For people, yogurt has multiple benefits, from being a healthy source of calcium to providing them with the probiotics they need for a good digestive transit. But can dogs eat yogurt?
To find out the answer to this question and more, keep on reading!
Can dogs eat yogurt?
The short answer to this question is yes. Along with other human treats, from oatmeal and apple slices to pumpkin, eggs, and salmon, yogurt is mostly safe for our canine companions.
However, moderate amounts are always best, which is why we recommend that you never allow yogurt to make up more than 10% of your dog’s whole diet per week.
Most yogurt varieties are safe, so long as they are plain or they contain no sweeteners whatsoever. Some types of yogurt are safer and healthier than others, but we’ll get into more detail in the sections below.
What does yogurt contain?
If you are lucky enough to come across all-natural yogurt varieties in the store, you should definitely consider getting some for yourself and your canine friend. Here is a list of some of the nutrients that this food is rich in:
- Vitamin D
Some studies suggest that regular yogurt consumption can prevent osteoporosis or other osteoarticular conditions, which are known to affect geriatric dogs and humans alike.
The vitamin D in yogurt is, in fact, essential for storing calcium in bones, but the best source for your pet to get it from is natural light exposure, meaning the sun.
While it is true that yogurt does contain probiotics, not all of them can be synthesized by a dog’s body. For this reason, we haven’t mentioned them as a benefit in the list above.
Is low-fat or low-calorie yogurt a good choice?
No. Most human-grade yogurt that is made for people who want to lose weight is packed with artificial sweeteners, some of which can be extremely dangerous for dogs. An example would be xylitol, which can be fatal for most pets.
It’s one of the most poisonous substances added in low-fat or low-carb foods, and very, very small quantities of it can be toxic for dogs.
How much yogurt should you give your dog?
It can be challenging to tell what the right amount is for all dogs, and that’s because they tend to vary a lot in size, weight, health status, activity level, whether they were neutered or spayed, and their typical daily caloric needs.
What’s important to note in this case is that adding any type of new food to your dog’s diet needs to be done gradually. Otherwise, your pet might experience significant digestive distress, mostly in the form of vomiting and diarrhea.
While some online sources might suggest that you can give your dog as many as two tablespoons of yogurt per day, we suggest limiting the amount to a teaspoon, especially in the beginning and particularly if your dog is a small or toy breed.
How to make yogurt more appealing for dogs
If you have a yogurt maker at home and you are perfectly aware of the safety of the ingredients you have used, you are more than free to feed this food to your dog. Some pets can find the consistency or taste unappealing, at least if you haven’t added anything else to it.
Since dogs can have a variety of fruits and vegetables from the human diet, you can add several things to yogurt to make it seem more interesting, such as the following:
Some dogs like frozen treats, especially on a hot summer’s day. In this case, you can make your own yogurt popsicles, and you’ll notice that your pooch becomes a huge yogurt aficionado in no time.
Frequently asked questions about Yogurt
Can I give my dog yogurt everyday?
Yogurt should be considered an occasional treat. While in small amounts, it might not cause digestive issues, it’s still a good idea to limit the frequency to once every 3-5 days.
Can yogurt kill a dog?
If it contains xylitol, it can. This artificial sweetener can cause seizures and a significant drop in blood pressure, and it’s not uncommon for it to be lethal for some dogs.
Can I give my dog Greek yogurt?
Yes. While traditional Greek yogurt is fatter than other varieties, it should be fine so long as you don’t overdo it with the amounts.
Which yogurt is best for dogs?
Goat yogurt is said to be better since it is highly digestible, and it doesn’t tend to lead to as many digestive complications as other variants.
Another potential answer to this question would be – the yogurt you make at home, knowing what you’ve added to it.
Can I give my dog yogurt as a probiotic?
The best type of probiotic for dogs is one that’s specifically made for them — not one made primarily for a different species. There are plenty of capsules, powders, and even probiotic treats available these days, and your veterinarian can recommend a specific variety if you ask them.
Do not rely on yogurt to provide your dog with the right amount or type of probiotics.