Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?
Can dogs eat yogurt? Yes! In fact, there can be some health benefits to giving your dog yogurt as a treat.
Ideas for incorporating yogurt into your dog's diet:
- A small serving on top of their dog food - one or two teaspoons a day is plenty
- If taking medication, put the pills in the yogurt to disguise them. Dogs can have greek yogurt, which is perfect for this
- If taking antibiotics, offer a few spoonfuls several hours after taking the drug (alternatively, probiotics supplements for dogs are available instead)
- Turn it into ice cubes - this is a perfect snack for a hot day
However, if your dog is lactose intolerant or eating too much yogurt frequently, they could experience some side effects.
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
- Flatulence/abdominal gas
- Itching/excessive scratching
- Lack of appetite
- Poor body condition
- Weight gain
- Weight loss
Yogurt is good for dogs to eat if it follows these guidelines:
Plain - Don't give them some of your favourite mango and passionfruit yogurt; keep it simple.
No added sugar, sweeteners or flavours - Artificial sweeteners are toxic for dogs (especially xylitol). Other poisonous sweeteners include stevia, aspartame and sucralose.
Probiotics - Yogurts with live active bacteria are a great choice, as they provide digestive balance and immune defence. For example, dogs can eat natural yogurt and get the probiotic benefits.
Low fat or fat-free plain yogurts - Too much fat in your dog's diet can cause problems such as weight gain, or in worse cases, pancreatitis.
As well as the lactose, another problem is that most yogurts are pasteurised.
Whilst this means that it's safer in human food, pasteurised dairy products can cause more stress to the immune system. So despite yogurt not being bad for your dog, they still might struggle to digest it.
- Yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics, vitamins, minerals, calcium and protein. So, unless your dog is lactose intolerant, you can give your dog yogurt occasionally
- If your dog is allergic or intolerant, yogurt might cause digestive upset, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhoea.
If your dog is showing signs of intolerance, such as gas, diarrhoea and vomiting, and you're concerned, check with your vet.
However, most of the time, symptoms will subside after a few days.