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Diarrhea is a common issue in dogs and can be caused by a variety of things. For instance, it may be something simple like dietary indiscretion (cases of a dog eating trash, dirt, table scraps, etc) or something more serious like ingestion of toxins or infectious disease. And like other health conditions in dogs, it can be mild or severe.
Most cases of mild diarrhea can be resolved with home remedies without the need for prescription medication. For instance, yogurt is often used by many dog owners as a quick remedy for diarrhea problems in dogs. As long as a dog is healthy and doesn’t suffer from other conditions, and is not a senior dog or a young puppy, it is always safe to give him some Greek yogurt if he has mild diarrhea. But how much yogurt is recommended for a dog with diarrhea? Well, we’ll find out shortly but before then, let’s learn a few basics…
Yogurt for Dog Diarrhea: How It Works
Yogurt, milk, and most dairy products are rich in natural sugar, commonly referred to as lactose. But lactose is difficult for most dogs’ digestive systems to break down, so it usually stays in the small intestine, where it supports the survival of bad bacteria which cause indigestion and gas. However, live bacteria (or probiotics) that are used in making most yogurt products have the capability to break down lactose, making it easier for dogs’ digestive system to digest. These live bacteria also help build beneficial bacteria, which assist your dog’s naturally occurring gut flora in re-establishing itself, resolving the diarrhea problem.
Besides promoting a healthy digestive system, yogurt offers many other health benefits to dogs. Not only is it a source of minerals like zinc and calcium but it also boosts immunity in dogs. Yogurt is also an excellent source of one of the most important nutrients: water. When you add it to your dog food, yogurt can add extra moisture to your pup’s diet.
How Much Yogurt Should You Give a Dog With Diarrhea?
How much yogurt to give a dog with diarrhea largely depends on your dog’s size. For smaller dogs, about 1 tablespoon of yogurt per day will suffice. For larger breeds, 2-3 tablespoons per day are recommended. In other words, if you have a toy breed, give him ½ -1 tablespoon a day. And if you own a Great Dane and other giant breeds, give 2-3 or more tablespoons.
When starting or if you suspect that your dog is lactose intolerant, we recommend that you start him off with small quantities of yogurt and wait to see how he reacts. Remember that some dogs may be sensitive to any dairy product, including any type or brand of yogurt.
Other factors that may influence the amount of yogurt to give a dog with diarrhea include your dog’s weight, activity level, other underlying health conditions, activity level, neuter status, and daily calorie intake. Put simply, your pup’s daily nutritional needs will also dictate the amount of yogurt that you can give him for diarrhea. If in doubt, consult your vet for more professional input.
Alternatives to Yogurt Probiotics
Generally, probiotics in yogurt tend to be more customized for human systems, so they may be less effective than canine-specific probiotics. If you are looking for a probiotic that will not only help you resolve your dog’s diarrhea issue but also aid his digestion more efficiently, we recommend that you go for dog-specific probiotics.
Probiotics like VetriScience Vetri Mega Probiotic or NWC Naturals Total-Biotics Probiotic are specifically formulated for the canine gut and will help relieve your dog’s diarrhea issues as well support healthy immune system and help with a variety of other health-related issues.
Related Post: 12 Best Probiotic for Dogs with Allergies
To get the most out of yogurt as a natural remedy for mild diarrhea for your pup, keep the following factors in mind.
- Always opt for plain Greek yogurt because it is rich in crucial probiotics, supplies healthy flora to your pup’s diet, and doesn’t contain a lot of sugars like other types of yogurts. In other words, Greek yogurt has lots of live cultures and lower levels of lactose than other yogurts.
- Avoid yogurts with added sugar and artificial flavors or sweeteners like xylitol as they can be toxic to your dog. You should also avoid yogurts that are chocolate-flavored because chocolate is poisonous to dogs.
- Look for fat-free or low-fat plain yogurts. Excess fat can cause more health issues for your canine friend, including pancreatitis and weight gain.
- Some dogs are lactose-intolerant and may have a hard time digesting any quantity and type of dairy products, so keep an eye out for any abnormal signs like increased diarrhea, vomiting, and gas after adding yogurt to your dog’s food.
Dog diarrhea can be a messy and unpleasant situation, but giving your dog simple remedies like plain Greek yogurt can bring comfort to your dog. Hopefully, our post has shed some light on how much yogurt to give your pup if he has mild diarrhea as well as tips on how to get the most out of this simple remedy. Most importantly, only opt for this home remedy if the problem is mild. If you don’t see a significant change in your pup’s health after including the recommended amounts of yogurt in his diet or if the diarrhea case is serious, rush him to a local vet immediately.