Can Dogs Be Allergic to Yogurt?

Yogurt is typically a safe and healthy food supplement for your dog. Like all things in life; however, yogurt isn’t a safe bet for all dogs. For dogs prone to allergies, yogurt may not be the 100% safe treat you thought it was.

So can dogs be allergic to yogurt? A dog would only be allergic to yogurt if it had a very severe intolerance to lactose. Yogurt has a very low lactose count, so most dogs will not have any allergic reactions to yogurt. If in doubt, choose natural Greek yogurt as that has the lower lactose content than regular yogurt.

There are many signs to indicate if your dog’s suffering is related to yogurt. Similarly, the issues may be related to dairy products in general rather than merely yogurt. Read on to discover the best ways to avoid dog allergies to yogurt and also some safe alternatives.

Yogurt Allergies In Dogs

It is probably better to speak in terms of intolerance rather than an allergy when discussing yogurt for dogs.

An allergy causes the immune system to over react and this in turn affects many organs of the body.

In contrast, an intolerance mainly affects the digestive system.

With yogurt, your dog can undoubtedly still suffer from lactose intolerance, but this is quite rare as yogurt has a low level of lactose. That being said, if your dog’s lactose intolerance is severe, then it can undoubtedly affect your dog’s digestive system.

Plain Greek yogurt is probably the best yogurt you can give to your dog. Greek yogurt contains less lactose than regular yogurt, plus, it also contains probiotics which actually help digest lactose!

For dogs with allergies or for dogs who are lactose intolerant, Greek yogurt is my clear winner.

If your dog is suffering from common allergy-related symptoms such as itching, ear or eye irritation, rashes, hives or lumps on the body, then yogurt is highly unlikely to be the culprit. If such symptoms are present then look to investigate other possible sources of allergens.

Your dog’s symptoms should be your guide when deciding if the problem is an allergic reaction or intolerance.

An allergic reaction will cause physical changes that can be seen, such as rashes, hives, eye and ear itching, bodily lumps and paw-licking.

An intolerance will cause digestive issues such as gas, vomiting or loose stools.

Alternatives to Yogurt for Dogs With Allergies or an Intolerance

  • Soy Yogurt. I include this one with a warning. Soy milk is non-dairy milk that is excellent for dogs that are lactose intolerant. But if your dog suffers from food allergies, then avoid this product. If lactose intolerance isn’t an issue for your dog, then it’s a great alternative to yogurt.
  • Coconut Yogurt. This yogurt is made from coconut milk, so it is a tummy-friendly treat for dogs and humans alike. People tend to either love or hate the taste of coconut, but our four-legged buddies all appear to adore it.
  • Almond Yogurt. This yogurt is another one that comes with a health warning. Dogs can certainly be given almond yogurt, but it is very fattening. A spoonful in your dog’s dish will be lapped-up with great enthusiasm but stick to the spoonful and no more.

What About Kefir for Dogs Instead of Yogurt?

I have saved this one for last because Kefir is a true miracle. I personally drink Kefir and it has incredible health-giving properties for humans and dogs alike.

For dogs, Kefir offers so many benefits.

Kefir contains around thirty strains of good bacteria as well as being packed with B-Complex vitamins.

Some dog allergies can be completely eradicated simply by giving your dog Kefir on a daily basis. Major organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver also benefit from Kefir. Your dog’s digestive system can be given a healthy boost, and apart from your dog feeling happier, he can even lose his bad breath.

As with all new foods and drinks, give your dog a dessert sized spoonful at first to make sure that he doesn’t react to it in any way (highly rare).

Presuming that the spoonful was a success, feel free to give your dog 1 or 2 spoonfuls per day.

He’ll thank you for it!

What About Dog Allergies to Dairy Products in General?

Once again, we have to cross out the word allergy here, and return to lactose intolerance.

Lactose is composed of two types of sugar molecule. For a dog to be able to digest lactose, it must break down the two molecules. Unfortunately, a dogs’ digestive system is ill-equipped to break down these molecules.

This digestive failure causes the symptoms that we all recognize as lactose intolerance such as diarrhea, vomiting or highly pungent gas releases.

Not All Dairy Products Contain The Same Quantity of Lactose

This is the section where we look at some of the good news.

It is very understandable to assume that because dairy products are all made from milk, all dairy products must contain the same quantity of lactose.

Luckily, this isn’t true.

One cup of whole milk contains a whopping 11 Grams of lactose. For a dog that suffers from lactose intolerance, this quantity of lactose can produce some very unpleasant reactions. One ounce of cheddar cheese, however, contains 0 Grams of lactose (yes, that’s a zero.)


One cup of whole milk contains a whopping 11 Grams of lactose. For a dog that suffers from lactose intolerance, this quantity of lactose can produce some very unpleasant reactions.

The basic rule of thumb is that the closer you get to pure milk (whole, full-fat milk), the closer you get to lactose intolerance problems. The farther away you get from pure milk (whole, full-fat milk), the less likely you are to come across lactose intolerance.

Cheese is a solid product, so it is very far away from being milk. That change in state makes it a safer dairy product. Ice cream is not quite milk and is not quite cheese, so it’ somewhere in between. That makes ice cream a moderate-risk food.

If My Dog Is Not Allergic to Yogurt, Is It Beneficial to My Dog’s Health?

Yogurt is an excellent supplement for dogs who have no intolerance against it.

Your dog’s digestive system can be soothed and improved by having a sensible amount of yogurt on a daily basis. Zinc, calcium, and probiotics are found in yogurt and together can improve your dog’s health.

Your dog can feel more full after meals due to it being a great source of protein. This is helpful if your dog needs to lose some weight.

Digestive disorders can also be helped by giving your dog daily spoonfuls of yogurt.

Points to Note:

Only give your dog plain, unsweetened yogurt.

Do not give your dog sweet treats coated in yogurt.

Plain Greek yogurt is your safest bet.

Conclusion

Dogs are seldom allergic to yogurt but are more likely to be lactose intolerant. Consider yogurt alternatives if you think that your dog is suffering from consuming lactose.

Kefir is a wonderful drink for both humans and dogs. If your dog can drink two spoonfuls of Kefir per day without any negative reactions, then Kefir is even better than yogurt.

Milk-based yogurts can be replaced with soy yogurt, coconut yogurt or almond yogurt.

Dairy treats are safer if they are solid (such as cheese). The farther away the dairy product is from being milk, the less lactose it contains.