Yum! Who wouldn’t love eating yogurt, right? Yogurts are rich in probiotics, which are very good for humans. But is the case similar when it comes to our canine friends? Can dogs eat yogurt? Do dogs require probiotics?
As a dog parent, maintaining your dog’s immune system at its pinnacle must be a major concern. You don’t want to feed it food that might ruin its immune system.
Before getting into the question of “can dogs eat yogurt” let me tell you
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are formed of good bacteria and yeast. They offer various health advantages and help the smooth functioning of your canine’s body. Probiotics are good for your dog’s digestive system. The presence of excessive harmful bacteria is not good for your dog’s health; the good bacteria present in probiotics helps your dog’s gut remains healthy.
Do Dogs Require Probiotics?
It is so obvious that dogs under antibiotic treatment need probiotics.
Your dog’s stomach contains both, good and bad bacteria. Antibiotic drugs kill the good bacteria in your dog’s gut. Reduced good bacteria means reduced immune functioning. Due to this, your dog’s body is open to a lot of aftereffects such as allergies, digestive problems, rashes, hives, etc.
Probiotics also keep your dog from having bad breath. It helps your dog with some other health problems like gas and obesity too.
In such cases, it is smart to give your dog probiotics well in advance. But don’t forget to consult a vet before making a move.
Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?
Probiotics are good but not all probiotics are recommended for your dogs.
The following are some reasons why yogurts can be harmful to your dogs.
The process where food is heated to high temperature, to kill harmful pathogens and bacteria is called Pasteurization.
It is considered that pasteurization makes food healthy for consumption. But practically it can be the opposite.
While the definition itself says food is heated at a high temperature, this heat might not be enough to kill the harmful bacteria present in it.
And sometimes the heat can be too high for the good bacteria. Which will destroy most of the good bacteria content.
In case, you feed such foodstuff to your dog which is under antibiotic treatment, it can be hazardous to its health. As your dog already lacks good bacteria and this will increases the chance of the introduction of more harmful bacteria into your dog’s body.
2. Lactose Intolerance
Mostly, adult dogs are lactose intolerant. As a pup, your dog can tolerate lactose but as it grows up it becomes lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is commonly caused as a result of deficiency of an enzyme known as lactase.
After puppies have weaned from their mom’s milk the production of lactase reduces, then gradually the dog becomes lactose intolerant. Just like some humans, your dog’s body may not be able to produce enough enzymes necessary to digest yogurt, which is a dairy product.
If you feed yogurt to your lactose-intolerant dog its body and the immune system might find it difficult to break it down. This is not at all a good idea, as it may cause severe symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, stomach upset, etc.
3. Excessive Sugar
Similar to humans, excessive consumption of sugar is also hazardous for your dogs.
Yogurts have a lot of added sugar or sweetener present in them. Consumption of such food loaded with sugar and other sweeteners can cause various side effects to your dog.
Such as diarrhea, stomach upset, vomiting, etc.
Excessive sugar can also cause various chronic disorders, like Diabetes and Obesity. Obesity in dogs can cause a higher risk of contracting diseases like cancer, heart diseases, hypertension, etc.
Consumption of a high amount of sugar can also cause dental problems in dogs.
Alternate Methods To Incorporate Probiotics In Your Dog’s Diet
Now that we know the harmful effects of yogurt on your dog’s health, let us learn some alternative methods to incorporate probiotics in its diet.
1. Homemade Yogurt
Yes, we know that yogurt can be very harmful to your dog, but when it comes to homemade yogurt the case is different.
Because when you prepare yogurt at home, you can alter the ingredients.
You won’t be using the method of pasteurization and you can avoid adding any artificial sweetener. So homemade yogurts can be an alternative.
Still, dogs with lactose intolerance cannot consume it.
- You can make yogurt at home very easily. All you need is some homemade curd
- Hang the curd in a muslin cloth and tie it somewhere overnight.
- Now your yogurt is ready add sugar if needed or avoid it. Add anything that your dog loves and is healthy for it.
2. Consult Your Vet
If your dog is under antibiotic treatment, you might want to ask your vet, the options available for probiotics supplements.
There supplements available in the form of pills/ capsules so you can sneak it in with some other food.
Another option is probiotics powders. These come in sealed packets and this might be tough to sneak it in.
3. Food That Contains Probiotics
Another simplest way is to buy dog food that already contains probiotics in adequate quantities. This way you don’t have to put in any extra effort and you also don’t have to worry about your dog’s gut.
Bottom Line On Can Dogs Eat Yogurt? Do Dogs Require Probiotics?
To answer the question can dogs eat yogurt?
Yes, they can eat yogurt. But your dog will benefit from it only if consumed in the right quantities. Dogs consuming yogurt won’t be much of a problem if your dog only eats it in treat size or once in a while.
If your dog is not lactose intolerant then you can feed it homemade yogurt. It can be a good treat or snack for your dog, once in a while.
Always maintain your dog’s immune system and make sure to feed it food that helps in keeping your dog’s good bacteria alive.
If you are looking for probiotic supplements then there are many supplements other than yogurt. Consider them all and chose wisely.