Dr. Wenny Wang Bauman
Your dogs may like a bite of yogurt too!
Yogurt has long been known for its many health benefits to the human digestive tract, but it is also beneficial for dogs too. Just like in the digestive systems of human beings, yogurt’s cultures work many wonders in the bellies of dogs too. This is because dogs all respond well to the presence or addition of probiotic compounds in their systems. These are the millions of bacteria that give yogurt its wonderful texture and taste, but they also help to balance out many problems that can occur in the digestive system of a dog.
We don’t want to overlook the fact that yogurt also gives dogs the wonderful range of nutrients and vitamins too. For example, there is all of that wonderful calcium that will help a dog’s bones and teeth to remain healthy and strong. There are also the many vitamins that will be taken into the dog’s system as the yogurt is digested. This is important to remember because dogs do not have the enzymes required to digest raw fruits and vegetables and the use of yogurt can help them to gain many benefits from the rest of their dietary intake.
There are, however, a few things to always keep in mind when using yogurt as a dietary supplement for your dog:
Avoid flavored varieties – stick with plain and unsweetened yogurts as the dessert quality yogurts are full of artificial compounds that can easily sicken a dog.
Avoid the fattiest types – though you may love the “full fat” Greek yogurts, it is best to choose a variety that is “low fat” and which has around 20 calories per ounce. This lets dogs enjoy all of the benefits without worrying too much about weight gain.
Choose “Live and Active” – do not take for granted that the yogurt has live and active cultures. Read the labels and be sure that you are getting one of the most beneficial ingredients.
Do a test first – do not assume that your dog has no sensitivities to dairy. Give them a small sample of yogurt to be sure that nothing unpleasant occurs. Yogurt is often a “go to” remedy for dogs with diarrhea or digestive upset, but do not use this approach without being sure it will work.
Following these steps should let you use yogurt to keep your dog comfortable, healthy, and optimally fed!