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 because it doesn’t contain much liquid, so it’s thicker. Some also cite the high protein levels as a big benefit, but is it actually the kind that dogs need?
In general, all yogurts aren’t essential for canines. Their digestive systems and stomach acids are somewhat different than ours. Greek yogurt, may not have the same positive effect on your dog. However, there are certain situations where probiotics could be beneficial.
Can I Give My Dog Greek Yogurt? Answer: It’s harmless on occasion
It could be an occasional treat but 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 yogurt for protein when it comes to your pooch. That said, let’s take a look at Greek yogurt as it relates to probiotics.
If your four-legged friend has GI tract issues or digestion problems you may be considering yogurt. 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 good. 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.
A Better Idea
Most people do not have the time or desire to try to feed their dog in this experimental manner. Many are rightfully content to give them their daily dog food. If you’re considering something like 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
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, a better policy is to 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. It’s also a low-hassle way for you, as you don’t have to question yourself regarding whether or not something may be harmful for them.
Conclusion on Greek Yogurt
This type of yogurt is expensive and its health benefits for dogs are in question. It may not be very useful to feed your dog Greek yogurt, either for the probiotic potential or as a protein source. My canines should not be consuming diary. If your buddy is dealing with ongoing gastrointestinal problems, address them by getting a definitive diagnosis to form the basis for effective treatment.