If you are giving yogurt for the first time, start with small amounts to prevent a stomach upset. The quantity should be 1 tsp. for a puppy and 1 tbsp. for a medium-sized dog.
Yogurt is a natural source of calcium, protein, potassium, and magnesium and also contains healing bacteria, like Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is the natural inhabitant of the digestive tract. It produces folic acid and niacin, which are important vitamins and also helps to keep your dog's digestive system clean and running in an optimal and worthy manner.
Yogurt is known to help reduce gas and intestinal disorders, improve the consistency of solid wastes, control anxiety, and boost overall health care. During summers, feed your dog some frozen plain yogurt; it actually serves as a nice treat to soothe your pet's gastrointestinal (GI) system. However, it must be given in moderation and on every alternate day. If you intend to put your dog on yogurt supplements, check with the veterinarian first.
Benefits of Yogurt
- It improves the immunity level.
- It changes the microflora of the gut.
- It reduces cholesterol levels.
- It helps in healing certain gastrointestinal conditions, like yeast infection, diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel movement.
Treating a Yeast Infection
» Yeasts are single cellular organisms that are normal inhabitants in a dog's body. One among the family of yeasts called Candida albicans is known to survive on sugars and fats and release toxins that affect the dog's immune system, nervous system, and endocrine system.
» Yeast toxins cause a lot of health problems. Few of the symptoms are listed here.
- Food allergies
- Hives and other skin eruptions
- Itching and skin rashes
- Scratching in and around the ears
- Hair loss
- Chewing paws
- Offensive body odor
Diarrhea is caused by harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses present in the body. Ignoring the symptoms can lead to serious consequences, like dehydration and weakening of the immune system.
» An acute bout of diarrhea can emerge for no apparent reason. This gets most of us worried, and we tend to rush him to the vet. Normally, vets do recommend yogurt to treat diarrhea.
» Yogurt being probiotic in nature, the microorganisms present in it release hydrogen peroxide and lactic acid, which destroy or inhibit the harmful bacteria. Despite this, it is necessary that you consult a veterinarian, mentioning to him about your dog's sickness, if any, and go by his suggestions whether or not to give yogurt.
The beneficial bacteria present in yogurt boosts the multiplication of microbes in the GI tract. As a result, fermentation of digestive material is enhanced. The food gets absorbed easily and allows clearing of the bowels. About 2-4 tablespoons are sufficient per meal.
Things to Consider
» The production of lactase, an enzyme needed for the breakdown of lactose, is very less in dogs. Hence, when dairy products (that contain lactose) are ingested, their digestion becomes difficult, leading to regurgitation problems.
» Only plain, unflavored yogurt is the best option for your dog. You can easily prepare it at home as well. However, if it is too much of a hassle, then varieties of plain yogurt are available in the stores.
» Plain yogurt contains calcium, which is good for the bones of your dog. However, take into account the amount of calcium you are providing to your dog, as an overdose could lead to bone abnormalities.
» Check the label to be sure that yogurt contains active L. acidophilus, as this organism is known to help in the process of digestion by inhibiting the growth of other harmful bacteria.
» Your dog may like flavored yogurt, but it contains high sugar content, much more than your dog should consume. Too much sugar can cause bacterial imbalance, as bacteria thrive on sugar.
» Flavored yogurt containing artificial sweeteners should be avoided, as your dog might be allergic to sugar substitutes, and this could lead to various other side effects, such as depression, seizures, and disorientation.
To sum up, plain, low-fat yogurt can be given to your dog in small quantities, provided your pet is not suffering from digestive problems. So, the next time your dog is ill and refuses to eat his food, try mixing a teaspoon of plain yogurt and watch him lick his bowl, until he gets the last bit of it.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by a veterinarian on the subject.