Yogurt for dogs is a common addition to the diet and often recommended as appropriate by veterinarians. We hear from many dog owners each day that have been adding a little greek yogurt to their dog's dish each day in hopes that the live cultures will stabilize gut flora and stave off problems like diarrhea, loose stool, and yeast, but continue to to be confronted with these issues. This leads us to ask, is yogurt really the best choice for dogs?
The Problems with Yogurt and Your Dog
THE DAIRY PROBLEM
Dogs do not produce lactase (the enzyme that digests lactose) in the copious amounts as humans do. While yogurt contains less lactose than regular dairy products, it's in there nonetheless. In the natural world, there is no such thing as yogurt for dogs. So, this can become a digestive problem for dogs to produce lactase to digest yogurt and obtain the benefits of the live cultures. It is not uncommon for dogs to regurgitate the yogurt shortly after eating.
THE LOW PROBIOTIC CONTENT PROBLEM
The fact is, most yogurt does not contain enough of the right types of probiotics or live cultures to truly balance your dog's gut. This is also due to the fact that yogurt which is pasteurized after bacteria is added will contain almost no probiotics. The most common species of probiotics in yogurt is acidophilus, and while acidophilus is good for dogs, it is not enough in itself to bring maximum benefit for dogs. Further, most species of bacteria, that bring the most benefit to dogs, will not perform well in a yogurt medium.
THE OTHER INGREDIENTS PROBLEM
Some yogurts, in addition to live and active cultures, contain multiple other ingredients, flavors, or sugars that can adversely affect canine health. Lastly, all yogurt is high in calcium, which can pose a health problem for dogs if not closely monitored in context with the rest of your dog's diet, this is especially true for larger breeds.
Alternative to Yogurt for Dogs
We believe that yogurt, while it can offer some minimal benefits, is not the best way to impact your dogs health. A better alternative, rather than giving your dog the benefits of active probiotic cultures through yogurt, is to provide these cultures alone through a pure probiotic supplement made specifically for dogs. Instead of yogurt, give your dog a daily dose of probiotics.
Probiotic Miracle® provides stabilized probiotic cultures that are right for dogs, and in the right amounts. Give your dog the benefits of yogurt without the risks of inappropriate nutrition.