My old dog, Lettie, was never fussy with food until she got quite old. I used Yogurt to wake up her taste buds for a while. She’d tear into it with a puppy like energy and really seem to enjoy the stuff.
Rack, my year and a half old Mc Nab Dog, has always been fussy with food. So I tried the yogurt trick with his food. Big surprise, he prefers his food with a bit of yogurt on top.
I got the old Doubletalk recently. The question was: Since Cheese is not a good idea and milk is just a bad idea for a dog, why yogurt?
It turns out that Yogurt brings its benefits to aid digestion.
Pretty much the same reason why you should be eating the stuff is the reason why your dog could use yogurt in their diet.
Assuming that you’re not giving the dog massive doses of yogurt, only a tablespoon or two are recommended for your dog, it may help with some of your dog’s more annoying dietary byproducts.
The rule is simple. Plain yogurt, no sugars, definitely no artificial sweeteners like splenda, and you’ll be fine.
What it does give your dog, and you, are a healthy payload of “probiotic benefits”. Good bacteria as well as some extra calcium and protein. So make sure that the yogurt you feed your dog has Active Cultures or Live Cultures.
If you don’t have live cultures, give that brand a miss. You’re basically eating pudding. Pudding may be nice, but it doesn’t bring many benefits to the table for you or your dog.
If you make your own, you are guaranteed to have the right stuff at a fraction of the price. I make about a quart of yogurt a week. The recipe is simple. Warm your milk to just below boiling, allow to cool to lukewarm (105F/40C or less) and add a tablespoon or so of active culture yogurt to the now cooled milk. Stir vigorously and allow the mix to “brew” on the counter in a warm area for a day or two until it sets. Cool and serve. No weird machines, no trips to the store, and you can use your old yogurt to make new yogurt.
My own yogurt recipe is linked here, and there’s a jar of the stuff I just put into the refrigerator the morning I wrote this piece.
If you’re making your own, you can use any kind of milk you prefer. Skim or 1% is best, since everyone benefits from less fat in their diet, and that includes your furry best friend.
While you are considering tweaking your dog’s diet, you can also introduce some specific dog safe fruits and vegetables instead of those pre-packaged treats. Dogs can eat blueberries, bananas, apple slices, and melons. Some raw vegetables that I have found are safe are carrots which are great raw to keep their teeth clean, zucchini slices, green beans, and frozen peas. All of those vegetables are low in calories and help with keeping a pudgy dog more fit and definitely more regular with all that dietary fiber.
You can even slip in some oatmeal to the dog’s diet. Oatmeal is great for humans for the same reason. Soluble dietary fiber will cleanse your arteries and lower cholesterol. It will aid in digestion, and your dog will love it too. Just be careful not to give yourself a payload of extra sugar that you both don’t need. Try serving it with fruit and fruit juice instead of milk.