Can dogs eat yoghurt?
The short answer is yes.
The long answer?
Well, they can but there are several things you need to keep in mind before feeding your dog any type of yoghurt.
The summers are a great time to enjoy a cool snack such as plain yoghurt or even try our hands at different flavourings of frozen yoghurt out there as a healthier alternative to ice cream.
But when it comes to our pets, and especially our dogs, we need to be mindful of a lot of things. Which is why in today’s article, we’ll be discussing the nitty-gritty of the oft-posed question, “Can dogs eat yoghurt?”
Ready to learn about it all?
Okay, let’s dive in!
Can Dogs Eat Yoghurt: Is It Safe?
Not all types of yoghurts are safe for your canine friends. Especially, not the kinds that contain artificial flavourings such as xylitol.
As a matter of fact, xylitol can be poisonous to your dog.
The reason behind this is that xylitol can lead to a very sudden drop in blood glucose levels in dogs. The same does not apply to human beings, making this artificial flavouring somewhat safe for us humans but very toxic for our canine buddies.
Can Dogs Eat Yoghurt: Which Types Are Safe?
Yoghurts without xylitol, however, are thankfully safe for our dogs. A word of caution though, it’s not just artificial flavourings you should beware of but literally any type of sweeteners.
Even plain old sugar can be just as hazardous to our pets due to the dangers of pancreatitis and obesity etc.
However, if you are going to feed your dog yoghurt, then Greek Yoghurt should probably be the go-to type that you can just pick up from the frozen goods aisle and toss into your shopping carts the next time you are looking for such summery treats.
Greek yoghurt, also known as concentrated or strained yoghurt, is made by eliminating the whey and other liquids from regular yoghurt.
Since the straining process reduces the total volume, Greek yoghurt takes significantly more milk than regular yoghurt to make a batch of the same size. Thereby, also making it a more expensive type of yoghurt.
And while you may think that because it requires more milk, it may also pose a greater risk of causing an adverse reaction to the lactose in lactose intolerant dogs, the truth couldn’t be farther from it.
As a matter of fact, due to the additional straining process as well as the fermentation involved in the making of Greek-style yoghurt, the lactose content is significantly reduced.
Can Dogs Eat Yoghurt: Lactose Intolerance?
So really, what do we mean when we say that your dog could have an “adverse” reaction to the lactose present in yoghurt?
While milk is good for puppies to have, the same does not apply to fully grown dogs. And if fed in excess, the milk might lead to your dog having a really bad reaction to all the lactose present in it.
So, this begs the question:
How much lactose are dogs allowed to have?
To put it in simple- less scientific terms, dogs can have milk in very small amounts every now and then. This means that any lactose that might enter their daily diet should be in the form of little treats.
Such milk treats could be a great way to indulge your dog a little bit without letting them suffer the side effects of too much lactose.
So, all in all, dogs can have lactose but in very limited amounts.
Can Dogs Eat Yoghurt: Lactose Present in Yoghurt
Well, if that’s the case then what about all the lactose present inside yoghurts? Will your dog be able to digest that without suffering some negative reaction?
Once again, this is the reason why we suggest you buy something like Greek Yoghurt if you do indeed intend to feed yoghurt to your dog.
This is because other types of yoghurts may simply contain too much milk which could lead to an unwelcome increase in lactose intake.
Can Dogs Eat Yoghurt: How Much Can They Eat?
And seeing as how most yoghurts do contain a significant amount of lactose, we would highly recommend limiting the amount you give to your dog.
In other words, if you do intend to give your buddy some yoghurts, then only do so in the form of treats.
So, no matter what, yoghurt should not exceed more than 5% of your dog’s daily diet.
Seeing as how our dogs do love wagging their tails whenever someone is having yoghurt and looking really happy- I mean, come on…most people look happy while having yoghurt.
Many dog owners tend to go around this curve ball by letting them lick the container dry once they themselves have eaten as much as they wanted.
While this is a good strategy, we must still warn you. Please be sure to check the container’s label to make sure that it doesn’t contain any xylitol before letting your dog have it.
Can Dogs Eat Yoghurt: Health Perspective
And now comes the million-dollar question:
Will my dog get any healthy nutrition from eating yoghurt?
To answer this, yoghurt is rich in Calcium, Vitamin B12, Phosphorous and Riboflavin- pretty much everything you will find in milk. At the same time, it also contains whey, which is a good source of protein, as well as many carbs and fats.
Any benefit your dog can get from yoghurt with regard to nutrition can also be found in other meals. And what’s more important is that usually, these other meals are much healthier for your canine friend to consume than yoghurt.
Can Dogs Eat Yoghurt: Probiotics?
Many people, however, will boast of all the ‘probiotics’ their dogs might get if they were to consume yoghurt.
Probiotics, essentially, are live microorganisms that are said to provide health benefits when consumed by improving the functioning of our guts.
This is why yoghurt tends to be promoted by health experts for humans. In fact, some people even claim that it leads to longer life spans.
But the question remains, can dogs have yoghurt and reap all the benefits from such probiotics?
However, there are other alternatives on the market that might prove to be healthier options for your buddy instead.
This is why while you may feed some yoghurt to your dog every now and then as a treat, don’t rely on it as a source of a lot of nutrition or even probiotics.
Can Dogs Eat Yoghurt: Fun Facts About Yoghurt
Okay, so that’s our take on whether your dog should have yoghurt. But this article doesn’t have to end just yet.
Before you go, why not take a sneak peek at how interesting yoghurt can be if looked at from history for a bit? In fact, here are a few fun facts for you to read about yoghurt:
- From an etymological perspective, yoghurt does not have a Greek element in it because the word yoghurt actually links to Turkey where it originally created and called yoghurt.
- Yoghurt has been eaten by humans for more than 5000 years. Not all of it was obviously refrigerated the way it is today. But even with that, it’s impressive, right?
- When French king, François I suffered from recurring diarrhea, the Ottoman Empire sent over one of his own doctors with a miraculous cure, and guess what it was? Yup. Yoghurt!
Can dogs eat yoghurt everyday?
No. Yoghurt should only be offered to dogs as a treat once in a while and not every day.
Can dogs eat yoghurt with bread?
Yes. But please limit the amount of both bread and yoghurt you feed to your dog.
Can dogs eat yoghurt as a treat?
Yes! Yoghurt is not toxic and might be enjoyable as a little treat for your dog.
Can dogs eat yoghurt with other foods?
Depends on the type of foods in question. Simple, lean diets, yes. But not with fat rich diets.
Can dogs eat yoghurt and not get any side effects?
We won’t promise you this. It’s always best to consult a vet if you have some medical concerns for your pets.