Yogurt for Dogs

By Shellie Alyssa

While some human foods such as chocolate, raisins and grapes are toxic to most dogs in any amount, plain yogurt is safe in moderation. Give a dollop of yogurt as a treat or mix it into regular commercial dog food.

What Type of Yogurt Is Best?

You will want to choose a plain yogurt with no fruit, artificial sweeteners or sugar added. The ingredients should include active or live bacteria. You can also choose a frozen yogurt with no added sugars to feed to your dog during hot weather days. Your dog will enjoy licking the frozen yogurt and cooling off a bit. If you are unable to locate a frozen yogurt with no added sugars, you can make your own. Pour the plain yogurt into your standard ice cube trays. Place in the freezer and remove only when you are ready to serve your dog.

Benefits and Rewards

Plain yogurt is a good source of potassium and magnesium for dogs. It is also high in protein and calcium. The live, active bacteria in the yogurt can act as a probiotic and is generally tolerated well by your dog's digestive system. The yogurt supplies beneficial bacteria and is known to soothe an upset stomach in dogs.

Side Effects

Feeding your dog an abundance of yogurt may cause weight gain. If your dog is in this situation, switch over to the fat-free yogurts. Make sure they do not contain Olestra or Simplesse. The low fat yogurt will help maintain a healthy weight when served to your dog in moderation. Another possible side effect may be a sensitivity or intolerance to lactose. Yogurt has a minute amount of lactose, but could still cause a reaction. While some dogs can easily consume and digest dairy products, some dogs may not produce any or enough of the lactase enzyme needed to breakdown lactose. If your dog experiences an upset stomach after consuming yogurt, contact your veterinarian immediately.

How Much Is Enough?

Yogurt should be consumed in moderation and in small portions. If you are serving yogurt as a treat or snack, a couple of tablespoons will do. You can also add a couple tablespoons to your dogs dinner bowl as an extra flavor for him to enjoy. Do not make yogurt a daily part of your dog's diet unless advised by a veterinarian. Yogurt can be used sporadically and also to soothe an upset stomach, assuming your dog does not have lactose intolerance issues. Before feeding your dog yogurt, pet parents should inquire with their veterinarian and address any special health issues your dog may have and can be affected negatively by consuming yogurt.