Yogurt, especially plain Greek yogurt, is a super healthy snack for humans. Add some berries, granola, and healthy seeds, and you have a tasty breakfast or meal on the go that’s full of nutrients!
If you’re a fan of yogurt and keep it around the house, you may be wondering if your dog can reap any of the same health benefits from yogurt that humans do.
After all, humans are advised to eat yogurt every day to get a healthy dose of probiotics, so that must mean that you can give your dog yogurt every day as well, right?
In a nutshell, yes! As long as it’s the right kind of yogurt and in the correct amount for your dog.
This article will explain how to properly feed your dog yogurt so that he gets the most out of the health benefits that yogurt has to offer, without getting sick or throwing his diet off-balance.
What Are the Benefits of Feeding My Dog Yogurt?
The health benefits of yogurt for dogs are mostly similar to humans. If your dog is on any sort of antibiotic, it can be particularly beneficial for him to take a spoonful of yogurt a couple hours after taking his medication. This will help keep the helpful bacteria in his gut balanced while the antibiotic does its work.
Yogurt can also help your dog avoid a yeast infection after his course of antibiotics, which often happens to both humans and pets.
If you have a dog who’s prone to ear infections (this is especially common in long and floppy-eared breeds, such as Beagles, Bloodhounds, Cocker Spaniels, and many more), yogurt can help heal and prevent these infections.
Dog ear infections are caused by an overgrowth of yeast and other bacteria, and yogurt typically helps keep these bacteria balanced throughout the body, even in the ears.
What Kind of Yogurt Should I Feed My Dog (Can Dogs Eat Greek Yogurt)?
Yes, dogs can absolutely eat Greek yogurt! In fact, plain Greek yogurt is probably the best, safest, and healthiest option when considering feeding your dog yogurt.
This is partially for the same reasons that Greek yogurt is so healthy for humans — it contains the probiotics that aid digestion, and keep the helpful bacteria in the gut balanced.
While some humans may not like the taste of plain Greek yogurt, dogs typically love it. They don’t need the processed sugar or flavor additives to entice them to eat yogurt, and in fact, those are bad for them since it can lead to teeth cavities, weight issues, diabetes, and digestion problems.
If you have fed your dog a sugary or flavored yogurt and he vomited or displayed other types of illness, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t feed him yogurt.
Try feeding him plain Greek yogurt next time and see how he reacts. If your dog is overweight, try a low-fat version of Greek yogurt. Otherwise, the regular plain version is fine.
Warning: NEVER feed your dog any type of yogurt that lists xylitol as an ingredient. This sweetener is used in many sugar-free or low-sugar human foods, including yogurt, and is toxic for dogs.
How Should I Feed My Dog Yogurt?
Luckily, most dogs love the flavor of plain Greek yogurt, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting them to eat it!
You can feed your dog yogurt by spreading it across his kibble or mixing it into his wet food. You may also serve it to him separately in a little dish on the side of his regular food or as a treat.
You can even make something like this:
Like any new food, you should introduce it to your dog very slowly and gradually and work your way up to the full amount so as not to upset his stomach.
If your dog has any sort of digestive issues, which you can usually tell from constipation, diarrhea, a grumbling tummy, or gassiness, yogurt can fix that as well. Just make sure you aren’t giving your dog too much yogurt too often because that can aid his digestion a little too much.
How Much Yogurt Should I Give My Dog Every Day?
Although your dog can have yogurt every day, he may not need it. If he seems to be having bowel movements too frequently or passing loose stools, it’s time to cut back on the yogurt.
Your dog can have one to three spoonfuls of yogurt per day, depending on his size: one spoonful for small dogs, two for medium dogs, and three for large dogs.
When Should I Not Give My Dog Yogurt?
In general, dogs shouldn’t really have dairy at all, the exception being yogurt and kefir. This is because their digestive systems aren’t designed to handle milk or lactose past their puppy days. Also, just like humans, some dogs are lactose intolerant or lactose sensitive.
If you feed your dog yogurt and notice it consistently upsets his stomach in any way (causes gassiness, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive water intake, or vomiting) then yogurt is probably not the best choice for him.
If you really need to find a way to give your dog probiotics, talk to a vet or pet nutritionist about working supplements or other foods that contain good bacteria into your dog’s diet.
Yes, most dogs can handle small amounts of plain Greek yogurt every day. The proper serving size is one spoonful for small dogs, two spoonfuls for medium dogs, or three spoonfuls for large dogs, mixed into their regular food or served separately.
If your dog becomes sick from yogurt, he may be lactose intolerant and shouldn’t continue to eat it.
However, there are many health benefits your dog can gain from eating yogurt, such as improved digestion, preventing and healing ear infections, and keeping the body balanced during a course of antibiotics.
So by all means, go get a tub of plain Greek yogurt and start feeding it to your pup today!