Is Yogurt Safe for Dogs?
Yogurt is one of the healthiest things we can eat. It is a fantastic probiotic, and there are many different tastes we can choose from. If you ever wondered whether or not dogs can eat yogurt, you will be relieved to know the answer - yes.
Keep in mind that not all dogs are the same. Some might find yogurt delicious and easily digestible, and others might not. Like with anything else you want to add to your dog’s diet, there are some things you should look out for. Here is what you should know about giving your dog yogurt.
Is yogurt safe for dogs?
For humans, yogurt is extremely beneficial. It is rich in protein and calcium and is considered a superfood when it comes to restoring the gastrointestinal bacterial balance. It is a well-known probiotics source, which means yogurt contains beneficial bacteria that are necessary for digestion. Like we already mentioned, our dogs can benefit from it as well.
Unfortunately, there is a catch. There are better probiotics, specially developed for dogs, that would be a lot better choice for your dog. The amount of yogurt your dog should eat to feel the benefits is a lot higher than the recommended and safe amount. For benefits to take effect, your dog should eat a lot, creating a counter effect.
Do dogs need probiotics?
Generally, your dog will get everything they need out of the balanced diet. You can prepare it at home, or you can buy industrial food. Whatever you do, you should make sure your dog is getting everything they need. If you are not sure which food could be best for your dog, check out this article - Best dry dog food.
There is a situation when your dog might need probiotics, and that is when the delicate gastrointestinal balance is tilted. Their digestive system (like ours) has “good” and “bad” bacteria. Some help them digest food and create certain enzymes that will help them absorb all the nutrients. Some health issues can tilt that balance in favor of harmful bacteria, which will most likely cause some sort of gastrointestinal distress.
At that time, you should think about getting your dog on probiotics. They will restore the balance and help your dog’s digestive system recuperate. Dogs that had to take antibiotics will most likely have gastrointestinal and digestive problems, and probiotics can help with that too. That is not all probiotics do. Here are some of the best effects they can have on your dog’s body:
- Protect their body from various toxins
- Vitamin B production
- Boost dental health
- Help with brain function
- Digestive enzyme production
- Protection against bacteria and viruses
- Help the dog’s body absorb minerals and other nutrients
Can yogurt be bad for my dog?
In theory, yogurt can be pretty safe for dogs to eat, but that will depend on what type of yogurt you feed your dog. Before you decide to give your dog some of it, there are two things you should know and avoid.
Dog’s bodies are not designed to digest lactose after they matured. Their bodies don’t produce enough digestive enzymes that will enable them to do that. While raw milk is naturally full of these enzymes, the process of pasteurization all yogurts have to go through might eliminate those enzymes. Before you give your dog yogurt, make sure they are not lactose intolerant. If they are, they can experience:
Yogurt can be toxic
Plain, fat-free Greek yogurt is fine, but fruit yogurts can be toxic for dogs. Some yogurts can contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol, which is very toxic for dogs. They cannot process it, and it can cause severe gastrointestinal problems. If you want to sweeten your dog’s life, make sure you give them something sweet and safe for them, like a little bit of honey, sweet carrots, or apple slices.
Once or twice might be fine, but too much yogurt can lead to serious health issues over time. The sweeteners are not the only problem. Yogurt with high-fat content can lead to serious health problems that can have fatal consequences. The most dangerous ones are:
Safe yogurt for dogs
If you would like to safely give your dog some yogurt, the first thing you should do is talk to your vet. They will let you know whether or not your dog can have any yogurt. They will also know your dog’s medical history and tell you if they should avoid it or not.
There is a safe way to give your dog yogurt; the only thing you need to check is the ingredients. Make sure it doesn’t contain natural or artificial sweeteners. Keep in mind that your dog shouldn’t have yogurt with high-fat content.
The safest option would be plain Greek yogurt. It contains less lactose than other yogurts, and your dog will most likely enjoy the thicker texture Greek yogurts have. Keep in mind that you don’t overfeed your dog on yogurt, and keep it less than 10% of their daily food intake.
If you want to know which human foods you should avoid for your dog, check out this article - Human foods that can kill your dog.
World Dog Finder team