A dog with a wary expression looking at yogurt, showing they are harmful to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?

Yes, dogs can eat yogurt, but it depends on the type of yogurt and the dog's tolerance to dairy. Plain, unsweetened yogurt is generally safe in moderation. However, flavored yogurts, especially those containing artificial sweeteners like xylitol, are dangerous and should be avoided.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jun 25, 2024

Did You Know?

Some yogurts contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why is Yogurt Bad for Dogs?

Yogurt can be bad for dogs primarily if it contains sweeteners like xylitol, which is toxic to them. Additionally, many dogs are lactose intolerant, meaning yogurt could upset their stomachs, causing diarrhea or gas. Sugary and flavored varieties add unnecessary calories and ingredients that can harm your furry friend.

How Much Yogurt Can Dogs Eat?

If your dog tolerates dairy well, small amounts of plain yogurt can be given occasionally. A teaspoon for small dogs and a tablespoon for larger dogs is a safe starting point. Always introduce new foods in small quantities to monitor for adverse reactions.

Common Misconceptions

Myth: All yogurt is great for dogs because it's good for humans.

Reality: Not all yogurt is safe for dogs. Only plain, unsweetened yogurt is advisable, and even that should be given in moderation. Some yogurts contain harmful ingredients like xylitol or high sugar content, which are not beneficial to dogs.

Similar Harmful Products

Certain human foods are similar to yogurt and can be just as harmful:

  • Artificially Sweetened Foods: Look out for candies, gums, and baked goods containing xylitol.
  • Lactose-containing Products: Milk, cream, and cheese can cause digestive issues in lactose-intolerant dogs.
  • Flavored Yogurts: These often contain high levels of sugar and artificial sweeteners.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Yogurt?

If your dog accidentally consumes yogurt containing xylitol or shows symptoms of lactose intolerance, contact your vet immediately. Do not induce vomiting unless advised by a professional, as it can do more harm than good.

In the long term, ingestion of harmful ingredients can lead to severe health issues, including liver damage, especially with xylitol. Veterinary treatment can be expensive, so having pet insurance helps manage these costs and provides peace of mind.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

If you're looking for safe treats for your dog, consider:

  • Plain Pumpkin: High in fiber and good for digestion.
  • Apples (without seeds): Low in fat and high in vitamins.
  • Carrots: Great for dental health and low in calories.


In summary, while plain, unsweetened yogurt can be safe for dogs in moderation, flavored or sweetened varieties should be avoided. Always check labels and consult with your vet before introducing new foods, especially if your dog has specific dietary needs or health issues.