Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Yogurt?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Your dog can eat vanilla yogurt generally speaking. I’m talking about the occasional spoonful not a whole pot! No major brand of vanilla yogurt contains any ingredients that are toxic to dogs.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Yogurt?“.

There is a theory that yogurt was accidentally created when milk was allowed to sour in warm weather 10000 years ago!

During the Greek and Roman empires yogurt was a well-known food. 

Apparently Bulgaria introduced yogurt too much of the western world. 

While Greek yogurt is now a very popular type of yogurt Bulgarian yogurt was very popular one hundred years ago. 

I’ll stop now with the history. 

Let me answer your question in a simple way. 

Can dogs eat vanilla yogurt?

Your dog can eat vanilla yogurt generally speaking.

I’m talking about the occasional spoonful not a whole pot!

No major brand of vanilla yogurt contains any ingredients that are toxic to dogs.

Luckily none of the ingredients are used in enough quantity to make the product toxic for dogs.

The details of that will be discussed in more depth later. 

The main ingredient in this product is milk so it would not be suitable for dogs who are lactose intolerant. 

Among its advantages are its calcium content and the presence of live cultures or probiotics in many brands. 

Let me now provide a bit more detail for those of you who are interested. 

I would like to begin by making another comparison. 

Plain vs vanilla- two differences

This is not meant to be patronizing but some people use these terms interchangeably. 

Although vanilla yogurt has a mild taste it is completely different from natural yogurt. 

Plain yogurt might be referred to as original yogurt by some. 

Natural and vanilla yogurts differ in two important ways. 

Firstly natural yogurt does not contain any added flavors. 

Second plain yogurts contain live cultures. 

Bacteria are meant to assist our digestive system. 

As soon as this misunderstanding has been cleared up I want to find out what the main ingredients in vanilla yogurt are as well as how dog-friendly they are. 

What are the ingredients in vanilla yogurt?

I found six common ingredients in these four popular brands of vanilla yogurt on after looking at four of them

They are reduced-fat milk sugar water cornstarch natural flavors (which sometimes include vanilla extract) and live cultures. 

Following an analysis of the basic ingredients I would like to see what their positives and negatives are. 

How is vanilla yogurt good for dogs?

When it comes to vanilla yogurt there are two things that can be considered beneficial or OK for your dogs. 

  • Almost all yogurts are made with reduced-fat milk
  • They contain live cultures
  • A good source of calcium

Reduced-fat milk 

Milk with reduced-fat contains fewer calories and fat than milk with full fat. 

This is good news for your dogs waistline. 

Additionally reduced-fat milk contains extra minerals and vitamins that can benefit your dogs health. 

Milk contains quite high levels of vitamin B12 and vitamin B2 as well as a small amount of vitamin A. 

Your dogs metabolism will be boosted as well as the tiny cells in their body will remain healthy with B vitamins. 

Vitamin A makes dogs’ vision as good as possible which is one of the main ways it helps them. 

There is a dark side to milk for some dogs and I will tackle that in the next section. 

What are the other benefits of vanilla yogurt? 

Are live cultures good for dogs? 

Cultures or probiotics are the invisible bacteria that are added to many yogurts in order to support gut health or to put it more concisely to support our digestive system. 

As well as dogs these probiotics will benefit them. 

This will be a short and sweet post. 

The topic of probiotics is fascinating but this research is not the place to discuss it in detail. 

The digestive system of a healthy dog is one that is balanced between good bacteria and bad bacteria. 

An unbalanced digestive system is caused by a poor diet and stress. 

Additionally probiotics restore the guts healthy bacteria. 

Yogurt is a good source of calcium

Yogurt is an excellent calcium source since it is primarily milk.

Calcium plays a key role in maintaining strong bones and teeth in dogs.

It is easy to get carried away with the link between calcium and dairy products but there are other dog-friendly calcium sources.

Some of these include leafy green vegetables such as kale and surprising foods such as white beans. 

Now that we have seen some of the healthy benefits of vanilla yogurt for dogs lets examine some of the unhealthy aspects. 

How is vanilla yogurt bad for dogs?

I believe vanilla yogurt may not be the best choice for dogs in some respects. 

  • The extract of vanilla is poisonous to dogs
  • Dogs and some dogs are lactose intolerant
  • Sugar is present in vanilla yogurt

Vanilla extract is toxic

In order to catch your attention I’m being a little sensationalist. 

My research showed that most yogurts use natural flavors but some use vanilla extract. 

Your dog would be in trouble if they stole a bottle of vanilla extract from the kitchen counter as it contains over 30* alcohol. 

Due to their inability to absorb alcohol dogs are poisoned by alcohol. 

In spite of this the amount of vanilla extract used in these yogurts will be so small that your dog will not be at risk. 

However vanilla yogurt isnot the only reason why your dog should not consume it. 

Some dogs are lactose intolerant 

Most yogurts contain milk as their “largest” ingredient.

Now we have already discussed how most of the milk used seems to be reduced fat.

Regardless of the fat content in milk dogs who are lactose intolerant should avoid vanilla yogurt regardless of its fat content.

There is no consensus about how many dogs are lactose intolerant just like there is no consensus about how many humans are either. 

The sugar lactose can be found in milk and other dairy products. 

Those dogs who are lactose intolerant will struggle to digest yogurt and will experience symptoms such as stomachaches and diarrhea.

I now want to discuss the last drawback that all dogs will experience from eating yogurt.

Vanilla yogurt is high in sugar

I have looked at the nutritional values of the same vanilla yogurt that I looked at earlier.

I have calculated that these pots of yogurt contain about 10% sugar on average. 

Theres a very good reason for that.

The second most commonly used ingredient in vanilla yogurts is sugar. 

A dog that occasionally licks the yogurt lid has nothing to worry about.

The sugar content is something to consider for a dog who eats vanilla yogurt every day.

I will discuss different types of vanilla yogurt in the next few sections after looking at the pros and cons of vanilla yogurt.

Can dogs eat Greek vanilla yogurt?

Greek vanilla yogurt is fine for dogs to eat.

There is a high likelihood that Greek yogurt of any flavor contains the same ingredients as regular yogurt.

Compared to regular yogurt Greek yogurt has a thicker texture and tastes slightly sourer.

The milk is processed in a slightly different way than yogurts are made despite the same ingredients being used. 

Yogurt generally contains milk whey which is the liquid that remains after milk has been strained.

Greek yogurt has been stripped of whey so it is thicker because of less liquid.

Due to this different approach the two different types of yogurt have slightly different nutritional values.

Greek yogurt contains more protein and less calcium than regular yogurt. 

In addition it has fewer carbs and sugars.

What do you think is better?

You can add more protein to your dogs diet by adding Greek yogurt.

In place of that regular yogurt will give you that calcium boost you need. 

Can my dog eat Activia or probiotic vanilla yogurt?

As we stated earlier there is no reason not to feed your dog Activia branded or other probiotic yogurts. 

They can improve your dogs digestive health.

Additionally it will be nearly impossible for your dog to overdose on probiotics.

All that will happen is that your dog will get a bad dose of diarrhea but there would not be any long-term consequences.

However if you are looking to add probiotics regularly to your dogs diet then I do not think that probiotic yogurt is the best way to do this. 

Activia yogurt contains about one billion probiotics per pot and small dogs need between one and three billion each day so that is a lot of yogurts to be feeding them!

If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.

Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Yogurt? (Watch Video)

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