On a hot summer day, you may feel tempted to share a fro-yo cone with your four-legged companion, but stop there! Are you sure it is ok for a dog to have frozen yogurt?
A dog’s diet is mostly protein-based, and their nutritional requirements also vary from humans. So it is understandable that the way a frozen yogurt benefits you, it will not do the same for your canine.
And when it comes to puppies, giving them frozen yogurt needs even more vigilance.
This article clarifies all your myths and misunderstandings about feeding your adult or baby dog yogurt. Read on to know which frozen yogurts will be fine for them and which ones you should avoid.
Is Frozen Yogurt Safe For Dogs?
A one-word answer to this would be yes.
To fight the heat of some days or beat the monotony of the same feed every day, you can give your dog some frozen yogurt which is way better than ice cream.
But frozen yogurt is safe for your dog only if it matches some criteria. It may benefit your dog if it ticks all the boxes, such as being made of only dog-friendly ingredients.
The first and foremost criterion is whether your dog is lactose sensitive or intolerant. If it is, all types of frozen yogurts are strictly contraindicated. But if that’s not the case, you can provide your dog unsweetened yogurt on some occasions, under moderation.
Again, feeding frozen yogurt to lactose-tolerant dogs requires a checklist, and we will discuss that in detail.
Right Ways of Giving Frozen Yogurt to Dogs
Here are some basic tips to remember when feeding frozen yogurt to your dog, whether it is for probiotic benefits or to bring variety in treats:
- Use plain, fat-free yogurt. Dairy fat can cause digestive issues in the majority of dog breeds.
- Avoid commercial yogurts, as they contain high sugar content. Sugar can be unhealthy for your pup.
- Giving your dog homemade frozen yogurts is the best and safest way. Not only will it be healthier, but you will also be able to customize it and make flavors your dog enjoys.
- Choose the flavors wisely when going for flavored frozen yogurt or when preparing a frozen yogurt treat for your little friend.
- If your little one has a sweet tooth, and you want to use frozen yogurt for a treat, use homemade Greek yogurt with fruit slices as the sweetener.
You should know which flavors and toppings are dog-friendly if you cannot buy commercial frozen yogurt.
Chocolate is toxic for dogs. It contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which can result in significant illness in dogs. So chocolate fro-yo is a big no-no!
While vanilla pods may be harmless for dogs, the vanilla extract contains high amounts of alcohol. Alcohol is toxic for dogs and puts your dog’s health at risk. So strictly avoid vanilla fro-yo.
Frozen strawberry yogurt is safe for dogs only if it is free from xylitol. You should check the label for xylitol, because berries are notorious for having small amounts of xylitol, which is toxic for dogs.
- Cookies And Cream
Such flavors tend to have the highest amount of sugar and fat, both harmful to dogs. So avoid cookies, cream flavors, and similar creamy-dessert flavors for dogs.
- Fruit Flavors
As long as the fruit is dog-friendly and does not contain xylitol, it is fine for dogs to enjoy fruit flavors.
In terms of toppings, avoid anything that has artificial sweeteners. Chocolate syrup, maple syrup, and candy sprinkles are a few of them. Nuts should also be avoided since they are high in fat.
The only toppings that are suitable to add will be dog-friendly fruits and peanut butter.
Should You Give Frozen Yogurt to Puppies?
Frozen yogurt is safe and beneficial for puppies, only if it is homemade and free from artificial sweeteners.
While you can give commercial frozen yogurt to healthy adult dogs after checking off some factors, it is not safe and recommended for puppies of any breed.
Commercial frozen yogurts are loaded with sugar and artificial flavors. For puppies, you should avoid them altogether.
Since the puppies are still in their growth phase, their stomachs are more prone to be affected by artificial flavors and sweeteners. They can have an upset stomach and an imbalance in healthy gut bacteria.
Benefits That Your Dog Gets From Frozen Yogurt
The most significant plus point of giving your dog frozen yogurt is that it makes them happy. Dogs love to accompany their owner in different activities, especially sharing food!
Here are some of the important benefits of yogurt for your dog:
- The probiotics in yogurt can help improve your dog’s gut health.
- The calcium and phosphorus content and the digestive aid can significantly improve weight management.
- The probiotics also help reduce the risk of yeast infections by boosting the immunity of the canine.
- Casein peptides in homemade frozen yogurt can also prevent tooth decay in dogs.
But again, it has to be done in the right way! You can NOT give your pup store-bought, sugar-loaded frozen yogurts and expect to benefit from them.
Risks Associated With Giving Frozen Yogurt to Dogs
As I mentioned earlier, commercial frozen yogurts are loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners, and chemicals not meant for dogs. These elements can trigger a range of health issues in your dog and become hazards.
Here’s how store-bought frozen yogurt can become a risky business for your dog:
- Store-bought frozen yogurts are loaded with sugar, which can make your dogs obese fast.
- High-sugar foods are extremely difficult for most dog breeds to digest sufficiently. Your dog can easily end up with flatulence and diarrhea.
- It can also increase their natural blood sugar level, resulting in diabetes. You may need to provide your dog with additional insulin in that case.
- Excessive sugar is bad for your dog’s teeth and gums too.
On the other hand, natural sugar is entirely harmless. It won’t risk your dog’s health if it gets sweetness from fruits and vegetables.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does all frozen yogurt have xylitol?
Not all frozen yogurt contains xylitol. Frozen yogurt with vanilla and berry flavors may contain xylitol.
Check the ingredients of the yogurt while buying it, and ensure you don’t feed any product with xylitol to your dog.
Is frozen yogurt good for my dog?
Frozen yogurt can be good for your dog if it’s sugar- and preservative-free and is made with low-fat milk.
Although having frozen yogurt is not bad for your dog’s health, it might cause bloating or constipation with regular intake.
Can I freeze Greek yogurt and give it to my dog?
Yes, you can freeze yogurt as popsicles and feed your dog. However, you must use plain Greek yogurt free of additional sugar and flavors.
In conclusion, try making it at home to give your dog a cold treat, such as frozen yogurt. Commercial frozen yogurts are filled with sugar, sweeteners, and preservatives that can adversely affect your dog’s health.
Instead, mix some bananas with peanut butter and make some popsicles. It’ll not only be free from side effects but will also be a healthy treat for your canine.
Ankita Sharma is a passionate pet lover and head of content at Pet Food Brands. With her extensive knowledge and research, she provides pet owners with top-quality information on dog food and nutrition. Her dedication to improving the lives of dogs makes her a leading voice in the industry.