Can dogs eat blueberry yogurt?

Photo by Marcus Irven on Flickr

Most dogs should safely be able to eat blueberry yogurt as long as you bear a couple of things in mind.

Firstly, you shouldn’t be feeding it to your dog if you know that they are lactose intolerant.

Secondly, if you are looking to buy a sugar free variety you must check the ingredients to make sure that they don’t contain xylitol- I explain a lot more about this later

But as part of this article I look in detail at three top brands of blueberry yogurt and none of them pose a threat to your dog.

If you can, only feed yogurt to your dog in very limited amounts.

There are more beneficial human foods to feed to them. 

So just what can a teaspoon or two of blueberry yogurt add to your dog’s life?

Let’s find out…

Three brands of blueberry yogurt: Yoplait, Activia and Chobani

Realistically, there is no point in me writing an article about blueberry yogurt if I don’t know exactly what type of yogurt people are searching for and buying.

And so I am going to focus on three very popular brands of yogurt, each of which makes a blueberry edition.

And those three brands are Yoplait, Activia and Chobani. 

Yoplait blueberry yogurt

Yoplait makes several dozen different flavours of yogurt and more than one version of a blueberry yogurt, I suspect.

The one I have chosen is Mountain Blueberry from their “Original Single Serve Range.”

I will provide lots more detail about the nutrition of this yoghurt for your dog later but all I want to say at this point is that there are no toxins 

And here are the ingredients: Reduced Fat Milk, Sugar, Blueberries, Water, Modified Corn Starch. 

Contains 1% or less of: Corn Starch, Tricalcium Phosphate, Pectin, Natural Flavor, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3.

Each 170 g pot contains 150 calories.

You can check out all of these details here

Activia blueberry yogurt

I have chosen blueberry yogurt from their low fat yogurt with fruit range.

And here are the ingredients: Reduced Fat Milk, Cane Sugar, Blueberry Puree, Water, Modified Food Starch.

Contains Less than 1% of Milk Protein Concentrate, Kosher Gelatin, Agar Agar, Natural Flavors, Lactic Acid, Calcium Lactate, Milk Calcium, Vitamin D3.

Once again, there are no toxins in this yogurt that will endanger your dog. 

Each 120 g pot contains 90 calories .

You can check out all of these details here.

Chobani blueberry yogurt

Finally, Chobani whose blueberry yogurt is a greek yogurt.

And the ingredients are: nonfat milk, blueberries, cane sugar, water, fruit pectin, locust bean gum, natural flavors, lemon juice concentrate.

Each 150 g pot contains 110 calories.

You can find the details here.

Chobani only use natural ingredients in their yogurt and you can see how their ingredients differ from Activia and Yoplait. 

For instance, Activia and Yoplait both use modified corn starch and add vitamin D3 in their yogurts, whereas Chobani doesn’t.

Modified corn starch is used as a thickener in some yogurts. 

Can dogs eat blueberry Greek yogurt?

The answer to this question from my comparisons is “yes, dogs can eat blueberry greek yogurt”.

And in fact because it only uses natural ingredients, I think in my comparison it looks like the most desirable blueberry yogurt. 

Now that we have looked at the ingredients of individual yogurts, it is time to look at how these ingredients might affect your dog. 

What are the main ingredients in blueberry yogurt?

Live bacteria

Although live bacteria wasn’t listed in the ingredients, each of these yogurts have live bacteria in them.

And these are possibly the most beneficial ingredients in these yogurts.

Live bacteria or probiotics are microorganisms that live in a dog’s digestive system and help it to work effectively.

They do this by boosting the good bacteria in the stomach and reducing any nasty bacteria

But I want to make two important points.

Firstly, if your dog is fit and healthy and eats a good diet they probably don’t need this extra support because their digestive system should be self supporting.

And secondly, if you have an older dog or a dog with a more vulnerable digestive system that would benefit from some probiotics, then adding natural yogurt to their diet is the way to go.

You don’t need to give them flavoured yogurts with probiotics in!

Milk

The biggest ingredient in all of these yogurts is milk. 

The great news is that all the yogurts contain reduced fat milk.

There is nothing wrong with adding a little milk to a dog’s diet every now and again as long as they aren’t lactose intolerant.

But only a tiny fraction of dogs are lactose intolerant- the true figure isn’t known. 

In terms of nutrition, milk is a good source of vitamin B2 and B12 which are important for a dog’s energy levels. 

Mineral wise, we all know that it contains lots of calcium but it is also a good source of phosphorus- which helps to build strong bones and teeth. 

Sugar

Another big ingredient in all three yogurts. 

Try not to be fooled by talk of cane sugar.

Sugar is sugar at the end of the day.

High in calories, with no nutritional value.

It is as bad for a dog’s teeth as it is for their waistline. 

Blueberries

Blueberries are a safe fruit for your dog to eat.

Although they are 10% sugar, they also contain quite a bit of dietary fibre.

The vitamin boost that you dog will get from eating some includes vitamin C and vitamin K.  

Vitamin C and K are interesting when it comes to dogs because fit and healthy dogs don’t need these vitamins in their diet as they are made within a dog’s body.

Three thickeners

These yogurts between them use three different sorts of thickeners to turn the texture from milk to well…yogurt. 

Whilst having questionable nutritional value, none of these ingredients are toxic for your dog. 

[1] Modified food starch/ corn starch

This ingredient has very little nutritional value. 

It is added to provide a thicker texture.

Most food starch is made from corn (which isn’t bad) which is heat treated in order to extract the starch. 

[2] Pectin

Another thickener but this one is derived from fruit not corn.

[3] Locust bean gum

Our final thickener is extracted from the seeds of the carob tree.

The dangers of xylitol 

As far as dogs are concerned, sugar is bad but at least it won’t kill them.

The same thing can’t be said about a sugar substitute that is used in many foods, yogurts among them.

And don’t worry, there is only one known sugar substitute which can seriously harm your dog.

And that is xylitol. 

Sugar provides food with that oh so good sweetness but it comes at the cost of lots of calories. 

Xylitol is sweet and has far fewer calories.

The trouble is that it will poison your dog and could potentially kill them. 

I have performed a quick check online and I haven’t found a blueberry yogurt that contains xylitol- but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t out there. 

It doesn’t take much of it to start poisoning your dog.

And the trouble is no one knows how much of it is any product whether that is yogurt, chewing gum or peanut butter.

The only way to be safe is to check the ingredient list of every sugar free product that you buy.

And then not buy it. 

If you want to find out xylitol- the changes it makes to your dog’s body, the symptoms to look for etc, then read this

What is the best yogurt to feed my dog?

The best yogurt to feed your dog is natural or plain yogurt.

And this is because it should be free of any flavourings and have a very low sugar content.

Your dog should benefit from the probiotics that it contains without having to put up with ingesting any unnecessary additives. 

And if you want to add fruit such as blueberries then just buy a pack and drop a few in. 

Or as an alternative you can feed your dog greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt is creamier because it contains more milk than plain yoghurt and because of this it is higher in calories.

But since you should only be feeding any yogurt to your dog in very moderate amounts (by which I mean no more than a few teaspoons) calories shouldn’t be an issue.