How Much Yogurt to Give a Dog with Diarrhea?
Alex Vicente • Updated on August 18, 2023
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- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Dogs tend to get into things that could upset their stomach; this makes them susceptible to diarrhea along with other digestive issues (sometimes, even something as simple as new dog food can cause an upset stomach.)
Fortunately, many have cited yogurt as an effective remedy for diarrhea in dogs—but how much should you give them?
How much yogurt you should give your dog depends on their weight, size, and other factors. Generally, you can offer 1 tablespoon a day for small dogs and 2 to 3 tablespoons a day for large dogs. You can also follow the 10% rule and only offer an amount of yogurt no more than 10% of your dog’s weight.
In addition to giving more detail on the amount of yogurt to give your dog, this article will also explore related topics such as how yogurt relieves diarrhea, why it is beneficial for dogs, and the best yogurt brands to give your dog.
Table of Contents
How Much Yogurt Should You Give Dogs with Diarrhea?
The serving size for yogurt depends mostly on the size of your dog.
Large dogs need about 2 or 3 tablespoons a day, while small dogs need 1.
Toy breeds will benefit from ½ of a tablespoon, and very large breeds may need five or six to calm their system.
Additionally, it is wise to follow the 10% rule when determining how much to feed your dog; this means that the amount of yogurt they receive every day should be no more than 10% of their total body weight.
Weight, age, health, activity level, and whether your dog has been spayed or neutered can also play a role in how much yogurt you can safely give them.
If you are unsure of the right serving size, it is always a good idea to ask your vet for help.
If it is likely that your dog is sensitive to lactose in dairy products, or even lactose intolerant, it is best to give a very small amount and see how they react.
You can either feed your dogs yogurt plain or mix it in with their food.
Health Benefits of Yogurt for Dogs with Diarrhea
The main reason why yogurt is beneficial for dogs experiencing diarrhea is that the yogurt contains healthy probiotics that help make digestion easier and settle the stomach.
Other benefits of yogurt for dogs with diarrhea include:
- It is a good source of calcium, zinc, and protein.
- It can boost their immune system.
- It helps them absorb nutrients from their food.
- It controls their cholesterol.
- It balances their digestion.
With all these great qualities, it’s no wonder that yogurt is a tried and true recommendation for dogs with diarrhea and other digestive problems.
But can it stop diarrhea on its own? Let’s find out.
Other resources that you may be interested in:
Does Yogurt Stop Diarrhea in Dogs?
It is not clear if yogurt can actually stop your dog’s diarrhea on its own.
Many sources say that yogurt is good for alleviating the symptoms, but there is no consensus on its strength.
It can be assumed that if you give your dog yogurt regularly, the crucial probiotics supplied will help their digestion enough that they will have normal stool instead of runny diarrhea.
Should Your Dog Eat Yogurt? Some Potential Hazards
Although yogurt can be very beneficial for dogs if they can tolerate it, it is important to choose the right one to avoid certain chemicals dangerous to dogs and other complications with a dog’s health.
This is because commercial yogurt is made with the human, not canine digestive system in mind.
Here are some of the possible dangers and things you should avoid when choosing yogurt for your dog:
- Xylitol: Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used to replace real sugar. While it may be fine for humans to consume, it can lead to hypoglycemia and liver failure in dogs. Artificial sweeteners also cause obesity and other health problems.
- Pasteurized yogurt: Pasteurization is the process of heating foods at high temperatures meant to kill harmful bacteria, but it also kills beneficial bacteria. If a dog consumes pasteurized dairy products, their immune system will undergo stress, and they will be more likely to have a stomach upset.
Sometimes it can be stressful to find yogurt at your local stores that avoid these chemicals and sterilization processes.
To help dog owners choose a yogurt that is tasty and safe for your dog’s stomach, the next section compiles a few of the best available selections.
The Best Yogurt to Give a Dog with Diarrhea
Your dog will be best off if you feed them plain non-fat yogurt without added sweeteners.
Plain greek yogurt is great because it contains more beneficial probiotics than the traditional kind.
Dogs can even have frozen yogurt as long as it is naturally flavored, and some companies have made safe dog treats with yogurt in them.
With all this in mind, here are some of the best brands of yogurt you can add to your dog’s diet when they have an upset stomach or even on normal days as a special treat.
All of these options are xylitol-free and unpasteurized:
- 365 Everyday Value Plain Organic Yogurt: This natural yogurt contains six live and active cultures that are beneficial to your dog’s gut. It also has a healthy dose of vitamin D3 and no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives and is made with whole milk.
- Fage Total Plain Greek Yogurt: This non-fat plain Greek yogurt is packed with five healthy probiotics. It is also made naturally from non-GMO-fed cows, gluten-free, vegetarian friendly, and free of added sweeteners and preservatives. It is rich in calcium, protein, and potassium.
- Stonyfield Organic Plain Greek Yogurt: This is a certified USDA organic Greek yogurt that is also certified kosher, made from the milk of pasture-raised cows, gluten-free, and non-GMO project verified. It contains five live and active probiotic cultures and is a good source of protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D.
Any of these options will be good for your dog because they lack the possible dangers presented above.
It wouldn’t hurt to have them try a taste of one of these and see if they like it!
Yogurt can be amazing as a way to appease your dog’s upset stomach.
The amount of yogurt you should give your dog depends on their breed, age, height, weight, and many other factors.
It is advised to give 1 tablespoon a day to small dogs, 2-3 tablespoons a day to large dogs, and half a tablespoon to toy breeds.
If you are unsure of serving size, another trick is the 10% rule, where you give your dog a portion no more than 10% of their weight.
The main reason why yogurt is beneficial to dogs with diarrhea is that it contains natural probiotics that aid in the digestion and absorption of food (although it is still not known whether yogurt can stop your dog’s diarrhea on its own).
Yogurt can also control your dog’s cholesterol, boost their immune system, and balance their digestive system.
The benefits of yogurt are many, but some processes and chemicals are used in the commercial yogurt-making process, such as pasteurization and the artificial sweetener xylitol, which can be extremely harmful to our four-legged friends.
These dangers exist because yogurt was made with humans in mind, not dogs.
Therefore, the best yogurt for your dog is plain, unsweetened, traditional, or plain Greek yogurt without artificial sweeteners or preservatives.
Organic and/or non-fat are other important qualities to consider so that you make the safest choice for your dog.
After all, nothing matters more than your dog’s health and the safety of your furry family member!