Yogurt, especially plain Greek yogurt, is a super healthy snack for humans.
Add some berries, granola, and some 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: Is it okay to give yogurt to dogs, and if so, can I give my dog yogurt every day?
After all, we’re advised to eat yogurt to get a daily dose of probiotics, so that must mean it’s okay for our dogs, right?
Here’s how your dog can get the most out of the health benefits that yogurt has to offer, without getting sick or throwing their diet off-balance.
Benefits of yogurt for dogs
The health benefits of yogurt for dogs are mostly similar to humans.
Yogurt contains calcium, protein, and other nutrients that are great for your dog’s bones, hair, skin, and coat.
If your dog is on any sort of antibiotic, it can be particularly beneficial for them to take a spoonful of yogurt a couple hours after taking their medication.
This will help keep the helpful bacteria in their gut balanced while the antibiotic does its work.
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, too.
Just make sure you aren’t giving your dog too much yogurt too often because that can aid their digestion a little too much.
Yogurt can also help your dog avoid a yeast infection after their course of antibiotics.
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.
Most dog ear infections are caused by an overgrowth of yeast and bacteria, and yogurt helps to naturally restore an acidic environment in the body that makes it difficult for these organisms to grow.
Recommended reading: How to Treat Ear Infections in Dogs at Home
Can I give my dog 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.
Can dogs eat yogurt with fruit?
Yes, however, this isn’t the healthiest option for them.
Dogs 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.
Some fruits can even be toxic to dogs, so it’s best to stick with plain Greek yogurt and pair it with a small piece of fruit that you know is safe if you want your dog to enjoy the treat.
Also, never feed your dog any type of yogurt that lists xylitol as an ingredient. Xylitol is a sweetener used in many sugar-free or low-sugar human foods, including yogurt, and it’s highly toxic to dogs.
If your dog is overweight, try a low-fat version of Greek yogurt. Otherwise, the regular plain version is fine.
Can I mix yogurt with my dog’s food?
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 their kibble or mixing it into their wet food. You may also serve it to them separately in a little dish on the side of their regular food or as a treat.
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 their stomach.
Can I give my dog yogurt every day?
Although your dog can have yogurt every day, they may not need it.
If they seem 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 their size: one spoonful for small dogs, two for medium dogs, and three for large dogs.
Can dogs have too much 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 their stomach in any way (causes gassiness, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive water intake, or vomiting) then it’s probably not the best choice for them.
If you really need to find a way to give your dog probiotics, talk to a vet or holistic pet care provider about working supplements or other foods that contain good bacteria1 into your dog’s diet.
Most dogs can handle small amounts of plain Greek yogurt every day. The proper serving size is between one and three tablespoons, mixed into their regular food or served separately.
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.
However, if your dog becomes sick from yogurt, they may be lactose intolerant and shouldn’t continue to eat it.