Yes, dogs can eat yogurt. It's a good source of calcium, protein and live-culture probiotics—plus it's tasty! But can dogs eat yogurt and benefit from it the way humans do? Keep reading to learn how yogurt is good for dogs.
According to Purina Senior Nutritionist Jan Dempsey, “The best kind of yogurt will be plain, or even non-fat plain. Just be sure it's yogurt without artificial preservatives or sweeteners.” There are yogurts that your dog can enjoy and that will be good for him. But you need to check the ingredients before serving your dog yogurt. Dogs should never eat any yogurt that contains xylitol. Xylitol is a common food sweetener in human foods. But even a small amount of xylitol sweetened yogurt is bad for dogs.
The right serving size of yogurt for dogs varies based on the kind of yogurt and your dog’s:
When you know your dog’s daily nutritional needs, you can determine how much yogurt your dog can have. “How much yogurt you feed your dog should be based on the 10 percent treat rule. That means yogurt should be no more than 10 percent of the calories your dog eats every day,” Dempsey explains.
The amount of yogurt you can feed your dog isn’t the same for every kind of yogurt. Be sure to check the label and pay attention to the calorie and fat content so you can measure out the right serving size. You don't want to let your dog have much yogurt. “Adding a tablespoon to his food could be a nice way to incorporate a new texture while limiting extra calories,” Dempsey suggests.
Greek yogurt for dogs is great, provided its xylitol-free. Your dog may even like Greek yogurt’s texture more. It’s thicker because the whey has been strained out. Other kinds of yogurt your dog can enjoy are:
Absolutely. Probiotics are good for you and for your dog. But if you’re following the 10 percent treat rule, this amount of yogurt for your dog won’t be enough to get many probiotic benefits from its active cultures. Instead of feeding your dog more yogurt, talk with your veterinarian. There are supplements on the market that are specifically formulated for dogs who need probiotic support.