If you’re a dog owner, then you’ve surely heard about giving yogurt to dogs as food when they have diarrhea problems. But people often ask themselves: How much yogurt can you actually give to a dog with diarrhea?
The safe amount will usually depend on several factors, the most important ones being the weight and size of your dog. As your vet is the one who knows the most about the general health of your dog, you should try to talk to them, to get the best answer. Another reason for you to talk to your vet first before making any changes in the diet of your dog is the fact that the pet might be lactose-intolerant.
As long as you know it’s safe to feed your dog yogurt, there is a rule of thumb you can follow for the best results. You can give around one tablespoon of yogurt per day to smaller-sized dogs. For dogs that are larger in size, 2 to 3 tablespoons per day will do. The things are slightly different if you’ve never given yogurt to your dog in the past and you’re just now introducing this food into his diet. In this case, what you should do is start off with very small amounts and give enough room between them to watch out for any side effects.
The probiotics found inside the yogurt are among the main benefits of this food. Probiotics are basically types of microorganisms that are used to restore the balance of bacteria in the dog’s stomach, which will help with the pet’s diarrhea problem.
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Dogs have a lot of bacteria in their body, but not all types of bacteria are actually bad. There are some types that will help with digestion, by breaking down and absorbing most of the food that a dog would ingest. Most dogs suffering from diarrhea actually have an imbalance of good bacteria, which causes the food they ingest to not be digested properly.
Yogurt works great even when given to dogs that are given antibiotic treatment. Depending on the cause of diarrhea, some vets will prescribe antibiotics for a faster recovery. The job of antibiotics is, once inside the body, to destroy bacteria they come in contact with. This, unfortunately, will also include good types. This is where yogurt comes in. It has the important role of refilling the dog’s stomach with good bacteria that the antibiotics eliminate.
The type of yogurt you give to your dog is actually very important. For instance, yogurts considered less than optimal are those containing artificial sweeteners or added sugar. There are also yogurt types that contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol, which is dangerous for dogs to the point that it can even become lethal.
You should also try to avoid full-fat yogurts, as the fat contained in them can cause a lot of distress to the pet’s stomach. You will know that your dog has had too much fat in his diet when his stools will start to become greasy.
The perfect type of yogurt should contain rich probiotic content, no added sugar, and very small amounts of fat. Depending on where you live, yogurt brands might or might not have seals talking about the amount of live and active probiotic cultures in yogurts.
In the US for example, there is a Live & Active Cultures seal made by the International Dairy Foods Association in the US developed which indicates products containing 100 million cultures or more per gram.
As long as you don’t have a lactose-intolerant dog, you can safely give him Greek yogurt. For better results, keep the amount of yogurt added to the daily diet in moderate amounts. Considering that Greek yogurt usually has an impressive number of healthy bacteria cultures and can also fight off different types of infections, in some instances it can be even better than regular yogurt.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t make abrupt changes in your dog’s diet before talking to a specialist. If you’re set on giving your dog yogurt, then at least make sure that it is fat-free, plain-flavored, and sugar-free.