Can Dogs Eat Yogurt? A Dog Nutritionist Weighs In - Natural Dog Supplements and Superfoods by Fetched

Can Dogs Eat Yogurt? A Dog Nutritionist Weighs In

by Dr Vivian Loren on Jul 07, 2023.

If you’ve been a dog owner for as long as I have, then this question on whether a dog can eat yogurt must have popped up in your head before. With more pet owners becoming conscious of their dog's diet and health, it does come up quite a bit in my practice. Not daily, but I would say about 2-3 times a week at least. Most dog owners want to know whether it’s safe, if yogurt is good for dogs and how to assess its benefits!

With that in mind, let’s explore whether yogurt is good for dogs, which types of yogurt are most beneficial, and any potential risks or considerations to keep in mind.

Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?

In short, yes, dogs can eat yogurt. Yogurt is overall safe and can even be beneficial for dogs when served in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. However, do remember that not all yogurts are created equal. One could argue that not all yogurts are good for humans either.

With that in mind, it’s probably good practice to check the ingredients and think whether they are natural or not. Now dogs can eat it, but if it contains lots of artificial flavourings, or colours and preservatives then it’s probably best to avoid it or keep it to a minimum.

Is Yogurt Good for Dogs?

Yogurt, particularly the unsweetened and unflavored natural varieties, can be an excellent supplement to a dog's diet. Here's why:


Yogurt can be a natural source of probiotics; these are the beneficial bacteria that can help support your dog's gut health. Probiotics for dogs have in fact become increasingly popular, together with the human varieties.

However, the probiotics are often not interchangeable because the gut flora between a human and the dog tend to vary. We therefore need slightly difference species of probiotics to colonise our guts. Subsequently, a healthy gut can improve digestion, boost the immune system, and even positively affect a dog's mood and behavior.

Improving your dog’s mental health is an especially interesting benefit that doesn’t get mentioned much. However, if you feel your dog may be suffering from anxiety, it’s worth trying to see if improving their friendly gut bacteria could improve their mental health too. Signs that they are suffering from anxiety could be frequent lunging, barking or being very restless. Sometimes calming supplements may also help.

Emerging research indicates this connection between the gut and the brain, often referred to as the "gut-brain axis” but more research is needed to definitively assess its exact impact in dogs. 


Yogurt is high in protein, and this is a crucial nutrient for dogs. Protein supports muscle development, bulking and helps keep your dog feeling full and satisfied. A lot of dog weight gainers in fact have differentiated themselves by having a higher percentage of protein than other dog food.

The concept is similar to the whey protein gym goers take to build up muscle!

Calcium and Phosphorus

These essential minerals naturally found in yogurt contribute to your dog's bone and dental health. Calcium in particular is very important in active dogs and with age, to ensure those bone and joints are as healthy as they can be!


Yogurt contains vitamins such as B2 (riboflavin) and B12 among many others. These play a role in energy metabolism and in maintaining a healthy nervous system, respectively.

What Kind of Yogurt Is Good for Dogs?

Not all yogurts are the same, and the key to reaping the health benefits of yogurt lies in choosing the right type. Here are some ingredients and types of yogurt to avoid:

Avoid Sugar:

As a rule of thumb, always go for plain, unsweetened yogurt. Sugar can lead to obesity and other health issues in dogs (and humans).

Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

One of the MUST avoidable ingredients are artificial sweeteners like xylitol and aspartame. These are toxic to dogs and may even be carcinogenic to all living beings.

The majority of “sugar free” yogurts contain some sort of artificial sweetener to make it more palatable for the public.

Make sure you always read the label and avoid those that mention any artificial sweeteners, or just in general chemical sounding names or names you do not recognise!

Avoid High Fat content

Now the best yogurt in terms of fat content is low fat and fat free yogurts. For the same reason why whole milk tends to be avoided in dogs, the yogurts with whole fat content could theoretically cause pancreatitis.

This is because the high amount of fat stimulates release of more pancreatic enzymes than the organism is used to, and this can result in this potentially fatal condition. Furthermore, if your dog has already been diagnosed with pancreatitis, then high fat contents are to be avoided.

Now.. what about the creamier type, the Greek yogurt?! 

Can Dogs Have Greek Yogurt?

Greek yogurt is a one of the best choices for dogs, yes. It tends to have a higher protein content and lower lactose levels compared to regular yogurt. Like any other type of yogurt, make sure it's plain and unsweetened.

If your dog is lactose intolerant, Greek-style yogurt may be easier on their stomach due to the lower lactose content.

So overall, is greek yogurt good for dogs?

Yes, provided that they only have it in moderation. This is once again due to its fat content which can cause health problems in too high amounts. And if your dog does have pancreatitis they would require a fat diet, so in these cases it should be avoided.

Also rremember that some dogs may be lactose intolerant. Although yogurt, and specifically greek yogurt has less lactose than milk, it can still cause digestive upset in sensitive dogs. If you can, it’s probably best to avoid feeding yogurt or greek yogurt to dogs that are lactose intolerant.

How Much Yogurt Can a Dog Eat?

Now, let’s talk about portion sizes, because it's all about balance, isn't it? As much as Fido might love to gobble down a whole tub of Greek yogurt, it's essential we serve just the right amount.

While yogurt is packed with benefits, it should not replace a balanced diet but rather complement it.

Think of yogurt as a special treat or a nutritious topping to their usual meal. You could even mix in some of our wide range of supplement powders, like our dog probiotics into the yogurt, and then mix it in with their food.

The exact amount they should have will depend on your dog's size, dietary needs, and overall health.

As a general guideline, a tablespoon or two for smaller dogs and up to a quarter cup for larger breeds is a good place to start. Take a look at this table below for more guidance, but if you are still unsure, a chat with your vet will provide more clarification. 

Dog's Weight (lbs)

Dog's Weight (kg)

Yogurt Serving Size

1-10 lbs

0.5-4.5 kg

1 teaspoon (5-10 ml)

11-20 lbs

5-9 kg

1-2 teaspoons (10-15 ml)

21-40 lbs

9.5-18 kg

2-3 teaspoons (15-20 ml)

41-60 lbs

18.5-27 kg

1-2 tablespoons (25-30 ml)

60+ lbs

27+ kg

2-3 tablespoons (30-40 ml)


Also, be aware that this table provides a maximum amount. It's not necessary to give your dog this much yogurt, and a smaller amount may still provide benefits. As yogurt only counts as a treat, it should never make up more than 10% of your dog's daily caloric intake.

Feeding Your Dog Yogurt for the First Time

Remember when you introduced your kids to a new food, and you watched eagerly to see if they liked it? Feeding your dog yogurt for the first time is a similar experience to that, or when feeding it any food that is new to their palate.

You could start by giving your pooch a small spoonful and monitor them for any signs of digestive upset such as diarrhea, bloating, or gas. If they are lactose intolerant or allergic to the yogurt, they may have some of these symptoms:

Lactose Intolerance symptoms in dogs




Loose, watery stools which may occur soon after consuming dairy.


Excessive flatulence or rumbling tummy.


Swelling of the abdomen that is often accompanied by discomfort, or rumbling tummy.


This may occur in some cases, especially if a large amount of dairy is consumed.


In addition to the above, they may also go out and start eating grass; this can also be a sign of tummy issues. All dogs and even cats have this innate instinct, because grass is high in fibre and can be beneficial to them.

If your fur baby doesn’t show any adverse reactions within a few hours, it's a good sign they can tolerate yogurt, and you can continue serving it as a part of their diet. However, note that intolerances and allergies can always change over time so don’t force it in the future just because they have been tolerating it in the past.

What If My Dog Can't Tolerate Yogurt?

Well, that’s perfectly fine as well. If your dog shows signs of digestive upset or discomfort after eating yogurt, don't worry, there are plenty of other ways to support their health. Specifically formulated probiotic supplements for dogs can provide the same digestive benefits without the lactose, and without any tummy troubles.

Now, the tummy troubles after trying out the yogurt should settle down, but if they don’t, or if you think your dog has had too much yogurt and is feeling unwell, it’s always a good idea to consult with your vet.

Incorporating Yogurt Into Your Dog's Diet

If your dog loves yogurt and shows no adverse reactions, it's time to get creative!

You can mix a dollop of plain yogurt into their regular dog food, use it to disguise medication (a trick as old as time!), or even make homemade frozen yogurt treats for hot summer days. Your dog could lick these and get his daily dose of protein and treats that way. In case you are wondering whether frozen yogurt is also safe, the answer is yes. And your pup will appreciate it as it helps them cool down.

Here's a quick potential recipe for frozen yogurt that your dog will enjoy. I have designed this recipe to be safe for all dogs, except if they are known to have allergies or sensitivities to any of the ingredients listed:

  1. 2 cups of plain (unflavoured and unsweetened) Greek yogurt
  2. 1 cup of mashed bananas
  3. 1/4 cup of blueberries
  1. Mix the Greek yogurt, mashed bananas and the blueberries together.
  2. Give them a slight mass so you have a uniform paste with the ocassional blueberry bits inside only.
  3. Spoon the mixture into silicone molds or small paper cups. If you have any handy, stick a lollipop stick in the middle and make sure it stays upright.
  4. Put the moulds in the freezer until they are frozen solid.

Next let your dog enjoy one at a time when it's hot outside and make sure they don't choke on the lollipop stick!

Here is a similar video showing you how to make smaller treats inside paw silicone molds, with the addition of peanut butter as well. You could give a few of these to your dog at a time.




At the end of the day, whether to feed your dog yogurt is a personal decision. If your dog can tolerate it, the probiotics, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals that yogurt offers can complement their diet and support their overall health.

Important points to remember is to only choose plain, unsweetened normal yogurt or Greek yogurt, introduce it slowly, and watch for any signs of digestive upset.

Do you have any other experiences or tips you would like to share with the Fetched community? We would love to hear from you on our social media pages :).

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