Can dogs eat yogurts? Yogurts are not just a treat for humans, but dogs love them too. Yes, dogs love yogurts also. And if your dog is not a lactose-tolerant, it is a safe bet for them.
Yogurt is a protein-rich diet that is high in calcium as well. It aids digestion and boosts immunity.
Not just regular yogurts, Greek yogurts are a great option too. Most of the Greek yogurts are strained and hence low on lactose, liquid whey, and fat. Compared to regular yogurts, Greek yogurt is half in sugar and salt.
So, dogs can eat yogurt safely.
How to choose yogurts for dogs?
Here are some factors you should consider before buying yogurt for your dog:
Always pick the yogurts which are free from sweeteners and flavor. Plain yogurt is the best yogurt for your dog as the flavors ad sweeteners are toxic for your dog. Xylitol is one of the ingredients in flavored yogurt, which leads to a sudden drop in blood pressure and seizures.
Sucralose, aspartame, and Stevia is also not safe for your dog to consume. A plain and pure yogurt is the best deal for your dog.
Fat-free or low-fat plain yogurts are best for the dogs. Excess of fat leads to weight gain and other health disorders in dogs, and thus full-fat yogurt should be avoided.
Live active bacteria are best to aid digestion and improve the overall defense. Probiotic benefits are high in the yogurts with live active bacteria such as Greek-style yogurts.
How to add yogurt to your dog’s diet?
There are many ways in which you can add healthy yogurt to your dog’s diet:
- You can top-it-up spoonful on the food
- You can mix it in the food as an ingredient for making homemade dog food
- You can freeze the plain yogurt in ice cube tray to treat your dog with freeze yogurt in summers
- 1-2 teaspoon of yogurt is recommended for the dog each day.
Is There Any Hazard of Feeding Yogurt to The Dog?
Although plain yogurt is not toxic, yet your dog may find it difficult to digest. Once the dog crosses puppyhood, the dog’s body finds it difficult to digest the food with lactose. High lactose food generally causes diarrhea, gas, and vomiting. If you notice any of these symptoms after a yogurt diet to your dog, you should check with your vet immediately.
High-fat yogurt can upset the dog’s stomach. The dog can fall fatally ill and lead to health troubles like pancreatitis if the fat intake is high in its diet.
The artificial sweeteners like Xylitol are highly toxic for dogs and hence should b avoided.
Always start with small quantities when it comes to introducing new foods like yogurt. It helps the digestive system of the dog to adjust accordingly. Check the reaction of the dog after adding yogurt to its diet. If the dog is not having any digestive troubles, you can continue with that.
How Much Yogurt Should I Feed to My Dog?
There are several factors which influence the serving size of yogurt to your dogs, such as:
- Neuter Status
- Daily Calories Intake
- Activity level
- Underlying health issue
After assessing the daily nutritional needs of your dog, you can determine the quantity of yogurt you can safely feed to your dog. Generally, 1-2 teaspoons are recommended for daily intake. In any case, the yogurt consumption should not increase more than 10% of the total calorie intake of your dog.
Is Greek Yogurt Safe for dogs?
Yes, Greek yogurt is free from Xylitol and hence considered as safe for dogs. As the Greek yogurt is thicker due to straining out of whey, it is likely to be more enjoyable for dogs. Other types of yogurt which are recommended for dogs are:
- Naturally flavored
Also Read: Can You Freeze Greek Yogurt? 7 Best Types
Are The Probiotics Present in Yogurt Enough For My Dog?
No, as you cannot increase the yogurt in a dog’s diet for more than 10% of the total calorie intake, you should refer your vet to explore the probiotic supplements for your dog. Probiotics are good for humans as well as for dogs too. But avoid over-feeding your dog with yogurt to complete its probiotic requirements as it may lead to digestive and other health issues.
Can Yogurt Kill a Dog?
Yes, if your dog is lactose intolerant, the consumption of yogurt can even kill it. The yogurt containing Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can also impact its health adversely, leading to death. You need to be selective while buying yogurt for your dog. Especially if your dog is lactose intolerant, you should buy a lactose-free yogurt. (Read: What is lactose-free yogurt)
What Are The Probiotic Options Available for Dogs?
There are foods which contain good bacteria aiding the digestion. These foods are highly recommended for dogs to improve their health. Some of such foods are:
- Kefir or yogurt with live cultures
- Dog foods
- Powders such as Purina ProPlan FortiFlora
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