Greek yogurt has become a popular health food. Its high protein and calcium content combined with probiotic cultures can help with digestion. But is it something that your dog can truly benefit from?
This type of yogurt is, after all, still a dairy product. The Greek variety differs since it doesn’t contain much liquid, so it’s thicker. Some cite the high protein levels as a big benefit, but is it actually the kind that dogs need?
In general, yogurts aren’t essential for canines. Their digestive systems and stomach acids are somewhat different than ours. Greek yogurt, while likely harmless, probably won’t help your dog in any way. There are, however, certain situations where probiotics may be beneficial.
Can I Give My Dog Greek Yogurt? Answer: It’s harmless
It could be an occasional treat but it may not provide digestive improvement.
Nor should your dog depend on any dairy-based protein. Dogs should get their protein requirements from animal sources. Don’t rely on Greek yogurt for protein when it comes to your pet pooch. That said, let’s take a look at Greek yogurt as it relates to probiotics.
Probiotic Yogurt Benefits
If your dog has digestive problems you may be considering yoghurt. Enterococcus faecium as well as Lactobacillus acidophilus are live bacteria which could be helpful for your dog, in theory. Some claim that these probiotic yogurts can strengthen the immune system as well.
If, for example, your dog has been taking antibiotics while dealing with food allergies or has been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease you could try certain kinds of Greek yogurt based on your vet’s recommendation. It’s low in calories which is great. Just use moderation and don’t expect miracles!
As stated above, these bacterial strains are designed for humans so the results could be disappointing. A canine-formulated probiotic likely offers a higher chance of success.
Consider a Better Idea
Most people don’t have the time or the desire to feed their dogs in this experimental manner. Many are content to give them their daily dog food. If you are considering Greek yogurt, it’s probably best to just put that money towards a better quality food that fits their needs.
This way you don’t have to worry about supplementing your dog’s diet. You can just give them their food and rest easy knowing that they are getting everything that is vital. Of course, if your pet dog is dealing with long term digestive issues, you should address it with a professional rather than using a hit or miss approach with Greek-style yogurt.
Dogs & Dairy Don’t Agree
There are lots of problems with dairy, for humans and dogs alike. Humans are unique in that they drink milk from other species. In that sense, it’s unnatural to give your dog any food made with cows’ milk. An adult dog normally wouldn’t be given milk, let alone Greek Yogurt, after their puppy years. They are fairly quickly weaned off of dairy.
By giving them yogurt, which is cultured and often processed, you’d be providing them with something questionable. Unless a veterinarian specifically recommends doing so, for a particular reason, we don’t see much sense in doing so.
Keep Things Simple
Bad behavior, in the form of begging, can eventually result if you give-in to your dog when they see you eating Greek Yogurt. Rather than sharing your food, have some dog treats on-hand. Quality treats, made for dogs, and will contain vitamins and minerals that actually benefit them with a high degree of success.
Conclusion on Greek Yogurt
This type of yogurt, while probably harmless, is expensive and its health benefits for dogs are questionable. So Greek yogurt may not be beneficial for your dog, either for the probiotic potential or as a protein source. Besides, most canines should not be consuming diary. If your dog is dealing with gastrointestinal problems, address them by getting a vet’s diagnosis to form the basis for the most effective treatment.