Dogs are known for wanting whatever their human has, and if you are a dog owner, you will know what we are referring to! No matter what is on your plate, your dog will be at your feet, with its big eyes and tail wagging, waiting for their share.
If this sounds like your dog and you have Greek yogurt in your bowl, you may wonder if you can let your dog lick your bowl clean once you’re done. So, can dogs eat Greek yogurt?
Dogs can eat Greek yogurt in moderation as long as your dog is not lactose intolerant, and the yogurt is not sweetened with sugar or xylitol. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of Greek yogurt and if you should add it to your dog’s diet.
What Is Greek Yogurt?
Is Greek yogurt different from regular yogurt? They are very similar in that they are both fermented dairy products. When a dairy product is fermented, the lactose converts into lactic acid. Regular and Greek yogurt has the same ingredients but differs in taste and nutritional content.
Greek yogurt is created by straining off the whey and other liquids from conventional yogurt. It takes a lot more milk to make the same amount of regular yogurt because the straining process reduces the volume. Since most of the liquid has been removed, Greek yogurt is substantially thicker and more tart than conventional yogurt. Due to the need for more milk, it is also more expensive.
Can Dogs Eat Greek Yogurt?
Yes, dogs can eat Greek yogurt. However, there are some considerations to take into account. Dogs can eat Greek yogurt in moderation if they are not lactose intolerant. The yogurt shouldn’t include any added sugar or flavors, especially xylitol. You need to consider all the ingredients before feeding yogurt to your dog and read the label beforehand because each product, especially new brands, will have different ingredients. Always stick to plain, unsweetened yogurt.
You shouldn’t give yogurt to your dog if they have lactose intolerance because even a teaspoon could make them sick, causing vomiting and diarrhea.
It is also essential to consider artificial sweeteners and preservatives since some additives can be harmful, namely Xylitol. Xylitol is often used as a sugar alternative, but unfortunately, it is highly toxic to dogs, even a tiny amount. It can cause liver failure, low blood sugar, vomiting, and seizures. If your Greek yogurt contains xylitol, it is UNSAFE for your dog.
What Are the Benefits of Greek Yogurt?
While Greek yogurt can potentially cause some stomach trouble for your dog, it also has benefits too. Greek yogurt contains more concentrated amounts of probiotics than regular yogurt, which is extremely helpful to your dog’s gut health.
Greek yogurt can add active cultures to support your dog’s gut health and microbiome. Probiotics help fight off harmful bacteria and strengthen your dog’s immune system. They also fight yeast infections which can help dogs that battle recurring yeast or skin infections. Greek yogurt is also beneficial for dogs on antibiotics, as it helps replace the good bacteria that the medication has killed. It is also high in protein and calcium.
How to Feed Your Dog Greek Yogurt as Part of a Healthy Diet
Greek yogurt can affect some dogs’ tummies, so your dog should only have it as an occasional snack. You can determine if your dog is intolerant to dairy products by serving a tiny portion. Monitor your dog for any signs of diarrhea, vomiting, or tummy upset, and take note of the consistency of their stool. If your dog is not showing any of these signs, you can safely feed Greek yogurt as a treat.
A general guideline is 1 teaspoon for a small dog, 2 teaspoons for a medium dog, and 3 teaspoons for a large breed. You can also freeze Greek yogurt in ice trays and add them to interactive tray feeders.
Dogs can eat Greek yogurt, but like all human foods you share with dogs, it must be in moderation. However, before changing your pet’s diet, contact your veterinarian to ensure it’s okay. You can safely give Greek yogurt to your dog if they are not lactose intolerant and only if it is free from added sugars, flavors, and toxic xylitol. If your dog shows any signs of gastrointestinal discomfort, you should stop feeding Greek yogurt immediately.
Featured Image Credit: Varvara Serebrova, Shutterstock