Yes, dogs can eat yogurt, but only certain kinds of yogurt and in small quantities. The good news is yogurt contains calcium and protein—plus, it’s a tasty treat. Keep reading and find out the answer to the question, “is yogurt good for dogs?”
What is the Best Kind of Yogurt for Dogs?
According to Purina Nutritionist Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS, “Plain or non-fat plain without any sweeteners or preservatives is the best kind of yogurt to give to your dog.” There are yogurts your dog can enjoy and may even be good for them. You need to check the ingredients first, though.
Dogs should never eat any yogurt containing xylitol (also known as birch sugar or birch sap), a common sweetener in human foods. Even a small amount of xylitol-sweetened yogurt is toxic for dogs and may lead to liver failure because it accumulates in the liver tissue.
It’s also best to stay away from yogurt flavored with fruits or any “mix-ins,” as these frequently have added sugar in the form of syrups and may also use artificial sweeteners.
Also, dogs may have difficulty digesting the lactose in yogurt. After puppyhood, dogs’ ability to digest lactose usually decreases. As a result, ingesting too much lactose can result in gas, GI distress, diarrhea and vomiting.
How Do I Know How Much Yogurt to Give My Dog?
The right serving size for dogs varies based on the kind of yogurt and your dog’s:
When you know your dog’s daily nutritional needs, you can determine how much yogurt your dog can have. “Yogurt should be fed as a treat; therefore, yogurt should be no more than ten percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake,” Carbo-Johnson explains.
Where Can I Find Nutritional Information about Yogurt?
The amount of yogurt you can feed your dog will vary based on the type of yogurt. Check the label and pay attention to the calorie and fat content so you can measure the right serving size.
You don’t want to let your dog have too much yogurt. “Adding a tablespoon for an average-sized dog is a fun way to incorporate new textures while limiting calories,” Carbo-Johnson suggests.
Can Dogs Eat Greek Yogurt?
Yes, Greek yogurt is great for dogs, provided it is xylitol-free. Your dog may even like the texture of Greek yogurt more. It’s thicker because the whey gets strained out. Other kinds of yogurt your dog can enjoy include:
- Naturally flavored
Are the Probiotics in Yogurt Good for Dogs?
Probiotics are good for you and your dog. If you’re following the 10 percent rule, though, this amount of yogurt won’t be enough to get many probiotic benefits from its active cultures.
Instead of feeding your dog more yogurt, talk with your veterinarian. They can recommend a specially formulated probiotic supplement or dog food that will better support their needs.