Lab eating yogurt from a cup held by a person's hand

Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?

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Most dogs have enthusiastic appetites. While this can be a fun bonding point between dogs and their human owners, it can also be a safety concern. Dog owners need to learn which foods are safe for dogs to eat.

An unusual food that some pet owners may be wondering about is yogurt. Yogurt often has an intriguing aroma that attracts the attention of your puppy. Additionally, some owners may be interested in the possible health benefits that yogurt could have for their dogs, so you might wonder, “Can dogs eat yogurt?”

In general, yogurt is safe for dogs to eat in small portions. Read on for a complete guide on safely feeding your dog yogurt.

Is It Safe for My Dog To Eat Yogurt?

Is yogurt bad for dogs? Technically, yogurt is safe for dogs to eat. However, yogurt is made from milk, and almost all dogs are lactose intolerant. If you give your dog an entire serving of yogurt, they will most likely experience pain, vomiting, or diarrhea.

It’s best to introduce your dog to a small sample of dairy to test their tolerance. If your dog has a severe adverse reaction, you should take them to a veterinarian for medical care, as they may have a dairy allergy.

Aside from issues with lactose intolerance, the probiotics in yogurt can be beneficial to your dog’s health. Probiotics can improve digestive health, skin, and fur, and they serve as an extra source of protein.

If you have concerns about your dog’s digestive health, consult your veterinarian on whether a small serving of yogurt may help. Always check the ingredients on the yogurt and avoid added sweeteners, flavors, and chemicals.

Are There Any Safety Concerns Feeding Yogurt to My Dog?

Most of the safety concerns about feeding yogurt to a dog have to do with lactose intolerance and potential dairy allergies.

To understand these risks, it’s helpful to differentiate between lactose intolerance and a dairy allergy. Lactose intolerance, which almost every dog has, refers to an inability to digest dairy sugars properly. This intolerance develops over time as young dogs are weaned off of their mother’s milk.

A dairy allergy refers to a hostile immune response to dairy milk, usually to the proteins in milk. Unlike an intolerance, which only causes digestive distress and discomfort, an allergic reaction can be fatal.

With the support of your veterinarian, begin introducing a portion of yogurt into your dog’s diet. Start with a small serving and closely monitor your dog after they eat it. Get your dog medical attention immediately if they begin to show signs of distress.

Final Thoughts

Overall, yogurt is safe but not ideal for a dog to eat. Yogurt contains probiotics, which have many health benefits for your digestive system and other bodily functions. However, dogs are lactose intolerant and may suffer from severe indigestion if they consume dairy.

With this in mind, only give your dog yogurt under the advice of your veterinarian, and avoid any yogurts with artificial sweeteners and flavorings.

Wondering if other common foods are safe for your dog to eat? Visit the following articles:

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.