Can Dogs Eat Yougurt? Yogurt is a delicious food produced by the fermentation of milk by certain bacteria. The bacteria that are used to ferment milk and make yogurt are known as yogurt cultures. Yogurt is not only tasty but also a highly nutritious food that humans have consumed for centuries. It is rich in protein and calcium and also a good source of probiotics (live and beneficial bacteria and yeasts that are good for the digestive system and overall health). Yogurt has a wide range of health benefits like:
- Protein is required for muscles growth, tissues maintenance, and different metabolic functions.
- Calcium is a mineral necessary for healthy and strong bones and to avoid osteoporosis and arthritis.
- Probiotics helps to regulate the digestive system and also improve the immune system of the body.
As a dog owner, you would love to share this delicious food with your canine friend. But the question is whether dogs can consume yogurt and benefit from it in the same way that humans can. Keep reading the article to get answers to all questions that come to your mind about dogs and yogurt.
CAN Dogs Eat Yogurt
The simple answer is “Yes,” dogs can eat yogurt, but there are different types of yogurt, made in different ways and have different ingredients. Feeding yogurt is good if you offer the right amount of suitable type of yogurt to your dog. Before you provide yogurt to your canine friend, the following factors must be kept in mind.
Yogurt contains lactose, and dogs can digest lactose only during their puppyhood. If adult dogs are fed a food that is high in lactose can cause a gastric disturbance. Below are some symptoms of lactose intolerance.
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
- Flatulence/abdominal gas
- Poor weight gain
- Itching/excessive scratching
- Poor body condition
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
Some varieties of yogurt have high-fat content, and Dogs are more sensitive to fat than humans. Too much fat intake can develop gastrointestinal problems, like diarrhea and vomiting. High fat intake can also cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). It is a severe condition associated with severe pain and can cause death.
Added Sugars Or Artificial Sweeteners
Sugar is added to yogurt to enhance its palatability. A small amount of sugar from natural sources (like fruits and vegetables) is safe for dogs. But too much sugar (especially in the form of starch) can cause stomach trouble, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can also lead to diabetes, obesity, and dental problems.
Also, keep in mind that
Don’t go for “sugar-free” yogurt. It can have some artificial sweeteners (e.g., Xylitol). Xylitol is safe for humans, but it is fatal for dogs, even in small amounts. Researchers have proved that Xylitol can cause many serious issues like liver failure or hypoglycemia in dogs.
Pasteurization Kills Good Bacteria
Pasteurization is the process of heating food items, at high temperature, to destroy harmful germs and bacteria. The purpose of this treatment is to prolong the storage time of food items. Yogurt is usually pasteurized to increase its shelf life. But beneficial bacteria also die during the heating process.
What Kind of Yogurt is Best for Dogs?
Keeping the above factors in mind, you can now guess what kind of yogurt is best for dogs. A Yogurt is excellent and safe for your dog that is
- Low in fat
- Low sugar level
- Free of any artificial sweeteners
- Free of any flavors
- Don’t have added fruits
How Much Yogurt Can A Dog Eat?
The amount of yogurt that a dog can consume safely depends on many factors like:
- Daily calorie intake
- Underlying health issues
- Activity level
- Neuter status
Typically veterinarians use the “10% Treat Rule“. This means that your dog must not get more than ten percent of daily calories from yogurt. However, if you cannot understand this percentage rule, you can follow the following “Thumb rule” (Yogurt must meet the above safety criteria).
- Smaller dogs should be offered one tablespoon full.
- Medium dogs should be provided two full tablespoons of yogurt.
- Large dogs can tolerate three to four tablespoons.
Recommended yogurt for dogs
Although, you can offer any kind of yogurt to your dog, that meets the above-mentioned criteria of best yogurt for dogs. However, “Greek yogurt” is recommended by the experts for dogs as it is low in fat and sugar and doesn’t have any artificial sweetener. Greek yoghurt is also preferred by dogs for its texture.
Are Probiotics in Yogurt Good for Dogs?
Yogurt is a rich source of probiotics, and these probiotics are as beneficial in dogs as in humans. These probiotics improve the body’s ability to fight germs and digestive health.
Do Dogs Get enough Probiotics From Yogurt?
Probiotics are good for a dog’s health, but yogurt can be offered in a limited amount only. So your dog may not get enough probiotics to get the optimum level of benefits. Therefore it is recommended to use dog-specific probiotics and obviously after consulting with your vet.
The bottom line
Can Dogs Eat Yougurt? Yogurt is healthy and beneficial not only for humans but also for dogs. YES, you can offer yogurt to your canine friend, but always be safe, read the label carefully, and don’t exceed the recommended amount. Plain Greek yogurt is best for your dog, and you can add fresh fruits and vegetables to make it more nutritious and tasty.
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