If your dog is watching you closely every morning as you eat your yogurt, you may wonder if this people food is safe for him and if you can make some special treats for him using yogurt. The answer to both questions is yes. This way, you can both enjoy the tastes and benefits of yogurt.
Just as it does for you, yogurt provides a good source of calcium and protein for your dog. However, while you may enjoy flavored yogurts, it is best to choose plain yogurt without any additional sugars or artificial sweeteners. Look for yogurt with live active cultures, as these act as a probiotic and can help with digestive issues. For dogs with weight issues, choose the fat-free versions.
Yogurt and Dairy Intolerance
Unfortunately, lactose intolerance may keep your pet from enjoying that yogurt treat. Some dogs do not have the enzyme lactase and are unable to digest the lactose found in dairy products. If this is the case, you will notice symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, vomiting and diarrhea when you feed your dog products like yogurt that contain lactose. If this is the case, yogurt treats are out.
If you are looking to make some yogurt treats of your own, these treats combine applesauce with yogurt and oats for a tasty treat. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix together 1 cup of non-sweetened applesauce, 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, 1 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour and 2/3 cup rolled oats. Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/4 inch thick. With a cookie cutter or knife, cut into desired shapes and sizes. Place on a slightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 16 to 18 minutes. For a yogurt treat during the hot summer months, fill an ice cube tray with yogurt and make a simple frozen treat.
Before adding any new treats to your dog’s diet, consult with a veterinarian or canine nutritionist about possible dietary concerns. As with any treat, give yogurt treats in moderation. While yogurt contains protein and calcium, yogurt treats also contain calories. Too many will pack on the pounds, which is not healthy for your pooch.
Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.