Dogs are often called man’s best friend. And humans like to share everything with their best friends, don’t we?
And dogs do like some of the same things that we do. But is frozen yogurt one of those? Let’s find out.
About the Ingredients in Frozen Yogurt
A lot of foods like chocolate and pizza might fall under the category of human favorites, but they are dangerous for our canine friends. But frozen yogurt might be an exception to that rule.
There are a lot of different types of frozen yogurt flavors that can be consumed by dogs and might even be good for them. For humans, yogurt has active cultures that are good for our digestive system.
And even though dogs don’t have the same or even similar system, yogurt is actually not bad for them. The active bacteria in yogurt can prove to be a probiotic not just for you but for your dog too.
When you buy frozen yogurt in a store, it will typically contain:
- Corn syrup
- Locust bean gum
- Guar gum
- Flavors (natural and artificial)
Now, there are a few things on this list that are not good for your dog’s health. If you know anything about dogs, you know that milk is one such item.
And some of the others might encourage your dog to develop a sweet tooth, which is also not a good thing. Since frozen yogurt contains corn syrup and sugar, this might look like a bad idea.
That is true for some dog breeds. You should also remember the risk of tooth decay and weight gain, which is a particularly sensitive subject with certain dog breeds.
You must also consider the question of lactose intolerance if your little guy might have that impediment. But we’ll address that in detail in a minute.
How Does It Work with Frozen Yogurt and Dogs?
Everyone loves ice cream and it’s okay to get it once in a while. But frozen yogurt is a better option for humans, right?
It’s not all that different for dogs because ice cream causes them to bloat. It also causes gas because dogs cannot digest milk very well.
Ice creams also have a ton of sugar, which is bad for both you and your dog because of obvious reasons like diabetes and obesity. Typically, ice cream also has an artificial sweetener called xylitol, which is toxic for your dog.
This ingredient is also present in Jell-O, mints, toothpaste and gum. So, you might want to keep an eye on them all.
Now, let’s talk about dairy and the problems associated with it for your dog’s intestines.
While frozen yogurt contains dairy, like lactose, the fermentation process that it undergoes reduces the lactose content in fro-yo. That’s why dogs can digest frozen yogurt better than other typical dairy products.
Of course, there is a catch here. This does not apply to all kinds of frozen yogurt because you need to take flavors and individual ingredients into account.
Take chocolate-flavored frozen yogurt for instance. Chocolate is an absolute no-no for dogs of any breed, which means the same rule applies to frozen yogurt too.
You must also take into account any flavor that contains xylitol, like mint-flavored frozen yogurt, and keep your dog away from them.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong
Obviously, you know by now that your little canine’s digestive system is not great with milk-based items. Frozen yogurt gets a pass only because it is fermented and has less lactose content than ice cream.
But ‘less’ is a relative term and it does not mean ‘none’. So, it is possible that some dogs may have trouble with frozen yogurt too.
As a result, they may exhibit troubling symptoms like:
While you keep an eye out for these problems, you must remember that dairy products are also the biggest culprit when it comes to causing food allergies in dogs. So, frozen yogurt might also aggravate an existing allergy or cause a new one.
A lot of store-bought frozen yogurts contain a lot of sugar to make them palatable to humans. If you’re sharing your cup with your furry friend, weight gain is something to watch out for.
Apart from being toxic, xylitol also brings your dog’s blood sugar levels down to a lethal level. This happens very quickly and can lead to liver failure.
Apart from chocolate, you must also steer clear of flavors like coffee and macadamia. This means you put a lot on the line when you feed your dog store-bought frozen yogurt.
The best way to handle this is to get fro-yo from a pet store. These frozen yogurt cups are made to keep your dog safe.
You can also get plain yogurt from the store and make something at home. There are tons of recipes online and this way you know for sure that there are no dangerous ingredients in this cup.
Just make sure that the yogurt you are getting is unsweetened. If you are giving frozen yogurt to your dog for the first time, you must also start with a small spoonful to make sure there are no adverse effects.
Make sure they are not showing any of the above-mentioned symptoms. This way, you will also know if your dog has lactose intolerance and if it does, to what extent.
If your little furry companion shows no discomfort, frozen yogurt can be a nice treat for them occasionally. But always remember that even if you made it yourself, there is a certain benefit to giving frozen yogurt to your dog in moderation.
Giving them a cup every day is an absolute no-no. And in any case, you might want to check with your vet to make sure there are no other unpleasant surprises vis-a-vis your dog’s breed when it comes to frozen yogurt.
They know best when it comes to your dog’s health. It is best if your vet knows your dog’s medical history, but even otherwise, this is a helpful move.
The Right Way to Give Frozen Yogurt to Your Dog
Obviously, you should not give them too much, especially if it is the dog’s first time. We’ve already covered that.
Next, you must make sure that you take these factors into account before even thinking about giving your dog a little taste of frozen yogurt.
- The dog’s weight
- The dog’s size
- The dog’s everyday calorie intake
- Existing health conditions (if any)
- Health conditions the breed is prone to (like obesity)
- Average activity level on a daily basis
If your dog is medium sized, you can start off with about one teaspoon of fro-yo. After that, you must keep an eye on them for the next 48 hours to make sure there is no gastrointestinal distress.
If all is well, you can take it up a notch to a scoop of frozen yogurt. But don’t push it beyond that. And even this is good enough as a treat just once a week.
Meanwhile, keep checking your dog’s weight. That’s the next point.
If you have an obese dog, frozen yogurt is actually a pretty bad idea. In fact, you might want to think about cutting down on other fatty treats too.
You don’t want to overdo it and not give them treats at all. But it is not a good idea to throw the very tasty frozen yogurt in the mix and then deprive them of it.
The same rule goes for allergies and existing health conditions like diabetes, which will be greatly affected if you feed them frozen yogurt.
This is where talking to your vet about fro-yo will come in handy. Your vet might just be able to suggest another great alternative for your dog.
If fro-yo seems to be working just fine, check with your vet from time to time on whether there’s anything you can do to make it better.
All in all, frozen yogurt is not a bad choice. Even though it is a dairy product, it is fermented and that makes it a relatively better choice.
You must watch out for the ingredients to avoid toxic compounds like xylitol. Flavors that are generally not good for dogs must also be avoided.
Take these precautions and you’re good to go.