Yogurt is rich in calcium, vitamins and minerals. Many varieties also contain probiotics, often known as "good bacteria" that assist with digestion and immune function. There are also many yogurt-loving Yorkies out there, so it's good news that you can share a little with your little furry buddy.
Creating a Balanced Diet
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For your tiny Yorkie, a little of anything goes a long way. With an average weight of about seven pounds, a Yorkie's entire daily calorie requirement is only about 350 calories. Generally, that diet should consist of 50 to 75 percent animal protein, 15 to 18 percent fat, and 25 percent carbohydrates. Yogurt, which is high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and sometimes high in sugar, can pack on the calories quickly, so it should just be used as a nutritional highlight. should not be a main focus of the diet, but a highlight.
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On average, yogurt has about 16 calories per ounce, with six calories from protein, eight calories from carbs, and two calories from fat. More than a few ounces is excessive for a dog of her size, so just give her a little, particularly if she is new to this kind of food. You might put some on a teaspoon and let her lick it off. She will probably be thrilled with this special new goodie.
Things to Consider
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Dairy can cause belly aches in some dogs, so yogurt should be introduced slowly. Monitor your little pal; if she experiences tummy upset, reduce or stop feeding her yogurt.
If she responds well to the teaspoon serving, give her the same serving each day for a week. Over time, you can slowly increase servings, not to exceed a couple ounces tops.
If yogurt becomes a regular addition, reduce her regular diet slightly to make up for the yogurt calories. This will help her maintain her girlish figure.
Varieties and Choices
There are many yogurt choices, including low-fat, Greek, fruit, no-sugar and lots more. If possible, choose a no-sugar variety. Every dog is different about flavors. Some like blueberry, and others may snub it. Experiment to see what your dog likes, and if she happens to like blueberry, great -- she will get extra nutrition and antioxidants. If you're not certain a fruit or flavor is OK for her, research it to make sure your little one stays healthy.
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.