Why we love nutritional yeast (nooch!) for dogs

Nutritional yeast is a magical ingredient.

In fact, nooch, as it’s lovingly called by its fans, has gained a cult following because, along with its yummy, cheesy, nutty flavor, this delicious seasoning delivers wonderful health benefits — a complete protein punch and lots of B vitamins. 

And, what we’ve discovered over the years at Because Animals, is that nooch’s irresistible umami flavor also makes dogs go wild for their food!

If you are still wondering what exactly nutritional yeast is, here’s the skinny. It comes from a species of yeast known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Unlike activated yeast, which is used to leaven bread, nutritional yeast becomes a deactivated yeast during the heating and drying process. 

Nooch is usually grown on a glucose medium, typically either sugarcane or beet molasses. And it is sold as yellow flakes or a yellow powder. Admittedly, that yeasty name paired with that flaky presentation doesn’t make for the most enticing food ingredient, but you really need to try it to understand just how good it is.

For humans, who love to use it to make creamy pasta sauces and dressings or to put it on popcorn and roasted veggies, nooch is a wonderful dietary supplement that is also dairy-free and, usually, gluten-free. Nutritional yeast naturally contains beneficial B vitamins and many manufacturers fortify it with B12. On average, a serving also provides 9 g of protein and that is a complete protein, providing all nine amino acids the human body cannot produce.

And, dogs get all of those same perks from nooch too. It makes their food taste yummier and they benefit from the naturally-occuring B vitamins. B1 plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy metabolism, B2 supports immunity, and B9 helps with brain development. And since B vitamins cannot be stored in a dog’s body for future use, they must be eaten daily as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

And, while nooch provides humans with nine essential amino acids, for dogs this complete protein contains the 10 essential amino acids they need to obtain from their diet as their bodies don’t naturally produce them. 

Animal proteins are also considered to be complete sources of protein, containing all of the essential amino acids the body doesn’t produce. While plant protein sources, on the other hand, such as beans, lentils and nuts are considered to be incomplete proteins, as they lack one or more of the essential amino acids the body needs, which is why vegetarians and vegans love supplementing with nutritional yeast.

We love nutritional yeast not only for the complete protein, but unlike animal sources, nooch is environmentally-sustainable and is produced without causing any harm to any animals! 

And there you have the reason nooch is the star ingredient in our new, certified organic, human-grade, peanut butter dog cookie, Noochies!