Photo by Karly Gomez

Is Yogurt Good for Dogs? Cultured Bacteria

Though the majority of the calories of a doggie diet should come from animal protein, it’s no secret that dogs like to snack on a wide variety of treats. This leads to some less than stereotypical snacks being acceptable for dog dining. One treat that dogs enjoy lapping up is yogurt. Is yogurt good for dogs? Read on to find out!


Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?

Dogs lap up every spill and sniff out every crumb. If your dog is anything like the ones in my life, he will feel perfectly at home sticking his nose in the trashcan to catch the leftovers. So what happens if your dog eats yogurt? Is it safe?

It turns out that dogs can eat yogurt. Yogurt is not toxic for dogs to consume. In fact, it is a great alternative to other human desserts, such as ice cream. However, not all yogurt varieties are created equal for canines. Additionally, the lactose in yogurt might not make it compatible for a majority of dogs.


Serving Yogurt to Dogs

Which yogurts earn the dog health seal of approval? Dogs can enjoy yogurts that do not contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Always be sure to check the ingredients of yogurts and select the more natural and lower sugar options.

The American Kennel Club warns against feeding dogs yogurt due to the lactose levels. While lactose is not toxic for dogs, it is harder for them to digest. Though puppies can typically digest lactose without any issues, dogs are not built to digest lactose easily. Therefore lactose foods can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or gas in dogs.

However, all dogs react differently to foods. If your dog appears to enjoy a small serving of plain yogurt without any issues, it can make for a safe and healthy snack. Be sure to also check the fat content and monitor how much fat your dog consumes. Dogs should never be consuming too much fat due to risks of both obesity and developing pancreatitis.

Lastly, never serve dogs yogurt that contains the artificial sweetener xylitol. This additive is toxic to dogs and should always be avoided at all times. If you have any concerns about your dog’s reactions to foods, call your vet right away.


Is Yogurt Good for Dogs?

Alright, now that the safety concerns are out of the way, let’s get to the fun part. How is yogurt good for dogs? Why consider serving it anyway? For one, dogs love to be included during meal and snack times. Though serving too much table scraps could lead to weight gain issues, it’s alright to let loose (with safe foods!) every once in a while.

Yogurt is also a very beneficial food choice. It is high in both protein and calcium, making it an ideal snack choice. Additionally, yogurts with active bacteria in them can assist dog digestive systems. They can also act as a probiotic for your pup.

The good news is yogurt with live cultures also has lower lactose levels and will therefore be easier for your dog to digest. This makes it a good pick for your pup, since the probiotics in it can be beneficial to both humans and dogs.


Yogurt in Review

Is yogurt good for dogs? Your best bet for dog-friendly yogurt is plain yogurt that has live cultures added and no artificial or extra sugars. The lactose in yogurt can be difficult for dogs to digest, but yogurt can also provide health benefits.

To read about how other human foods fare for our furry friends, check out is cheese good for dogs.

Emma Polini