Yogurt is a cool and creamy “people” food that contains good fats, proteins, and, most of the time, probiotics! And because we want nothing but optimal health for our dogs, we wonder if we can feed them with this yummy dairy product.
We will look at whether your dog should eat yogurt and the nutritional benefits of yogurt for your pooch. Find out how much and how often you should give them yogurt for their health and wellbeing.
Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?
Yes, dogs can eat yogurt, but they don’t necessarily have to. This dairy food is rich in several important nutrients such as calcium and protein. So, it can be a part of your dog’s balanced diet.
While most plain yogurts do not contain any toxic ingredients for dogs, it can still be hazardous to some dogs who are lactose intolerant. Your dog also might risk indigestion after consuming even a tiny amount.
If your dog can stomach foods that contain lactose, then you can try them out with a bit of yogurt. Just lookout for some of the signs of lactose intolerance, which may result in the following:
What to Look for When Buying Yogurt for Your Dog
Most dog foods don’t contain yogurt, so you might opt for a yogurt that is made for us eat. However, not all “human” yogurts are good for dogs due to harmful added ingredients like sweeteners and chemicals.
If you want to be extra sure of how the yogurt is made, you can try making one yourself!
Watch this video to find out how to make your own homemade yogurt:
If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making it here are some things to consider when purchasing yogurt for your dog.
If you know your pooch can handle yogurt the first thing you should look out for when picking a yogurt is the fat content.
Too much fat in a dog’s diet can make them suffer from an upset stomach, or worse, pancreatitis. Double-check that you are picking a low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt!
No Xylitol and Chocolate
Make sure that the yogurt contains no xylitol or chocolate. This artificial sweetener is toxic to dogs. In fact, you should only offer your dog yogurt that is free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Dogs do not need the added sweetness and it is difficult for them to process chemicals. And chocolate is also toxic to dogs.
Xylitol is used to sweeten yogurt and it can be 100 times more toxic than chocolate, causing seizure, drops in blood pressure, and death.
Greek Yogurt or Plain Yogurt
Both plain and Greek yogurt is made from the same ingredients, but the process is different. The fermented milk is strained twice for plain yogurt and thrice for Greek. This results in plain yogurt being runnier while Greek yogurt is thicker in consistency and tangier in taste.
Greek yogurt is a better option for your dog. Although it has less calcium than plain yogurt, it usually has double the protein and half the salt and sugar. This is a great alternative protein source for dogs who are allergic to meat, chicken, fish, nuts, or legumes.
Look for Live and Active Cultures
Not just any yogurt will do for your dog. For better gut health, make sure that these dairy products contain live probiotics which have more beneficial properties.
You can usually find this out in the ingredients list or somewhere on the package. It is also highly recommended to pick out yogurt with the Live and Active Culture seal.
What Are the Benefits of Yogurt for Dogs?
Yogurt comes from fermented milk by a bacteria called Lactobacillus Acidophilus that produces lactic acid. This good bacteria helps in the lactose digestion process and aids in keeping the natural balance of the internal bacteria culture found in the digestive system as part of the native intestinal flora.
This is also a great calcium source that helps control and even prevent issues of the gastrointestinal tract. It also promotes folic acid which is an essential nutrient for pregnant doggos.
Yeast Infection and Yogurt
Bad microorganisms such as yeasts can reside in your dog’s body, and these infections can cause the following:
- scratching around the ears
- skin rashes
- hair loss
- chewing paws
- smelly odor
- tear staining
Adding dairy products to your dog’s diet can help with yeast infections. It may not be the only treatment needed, but it can reduce the severity of symptoms by relieving skin rashes and allergies.
Diarrhea and Yogurt
As dog owners, diarrhea is one of the problems that get us worried because it can be a symptom of underlying diseases. The sickness is often caused by parasites, viruses, and harmful bacteria.
Low-fat plain yogurt can help release lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide, helping to destroy the bad bacteria that cause diarrhea in dogs.
Teeth Problems and Yogurt
Probiotics in yogurt are helpful in reducing the bad bacteria that causes periodontal disease in dogs. These live cultures help to prevent tartar buildup and bad breath.
Again, remember to make sure that there is no xylitol in your dog’s yogurt!
Urinary Tract Infection and Yogurt
Yogurt is also popular in relieving symptoms of UTI in dogs. To get rid of the infection, combine a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with plain yogurt and give it to your dog twice daily.
Can I Give My Dog Yogurt Every Day?
After picking out the best yogurt for your dog, don’t immediately give it all to them. Take note that yogurt is an additive or supplement for their diet, and not the main meal itself. So one to two teaspoons a day is usually enough to receive the benefits.
You can start small by mixing in a small scoop to their food. It is a great way to moisten dry dog food and keep your pup satiated longer. You could also just add a spoonful on top to see if they like the taste.
Yogurts also taste great when mixed with peanut butter and veggies, depending on what your dog likes. Remember not to add chocolates, avocados, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, onions, coffee, yeast rolls, dough, or alcohol.
A yogurt is a healthy option for your dog if they’re not lactose intolerant and if they’re used to supplement a balanced diet. Aside from calcium and protein, it contains probiotics that help to maintain good gut health and reduce the risk of some diseases.
Remember to consult your veterinarian before giving your furry pal some yogurt and pick out the highest quality dairy products without all the unwanted ingredients.