Can dogs eat yogurt? Yes dogs can eat yogurt, however, you need to be careful of the type of yogurt you feed your beloved pet.
As is so often the case, anything with too much sugar is not recommended. And cheap flavored yogurts certainly do contain a lot of unhealthy artificial sweeteners and preservatives that your dog should not eat.
If you are worried about the weight of your dog, you should stick to feeding them low-fat yogurt.
Can Dogs Eat Yogurt – The Benefits
Yogurt can be a good source of calcium and protein for your dog.
It also okay to feed your dog yogurt that has live active bacteria. This will be advertised as probiotic yogurt and for dogs and humans, the bacteria contained within (exotic names such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus), can be very beneficial.
These types of live bacteria that are found in yogurt actually help create lactase.
You may have heard that many dogs are lactose intolerant. Well lactase is the enzyme that helps the stomach absorb lactose. So from consuming a yogurt that contains active bacteria, your dog will be able to better absorb the lactose it contains.
Furthermore, the culturing process that takes place to create yogurt means the milk sugar lactose has already been broken down into glucose and galactose, sugars that are easily absorbed by the lactose-intolerant.
However, that’s enough about lactose and lactase. More generally, the active ingredients in yogurt are said to soothe upset stomachs in sick animals. Do not feed your dog a gallon of yogurt expecting to help them when ill, mind you.
Another benefit of yogurt for dogs is that it can also increase the absorption of calcium and B-vitamins.
There have been studies that concluded that the bacterial cultures within yogurt stimulate infection-fighting white blood cells. This has been connected to yogurt giving anti-tumor effects in experimental animals. Whether these results can be extrapolated as a direct benefit to dogs, is yet to be resolved however.
Can dogs eat yogurt – precautions
As stated, dogs can only eat the plain, low fat variations of yogurt. This is to avoid any unnecessary sugar intake.
As we always say, while dogs can eat yogurt, it is about moderation. If your dog eats too much, it may result in problems such as diarrhea.
If you are considering feeding your dog cottage cheese, the low fat/low sodium versions are the ones to go for. (Cottage cheese is a good source of calcium, phosphorous, protein and vitamins.)
- For more information on lactose intolerance in dogs, head here.
- For information from the ASPCA on nutrients your dog needs, head here.
- For the nutritional value of yogurt, head here.
Can dogs eat yogurt? If you have any comments on your own experiences with feeding your dog yogurt, please leave them below.