Is your dog suffering from diarrhea? Have you had to clean up brown stinky puddles of poop off the floor? As a pet parent, you might end up dealing with the consequences of your pet having an upset stomach more often than not.
Diarrhea is usually a secondary symptom that you will notice. The cause could be something straightforward like the dog eating garbage, a change in diet, or food allergies. On the other hand, it could indicate serious conditions like bacterial infections and kidney or liver disease.
For minor conditions, AKC recommends kitchen cures like probiotics that are found in yogurt. Now, yogurt has achieved the status of ‘superfood’ in humans. But can it work on dogs as well?
Can yogurt be a part of your furry friend’s diet? What brand of yogurt is good for dogs? Does it help with dog diarrhea? How much yogurt is safe to give the dog? Let us get to the answers.
- What Causes Diarrhea or Upset Stomach?
- Yogurt – Can Dogs Eat It?
- Is Yogurt Good for Diarrhea or Upset Stomach?
- How Much Yogurt Can You Feed a Dog?
- What Brand of Yogurt is Good for Dogs?
- What Other Benefits Does Yogurt Offer?
- Are There Any Risks With Giving a Dog Yogurt?
- What Are the Different Ways to Add Yogurt to a Dog’s Diet?
- What Are Other Home Remedies for Diarrhea or Upset Stomach?
What Causes Diarrhea or Upset Stomach?
Diarrhea is when your dog’s poop is unformed, loose, and most likely runny. The dog could poop more or less than the usual quantity.
You need to consider the intensity, frequency of diarrhea, your dog’s routine, along with additional symptoms to determine the severity of the cause.
For example, if you have recently changed your dog’s diet and it has started vomiting or has diarrhea, the new food may not agree with its stomach. Likewise, if your dog tends to rummage through garbage bins, it is bound to eat something spoiled, leading to an upset stomach.
If the dog eats too fast or too much, it can put unnecessary pressure on its digestive system. Food intolerance and allergies are two of the top causes of dog diarrhea.
For such cases, you can use kitchen remedies and concentrate on improving your dog’s diet.
Parasites, bacterial infections, and viruses can hurt the digestive process. Other causes can be health conditions like kidney or liver disease, gastrointestinal issues, or cancer. In addition, if the dog is emotionally upset or is dealing with stress or anxiety, it can manifest in physical symptoms like diarrhea.
If the dog shows additional signs like weakness, lethargy, refusal to eat, or if the diarrhea is reoccurring, then please get in touch with the vet for a thorough check-up.
Also Read:- Seven Dog Stomach Noises: When Should You Worry
Yogurt – Can Dogs Eat It?
Yogurt is a food item that has been around for centuries. In the olden days, apart from drying, preparing yogurt was the only way to preserve milk. It has long been part of the human diet, thanks to the probiotic benefits it offers.
So, can you give this food to dogs as well? Technically, yes, you can. Yogurt is not toxic to dogs; they can eat it. But, know that yogurt contains lactose. If your dog does not digest dairy products well, feeding yogurt with an upset stomach can worsen its condition.
If your dog can tolerate lactose well, then feel free to add yogurt to its diet. It is a good source of calcium and protein.
Calcium, as you know, is necessary for the pet’s bones and teeth. In addition, it can aid muscle building and keep the dog’s heart and nervous system healthy. On the other hand, protein helps with tissue growth and repair.
Start small when introducing any food to the dog’s diet. Then, you can gradually raise the quantity to the recommended level if the dog reacts well to the new food.
Is Yogurt Good for Diarrhea or Upset Stomach?
The probiotics in yogurt can be good for the dog’s digestive system. They are good bacteria that live inside the pet’s body. When consumed in the form of yogurt, it can strengthen the immune system, promote live bacteria and improve the digestion process.
Yogurt works best when it is included in the pet’s diet on a daily basis. However, if you want to stop diarrhea, better probiotic supplement options are available.
Yogurt can help soothe an irritated digestive system and get things functioning smoothly over a period. It is not a miracle cure, though, for diarrhea or upset stomach.
Also, remember if the dog has diarrhea and it is lactose intolerant, then feeding yogurt can cause more harm. If you want to go the probiotic way of helping with diarrhea, AKC recommends using supplements like Purina or Veterinary Diets FortiFlora.
How Much Yogurt Can You Feed a Dog?
If the dog frequently suffers from digestive issues, including yogurt can be helpful in the long term.
Humans can safely consume bowls of yogurt in a day, topped with fruits and nuts. But that is not the case for your furry friends.
The quantity of yogurt depends on the dog’s size, lactose tolerance, and digestive health. Look at yogurt as a snack or a treat. Thus, the 90/10 rule comes into effect.
Ideally, a spoon of yogurt for small dogs should be enough in a day. For medium-sized dogs, two spoons, and for large dogs, three spoons should be the limit.
As with new foods, monitor the pet for any negative reactions. If in doubt, please consult the vet before adding yogurt to the dog’s diet.
What Brand of Yogurt is Good for Dogs?
If you look at the range of yogurt available for human consumption, you will find a variety of flavors. They are laden with artificial flavors and sweeteners.
Strictly stay away from such brands of yogurt when buying for your dog. If the product contains xylitol, it could be toxic for your pet. Also, if the yogurt is fruit-flavored, that does not necessarily mean real fruits. Instead, it could be laden with fruit syrups, which again can include sugar.
Stick to plain or Greek yogurt brands for dogs. Greek yogurt has lower levels of lactose compared to plain yogurt, so it can be handled well by your dog.
Look for brands that list live cultures in their ingredient list. If you are looking to benefit from the probiotics in yogurt, then it is live cultures present that gives it this property. Pasteurized yogurt does not contain any bacteria, good or bad for that matter. The process of pasteurization kills the bacteria, which is the whole point of consuming yogurt in the first place.
What Other Benefits Does Yogurt Offer?
As we have seen above, the probiotics found in Greek yogurt can help with the dog’s digestive system.
The same probiotics can boost the dog’s immune system by improving its gut health. If the dog can break down food well, absorb nutrients, and successfully eliminate toxins and waste, its immune system gets majorly taken care of.
Probiotics can aid in weight loss, improve skin condition and give the dog’s coat a healthy shine. It can reduce the chances of your canine friend developing certain types of cancer.
You should give the dog a maximum of 3 spoons a day, but that can help you get closer to its daily nutrient intake. Adding a spoon of yogurt to their existing meal can increase its nutritional value. One cup of yogurt or 100 g contains about 110 mg of calcium and 10 g of protein.
If the dog frequently suffers from ear or skin infections, or consistent itchiness, then yogurt can help the dog get some relief from these conditions. It may also reduce the reoccurrence or frequency of such infections.
The peptides found in yogurt can aid in breaking down the plaque and tartar formation on a dog’s teeth. It can also kill the bacteria that lead to tooth decay, thus, helping maintain the dog’s oral health.
Are There Any Risks With Giving a Dog Yogurt?
The primary concern with yogurt and dogs is lactose. Yogurt is not a toxic food item, but most dogs do not digest lactose well. The dog may be fine with a small quantity, but a bowl full of yogurt can make it sick.
Young puppies can tolerate their mother’s milk well because they are producing enough enzymes required to digest that lactose. But as they grow, this enzyme production decreases, making it challenging to digest dairy products.
If the dog cannot digest lactose well, it can show signs like:
- Abdominal pain
On the other hand, your pet could also be allergic to dairy products. If an allergic dog is fed yogurt, it can show additional signs like:
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive licking
- Skin irritation
In case of allergic symptoms, it would be best to contact the vet.
When giving the dog yogurt or any dairy product for that matter, you should watch out for its fat content. High-fat food items can make the dog’s pancreas work harder. If it continues to work over its capacity, it can become inflamed and possibly lead to a health condition like pancreatitis.
What Are the Different Ways to Add Yogurt to a Dog’s Diet?
Always pick plain Greek yogurt for the dog. Giving the dog fresh yogurt from the cup would be the best way to go about it. You can add yogurt to the dog’s existing kibble meal.
If you want to include yogurt as a treat, you can add some fresh fruits and let the dog enjoy it as a dessert. For example, add fruits like strawberries, blueberries, or apples.
Another fun way of including yogurt in its diet is through frozen treats. You can mix some plain yogurt, fruits, or vegetables. Freeze the mixture in ice cube trays. Apart from being nutritional, these treats will cool down your pet on those hot summer days and keep them busy for a while.
If your dog enjoys having smoothies, you can blend yogurt along with other ingredients and have a pick-me-up ready in the middle of the day.
What Are Other Home Remedies for Diarrhea or Upset Stomach?
If you want to cure your dog’s diarrhea or upset stomach issues, there are other kitchen remedies you can try apart from yogurt.
If the dog has an irritated stomach, withholding food for about 12 hours can give its digestive system a chance to heal and repair. Its next meals should include foods that will go easy on its stomach.
You can give the dog some cooked plain white rice. If the rice seems heavy, you can give it the creamy rice water that is left behind after cooking rice. In addition, you can add plain cooked chicken to the rice to increase its nutritional value.
Plain pumpkin puree is another effective remedy for an irritated stomach. The fibers present in pumpkin can add bulk to the poop, absorb water, give it some form and help control diarrhea.
Other home remedies include boiled potatoes without skin and plain eggs.
If these home remedies do not improve the dog’s condition in about 24 hours, it would be best to contact the vet for further diagnosis and treatment.
If your dog suffers from frequent digestive issues, adding yogurt to its diet can improve its gut health and reduce reoccurring digestive issues.
The probiotics in yogurt can promote the growth of good bacteria, boost the immune system, and aid digestive, oral, and skin health. It is also a good source of calcium and protein.
Yogurt, though, is not the best home remedy for diarrhea or upset stomach. Other probiotic supplements would be more effective. Yogurt can help in improving long-term digestive health.
Coming to the question of what brand of yogurt is good for dogs? Pick plain Greek yogurt. It should not contain added sugars, artificial flavors, or sweeteners like xylitol.
If your dog has issues digesting lactose or is allergic to dairy, it is best to stay away from yogurt.
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.