September 03, 2020 4 min read
Here at Cooper's Treats, we've spent lots of time dabbling with a whole host of different ingredients for our treats. From dairy to eggs to fruits to meats, if it's out there and a dog might enjoy it, we've tried it.
That is, of course, as long as they're safe. We do extensive research on everything that we even consider putting into our treats. Since there's some confusion out there about what's okay for dogs to eat and what's not, we thought we might help out by sharing some of what we found.
We're going to do a series of posts on different foods over the course of the next few months, and the first up is yogurt. We hope they'll be helpful! If you have any questions about what to feed your dog, you're always welcome to drop us a line.
We love yogurt, especially with some fresh berries sprinkled in it on a hot day. It's refreshing and has just the right amount of sweetness to hit the spot. Of course, any time our dogs see us eating anything, they want a taste, and yogurt is no exception. So let's take a look and see if dogs can have yogurt safely.
As for the big question - can dogs eat yogurt - the answer is yes, though some kinds of yogurt are much better than others. Yogurt itself isn't toxic and indeed can have a number of health benefits. That said, many yogurts, such as those that are flavored with large amounts of sugar, aren't good for your pooch. Given the wide variety of not only flavors but also types of yogurt, it's important to really understand what's in yours before you decide whether it's okay for your dog to have a lick (or two, or three) of your spoon.
While it depends very much on the type, yogurt absolutely can be good for dogs. Yogurt has a lot of excellent nutritional qualities at its core, so whether it's good really depends on what's added to it. Let's take a moment to review all the valuable nutritional components of yogurt.
Yogurt has significant amounts of calcium and protein, both of which are great for dogs. Calcium is an essential mineral that supports both teeth and bone health. It also helps their blood clot properly and supports essential cellular processes. A lack of calcium can lead to bone and joint problems such as stress fractures, lethargy and issues with growth, particularly for young dogs.
Protein is key to your dog's health - the amino acids in protein help with everything from muscle development and tissue repair to immune responses and healthy skin and hair. For all of these reasons and more, we always try to pack as much protein into every one of our treats as possible!
Yogurt can also contain probiotics, which can help dogs with digestion. They also aid the immune system and slow the growth of potentially harmful bacteria in dogs.
In general, the answer is yes, but it definitely depends on what kind of yogurt. Can dogs eat Greek yogurt? If it's unflavored, absolutely. Can dogs eat vanilla yogurt? Can dogs eat strawberry yogurt? Unfortunately the answer to both of those is that they likely contain too much sugar (or unhealthy and potentially toxic artificial sweeteners) to be good. If your dog is extra sensitive to lactose, though, even plain yogurt may be best to avoid.
If you do want to give your dog flavored yogurt, instead of buying it, make your own with fresh fruits! A couple of our favorite candidates are strawberries and blueberries, which are healthy snacks on their own and make perfect additions to a bit of plain yogurt. You can either dice them up and sprinkle them in or blend them with yogurt and a bit of ice for a refreshing doggy smoothie. As long as you don't add any sugar or other problematic ingredients, yogurt and fruit is an awesome combo for dogs, especially on a sunny summer day.
Either way, it's best to start with small amounts of yogurt and monitor your dog for digestive issues such as gas or diarrhea, to make sure that you're not causing your pup any discomfort.
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