Yogurt is a nutritious and healthy dairy product that many health experts recommend. The origin of yogurt can be traced back to ancient times in the Middle East, during the domestication of cattle. This dairy product was an excellent way of preserving milk and added a flavor twist to it.
Can my dog eat yogurt? While some dogs eat dairy products without any issue, you have to be keen when feeding them yogurt. This piece will take an in-depth look at yogurt and dogs, giving you crucial information on caring for your canine.
Is Yogurt Healthy For Dogs?
An occasional serving of yogurt will benefit your dog in many ways, courtesy of its nutrients. The following are the nutrients present in yogurt.
Yogurt processing requires probiotics, healthy bacteria responsible for good gut health. A bowl of yogurt will provide enough probiotics to help with indigestion and ease food absorption.
The probiotics also come in handy for weight loss, healthy skin and coat, and boosting your dog’s immune function. You should go for yogurt made with live cultures, as they are full of probiotics; thus, it will be easy for your dog to digest lactose.
These friendly microorganisms will fight yeast infections, which can be hectic to handle. Yeast or candida can cause itchiness, ear infections, and hotspots in dogs. A regular serving of yogurt, and you will bid goodbye to these problems.
Your dog needs proteins in plenty to aid in several physiological processes. This nutrient is essential for muscle growth and builds up worn tissues. Protein will also help in skin and hair health and promote weight loss.
Your puppies need a decent serving of yogurt to provide protein for their development. Do the same for ailing dogs for tissue repair.
Phosphorous and calcium are the main minerals in yogurt. Phosphorous plays a role in various body processes, while calcium strengthens bones and teeth. The minerals benefit dogs of all ages, primarily puppies, which are in a developmental phase.
Yogurt has vitamins B2 and B12 which help ensure your dog is fit all time and less susceptible to ailments.
You may increase yogurt’s mineral and vitamin contents by adding fruits. Add bananas, mangoes, and berries that are not toxic to dogs. Avoid adding chocolate or grapes, as they are very harmful to dogs.
Carbs And Fats
While many health experts advise against your dog having too many carbs and fats, a little of it is perfect for their energy needs. Low-fat yogurt is the best choice due to its low-fat content.
How To Feed Yogurt To Dogs
Your dog can lick yogurt straight from your tab if it has no harmful additives. Experts advise you to add one to three tablespoons of yogurt to your dog’s food. Mix it and let them enjoy it. You may also feed them by the spoon.
As earlier hinted, you may add some fruits or nuts to the yogurt to make it more enjoyable. If you make this dairy product at home, add dog-friendly nuts and fruits.
Some dog owners soak bread in yogurt and feed it to their fuzzy buddies. It is an excellent way to feed dogs yogurt, but you should limit the amount you use.
How Much Yogurt Should I Feed My Dog?
An occasional lick from your cup will provide your dog with a decent dash of nutrients. You can go all the way in by mixing every food your dog eats with a scoop or two of this dairy delicacy.
Avoid overfeeding your dog with yogurt. If you want to give it more, you should make it at home using live culture for more probiotics. Moreover, do not use too much sugar or avoid it. Sugar can bring several complications that we will look at later in this piece.
Keep the 90-10 rule of feeding your dog, where 90% of its diet comes from dog food. The 10% can be yogurt or other foods to complement its diet. If buying the dairy meal, opt for plain or low-fat type, which is beneficial to you and your canine.
Do not force yogurt on your dog if it refuses it. Be patient and let it warm up to it.
Reasons Why Yogurt May Not Be Good For Your Dog
While yogurt is a healthy treat, it may present some side effects. The effects may come from your dog reacting due to allergies, excessive consumption, or some ingredients. Below are the negative effects of this dairy product.
It may be hard to determine which food your furry friend is allergic to. You have to eliminate foods as you watch their reactions. This is risky as it may be too late when you realize that dairy products are the problem.
Be extra vigilant if your dog is of any of the mentioned breeds.
Highlighted below are signs of yogurt allergy in dogs.
- Dry or reddish skin
- Bald patches and hot spots
- Flatulence and frequent bowel movements
- The allergic reaction can sometimes go overboard and cause seizures and breathing problems.
Many people do not believe dogs can be lactose intolerant, seeing that milk is puppies’ main food. A lot of dogs have this condition, and yogurt may make it worse.
How does this intolerance come by? Milk has lactose, a natural sugar that gets broken down by the lactase enzyme. Puppies produce this enzyme in plenty, but production goes down as they age.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance include flatulence, loss of appetite, bloating, diarrhea and vomiting. Keep yogurt away from your dogs if they have allergies or lactose intolerance.
Some yogurt varieties have sugar, which your dog should not eat. Sugar consumption by your dog can lead to a sugar rush, obesity, diabetes, addictions, and tooth decay. It is best if you go for plain yogurt with zero additives.
While it is advisable to add fruits to yogurt, you should ensure that they are not toxic. Additives to avoid include grapes, pistachios, pecans, and black walnuts. Crush nuts into smaller pieces for easy digestion.
Related: Plants Poisonous To Dogs
Your canine should never eat sugar-free yogurt, as it contains xylitol, a toxic substance to dogs. Consumption of xylitol can cause liver and kidney problems and death in severe cases. Other artificial add-ons can cause tummy upsets.
Avoiding excess fat consumption by your dogs is a sure way of keeping them fit. Fat-free and low-fat yogurt is a suitable pick for your fuzzy friend.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Honey On Yogurt Good for Dogs?
Plain yogurt is healthy as it lacks sugar or other artificial sweeteners harmful to your dog. You can add taste to plain yogurt by adding honey or fruits. Honey is good for dogs, but you should limit its consumption. Too much honey can cause stomach upsets, tooth decay, and diabetes.
Can Dogs Eat Expired Yogurt?
No, dogs should not eat bad food, and it applies to expired yogurt. Fresh yogurt is okay, as all ingredients are intact. Expired yogurt is not fit for consumption and may trigger problems like diarrhea, vomiting, and body weakness.
Check on the yogurt tab dates to ensure you have fresh dairy. Additionally, be keen on the color, smell, and consistency. Cease giving it to your dog if any of the elements appear off.
Is Sugar-Free Yogurt Good For Dogs?
Sugar-free yogurt may seem to be a good idea for your dog as it does not contain sugar, which has plenty of side effects. However, that is not the case, as sugar-free yogurt has xylitol, a sweetener.
Xylitol is toxic to dogs and may bring stomach upsets, leading to vomiting and diarrhea. If the situation goes overboard, your dog may suffer liver failure, kidney issues, seizures, or death.
In short, it is better to give your dog the standard yogurt, but in small quantities, instead of the sugar-free type.
Is It Okay For Puppies To Eat Yogurt?
Yogurt has numerous nutrients that will significantly benefit puppies. It packs an excellent serving of proteins, which the young canines need for body growth and tissue repair.
Calcium will strengthen bones and teeth and also boost muscular functioning. Phosphorus is essential for physiological processes, while vitamins boost your dog’s immune system.
As you can see, yogurt is suitable for puppies. Nevertheless, beware of issues your puppies may have, like milk allergy and lactose intolerance. Keep yogurt away from them if they have any of these conditions.
Other puppies may have tummy problems when they eat yogurt for the first time. Give them a small serving the next time and see their reaction. Keep yogurt away if they still react to it.
On Dogs and Yogurt
Dogs can eat yogurt and gain a lot from it. Veterinarians advise that you feed your dog at least a tablespoon of yogurt every day to improve it’s health. Add fruits and nuts to the dairy dish to boost its nutritional value. Nutrients your dog gains include proteins, minerals, vitamins, and carbs.
Despite the health benefits of this meal, you should watch out for its adverse effects. Dogs with allergies or intolerance to lactose should not eat yogurt, as it will bring major upsets.
Contact your veterinarian should your dog develop any complications from having yogurt. Otherwise, mix a spoon or two with dog food every day to ensure it is always in excellent shape.