Wondering to yourself, “Can dogs eat yogurt?” If so, you’re not alone. Many pet owners are curious about whether dogs can eat the same types of food that humans regularly enjoy. (Remember when everyone was asking whether dogs can eat pumpkin or not?) Considering how hot it’s been this summer, it’s no wonder why people want to create homemade treats for their dogs — especially cool treats. Experts say that yogurt can indeed be a good occasional sweet for some pups, with a few important caveats.
Can dogs eat yogurt?
In the Washington Post, a reader recently asked the columnist Heloise whether it was OK for dogs to eat yogurt, after she spotted a pup digging into the creamy goodness on social media. Heloise, a home and lifestyle expert, responded that small bites of yogurt should usually be OK for a dog, but a few possible problems can arise if you’re not careful. As she explains, dogs can have difficulty digesting the lactose in yogurt, even though it’s a much smaller amount of lactose than that in milk. But even if your pup handles the amount of lactose better than others, there are still other ingredients to be mindful of while serving yogurt to dogs.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), any yogurt you give your dog should be completely free of added sweeteners, both natural and artificial. It goes without saying that added sugars are no good for anyone — including us humans — but one artificial sweetener called xylitol is particularly toxic for dogs. In fact, VCA Hospitals reports that even small amounts of xylitol can cause low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs. On top of that, you also want to be cautious of giving your dog any yogurt with chunks of fruit in it — larger chunks could be a choking hazard for some pups.
What’s the best kind of yogurt for dogs?
If your dog can tolerate the lactose in yogurt (aka he or she doesn’t show symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, or gassiness), then mixtures that are free of added sweeteners are fair game. That said, AKC says that yogurts with lots of live cultures (bacteria) in them are probably your best bet for pups, because these specific yogurts help digest the lactose in the yogurt.
It’s worth mentioning that there are a lot of tasty yogurt recipes for dogs out there as well, which are often touted as doggo-safe ice cream. These are a perfect way to treat a dog for being a good boy or girl. Just don’t forget to freeze them if you want them to be nice and cold for a hot day!
After you give your good dog a healthy treat, watch more good pups react to being told just how good they are in the video below: