Brewer's yeast, the yeast left over from beer making, has many health benefits. One use has traditionally been to repel fleas and ticks. Though there is little scientific evidence to prove that this works, the idea behind it is sound: brewer's yeast raises the acidity of blood, which repels ticks and fleas. Apple cider vinegar works on the same principle.
Brewer's Yeast Overview
Brewer's yeast is one of the by-products from making beer: there are many strains of yeast used in beer making, but two of the more common types are Saccharomyces boulardii and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, according to The University of Maryland Medical Center. It has been used as a nutritional supplement for years, and has been proven to help with antibiotic-associated diarrhea. It is high in many of the B-complex vitamins, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, but not in vitamin B12, one of the B vitamins found in red meat and often lacking in a vegetarian diet. Brewer's yeast is also high in chromium and selenium. It is contraindicated for people taking MAO inhibitors, medications commonly prescribed for depression.
Brewer's Yeast and Tick Prevention
You can give brewer's yeast to dogs in tablet form to repel fleas and ticks. They generally like the taste, according to Vetinfo4dogs.com. According to an article on PETA.com, provided by PetMD, brewer's yeast for dogs mixed with garlic is effective in repelling fleas and ticks. The article notes that brewer's yeast alone will work for cats, but that the garlic should be omitted. The evidence that brewer's yeast works is based on either the fact that the B-vitamin complex in the brewer's yeast is beneficial to the animal and boosts its immune system, or that it makes the blood acidic, which repels the fleas and ticks. An article by Rose Marie Williams in the Townsend Newsletter describes the importance of keeping a dog's immune system healthy to keep fleas and ticks away. She notes that it is the old and sick dog that will be infested with fleas. Feeding the animals a good diet, including B-complex vitamins, is one way to keep its immune system healthy. Vetinfo4dogs.com notes that brewer's yeast raises the acidity of the blood. Mixed with garlic, which also repels fleas and ticks due to its smell, this can be an effective repellent. Two Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar added to the dog's water can have the same effect.
Other Methods of Tick Prevention
Other methods of tick prevention include wearing long pants and socks, and even fashioning leggings for your dog out of old socks or t-shirts. Ticks wait on long grass for the warmth of a mammal's body. When they feel that warmth, they jump. If there is nothing for them to latch onto (because of the clothing) they will fall off. Another method of tick prevention is to apply citrus essential oils. Fleas and ticks are repelled by the scent of citrus. You can even apply lemon juice to your pet's coat as a harmless and potentially effective preventative measure, according to the article on PETA.com.
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