This post may contain affiliate links.
In 2014, I decided to start sharing my journey as a raw feeder. I had been feeding my dogs a raw food diet for a year and wrote about what I had learned as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Looking back, I cringe at how little I knew about raw feeding and decided to update each of those blog posts in 2018-19.
Yep, you read that right.
I shared a recipe in a raw food group that included yogurt and that resulted in me being asked to leave a raw feeding group because the Admin felt that by sharing the recipe, I was promoting unsafe practices.
Mix 100% pure pumpkin (no spices) with a plain, fat free yogurt; spoon into ice cube trays, freeze, serve as treats.
Looks harmless enough, right?
Is Yogurt Safe for Dogs?
A dog owner asked if yogurt is okay to give to dogs. I responded that I make a summer frozen treat for my dogs with yogurt and that the recipe was veterinarian approved.
That's when a couple of the hardcore raw feeders pounced…
- Them: Is your veterinarian trained in dog nutrition?
- Me: Yes, are you?
- Them: Yes, I've had 20+ years of experience raising dogs.
- Me: No, I meant training from an accredited organization.
- Them: We don't appreciate you advocating foods that can kill dogs!
- Me: Ummmm, our dogs have been eating this for a while and they're doing great.
- Them: This is a group for people who share honest and responsible information, if you insist on sharing dangerous things, then we'll have to ask you to leave.
- Me: Ummmm, okay.
And then I was tossed out. I didn't even get a chance to leave.
So, is yogurt safe for dogs?
Yes. But like with many things, there is an “it depends,” aspect of my response. My dogs don't eat yogurt as a regular part of their diet and I don't feed flavored/fruit-filled yogurt. My concern is the sugar content in yogurt, my dogs don't need a ton of sugar or artificial ingredients, so when I choose
Why People Think Yogurt Isn't Good for Dogs
I originally wrote this post in 2014 and in this particular situation, I think the admins of the group were just being persnickety. I mean, come on, it's a treat recipe for goodness sakes. But with a few years under my belt as a raw feeder, I can think of a few reasons why yogurt would be considered a bad food to feed to our dogs.
- Yogurt isn't Species Appropriate – for the diehard raw feeders out there who are trying to replicate the diet of a grey wolf, yogurt doesn't make sense for dogs. Wolves wouldn't eat yogurt, so dogs shouldn't eat it either.
- Some Dogs are Lactose Intolerant – my dogs do fine on raw goat's milk, kefir, and yogurt treats, however, not all dogs do well on dairy. Depending on the food, dairy can cause digestive upset.
- People are Lazy – and, finally, there are people who don't take the time to follow the recipe and we all know this to be true. Tell someone to get plain yogurt and they'll come home with vanilla flavored, cheap yogurt, filled with preservatives and think it's the same.
Ultimately, we're all responsible for our own dogs and for doing our homework. And one of the cool features of social media is that if you see a post that doesn't apply to you, you can keep on scrolling.
What to Do When You're Challenged in a Raw Feeding Group
Over the years, I've learned one thing that I keep in mind when chatting in a raw feeding group…
Their Group, Their Rules
It doesn't matter if the rules don't make sense. It doesn't matter if I think I'm right and they're wrong. What matters is that I'm a guest in their house and if they say that I can't post about yogurt, vegetables, green tripe, raw goat's milk, eggs, or coconut oil – then I either leave the group or I don't post about those things.
There are so many Facebook groups that it's pointless to waste my time and energy trying to get a group of strangers to conform to what I think the group should look like. So, either stick around and follow the rules or leave and start your own group.
Of course, there is another option. If you're looking for a friendly raw feeding group, check out my Resources Page for a list of groups that I recommend.