CAN DOGS EAT YOGHURT? AND WHICH KIND IS BEST?
VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE, AND FINDING NEW FOODS FOR YOUR DOG TO TUCK INTO IS A LOT OF FUN. BUT IT CAN BE CONFUSING TO KNOW WHICH FOODS ARE SAFE FOR YOUR DOG AND HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH.
Dogs can eat yoghurt, but it's really important to consider which type of yoghurt you give to your dog. Hidden ingredients can make a delicious treat dangerous, so we want to help you with some simple tips to choose a yoghurt that is safe for your dog.
WHAT KIND OF YOGHURT IS BEST FOR DOGS?
A natural yoghurt free from additives is the best choice for your dog. Yoghurts are frequently marketed as a healthy food but check the labels of some of the most popular brands, and you may be surprised.
If you want to make healthy choices for your dog to delight in, then it's well worth spending a bit of time checking the labels of products beforehand.
As with all things natural for both humans and dogs alike, the healthiest choices are usually those with minimal ingredients in them. You certainly want to be able to recognise the items on the ingredients list.
Ultimately, the healthiest yoghurts are those which simply contain milk, the live cultures used to turn the milk into yoghurt and not a lot else.
WHICH YOGHURT INGREDIENTS TO AVOID FOR DOGS
Xylitol is the biggie here. A lot of sugar-free products use artificial sweeteners to keep them tasty. Xylitol is toxic for dogs, so please ensure that any human treats you share with your dog are xylitol free.
Sugar is the other big offender. There will be naturally occurring sugars in yoghurt containing lactose but what we're concerned about here is added sugars. Many yoghurts are ladened with it, so make sure to choose a yoghurt free from added sugar.
A marketing tactic often used to get around this is using alternative names for sugar. Steer clear of any of the following costumes which sugar is often dressed up: sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice, cane sugar, and agave nectar.
If you're opting for dairy-free alternatives for your dog, then please pay special attention to the labels. They may contain almonds, avocado, or macadamias.
GREEK, PLAIN OR DAIRY FREE YOGHURT FOR DOGS?
Greek yoghurt, plain yoghurt, dairy-free, and even frozen yoghurt are all dog friendly so long as they're free from xylitol and added sugars.
Greek yoghurt is thicker in texture than other yoghurts. It is strained more than traditional yoghurts, resulting in less lactose, which means less sugar and higher protein. Greek yoghurt contains less calcium than regular yoghurts but is generally lower in carbs.
Plain yoghurt is usually lower in calories and higher in protein than Greek yoghurt, and is smoother in texture.
They both can have a bit of a tangy flavour without all the added sugars and artificial flavourings, but add some fruit or honey, and they're a healthy dose of yum! Skip to the bottom of this piece for some deliciously simple yet yummy recipes for your dog.
Dairy-free yoghurts such as coconut or oat yoghurts are lactose-free, which could be a good choice for dogs showing signs of lactose intolerance.
We opt for full-fat Greek yoghurt for the girls as they typically contain less sugar and go down a storm!
YOGHURT FOR DOGS WITH LACTOSE INTOLERANCE
Many dogs can have an intolerance to lactose, hence why there is all the hoo-ha surrounding the types of yoghurt which are suitable for dogs. Although not typically an allergy per se, some dogs struggle to digest lactose, which can lead to stomach upsets, whiffy gas, or vomiting.
With the rise in people looking for dairy alternatives, the options are pretty huge. Just make sure to avoid the no-no ingredients list and let your dog do the taste testing. Oatly has a good range of lactose and soy-free yoghurts, which may be worth a whirl!
Goats yoghurt is also lower in lactose than traditional yoghurts, so it's worth adding some to your shopping list for your dog's taste test extravaganza!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF YOGHURT FOR DOGS?
- Calcium - great for your dogs teeth and bones
- Protein - brilliant for your dog's coat, skin and muscles
- Probiotic – good for your dog's gut health
- Great filler for enrichment toys
- Healthy and tasty treat
- Variety to your dog's diet
Yoghurts containing live bacteria are a healthy choice for dogs. Natural yoghurt is packed with calcium, protein, and probiotics, which can help strengthen your dog's immune system, gut health, and their bones to boot! It can also aid digestion and is a common recommendation for dog's suffering from a bout of diarrhea.
Freezing the yoghurt makes the live bacteria sleepy and so lessens the probiotic effects, but in the summer months, the wonderfully cooling effect of some frozen yoghurt treats make the trade-off totally worth it!
HOW TO INCLUDE YOGHURT IN YOUR DOG'S DIET
While yoghurt is a delicious treat for our dogs, it is best given in moderation. A good spoonful is plenty; use it as a topper, or mix it with fruits or peanut butter for a tasty snack.
You can pop yoghurt into your dog's enrichment toys or slow feeders, for example, or even just make up some little bite-size treats in an ice cube tray.
EASY HOMEMADE YOGHURT RECIPE FOR DOGS
VERY BERRY DELIGHT: STRAWBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES AND YOGHURT FROZEN DOG TREATS
This recipe can easily be adapted with other fillings. A banana, peanut butter, and yoghurt combo is a super mix often received with very waggy tails! Raspberries, blackberries, grated coconut, apple, or pear are all dog-friendly fruits that you can try to.
For a more savoury treat, try carrot, sweet potato, or pumpkins for a healthy natural homemade treat sure to be wolfed down with enthusiasm! These all go really well with apple. Just make sure to remove the apple core as the seeds can be toxic to dogs.
So there you have it, everything you ever wanted to know about yoghurt for dogs! Will your pup be giving yoghurt the taste test? We'd love to hear what they make of it.