Yogurt is a food with a great nutritional contribution and many benefits for our digestive system, thanks to the large amount of beneficial bacteria it contains. It is estimated that it has more than one hundred million beneficial bacteria for our body.
That is why it is normal for us to wonder if dogs can eat yogurt, if they can also benefit from the nutrients and bacteria they have. For this reason, from Soyunperro we are going to clarify if dogs can eat yogurt, what kinds and in what quantities
Can I give my dog yogurt?
The answer is very simple and complex at the same time, if they can and cannot. We are going to explain it in detail so that we can all understand how and when you can eat yogurt.
In the first months of life, dogs can digest lactose, which allows them to feed on mother’s milk. This ability is obtained thanks to an enzyme called lactase (which is used to treat cow’s milk so that it is lactose-free milk and does not lose nutritional value).
Most dogs lose the ability to generate this enzyme in their adult life. This implies that they cannot digest lactose and convert it into galactose and glucose. This is not the case of some intestinal bacteria that will ferment this disaccharide, increasing its population and producing flatulence and diarrhea, which can lead to vomiting. These symptoms can persist over time even if no more milk is given.
Yogurt is a product obtained from this same event that occurs in the intestines of dogs that do not tolerate lactose, but under controlled conditions with specific bacteria to obtain the desired product. They use some milk proteins and lactose to grow and excrete other substances that give yogurt its characteristic color, texture and flavor.
The use of glucose is practically total, however there are residual amounts that in some cases can have adverse effects on our pet. This is the case of Spaniels, who tolerate lactose very poorly even in very small amounts, so it is convenient to seek information about the breed and its tolerance to lactose.
On the other hand, in addition to lactose problems, there is a possibility that the dog is allergic to dairy. This allergy, unlike food reactions in humans that are acute and rapid, manifests itself longer in time and symptoms can range from persistent diarrhea to skin rashes . These symptoms remit within weeks of stopping the yogurt. However, they are relatively rare.
What kind of yogurt can dogs eat?
We must buy natural yogurt, with or without bifidus. We must avoid at all costs flavored yogurts, sugary or with pieces of fruit. In our modest opinion, plain skimmed yogurts with bifidus are the best option.
Benefits of yogurt in dogs
Its benefits are very numerous, so many that it is one of the most recommended food supplements. They are an excellent source of highly digestible calcium and natural probiotics for dogs (unless the yogurt is pasteurized), vitamins and proteins of great biological value. They help control the microbiota of the digestive system and maintain a healthy and strong intestine.
When our dog takes antibiotics for medical reasons, they not only kill harmful bacteria, but usually they also kill bacteria that are beneficial and necessary for our dogs.
As we say, as long as the dog tolerates yogurt well , it is an excellent food supplement. It is also the base for making healthy ice cream for dogs , something they love when the heat is on.
Amount of yogurt recommended in dogs
The truth is that the recommended amounts are always indicative, from a tablespoon a day in small medium dogs to medium yogurt in large dogs. We can do this for three or four days a week .
Yogurt can be given alone or mixed with the usual food (dry food or homemade food). Although as we indicated, the measures are always indicative, we know cases of dogs that eat yogurt every day and have an iron intestinal health, others that only take a couple of times a week and also have excellent health.
What precautions should I have?
Intolerance is one of the problems to take into account. If you have never given your dog yogurt, start by giving him a small teaspoon next to his food and wait until the next day to see how well he has done. The amount of yogurt you administer should grow progressively to avoid overloading your pet’s digestive system.
If you observe diarrhea, vomiting or some strange reaction…. your dog may not tolerate that small amount of lactose, so you should see your vet. Also keep an eye out for long-term skin symptoms as they may reflect a food allergy.
If nothing happens (which is most likely), your dog can eat yogurt. Common sense is the best tool to determine whether or not our dog can eat yogurt.