So, with all the talk and hype about probiotics nowadays, who doesn’t immediately think about yogurt? If you’re keeping up with the latest news in the health industry, you’ll probably have heard about all the benefits that probiotics have in store for you, all the way from improvements in the digestive system to boosting immune systems.
But, the question is, just how true is that when it comes to dogs?
Is yogurt good for dogs? And, can dogs eat yogurt in the first place?
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Can Dogs Have Yogurt?
YES, dogs can eat yogurt!
Just like the probiotics in yogurt can do wonders for you and me, probiotics in yogurt can also do wonders for your dog.
But, before you go ahead and feed your dog some of that good stuff, let’s cover some basics you need to be familiar with.
How Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?
The only form of yogurt you should ever feed your dog is pure and plain yogurt.
Commercial yogurts that contain artificial sweeteners, added sugars and additives are a nightmare waiting to happen for your dog.
One of the worst sweeteners found in some commercial yogurts is Xylitol, an artificial sweetener which is VERY toxic for dogs and often times leads to severe drops in blood pressure, seizures and even death.
Not to mention the likes of Aspartame, Sucralose and Stevia, all of which can give your dog health problems they don’t need.
You also want to choose a yogurt brand that has live active bacteria in it (and this is the good kind of bacteria), because these bacteria act as probiotics and greatly help in improving your dog’s digestive system flow.
The best kind of yogurt that contains the most of these probiotics is Greek yogurt.
You also want to make sure your dog isn’t lactose intolerant before going ahead and giving them yogurt without knowing anything about it’s nutritional facts.
In case your dog is lactose intolerant, and since we want to avoid giving our dogs problems like abdominal pain, excessive gas, bloating and diarrhea, look for yogurt brands which are lactose free. Problem solved! 🙂
Moreover, ensure that the yogurt brand you choose to feed your dog is fat-free, since that will make it much easier for your dog’s digestive system to process and will greatly decreases their chances of developing pancreatitis, a serious life threatening disease in dogs.
As for how you can serve yogurt to your dog, you can put a spoonful of it on top of their food and mix it along, or you can get a bit creative and include it as part of a homemade treat you prepare for them.
There are countless recipes out there for you to follow, so no excuses for not being creative! 🙂
Also, you don’t need to throw away the lid of the yogurt that you buy, let your dog have a lick at it, that’s something a lot of dog lovers like to do.
How Much Yogurt Can Dogs Eat?
Generally speaking, 1-2 spoonfuls of yogurt a day are more than enough to keep your buddy as happy as can be, and benefit them while at it.
Yogurt For Dogs: What Makes It Good?
Yogurt is good for dogs because:
- It is an excellent source of calcium, which promotes bone health
- It is an excellent (and fairly inexpensive) source of protein, which promotes muscle health
- It is rich in potassium, which regulates enzyme functions in the body, keeps nervous systems in optimal condition and promotes good heart health
- Is rich in magnesium, which is essential in helping with the absorption of important vitamins and nutrients
- It contains active, live bacteria that act as probiotics and are very important for the well-being of your dog’s digestive system, not to mention that it greatly helps in fighting yeast infections (which are more common in dogs than you might think)
- Is high in zinc
- Helps boost immunity
- Helps ease gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea