When you have a German Shepherd at home, you might think of feeding it all foods that are healthy for humans as well. But are most of these healthy foods safe for a German Shepherd? Surprisingly, they are not. Now you may be wondering, “Okay, but yogurt is so beneficial for our health. Can I feed it to my German Shepherd as well?” The answer to this is; yes but in small amounts.
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- Benefits of yogurt for German Shepherds
- Yogurt is rich in essential nutrients.
- Yogurt has a high protein content.
- Yogurt also helps improve a German Shepherd’s digestion.
- Yogurt may boost a German Shepherd’s immunity.
- Yogurt may help your dog be protected against osteoporosis.
- Yogurt may improve a German Shepherd’s heart health.
- It may help manage the weight of overweight German Shepherds.
- Disadvantages of yogurt consumption for German Shepherds
- How much sugar is safe for a German Shepherd?
- Is yogurt digestible for German Shepherds?
- What type of yogurt can German Shepherds eat?
- Is yogurt a good substitute to fulfill your dog’s calcium and protein needs?
Yogurt can be a very good form of liquid substance addition to your dog’s diet. It helps fight digestion problems and makes your dog’s feed more exciting because yogurt will make it easier to chew.
Yogurt is a beneficial addition to a German Shepherd’s diet and may even help cut down foods in your dog’s digestive system because of its acid content. But it still does not come without any risks. If the German Shepherd is lactose intolerant, it may suffer from diarrhea because of the yogurt’s lactose content. Your dog may even suffer from vomiting as a result.
Even though knowing whether a German Shepherd can eat yogurt or not is primarily important, to analyze further whether it is safe, you need to know about the benefits and risks of yogurt consumption for your dog in detail.
For this reason, we will be starting by explaining why yogurt is beneficial for German Shepherds.
Benefits of yogurt for German Shepherds
Yogurt is one of the essential foods we like to incorporate into our daily diet. It is not only beneficial for humans, but it is also beneficial for German Shepherds. The following part explains how.
Yogurt is rich in essential nutrients.
Yogurt contains almost every vitamin a German Shepherd’s body requires. It is well-known for having a high calcium content, essential for having strong teeth and bones. And as German Shepherds are very active and playful animals, they need strong bones, so they do not suffer from minor injuries.
It also contains many vitamins, especially vitamin B12 and riboflavin, that might help prevent and fight against heart diseases.
Yogurt also supplies a large portion of your dog’s daily phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium requirements. These minerals are necessary for various essential functions, including maintaining stable blood pressure, boosting metabolism, and taking care of bone health.
Yogurt has a high protein content.
Yogurt is a protein powerhouse with around 12 grams of protein per 200 grams. Because protein is an important component of every German Shepherd’s diet, yogurt is incredibly useful.
Protein has been demonstrated to help your dog’s metabolism by raising their energy expenditure or how many calories they burn during the day.
Protein is also vital for your dog’s appetite control since it boosts the production of hormones that signal fullness. If you realize your dog is becoming obese, it may naturally limit the number of calories they take overall, excellent for weight control.
If your dog is becoming overweight, you can offer it Greek yogurt, which is more effective at controlling appetite than normal yogurt.
Yogurt also helps improve a German Shepherd’s digestion.
Active bacteria or probiotics can be found in some types of yogurt, which are either added after the pasteurization process or were part of the starter culture already. These could help your dog’s digestive system.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a prevalent illness that affects the colon, and several probiotics present in some types of yogurt, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, have been demonstrated to alleviate the painful symptoms. This can assist your dog in remaining healthy and pain-free.
Yogurt can also help your dog’s digestive health because the good bacteria in yogurt can help with digestion. As a result, you’ll be protected from diarrhea and constipation.
Yogurt may boost a German Shepherd’s immunity.
Small daily doses of yogurt, especially if it contains probiotics, can help your dog’s immune system and minimize the chances of acquiring an infection. Probiotics are known to decrease inflammation, which has been associated with various health issues ranging from viral infections to gut diseases.
Furthermore, yogurt’s immune-boosting effects are partly attributed to the fact that it contains trace minerals such as magnesium, selenium, and zinc, which are renowned for their function in a German Shepherd’s immune system health.
Yogurt may help your dog be protected against osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes a German Shepherd’s bones to become very weak and easily breakable. The bones become so weak that there could be a fracture if your dog falls or even experiences mild things such as bending over or coughing. These fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist, or spine.
Yogurt may help your dog to stay away from osteoporosis because it contains some key nutrients for maintaining German Shepherds’ bone health, including calcium, protein, potassium, phosphorus, and in some types, vitamin D.
These nutrients help strengthen a dog’s bones and keep them away from minor injuries and serious illnesses such as osteoporosis.
Yogurt may improve a German Shepherd’s heart health.
Natural fats are abundant in yogurt. There is no conclusive proof that the fat in yogurt is damaging to the health of your dog. The heart health of your dog may benefit as a result of this.
Consuming saturated fat from whole-milk products raises high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which may help maintain heart health along with keeping your dog’s heart safe. Some researchers have also linked yogurt consumption to a lesser chance of contracting heart illnesses.
High blood pressure is one of the initial symptoms that dogs with heart illnesses face, and yogurt consumption may help stabilize the blood pressure levels. The effects appear to be strongest in German Shepherds with pre-existing high blood pressure.
It may help manage the weight of overweight German Shepherds.
Yogurt includes several qualities that may help a German Shepherd lose weight if they are overweight. It’s abundant in protein, which, when combined with calcium, helps boost appetite-suppressing hormones.
The benefits of yogurt might have almost convinced you to feed it to your four-legged friend, but is yogurt all good and rosy? That is not the case. Yogurt may even prove to be harmful to some German Shepherds.
Now we will use this part of the article to analyze why yogurt might turn out to be harmful to your dog.
Disadvantages of yogurt consumption for German Shepherds
Even though yogurt is a beneficial ingredient for humans and German Shepherds, certain reasons make it harmful for dogs. Some of these reasons below explain why you should not give yogurt to your German Shepherd.
Yogurt does not include a lot of good bacteria because pasteurization kills them.
The most common issue with yogurt is that it is pasteurized. Pasteurization is heating food to a high temperature to eliminate germs and bacteria. In theory, this renders the food fit for human consumption.
Pasteurized dairy, according to some studies, may put the immune system under additional stress. Pasteurized yogurt is not beneficial for German Shepherds because the temperature is not high enough to kill hazardous bacteria but is too high to damage things that make milk good for you, such as enzymes that aid digestion and friendly bacteria.
As a result, the pasteurized yogurt you give your dog could include hazardous germs while destroying beneficial bacteria and enzymes.
If a German Shepherd is lactose intolerant, they may suffer.
Yogurt’s lactose content could be problematic for a German Shepherd. Some dogs, like people, do not produce enough of the digestive enzyme lactase, which is required to digest milk. Pasteurization eliminates these enzymes, which are abundant in raw milk.
When your dog consumes yogurt, he may have stomach discomfort if it is lactose intolerant. Diarrhea, constipation, gas, nausea, and stomach cramps are all symptoms of lactose intolerance.
If you’re giving your dog dairy products and he’s getting these symptoms, stop giving him dairy.
Yogurt may contain artificial sweeteners, which are harmful to German Shepherds.
Sugar from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables is safe for your dog in little doses. Artificial sweeteners impair your dog’s digestive function, so too much can be an issue. The main culprits are sugars in the form of starch and added sugars. Side effects of these artificial sweeteners include stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Too much sugar can also promote chronic inflammation, leading to diabetes, obesity, and tooth problems over time.
There is also a risk of cancer occurring in some German Shepherds because of the consumption of artificial sweeteners. You might also come across xylitol-sweetened yogurt. Xylitol is a poisonous chemical for dogs, and even little amounts can be fatal. Xylitol is a substitute for sugar and is harmless for humans but can cause death in dogs due to liver failure or hypoglycemia.
How much sugar is safe for a German Shepherd?
German Shepherds love eating yogurt because it is liquidy and cold, but how much of it can they safely consume? Generally, yogurt should not comprise more than 5 to 10 percent of your canine’s diet. Since yogurt can also be a harmful substance for German Shepherds, make sure to feed it to them in smaller amounts.
If you are feeding yogurt for the first time to your puppy, make sure to discuss the decision with the veterinarian first. If you notice any symptoms of yogurt allergies, take your dog to the emergency room. Lastly, do not feed yogurt to your dog if you know that they are allergic to it.
Is yogurt digestible for German Shepherds?
The details that we provided above may make you wonder whether yogurt is a digestible ingredient for all German Shepherds or not. When speaking for most German Shepherds, we can say that yogurt is a safe ingredient, and it can be easily digested by their systems. But there are some cases where this might be different.
Considering that some types of yogurt may contain a toxin, xylitol, which may upset your dog’s gut and even cause serious problems. Yogurt may not be digestible for your dog in this case. But when we talk about Greek yogurt, this type is digestible for most dogs.
A very important thing that you should consider is that if your dog is lactose intolerant, it will not digest any yogurt because all yogurts are made from milk, which contains lactose.
Hence the question about whether yogurt is digestible for German Shepherds or not is dependent on various factors, and the decision of feeding yogurt to your dog will be depended on these factors.
What type of yogurt can German Shepherds eat?
Humans are free to eat any yogurt they want, but there are certain restrictions when it comes to serving yogurt to a German Shepherd.
As previously stated, you should avoid yogurts that contain xylitol, added sugars, or have a high-fat level. Avoid flavored yogurts because they are high in sugar, particularly chocolate yogurt because chocolate is poisonous to dogs.
To prevent allergies or toxins from entering your dog’s system, serve them low-fat or Greek yogurt instead of the typical yogurt that humans consume.
Is yogurt a good substitute to fulfill your dog’s calcium and protein needs?
The answer to this is NO! Yogurt can be a good new addition to your dog’s feed if you feed it to them as a treat. However, if you try to replace other protein sources in your dog’s diet with yogurt, it may not be a smart choice. Similarly, you can not completely rely on yogurt for your dog’s calcium requirement as well.
This is because yogurt has lactose which may not be suitable to many German Shepherds, and by thinking of replacing yogurt with other calcium sources, you may be doing more harm to your dog than good.
You may often be tempted to give your four-legged friend many human foods that are available at your house to either reduce your expenses or to experiment. In such instances, yogurt is one of the foods that come to your mind.
It is safe for a German Shepherd to eat yogurt, but you may always remember the following points before deciding to feed yogurt to your canine:
- Be completely sure that yogurt does not contain any artificial sweeteners and is not harmful to your dog.
- Check-in advance whether your dog is lactose intolerant or has any allergies to yogurt.
- Make sure only to feed your dog Greek yogurt or low-fat yogurt if you feel it is safe.
Yogurt can turn out to be good for your furry friend, so do not keep them away from it and feed it to them every now then, with precautions, of course!