Keeping your dog healthy requires a strong immune system. Processed foods, immunizations, medications, and pollutants can damage your dog’s immune system. Genetics, pollution, and stress also weaken immunity.
Natural, digestive-healthy foods can increase your dog’s immunity. Probiotics balance intestinal flora to boost the immune system. Yogurt is often a go-to for healthy probiotics. But, can dogs eat yogurt? Is it safe… and healthy?
Can Dogs Eat Regular Yogurt?
Yogurt is a great source of calcium and protein, which are both essential for your dog’s health. While there are some risks associated with feeding your dog yogurt, it is generally safe for them to consume.
One important thing to keep in mind is that some yogurts contain live bacteria cultures, which can be harmful if your dog eats them. To reduce the risk of this happening, we recommend buying plain yogurt that contains no additional ingredients or artificial sweeteners. You should also feed your dog a small amount of plain yogurt at first to make sure they have no allergic reaction before giving them more than just a taste.
However, it’s not the best source of probiotics if that’s what you’re looking to use it for. If you’re looking for probiotics, take a look at S. Boullardii for dogs. We have one we recommend the most, but feel free to take a look around at what is best for your dog.
Full Bucket Health Daily Dog Probiotic
The FullBucket Daily Dog is a concentrated yeast-based formula that naturally supports digestion and immune function in adult dogs utilizing probiotic, prebiotic, digestive enzymes & L-Glutamine. It’s all natural, formulated and used by veterinarians, and assists in a healthy gut microbiome.
Why Do Dogs Need Probiotics?
Probiotics can help strengthen your dog’s immune system. Probiotics enhance your dog’s gastrointestinal health by promoting beneficial gut bacteria. Probiotics boost immune function and overall health because 90% of your dog’s immune system is in his gut.
Probiotics help with the following:
- Protect the body against harmful pathogens
- Produce digestive enzymes that help your dog’s body absorb nutrients
- Act as a barrier against toxins, heavy metals, and environmental allergens
- Produce B vitamins that play essential roles in metabolism and cellular health
- Help the body absorb calcium, magnesium, iron, and other nutrients
- Protects against dental disease
- Support brain health
Beware of the Dangers of Yogurt
The following are three main reasons why your dog should avoid eating yogurt.
Pasteurization Kills Good Bacteria
Pasteurization is yogurt’s biggest flaw. Pasteurization kills germs and bacteria by heating food. The meal is safe to eat in theory.
Pasteurized dairy may stress the immune system, study reveals. A 1984 study at Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital and Department of Microbiology found that pasteurizing milk increased baby infection risk.
There are two flaws with the temperature. The temperature is too low to kill dangerous bacteria, but so high that it destroys the digestive enzymes and good bacteria.
Many Dogs Are Lactose Intolerant
Yogurt’s lactose could also bother your dog. Some dogs, like humans, don’t produce enough lactase to digest milk. Pasteurization removes raw milk’s enzymes that assist with digestion.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs include:
- Vomiting (can be bloody)
- Diarrhea (can be diarrhea with mucus)
- Gas (may have a rotten egg smell)
- Colitis (inflammation of the colon due to an allergic reaction to milk products)
If you give your dog dairy products and he experiences these symptoms, cut out the dairy.
Yogurt May Contain Added Sugars Or Artificial Sweeteners
Small amounts of sugar from fruits and vegetables are safe for your dog.
Too much can be an issue, especially as starch or added sugars. Symptoms include stomach distress, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Over time, too much sugar can also lead to chronic inflammation that causes issues like:
- Dental problems
Yogurt is usually sweetened…low-fat or frozen yogurt. Avoid “sugar-free” yogurt.
Artificial sweeteners can cause cancer. Xylitol-sweetened yogurt is also available. Even little doses of xylitol can kill dogs. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that’s acceptable for people but can kill dogs.
Artificial sweeteners harm gut microbes and cause glucose intolerance, research indicates. This raises your dog’s blood sugar and obesity and diabetes risk.
Is Plain Yogurt Acceptable?
Plain yogurt may benefit your dog if you avoid nonfat or flavored yogurts with artificial sweeteners. Yogurt provides calcium, protein, and more. Greek yogurt is a tasty treat for your dog.
Even if you feed your dog natural yogurt, pasteurization and lactose sensitivity hazards remain. Why take the risk when there are more effective ways to make sure your dog gets probiotics?
Why You Should Avoid Kibble With Added Probiotics
If you feed kibble, you may think probiotics are the answer. They’re ineffective.
Food companies may inform you how many active microorganisms were in packed food, but are they still alive? Even if they’re intact in the food, they may not reach your dog’s intestines, where probiotics work.
Always give your dog probiotics separately instead of relying on packaged foods.
Better still, feed your dog raw meat instead of kibble.
Choose a Probiotic Rather than Yogurt
Yogurt isn’t a healthy dog treat, even occasionally. So skip yogurt to increase your dog’s health. Choose a probiotic to keep his gut healthy.