It’s autumn Tuesday morning, and you’ve decided to go out for a morning run and visit a supermarket to get some food for lunch. You also brought Charlie with you so that you could exercise together!
After the shopping was over, you and Charlie went home, and you were both starving. As you thought about what to prepare for breakfast, you were pleased to find an unopened pack of Greek-style yogurt in your fridge. You pealed open that cup of yogurt and started to prepare your oats.
Immediately, Charlie starts whining, drooling on the floor, waving his tail, and giving you the puppy eyes look – a well-known scenario. Well, why wouldn’t you share some greek yogurt with your dog? After all, you always put a little water or plain yogurt in your dog’s food to give it that moisture.
Can dogs eat greek yogurt? Are there any health benefits, and what are the possible health risks?
Luckily for you, we scoured this topic and came up with some vital information. So, if you’re thinking of sharing some greek yogurt with your pup, read this article first!
Can Dogs Eat Greek Yogurt?
The answer to this question would be – yes, dogs can eat greek yogurt, provided it is sugar-free. Greek yogurt is rich in protein and has a thicker texture, unlike other yogurts.
This type of yogurt is even safer for dogs as it contains fewer lactose amounts. That’s because Greek yogurt goes through a straining process in which the whey is removed. Whey is a substance that is naturally found in dairy products, and it contains lactose (natural milk’s sugar).
Greek yogurt also contains more probiotics (live cultures of bacteria), which is quite good for your dog’s gut. Also, greek yogurt may even benefit your pup but only when given in moderation. While probiotics in a greek yogurt are beneficial for your dog, let’s not forget it is still a dairy product.
Greek Yogurt Nutritional Value (100 gr)
What Are The Possible Risks Of Feeding Your Dog Greek Yogurt?
Dairy Products And Dogs
Dogs’ stomachs are not designed to digest lactose once they grow up. Lactose present in dairy products can cause dogs to have stomach issues such as nausea, gas, diarrhea, and vomiting. Therefore, if your dog eats any dairy products and has one of these symptoms, make sure you immediately contact your vet.
Another issue with dairy products is fat content. Dogs can’t have too many fatty products, as they will suffer from pancreas inflammation, also called pancreatitis. A minimum of 5,5 % of fat is recommended in a dog’s daily calorie intake.
Furthermore, some dogs can be lactose intolerant. You can never be sure your dog is allergic to dairy products, so it is always best to slowly introduce any dairy product. Besides, yogurt has to be given in moderation like any other treats and from time to time. Generally speaking, treats should only make up 10% of a dog’s diet if you want your pup to be healthy and free from health problems such as obesity, bloat, pancreatitis, diabetes, or others.
The following are the dairy food allergy symptoms:
- Dry, itchy skin
- Excessive scratching or licking
- Hot spots
- Bold patches
- Ear infections
- Skin infections
- Abdominal Pain
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
If you notice any of the symptoms from this list, stop giving your dog dairy products and immediately contact your vet.
Generally, if you want to share greek yogurt with your furry friend, you should only do so if it is plain. That means it contains no natural or artificial sweeteners, which can harm your dog.
Xylitol is a type of natural sweetener found in plant products. So don’t let the label ‘no sugar’ confuse you. You should always read the label on the product carefully, and if you notice xylitol on it, do not, under any circumstances, give that yogurt to your pup. Xylitol is extremely toxic for dogs and can lead to death. Sucralose, stevia, and aspartame are also poisonous to your pup, so avoid that too.
Moreover, avoid chocolate-flavored greek yogurts, or with any other flavorings for that matter. You should give your dog only plain greek yogurt, free from any additional ingredients or sweeteners.
Probiotic Supplements For Canines
If you do not want to give your dog dairy products or your dog is allergic to lactose, you should consider probiotic supplements. We are talking about soil-based probiotic products.
These probiotics are more resilient to the stomach’s heat, acid, and digestive enzymes. Soil-based probiotics create a protective shell when traveling through your pup’s gut. They are more likely to survive and benefit your dog’s intestinal health when needed.
Just make sure you choose a soil-based probiotic that contains more than one strain of bacteria and a minimum of 20 billion CFUs.
Are There Any Health Benefits?
For starters, yogurt is rich in protein and calcium, which can be excellent for your dog’s digestive system. The best type of greek yogurt for your pup is plain, Greek-style yogurt as it contains lots of live cultures.
Here is a list of health benefits a greek yogurt can provide to your dog:
- Healthy gut
- Improved digestion
- Helps fight yeast infections
- Boosts immunity
- Helps the body absorb nutrients
- Healthy hair and skin due to protein
- Tissue repair and muscle development due to protein
- Calcium supports bone and tooth health
- Calcium helps the blood clot properly
- Proper nerve function due to calcium
- Healthy nervous system and nerve function due to cobalamin (B12)
How Much Greek Yogurt Can My Dog Eat?
Like with any other treats, it is recommended to follow a 10% rule. That means that 90% of your dog’s diet should consist of high-quality dog food based on meat. Dietary fiber, legumes, some fruits, and veggies (as well as yummy dog cookies!) should only be given from time to time and in small quantities. That’s because dogs already get everything they need from their specially designed dog food.
The amount of greek yogurt you want to share with your pup will depend on your dog’s weight and size, as well as underlying health issues (if there are any).
|Small dogs||1 tablespoon||2-3 times a week or every day|
|Medium dogs||2 tablespoons||2-3 times a week or every day|
|Large dogs||3 tablespoons||2-3 times a week or every day|
We advise you to stick with this chart, as too much dairy can cause stomach problems in canines. You can mix greek yogurt into their regular food or serve it separately.
In the end, dogs can safely eat greek yogurt. However, it needs to be plain and with no added natural or artificial sweeteners. Avoid greek yogurts with xylitol as it is hazardous to dogs.
Always follow the 10% rule and the chart that we have provided you. Moderation is essential, and don’t give your pup greek yogurt every day. If your dog is allergic to lactose, opt for soil-based probiotics to keep your fury baby’s gut healthy.
You can give your dog greek yogurt alone or mixed with regular dog food for better digestion. Also, you can boost your dog’s greek yogurt with a little bit of honey, pumpkin, kale, strawberries, blueberries, or carrots. But don’t put too much, though, as too much starch can also lead to digestion issues.
Learn More: What Can Dogs Eat? A Comprehensive List Of Dog-safe Foods