What Kind of Greek Yogurt Can Dogs Eat? (Solved!)

Does your dog look at you longingly when you’re eating creamy Greek yogurt? Have you wondered whether it is safe for your dog to eat Greek yogurt?

Whilst many dogs are lactose-intolerant, most dogs can eat certain types of plain Greek yogurt, but it’s best to consider this as an occasional treat and feed in moderation. Also, it is very important to check the ingredients label to make sure you choose a Greek yogurt that is safe for your dog. 

In this article, I explain what types of Greek yogurt your dog can, and cannot eat, explore the health benefits of eating Greek yogurt, provide some fun tips on how to serve Greek yogurt to your dog, and offer some suggestions for alternatives to Greek yogurt.  

Types of Greek Yogurt Best For Dogs

If you’ve worked out that your dog is, more or less, lactose tolerant, then look for a Greek yogurt that meets these requirements:

  • Plain and unflavored
  • Low sugar content, and also not including those fancy names you might see for sugar such as sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice, and cane sugar
  • Zero artificial sweeteners, avoiding xylitol at all costs
  • Low in fat
  • Contains live cultures
  • Does not contain ingredients you do not recognize

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is particularly dangerous for dogs, and you must never feed anything to your dog that contains xylitol.

Xylitol causes your dog to rapidly release insulin, which can lead to hypoglycemia and, in extreme circumstances, has been known to cause liver failure.  

Sugar is not toxic for dogs, but too much sugar can result in diabetes, obesity, and dental problems.

Dogs And Lactose Intolerance

Many dogs can be lactose intolerant, especially once a dog passes from puppyhood into adulthood. Dairy products aren’t something that wild dogs would have eaten naturally and so dogs have not evolved to produce lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose.

The degree to which a dog can tolerate lactose varies from dog to dog – there is no hard and fast rule here. Some dogs are relatively tolerant of lactose and do not suffer from unpleasant side effects. Other dogs can suffer from stomach upsets after eating dairy products.

Before you feed your dog too much plain Greek yogurt, it’s best to test your dog’s tolerance to lactose by feeding a small amount and seeing if there is any adverse reaction. If not, you can feed a little more. But you should always consider plain Greek yogurt as a doggy treat, and like all treats, it should be given in moderation.   

The good thing about plain Greek yogurt is that it is a strained yogurt resulting in a lower lactose content compared to other plain yogurts.

How To Serve Plain Greek Yogurt To Dogs

A tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt, once a week, is sufficient as an occasional treat for your dog. For an extra special delight, you could add some flavor using doggy-friendly peanut butter.

Greek plain yogurt is also a good option to put in slow feeders, lickimats and Kong treat toys. Or, why not make some frozen yogurt treats in an ice cube tray? 

We all love to spoil our pups, but vets generally advise that dogs should not get more than around 10% of their daily calorie intake from treats. So, when serving plain Greek yogurt as a treat for your dog bear in mind how many calories you will be feeding them. There are other ways to treat your furbaby – spending quality time playing is a great choice!    

Plain Greek Yogurt For Dogs – Health Benefits

Yogurt is high in calcium which supports strong and healthy bone and teeth growth.

Greek yogurt is also rich in probiotic bacteria that promote a healthy digestive system by minimizing the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut.

Greek yogurt is also great for pregnant dogs as it contains niacin and folic acid which are good for healthy pup growth.  

Possible Side-Effects of Dogs Eating Yogurt

If your dog is lactose intolerant Greek yogurt might cause some unpleasant side effects such as a gassy stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. So, try a little first and wait and see if there is any reaction before feeding again.  

If you’ve fed your dog Greek yogurt that contains additives and artificial sweeteners such as xylitol that are harmful to your dog you will need to get your dog checked out by a vet immediately.

Always feed plain Greek yogurt to your dog in moderation!

Alternatives To Yogurt For Your Dog

In recent years the market for non-dairy milk and yogurt has exploded and there are many types and flavor options available. But, as with milk-based Greek yogurt, always check the ingredients for that ‘no no’ list of additives and ingredients.

One of the best non-dairy yogurts available for dogs is oat milk yogurt which is lactose-free. Oat milk itself is easily digestible and has a creamy taste and texture, making it a good choice as a milky treat drink now and again for your dog.   

Goats’ yogurt is another alternative option for your dog. Goats’ yogurt is lower in lactose than other yogurts, so it’s worth testing out with your dog.

If you are feeding your dog plain Greek yogurt simply for its probiotic effects, it is unlikely that a tablespoon a week will provide sufficient benefit. There are a number of probiotic supplements, specially formulated for dogs, available that can provide a more substantial source of probiotic cultures. Your vet should be able to advise you on an appropriate product for your dog’s specific needs.  

There are also dog foods available that contain formulated probiotic supplements that can give your dog a daily probiotic boost.

Conclusion

Most dogs will be fine with an occasional, and small, plain Greek yogurt treat. But always check the ingredients label and make sure you avoid products that contain additives, flavors and added sugar, and never feed your dog anything that contains the artificial sweetener xylitol.

Plain Greek yogurt will provide your dog with calcium and protein to promote healthy growth, and probiotics to aid gut function.

There are other equally tasty choices available if you are worried about lactose intolerance. Lactose-free oat milk yogurt is a great choice for a tasty doggy treat!