Sour cream is one of the most popular food dressings. The cream is used in many dishes such as nachos, cakes, and baked potatoes, among others. While you might be sharing most of the meals you cook for yourself with your furry friend, you might wonder if giving sour cream to your dog is safe.
It is. The cream might even be nutritious for your pup. However, lactose-intolerant dogs should not consume it.
When introducing the delicious cream to your dog for the first time, ensure that you give it in moderation to avoid any stomach upset.
What is Sour Cream?
It is a dairy product that involves fermenting regular cream. The cream is mixed with lactic acid bacteria to aid in the fermentation process. The bacteria help sour the cream and thicken it.
Sour cream is often used as a condiment to add flavor to foods.
Benefits of Sour Cream
Below are some nutritional facts about sour cream.
These are living microbes with various health benefits to your dog’s immune function and digestion. They help in nutrient absorption and prevent harmful bacteria growth in a dog’s gut.
Absorption of Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Vitamins A, E, D, and K are collectively known as fat-soluble vitamins as they require a source of fat to be absorbed effectively in the digestive system. These Vitamins are found in many types of food, such as sour cream.
Although sour cream has a lot of health benefits, only use it as an occasional treat. If possible, you can opt to substitute it with a healthier alternative. Here is why:
A tablespoon of sour cream has between 30 to 45 calories, meaning that the creamy condiment has a lot of empty calories. Two tablespoons of the sour cream amount to around a third or a half of a pup’s daily required caloric intake, making it an unhealthy choice.
Lots of Fat
Besides high amounts of calories, sour cream also contains lots of saturated fats. Saturated fats are very unhealthy and significantly contribute to high cholesterol levels in dogs. The additional fats can be dangerous to overweight dogs.
Most manufactured sour cream contains additives such as preservatives and flavors. Though the additives may not be that harmful to a dog, taking them in excess can make your dog get gastrointestinal issues.
Can Cause Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance is the worst way sour cream can affect your dog. Some dogs are lactose intolerant as they may lack the necessary enzymes for the proper breakdown of sugar in milk, known as lactose. If your dog has a bad reaction when introducing sour cream, stop feeding the cream as it can cause serious health problems.
Can Cause Obesity
If your dog is overweight or prone to gaining weight, avoid giving them sour cream. The cream will hinder you and your dogs’ efforts in weight management because of its high-fat content.
What Sour Cream is Safe for My Dog?
You may come across many brands in the grocery store that leaves you spoilt for choice. In this case, organic sour cream is the safest to consume for you and your dog.
However, if you can, try making homemade sour cream. Most manufactured brands contain additives that may be toxic to your dog. If your dog has issues digesting dairy products, you can always substitute ordinary milk with soy or almond milk.
Below is a healthier recipe for sour cream for your dog.
- 1 cup of Greek Yogurt
- 2 tablespoons of Fresh Cream
- A teaspoon of lemon juice
- In a bowl, combine all the ingredients.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Serve it
Making healthy sour cream is that simple, and your dog will most likely enjoy the treat.
Sour Cream Alternatives that are Safe for Dogs
Sour cream isn’t the best snack for your dog due to its several health risks. The dairy content in the snack is harmful to lactose intolerant dogs, and the fat content is dangerous to all dogs when consumed regularly. Fortunately, there are healthier alternatives to sour cream that your dog can enjoy and also benefit from.
Organic Plain Yogurt
This is a safe alternative to sour cream as it is fat-free and has a similar taste. If your dog is already used to sour cream, plain yogurt is the best replacement as it also has a similar consistency. There is a high possibility that your dog will love plain yogurt as much as sour cream, and their digestive system will be able to put up with it much better.
To add on, organic plain yogurt has more proteins and additional health benefits for your dog when fermented.
Homemade doggy ice cream is a suitable replacement for sour cream, especially on those hot summer days.
You can use other types of milk, such as plant-based milk, to make the ice cream if your dog is lactose intolerant. Your dog will enjoy this without the unpleasant side effects that come with dairy.
No treat comes more naturally than banana puree. The banana mash is loaded with multiple vitamins and nutrients, making it an excellent snack for your dog.
To make it, mash a ripe banana till it is creamy and soft. Always give the mash in moderation as bananas are loaded with lots of sugar, and too much of it can be harmful.
Sour cream is a magnificent treat for your dog. It is, however, best to avoid store-bought sour creams as they may contain additives that are not safe for your dog. Instead, use the above-recommended recipe to come up with something healthy.
In case your dog has medical issues and loves sour cream, choosing an alternative treatment such as plain yogurt is ideal.