Yogurt for Dogs

by Francine Richards, Demand Media
    Always read the yogurt label before sharing with your dog.

    Always read the yogurt label before sharing with your dog.

    Yogurt is a yummy treat that can benefit your dog’s health. Giving Woof plain yogurt may prevent or help with digestive issues. Additionally, it helps puppies by preventing infection and adding protein and calcium to his growing bones. So next time you’re eating yogurt, consider sharing with your pooch.

    Advantages

    There are many reasons to give your dog yogurt. Not only is yogurt a source of calcium and zinc, it may boost immunity. However, the biggest advantage to giving your dog yogurt is to help with his digestion. If your dog has gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, infections, inflamed bowel, bacterial overgrowth or other absorption issues, yogurt may both help and prevent these issues. Additionally, yogurt is inexpensive and a good source of protein.

    Types

    If you decide to give your dog yogurt, give him plain, nonfat and unflavored yogurt. The yogurt should contain only two things: milk and live cultures. Avoid yogurt containing sugar and artificial flavors, as they add no benefit to your dog. Read the label carefully before buying. Typically, the more ingredients listed, the less nutritional yogurt is in the container. Besides refrigerated yogurt, your dog may love a special treat of frozen yogurt.

    When, How and How Much

    Start giving your dog yogurt as soon as you notice digestive issues. It’s easy to mix yogurt into his food or let him lick off a spoon. Since nonfat plain yogurt is low in calories, you don’t need to worry about your dog gaining weight. You can give your dog a spoonful daily as a measure of prevention or wait until there is a digestive issue. You might use frozen yogurt as an occasional warm-weather treat. Also, give your dog yogurt if he is on antibiotics. As antibiotics can disrupt the gastrointestinal tract, yogurt can help keep the balance while he is taking them.

    Other People-Food for Dogs

    Yogurt isn’t the only people-food good for dogs. Other foods you eat that can benefit your dog include salmon, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, eggs, berries and oatmeal. You may notice that many commercial dog foods include these items in their foods. If you’re feeding your dog yogurt to help with digestive issues, you might want to try pumpkin or oatmeal since its fiber content helps bulk up stools. If your dog has diarrhea, you can give him eggs to add protein he may have lost.

    About the Author

    Francine Richards began writing in 1998 with a specialty in health-care technical writing. Her experience includes authoring policies, training materials, Web articles and marketing materials. Richards' work has appeared on several Blue Cross Blue Shield plan websites and newsletters. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.

    Photo Credits

    • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images