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Can Dogs Eat Frozen Yogurt? Potential Health Risks & FAQs

Emma Stenhouse Profile Picture

By Emma Stenhouse

It’s the summer, and you’re enjoying a delicious frozen yogurt after a walk in the park with your dog. Can you share the last of your treat with your dog, or should you.

Frozen yogurt is safe for some dogs to eat, in moderation. But it may not sit well with your dog’s digestive system. Some frozen yogurts can also contain ingredients that are harmful to dogs. So as with so many foodstuffs, the answer to this question really needs to be taken on a case by case basis. Let’s take a look at why in a little more detail.

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What’s good about frozen yogurt?

frozen yogurt with berries
Image Credit: pilipphoto, Shutterstock

Yogurt contains protein and calcium, although the exact nutritional content of each type of frozen yogurt will vary from brand to brand.

And, of course, frozen yogurt can help your dog cool down on a hot day!

What’s bad about frozen yogurt?

The doggie digestive system isn’t that effective at processing milk-based products after weaning. Frozen yogurt is fermented, so it contains less lactose than ice cream, but too much may still lead to some dogs developing gastrointestinal issues. These can include diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, constipation, and gas.

Dairy products are one of the most commonly reported food allergies for dogs, so bear in mind that frozen yogurt could trigger an allergic reaction or cause a flare-up in a dog with an existing allergy.

Many frozen yogurts are enhanced with sugar to make them taste better to us humans, but that won’t help your dog maintain a healthy weight.

Some frozen yogurt can contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that’s toxic to dogs. It can cause low blood sugar levels, which can become life-threatening in a very short amount of time, and it can also cause liver failure.

If you’re ever tempted to share your shop-bought frozen yogurt with your dog, you need to be 100% sure that it’s xylitol free.

Of course, certain flavors of frozen yogurt like chocolate, macadamia, or coffee, contain toxic ingredients that could harm your dog.

rough collie is shitting on the grass
Image Credit: Alla Pogrebnaya, Shutterstock

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What’s the best type of frozen yogurt to feed your dog?

The best type is going to be plain and unsweetened frozen yogurt. Of course, this may not be your preference, so sharing your shop-bought strawberry frozen yogurt with your dog probably isn’t such a good idea. As well as fruit, it may contain sugar or artificial sweeteners.

How to feed your dog frozen yogurt

As with any new food, if your dog hasn’t had frozen yogurt before, then start off feeding them a very small amount.

Before feeding your dog any frozen yogurt, you need to take into consideration these factors:
  • Your dog’s size
  • Your dog’s weight
  • Daily calorie intake
  • Any underlying health conditions
  • Average daily activity levels

If your dog is overweight, or their daily calorie intake is already at the maximum, and you don’t want to remove anything else, you should probably avoid feeding them this as a treat.

If they have any health conditions or allergies you think may be affected by feeding them frozen yogurt, the same applies. Namely, give this treat a miss for now. You can always reach out to your vet and ask them for advice. They may be able to recommend a solution or suggest an alternative treat your dog might actually prefer.

Start feeding a medium-sized dog around a teaspoon of frozen yogurt. Check they don’t suffer any signs of gastrointestinal issues over the next 48 hours. If they seem fine, you can increase the amount to approximately the size of an ice-cream scoop, as used in our recipe below. We suggest feeding this amount no more than once a week. Keep an eye on your dog’s weight, and speak to your veterinarian if you feel this treat might no longer be suitable for your dog.

frozen yogurts
Image Credit: simonharrycollins, Shutterstock

Homemade frozen yogurt recipe for your dog

If you like the idea of feeding your dog frozen yogurt, then the safest way to do so is to make your own! You can just put a pot of plain yogurt in your freezer, and once frozen, slide it out of the pot and give to your dog to enjoy.

If you want to add some more interest, this is also very easy, and you can add any number of dog-safe flavors for lots of variety.

You’ll need:

  • ½ cup plain yogurt

Mix this with any one of the following:

  • 2 teaspoons carob powder
  • ½ cup chopped strawberries
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 4 teaspoons peanut butter (xylitol free)

Mix your yogurt and flavoring together, then scoop the mixture into a mini muffin tin. You should get around 6 scoops. Freeze for 6 hours, then remove a scoop at a time and feed to your dog. You can also get creative and blend these flavors or add your own combinations depending on what your dog loves. Other fruits like blueberries will work well, as will pumpkin or sweet potato. Remember what sounds strange to you might taste delicious to your dog!

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Wrapping it up

Frozen yogurt can be a tasty and refreshing occasional treat for some dogs. While you might be tempted to share your shop-bought yogurt, offering plain unsweetened frozen yogurt is best.

Shop-bought frozen yogurt can contain dangerous ingredients like xylitol or chocolate, both of which should never be fed to dogs.

If your dog is lactose intolerant, you should definitely avoid feeding them any sort of dairy product, frozen yogurt included.

The best way to feed your dog frozen yogurt is to make your own treats at home and give them only every now and again as a special treat.

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Feature Image Credit: Image Credit: New-Africa, Shutterstock

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