Yogurt is a popular snack among adults and kids with various flavors to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
Even for people on a diet Greek or plain yogurt work better for its low-calorie count.
This versatility profile may leave you wondering if you can incorporate yogurt into your pup’s diet, but can you feed dogs yogurt?
So, can I feed my dog yogurt?
Yes, plain, low-fat yogurt is nutritious for dogs in moderated amounts.
Although not toxic, high sugars and artificial sweeteners in most flavored yogurts can be a health hazard to your canine friend in high quantities.
Consult your vet for the right amounts, and be mindful if your dog is diabetic or lactose intolerant.
As a dog owner, we’ve highlighted everything you need to know about feeding your pet yogurt.
Dogs and dairy: Is it a safe interaction?
The protein in dairy is among the top allergens in the dog world, with most canines unable to digest it properly.
Breastfeeding puppies produce sufficient lactase that aids in breaking down lactose in milk—however, this production decreases as they wean off and transition to solid dog food.
Thus, insufficient lactase in senior dogs makes it difficult to digest the complex protein leading to indigestion; lactose intolerance.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs include;
- Abdominal distress
- Increased thirst
Some canines are allergic to the protein in milk resulting in symptoms like;
- Poor appetite
- Excessive paw and ear licking
- Excess itching
- Hop spots and skin rashes
- Face swellings
Is yogurt good for my dog? The health benefits
Although yogurt is a processed product, it contains the following nutrients essential for your pup:
Probiotics are good bacteria in foods like yogurt and supplements, boosting a weak immune system.
They feed the good bacteria in your dog’s gut, helping digestion, weight control, glowing skin, and decreased risk of diseases.
High-quality proteins in yogurt are essential for cell growth and development, aiding metabolism.
It also contains amino acids that boost bone muscle, enhance body mass and improve brain functioning.
Dogs suffering from ear infections, hot spots, frequent itchiness, and yeast infections can benefit significantly from consuming plain yogurt.
The live cultures in yogurt fight yeast, reducing the symptoms and frequency of diseases.
Prevents tooth decay
Yogurt contains casein peptides which remove tartar and plaques on your dog’s teeth neutralizing the bacteria that causes tooth decay.
Since dogs don’t brush their teeth, yogurt is the best way to remove the plaques.
Is yogurt bad for my dog? Health risks
Frequent intake of processed foods threatens your dog’s digestive located in the gut, leaving them susceptible to diseases, cell oxidation, environmental stress, and a weakened immune system.
Although nutritious, some ingredients in yogurt are a threat to your pup’s health; they include;
Unless plain, most flavored yogurt contains added sugars like syrup which is a health hazard to your dog when consumed in large amounts.
These sugars are complex for your dog’s digestive system to process, risking obesity, diabetes, and dental problems.
Sugar-free yogurt might seem the best option, but most contain artificial sweeteners (xylitol).
Xylitol consumed even in small amounts is fatal—it can cause low blood sugar and kidney and liver damage.
Always check the label to confirm when buying flavored or sugar-free yogurt for your pup.
Low-fat yogurt is ok to add to your dog’s diet.
However, the increased fat levels in flavored yogurt can lead to obesity and pancreatitis if consumed regularly.
Pancreatitis is caused by too much fat that inflames the pancreas and can be fatal.
What is the best way to feed my dog yogurt?
Adding yogurt to your dog’s diet is an excellent nutritional necessity.
However, consider their weight, size, calorie intake, and preexisting health condition.
Be keen on their daily calorie requirements to avoid fat-related diseases like pancreatitis for overweight dogs.
Consider the following while picking yogurt for your fur friend;
- Yogurt type matters: Regular yogurt contains more calcium and fewer calories for obese dogs trying to lose extra weight. Greek yogurt has more proteins, fats, and fewer sugars and carbs best for canines on a healthy diet.
- Plain: The contents in yogurt determine its effects on your pup. Pick low-fat or non-fat plain yogurt without additives or sweeteners and feed in moderate amounts. Alternatively, select plain yogurt and add fresh fruits like cherries and berries, better safe than sorry.
- Moderated: Overdoing yogurt makes harmful to canines. Although nutritious, the high fat, sugar, and dairy products are not helpful to dogs in excessive amounts. Start with small quantities and gradually increase depending on your pup’s reaction.
How much yogurt can I feed my dog in a day?
Yogurt has dense nutritional value for your dog but is not a primary dietary component.
Balance it with other dog food consumed daily, sticking to the 10% rule for treats.
Preferably, pick plain instead of flavored yogurt.
The appropriate portion depends on your dog’s size, weight, pre-existing medical condition, daily calorie intake, and the yogurt type.
Start with small amounts but check with your vet to ensure the quantity and the calorie requirements align.
Can flavored yogurt make my dog sick?
Depending on the dog breed, preexisting health condition, and the yogurt ingredients, the effects may be mild or severe.
For instance, diabetic dogs will have riskier complications due to the high sugars in the flavored yogurts, while large dogs will need to consume a lot to be affected.
First, check for symptoms of lactose intolerance or allergic reactions like vomiting and diarrhea.
If mild, they’ll subdue after a few potty visits.
However, contact your vet if the symptoms are severe or the dog ingested toxic flavors.
To wrap it up
Fresh fruits like cherries, berries, or pineapples in yogurt are a nutritional combination your dog will love as a treat.
Probiotics, minerals, and vitamins in yogurt will give your furry friend strong muscles and boost their immune system.
However, it’s dangerous in large amounts, especially for dogs with underlying health conditions like diabetes and allergies.
However, don’t stop feeding your furry friend plain yogurt; just pick plain yogurt and add fresh fruits for maximum benefits and reduced health risks.