What Are The Benefits Of Yogurt For Dogs?

Most veterinarians would tell you that yogurt is beneficial to dogs in a number of ways. Many times, pet owners will wonder what are the best kinds to give their furry friends. It is not uncommon to hear both cats and dogs react positively to this tasty dairy product.

Yes, dogs can consume yogurt, too, but they do not necessarily need to. This dairy food is also rich in many important nutrients including protein and calcium. So, it is a very important part of your dog’s diet. What’s more, the benefits of yogurt may help decrease your dog’s risk of certain types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, rectum, bladder and colon.

One of the most common benefits of yogurt is the apparent nutritional value. The problem is, too much plain yogurt may not be beneficial to dogs at all. The type of yogurt that you buy in stores is generally cow’s or goat’s yogurt. The kind that you buy from a health food store is fruit-based yogurt.

So, if you choose yogurts with fruit-based sweeteners, be sure to read the labels carefully. Do you really want to feed your dog foods that contain sugars and other artificial ingredients? Although they might taste good, they can actually contribute to obesity. Not only does feeding your dog sugar-free or artificial sweeteners encourage obesity, it can also weaken the teeth. In addition, some types of sweeteners can create a toxic environment that breeds bacteria.

The best kinds of yogurt for dogs are those without added sweeteners, carbohydrates and bacteria. Natural plain yogurt is very good for dogs. It contains probiotics, which help to regulate the levels of good (beneficial) bacteria in the gut. When you choose Greek yogurt, look for the ingredient “live acidophilus cultures” and “real grade yogurt cultures” to be certain that you’re getting what you need.

Another benefit of yogurt is its use as a food for dogs with lactose intolerance. Most veterinarians will tell you that a dog needs about 1 cup of yogurt per pound of body weight on a daily basis. If you have one of these dogs, choose the plain variety. Plain yogurt contains Lactobacillus Acidophilus, which is the same bacteria found in the human mouth that helps to prevent and treat an assortment of illnesses. Yogurt also contains a non-bacterial component called “Probiotics,” which are beneficial bacteria that provide the body with more needed bacteria than it usually gets. This is the reason why some dogs seem to be healthy and others seem to be chronically sick.

It’s important to choose yogurts that are made without sugar and that contain live cultures. If you don’t choose yogurt that contains live cultures, then it may not be beneficial to your pet. Yogurt that has sugar or artificial sweeteners can actually cause your dog to suffer from more diarrhea than if it were made without the sweeteners. If you choose yogurts without sugar and live cultures, try to make sure that they are unsweetened. Sweeteners cause the body to release more insulin than it normally does, which contributes to a higher risk of diabetes. Therefore, they should be avoided in any circumstance.

Yogurt for dogs with lactose intolerance should be a regular part of their diet. The bacteria in yogurt play an important role in helping your dog to digest lactose in a gentle manner. You can also give your dog dairy products that are low-fat plain yogurt, as well as low-fat or skim milk. These dairy products help to keep your dog from being affected by chronic diarrhea caused by other kinds of foods that cause the same problem.

Adding Fiber to Your Dog’s Diet

Like calcium, learning how to add fiber to your dog’s diet is tricky because dogs prefer meat which contains mostly protein. Most dog foods are also packed with protein, which means that you’ll have to purchase an additional product or simply devise ways to sneak in a bit of fiber in his diet. Here are some tips on how to make this happen:

Carrots as Treats

When carrots are introduced early on, dogs have no problem eating these and will likely see these as “treats” rather than as part of their regular diet. This makes it even more ideal since you can use the carrot for training purposes without worrying about health issues. Just slice the carrot into thin little sticks and offer several pieces to your dog. You can tear them into smaller strips so that you can get more out of the pooch in terms of training.

Bran Flakes

Possibly the easiest tip on how to add fiber to your dog’s diet would be by topping his food with bran flakes. It’s unlikely that your dog will notice the difference so they’d have no trouble chomping it down. If bran flakes are already part of your regular breakfast diet, then making room for your pooch shouldn’t be a problem.

Canned Pumpkin

Another good strategy is to provide your pooch with canned pumpkin. Around 1tbsp would do for large dogs while small breeds can use around ½tbsp of the fiber source. You can actually use other vegetables other than pumpkin and carrots, but these are the two fiber-rich veggies that dogs are willing to eat due to the taste. Note thought that you can offer canned pumpkin to the dog – all other vegetables should be offered fresh. Canned veggies are high in sodium and can cause more harm than good.

Fiber Tablets

There are currently fiber tablets specially formulated for cats and dogs. Easy to use and add to their diet, this contains just the right amount of fiber to help with your dog’s digestion without causing diarrhea or gas. You can also find fiber powder that can be sprinkled on top of the dog’s food, making sure that they’ve consumed it along with the regular fare.

Keep in mind that although fiber is important, a dog’s diet should still contain mostly protein. Stay vigilant with your pooch – if he starts having diarrhea or gas, then you’re adding too much fiber to his diet. Consult a veterinarian if any other digestion-related problems manifest.

How to Boost Calcium in Your Dog’s Diet

Calcium is an important nutrient in your dog’s diet more than carbohydrates or fats. Physical activities such as running and playing require sufficient amounts of calcium in the canine’s body. This also helps build sturdy teeth, which is also an evident sign of the dog’s health. Calcium also supports heart contractions, muscle building, and hormone secretion. Before adding calcium to your dog’s diet, it is important that you know the minimum requirement based on breed, age, and gender. Below are some bits of information on how to get more calcium in your dog’s diet.

calcium in dog's diet

The most common form of calcium supply for dogs is in the form of raw bones. While this provides the highest amount of nutrients, it is also risky to feed your dog bones unless these have been ground and crushed. You can also opt to add yogurt to your dog’s diet, making their food soft and enjoyable to eat. Nonfat yogurt or milk is best advised for obese canines. However, adding yogurt to raw meals cannot entirely compensate for your dog’s calcium needs.

Certain kinds of fish are also rich sources of calcium. Tuna, salmon, trout, and sardines are known to be highly abundant in calcium. Unfortunately, you cannot feed your dog raw fish because it can easily upset his stomach. Cook fish with little to no preservatives as much as possible for optimum benefits. Calcium can also be obtained from vegetables like spinach, beans, broccoli, whole wheat, and sweet potato. It is better though to serve it crushed or blended, so your dog won’t have trouble ingesting the food.

Commercial calcium supplements such as carbonates and citrates are available on the market, but to maintain safety, consult your veterinarian first. Others also choose magnesium supplements to ensure that calcium is thoroughly absorbed into the system. You can also prepare your calcium supplements if you are wary or not well knowledgeable about medicinal additives. Powdered egg shells, when mixed with raw food, are an essential source of calcium.

When there is a lack of calcium in a dog’s diet, a number of lethal diseases can pester your canine’s health. This includes lethargy, unexplained dizziness, appetite loss, and hypocalcemia that then lead to more serious intestinal problems. Therefore, it is important you are well-informed on how to get more calcium in your dog’s diet. Pregnant and lactating dogs also need increased amounts of calcium to feed their young while sustaining their health. Add soup to their diet and keep them hydrated at all times.