Staci is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, she spends most of her time trying to keep up with her four rescue cats and Australian shepherd puppy.
Food General Food

Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?

Jul 8 ·

Can dogs eat yogurt? It’s a common question dog owners have. After all, we enjoy this tasty treat, and we’re always on the lookout for safe things to give our dogs.

It’s always important to do your research about anything you’re considering giving to your dog. Just because certain foods are safe for humans, does not mean it’s the same way for dogs. Even the healthiest of foods for humans can actually be dangerous for our canine companions.

So, can dogs eat yogurt, or is it best avoided?

Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?

can dogs eat yogurt

The short answer is that yes, most dogs can eat plain yogurt. That doesn’t mean that every dog should though.

Is It Safe?

Plain or non-fat yogurt is mostly safe for dogs, providing they don’t have a sensitive stomach.

Is It Healthy?

It can be healthy, depending on the ingredients and the dog.

The Benefits

The main benefits of yogurt are calcium and protein. Dogs need both of these for bone strength and to thrive and grow, and although they should be getting most of it from their main diet, it can’t hurt for them to have a little more.

Many people talk about yogurts having probiotics which are, indeed, good for both humans and dogs. However, you need to consume quite a bit of yogurt to get the benefits of probiotics and that’s more than your dog should be eating — particularly if it’s a small breed of dog.

If your dog is in need of probiotics, you should be speaking to your veterinarian instead of feeding them yogurt.

Can Dogs Eat Yogurt? The Risks

The obvious risk of feeding your dog yogurt is that they might have a sensitive stomach and not be able to digest it well. You can mitigate the risks of this by feeding them only a small amount, and working up to a little more if you’re comfortable with their reaction.

Another risk of yogurt is obesity. If you give your dog too many fatty treats, and don’t look for non-fat yogurt, this can build to many problems over time. Obesity puts a lot of strain on the joints, bones, and can introduce a whole host of other health issues to your dog. This, of course, is the last thing you want to happen.

However, the main risk of yogurt that you may not know about is that many yogurts have a sweetener in them called xylitol. Xylitol is toxic to dogs and even the smallest amount can be fatal, so you should be checking any human food for this before allowing your dog to have it — including yogurt.

Other ingredients in yogurt could also be toxic such as cherries, chocolate, etc. Make sure you read the ingredient list fully.

How Much Can They Eat?

can dogs eat yogurt

How much yogurt a dog can eat will depend on their breed, weight, and a few other things. Make sure you start off with a small amount but ideally, you should be following the 10% rule. This means that treats make up no more than 10% of their diet.

How To Serve It

You can serve yogurt in a variety of ways! Give it to them on a spoon as a tasty treat, or use it as a food topper on their kibble. This can make mealtimes more exciting!

If you want to make it last longer, or it’s a hot summer’s day, you could also freeze it inside of a KONG. KONGs provide dogs with some great stimulation as they have to try and get the food out from inside, and freezing it makes it last longer.

What If My Dog Has A Reaction?

Your dog might have a reaction for a number of reasons.

If they have an upset stomach but the yogurt didn’t contain anything toxic, don’t panic. Hold off on the yogurt in the future and give them a diet of plain boiled chicken and white rice for a day or two. It’s bland enough that it should soothe their stomach.

If you realize it did contain something like chocolate or a toxic sweetener, time to contact your veterinarian immediately. They’ll let you know whether the dog needs to be brought in to see them.

They may also advise you on how to induce vomiting, as this can be very helpful for getting something toxic out of a dog’s system. However, you should never do this without the advice of a veterinarian. If your regular vet is closed, contact an emergency one.

So Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?

So, can dogs eat yogurt? Yes! Plain, non-fat yogurt can be a great treat for your dog in small measures and even contains protein and calcium. However, as with any new food you’re giving them, it’s essential that you read the ingredients closely. If you’re not sure about any of them, do your research first to make sure they aren’t toxic for your dog.

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Staci is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, she spends most of her time trying to keep up with her four rescue cats and Australian shepherd puppy.
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