Dogs and Yogurt: Can They Have It? And How Much?

Yogurt has gone a long way from being an edgy health food! Today, you will find yogurts in the fridge in most households. When you consider the fact that yogurts are so delicious and provide numerous benefits for humans, you may be wondering if this is something that your dog can benefit from. Can dogs eat yogurt? Yes; the good news is they can, and there are a lot of benefits associated with doing so!

Below, we will provide you with some great information when it comes to adding yogurt to your dog’s diet. Not only will we talk you through the benefits and correct serving side, but we will give you some fun yogurt-inspired, dog-friendly recipes as well – the perfect treat for any pup!

Yogurt for our Dogs: What Are The Benefits?

dog eating yogurt

There are a lot of different benefits that are associated with adding yogurt to your dog’s diet, as it will give them probiotics and nutrition. For instance, yogurt is an excellent calcium source. However, you do need to keep away from sweetened yogurts; plain yogurts are a must with no added extras.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the main benefits of yogurts for dogs in further detail:

Provide Calcium To Your Pup

One of the main reasons why you should consider giving your dog yogurt is because yogurt is the most significant calcium source for pups. There is approximately 450 mg of calcium per one cup of yogurt. Depending on the size of your dog, you are only going to need to give your dog one or two spoonfuls for them to enjoy their required daily quantity of calcium. 

An Excellent Probiotic For Their Gut

Probiotic yogurts are not only safe for humans, but they are safe for dogs as well. This is beneficial because it means that a healthy gut is promoted. If that was not enough, the probiotics found in yogurts can help your dog to fight yeast infections, which can result in ear and skin problems. Furthermore, probiotics may help your dog’s body to absorb nutrients and boost immunity.

High in Protein 

Aside from the benefits that we have mentioned so far, yogurts are also high in protein. Protein is very important for your dog’s diet. In fact, when it comes to giving your dog the protein they need, Greek yogurt is an even better choice when compared with regular yogurt. 

Easy Additive For Increased Nutrition To Meals

Finally, another reason why you should consider adding yogurt to your dog’s diet is that it can help to increase the nutrition your dog has with every meal. When serving your dog a meal, adding some yogurt will provide the protein and calcium they need, as well as probiotics to aid the digestive system. Essentially, you are making sure your dog gets plenty of the good stuff whenever they eat!

In order for your dog to experience all of the benefits that we have mentioned above, you will need to choose yogurt with care. Make sure that you do not serve your dog a yogurt with added sugars, as they are not healthy for dogs, nor humans for that matter! It is also imperative that there are not any artificial sweeteners present, as the likes of xylitol can be toxic for dogs. In addition to this, we recommend that you search for a plain type of yogurt that features many live cultures, for instance, a plain, Greek-style yogurt. This type of yogurt is a good choice because the levels of lactose are lower than regular yogurt. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs and Yogurt

dog yogurt
When the yogurt and meat are mixed, portion into smaller containers. | photo by Liz Palika

Below, we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about dogs and yogurt. 

Can Dogs Eat GREEK Yogurt? 

Yes, dogs are able to eat Greek yogurt. In fact, Greek yogurt is considered a good option because it features probiotics, which are not only safe for dogs but healthier too. In terms of protein quantity, Greek yogurt is considered a better option than plain yogurts for dogs. 

Should Dog’s Eat Only Plain Yogurt? 

You can give your dog Greek yogurt, so you are not restricted to plain yogurt only. However, if you are going to feed your dog yogurt, you need to make sure that it does not contain any added sweeteners, irrespective of whether they are artificial or natural. Therefore, in that sense, you can only feed your dog yogurt that is plain in terms of flavor and does not have any added extras.

How Much Yogurt Should You Give Your Dog? 

There are a number of different factors that can impact how much yogurt your dog can eat, including the neuter status, activity level, underlying health issues, daily calorie intake, weight, and size. Once you know the nutritional needs of your dog, you can figure out how much yogurt is suitable. Make sure you do not overdo it, though. There is a 10 percent rule, which is great to follow; it states that yogurt should not make up more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily calories. As a general rule, we would say that you should give one spoonful is considered an accurate serving size for a small dog. For a medium dog, you can give them two spoonfuls of Greek yogurt. Finally, if you have a large dog, three spoonfuls are considered adequate. 

Great Uses and Ways To Feed Your Dog Yogurt

Now that you know all of the benefits associated with feeding your dog yogurt, let’s take a look at some of the best ways of doing so.

Start By Giving Them Small Amounts Mixed With Other Foods 

One of the best ways for you to feed yogurt to your dog is by mixing it into your dog’s food. You can also stir it into already rehydrated Honest Kitchen foods. If you make your dog’s food yourself, you can also add a bit of yogurt to this. 

As Frozen Yogurt Treats For Pups 

Given your dog yogurt as a frozen treat is another good idea to consider. When you give your dog some fresh yogurt, it will not take your dog much time to lick the entire serving out of the container. However, with a frozen treat, your dog will enjoy it over a longer period of time. Plus, it can be especially beneficial during those warmer days. 

Try some of The Honest Ktichen’s DIY yogurt dog treats.

Plain Yogurt, Fresh and By Itself 

As most dogs love yogurt, you do not need to dress it up for them to enjoy it. All you need to do is plop a bit of yogurt into a bowl and we are sure that your dog will lap it up! 

Yogurt as a Training Treat

Finally, another option that we recommend is using yogurt as a training treat. When training your dogs, using treats is important because it acts as a reward. This will ensure your dog understands when he has done something correctly. Plus, dogs are motivated by food, so this will encourage good behavior. 

Providing healthy treats to your dog during training can make a big difference, and The Honest Kitchen’s Wishes is one of the best options for doing so. These are dried fish treats that you can break down into smaller pieces, and dogs love them! After all, variety is the spice of life, isn’t it? So, switching up treats is a good idea so that your dog does not get bored. Mix in yogurt treats with some other exciting food-based snacks and we’re sure you will notice some great improvements in your dog’s behavior and training performance. 

Yogurt Inspired Recipes For Your Dog 

We hope that this has helped you to get a better understanding of the benefits that are associated with incorporating yogurt into your dog’s diet. But, how do you go about doing so? Below, we are going to take a look at some of the best yogurt-inspired recipes your dog can enjoy!

  • Abba Zaba Cheesecake – Yes, dogs love cheesecake too! I mean, who doesn’t, right? This special dog-friendly cheesecake has been enriched with lots of anti-inflammatory extras, making it ideal if your dog is in his senior years.
  • Frosty Pate Bites – A frozen treat is perfect for the summer weather! As mentioned above, frozen yogurt is a great option when serving your dog. However, if you want to switch things up a bit and create something different, your dog is assured to love these Butcher block Pates. 
  • Pumpkin Peanut Butter Frozen Treats – Finally, we have these delicious Pumpkin Peanut Butter Frozen Treats! With Instant Goat’s Milk from The Honest Kitchen, yogurt, and pumpkin puree, this recipe is packed with lots of healthy treats.

Health Disclaimer: This post is educational in nature and doesn’t constitute health advice. Please consult your pet’s veterinarian or other healthcare professionals for specific guidance on this topic.

Meet the Author: Liz Palika, CDT, CABC

Liz Palika is a Certified Dog Trainer and Certified Animal Behavior Consultant as well as the founder and co-owner of Kindred Spirits Dog Training in northern San Diego county. Liz is also the founder of Love on a Leash therapy dogs; her dog, Bones, goes on visits on a regular basis. A prolific writer, Liz is also the author of more than 80 books. Many of her works have been nominated or won awards from a variety of organizations, including Dog Writers Association of America, San Diego Book Awards, the ASPCA, and others. Liz shares her home with three English Shepherds: Bones, Hero, and Seven, as well as one confident and bossy orange tabby cat, Kirk. To relax from work, or to take work on the road, Liz and her crew travel the West and PNW in their RV. If you see an RV on the road named "Travelin' Dogs", honk and say hi!

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