Yogurt is a widely appreciated food in the UK. There are numerous ways to enjoy this creamy dairy product, including mixing it with fresh fruit for breakfast or simply enjoying after dinner as a light dessert. It’s wonderfully versatile and can be eaten at just about any time of the day, so it’s no wonder we Brits love it so much!
It’s also commonplace to offer the lid to our four-legged friends when we crack open a fresh pot. But, can dogs eat yogurt? Should we be letting them lick the lid or offering them the spoon of yogurt to sample?
Can dogs eat yogurt?
While yogurt isn’t actually toxic for dogs, we would advise against offering it to your pooch, as many dogs are actually lactose intolerant! Lactose intolerance is when a dog (or human) has a deficiency in the enzymes they require to break down and digest milk and dairy products – including yogurt.
While most puppies will have these enzymes in order to break down their mother’s milk, many adult dogs don’t produce enough of these enzymes as they become older, which means they will develop digestive signs when they consume dairy products. These can include a sore, uncomfortable tummy as well as vomiting and diarrhoea. In addition to this there are some varieties of yogurt that contain additives which are unsafe for your dog and best avoided at all times. So, as a general rule, it’s best to avoid feeding yogurt to your dogs, as there are much safer tasty snacks to be had!
To learn more about giving your dogs dairy products, our guide on 'Can dogs eat cheese' will ensure you are making the right decision to maintain your dog's healthy diet.
Is yogurt good for dogs?
Yogurt does contain calcium and protein, and some varieties also have probiotics which are good for the digestive system. However, many yogurts also contain lots of added sugars, flavourings and sweeteners – including xylitol which is highly toxic to dogs and can cause liver failure.
If you are wondering whether your dog’s health would benefit from yogurt, you can rest assured that you can give your pup all the nutrients they need by simply feeding them a high-quality diet. If you want to give yogurt to your dog because of its probiotic content, it’s safer to go for a clinically proven probiotic that is aimed specifically at dogs. For example, our PRO PLAN® FortiFlora Probiotic Dog Supplement has been scientifically developed with your four-legged friend in mind and is proven to support a healthy immune system. However, before giving your dog any form of supplement it’s a good idea to check in with your vet so they can recommend the right amount to offer your pup and advise on whether it’s right for them to begin with.
It's also worth noting that yogurt generally has a high fat content which could cause a stomach upset, and some dogs who eat a high-fat diet can develop pancreatitis, a life-threatening condition.
Now you know the answer to ‘can dogs eat yogurt’! Want to find out more about what your dog can eat?
Whilst your dog may seem to be interested in many different foods, it is important to make sure you are making the right decisions when you are treating your dog with options they may not usually eat. This is why we have useful guides on giving your dog mushrooms, and eggs and even learn if they can have ice cream, next.