is even further evidence that for some dogs, a vegan or vegetarian homemade diet may even offer some health benefits. These can include increased overall health, weight control, allergy reduction and the management of arthritis.
So while it may not be to everyone’s taste, for some dogs, plant-based diets appear to be here to stay. And all the while they are, nutritional yeast for dogs has to be on the menu!