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Yogurt Got Me Tossed from a Raw Food Group

Yogurt Got Me Tossed from a Raw Feeding Group

A to Z Challenge – Y – Sponsored by Natural Pet Pantry

Yep, you read that right.  I shared the below recipe in a raw food group last year and ended up getting dumped.

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?

A dog owner asked if yogurt is okay to give to dogs.  I responded that I add it to a summer treat and they love it.  I added that I double checked with my veterinarian and he said it was fine.

That’s when a couple people 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.

Since then I’ve learned that there are many groups that are just as passionate about all things raw and it’s pointless to (1) take it personally or (2) engage.  I know what’s right for my dogs, I’m doing my homework, and some random stranger who has 10years of experience feeding raw doesn’t have a lick of experience with my dogs.

And to be honest, I probably got kicked out, because I was kind of a smart ass.  But know-it-alls who don’t know much more than I do annoy me.  This is also the same group that said glucosamine didn’t work for dogs and it was a waste of time giving it to them.

So what’s the deal with  yogurt?

Dogs are lactose intolerant and, like humans, some can handle more lactose than others.  This is why we give our dogs raw goats milk.  Since it hasn’t been pasteurized, it still contains lactase, which makes the lactose tolerable for dogs.  No gas, no diarrhea, and no vomiting.

Not ready for raw? Try cooking?

We don’t feed our dogs yogurt as part of their regular diet – it would be overkill for our pack.  But yogurt in cooked meals seem to be fine.

Natural Pet Pantry offers pre-made cooked meals.  And there are loads of cookbooks who can get you started.  Right now, I’m reading Your Pet Chef Cookbook.  It’s a book full to simple recipes by Lisa Hennessy.  And despite my avoidance of the kitchen in our house, I’m convinced that I can handle these recipes for our pack.

Your Pet Chef Cook  Book, Cooking for Dogs

Your Pet Chef has sections that…

  • explain quality ingredients,
  • offer basic recipes (that’s for me!),
  • offer recipes for weight loss,
  • offer recipes for medical conditions,
  • and share Lisa’s dog’s favorite recipes

A recipe from the author of Your Pet Chef

Here’s a recipe* for your dog to celebrate the upcoming Cinco de Mayo…

Cinco de Mayo Canine “Aperrotivo”

Equipment needed: Food processor, slicing knife, peeler, large mixing bowl, 9” x 13” baking pan, measuring cup, measuring spoons, spatula, spoon, plastic storage bags to store or freeze food

  • 1 large beet, (about 2 cups) peeled, sliced into 1” pieces
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tsp. flax seed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 lb. ground beef, 83% or higher
  • 4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the first 5 ingredients in your food processor and puree until smooth.  Combine the mixture with the ground beef until well blended.  Spread in the greased 9” x 13” baking pan.  Bake for about 60 minutes and remove from oven. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese.  

Allow to cool.  Cut into 1” squares and serve.  These tasty squares should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or can be frozen.  They will last about a week in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer. 

*If you are uncertain about any of the ingredients, please review them with your veterinarian.

For Halloween, I want to be a broken record…

As I keep telling you, don’t allow yourself to be pushed in a direction that you’re not ready to take.  But definitely consider having some fun making your dog a healthy dish.  It will make you feel like a Rock Star when your dog devours your meal and asks for more.

Yesterday was X for the Xenophobe in the Mirror

Tomorrow is Z for Zealots, Crazies, and Fanatics About Raw


  1. So, yogurt can kill dogs, huh?


    My holistic veterinarian, who also holds a degree in animal nutrition, suggests I give my dogs a good spoonful of yogurt (specifically Stoneyfield plain) when giving antibiotics or “just because”…guess she’s wrong, too.

    Sigh…I don’t think you’re losing much by not participating with that My-Way-Or-The-Highway group.

    • LOL – exactly! I loved when they questioned my vet’s experience.

      • So you were tossed for daring to imply that one can evaluate information and make decisions on your own based on what you know or believe to be best. Isn’t that what they ask for all the time? So frustrating.

        Ps yogurt rocks

        -just another ill informed DVM

        • LOL – I’m just happy that I’m learning to laugh at the absurdity that is social media. Everyone’s an expert today.

  2. Ha!
    If people are that sensitive and you can get kicked out (for the EXACT sort of reply I would’ve given, if not way more smart-ass-ier), then maybe it’s for the best.
    Because wow.
    We’ve fed yoghurt (plain, obvi) and heard of many other dogs on a restricted diet getting yoghurt. We’ve also given them ice cream, cheese, and cottage cheese – always as little treats. They love it. No adverse effects noticed.
    People need to chill.

    Though, I’ve been jumped on for suggesting to avoid garlic for dogs. Or at least saying that’s what I do. Onions are bad and garlic is in the same family, so we avoid. Many people like to give it for the same health/immune reasons humans take it, and if they want to and don’t have a bad experience, that’s fine. I’m cautious.
    Sure, garlic is good for blood pressure. But it’s effects otherwise (cancer, colds) – the jury is still out, given lack of actual science behind it. And there are many other options for supplements out there.

    • Isn’t that just hilarious? That’s what I love about social networking. The madness that us sane people can laugh at.

  3. Oh my gosh. Yes, that is so frustrating when people freak out over the littlest things.

    One example I’m sure you see all the time is when someone wants to feed kibble in the morning and raw in the evenings. I think that’s great, assuming it works OK for that particular dog. Yet, some moderators in raw food groups/forums will say that kibble is terrible and “you’re killing your dog.” Good grief. Not very helpful.

    I feed my dog a spoonful of yogurt with his food from time to time. He loves it! I feel comfortable feeding it.

    • Yep! I got that one. When we were first making the transition, we were feeding raw in the morning and kibble in the evening. When I shared this in the group, a woman flipped out. She was eventually removed from the group after she attacked too many members. I left the group when they started going over to Purina to attack their fans. LOL

  4. Unfortunately, it’s not just food that raw extremists get excited about – they often give out very controversial advice about vaccinations and worming too. Looking forward to Z tomorrow!

    • So very true! That’s why I took me so long to switch to raw; none of the strong opinions matched.

  5. Some people just want to pick a fight. That is all the women was doing I think. Funny.

    • It cracks me up that people are completely incapable of seeing a POV other than their own. I had fun while I was a member. hee hee hee

  6. Death by yogurt? OK …

    I don’t like people using the term “food nazi” but I don’t like food nazis either. It’s interesting how intolerant of other ways or opinions people can really get. And how they sometimes feel that feeding raw (the right way = their way) is the answer to anything.

    “My dog is limping and I think he broke his leg.”
    “You have to switch to raw.”

    I AM lactose intolerant. Impressively so, according to my doctor. And yet I can eat cheese or yogurt with no problems whatsoever. (Some studies have shown that the active live bacterial cultures (also known as probiotics) found in yogurt help lactose digestion)

    • I’m lactose intolerant too and love yogurt. I eat it daily. What made me sad recently was when a friend shared her dog’s cancer diagnosis and was told that she should have been feeding raw. Even if you believe that, there’s a time and place. A person’s need to be right shouldn’t replace kindness; especially since they have no idea what they’re talking about.

  7. *headdesk* really? wow. While I’m not a fan of low fat or no fat yogurt (I think full fat is better) I think it has a place in a cat’s diet – so I imagine it would a dogs – but not being a dog person I really can’t make claims to that. but I can tell you two things..

    1) people claim that cats are lactose intolerant – not all are.. most are, but not all. Each cat has it’s own tolerance level and some are fine with a little, some are fine with a lot. if they aren’t, they get a little diarrhea, then you know, and you feed less or none at all..
    2) there is VERY little lactose in yogurt..

    Yes, my eyes are rolling over here at the ‘dangerous’ product.. wow.. that is intolerance for you..

    I’ve been kicked out of a holistic group for believing that pediatric neutering of cats is an acceptable practice and one you should consider if you are getting a cat (and I was in a quarrel in another – that I have since walked away from, there is no point in arguing with someone who is not open to different ideas)

    It really is sad when things are ‘set in stone’ and there is no discussion.. because reasonable discussion is how we all learn..

    • It makes it hard for people to learn too. It’s fine that people don’t feed their dogs yogurt, but people forget that what works or doesn’t work for their dog can’t be applied to ALL dogs. What cracks me up is the biggest mouth wasn’t even a moderator of the group; just a big mouth. LOL

  8. There’s extremists in everything and their intolerance makes it hard for anyone to really engage in a dialog with them. Saw they same thing when we were writing about pedigree dog issues. Walking away is the best solution. And FWIT, Jack licks my yogurt container everyday and he’s still very much alive.

    • So very true. I’m slowly learning to just walk away. My proud moment was seeing something snarky someone added after my comment and just ignoring it. Felt pretty good :)

  9. This one grabbed my attention because I see some crazy things on raw feeding groups >.<

    There are some are some great groups and some errrrr, not so great. Some of them I just follow to pick up tips and ideas. As often as I see them run as dictatorships where people are scared to even breathe, I see people being rude and huffy with lovely admin staff who are giving their time for free simply to help others and their dogs out.

    I also think that "we" are losing the ability to read around a subject and draw our own conclusions and move forward from there. Too many people want "the" answer, from one source, and once they think they've found it, that's it, nothing can deviate them from that.

    My raw feeding hero is Tom Lonsdale but if he said something that made no sense to me I'd question it, do some more thinking and reading and go from there.

    • You are very right about losing the ability to read around a subject. I see many people asking what to specifically feed their dog, not understanding that all of our dogs have different needs and what one person feeds may not work for another person.


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