I Already Wrote About Kefir And How, In Many Ways, It's Better Than Yogurt...So Why The Yogurt Post?
Besides the fact that I needed a dog safe food that starts with Y, I totally understand why not every dog owner would want to go through the process of making kefir for their dogs. Most people are much more open to the idea of feeding yogurt verses fermenting milk in their own kitchen. It may not be the powerhouse of a probiotic that kefir is, but is yogurt still beneficial?
The Benefits Of Giving Dogs Yogurt
Most people feed yogurt for its probiotic properties. It's thought to be able to help with intestinal issues such as gas and upset stomach. There are a couple of potential problems with this theory. One is that, like I mentioned in my kefir post, the beneficial bacteria found in yogurt doesn't normally colonize the intestinal tract. They act more as helpers, providing food and a proper environment for the good bacteria already in the gut to preform optimally.
Another issue is that some yogurt brands sold in grocery stores are pasteurized. This heating process is used to kill off any potentially dangerous pathogens, but it also kills any beneficial bacteria present.
If your looking for probiotic benefits, but are not interested in feeding your dog kefir, I'd look into using a probiotic supplement.
However, that doesn't mean yogurt is necessarily bad. Some yogurts do contain live cultures that, as I already mentioned, can help the good bacteria already present in the guy preform better. Yogurt also provides calcium, protein, potassium, and folic acid, among other nutrients.
What To Look Out For
Make sure you never feed your dog yogurt that contains Xylitol!
Plain, unflavored yogurt is best when you're buying it for your dog. Flavored yogurts can actually contain high amounts of sugar, which can cause GI upset, pretty much the opposite result that most owners are looking for when they feed their dogs yogurt. Yogurt can also cause symptoms in dogs who are lactose intolerant.
I Don't Regularly Feed My Dogs Yogurt
Especially not since we discovered kefir! However, I do occasionally eat yogurt myself, and will often let my dogs lick my bowl or yogurt container clean. If you bought yogurt especially for your dog, I'd offer only small amounts at a time, perhaps as a food topper, at least until you know that your dog reacts well to it.
This post is a part of the 2016 Blogging from A to Z challenge! You can learn more about our challenge theme here.