In most parts of the world, dogs are not considered as a species that can drink human milk. However, in some cultures, where dog ownership is common and breastfeeding commonly occurs in public, mothers may be seen feeding their children’s puppies from their breasts.
The answer to the question ‘Can dogs drink human milk?’ is not so simple. There’s nothing wrong if dogs have a little bit of this milk but it doesn’t have the same nutritional value as dog milk. So, it’s best if you avoid giving human milk to dogs.
As with any other dairy product, the lactose content is the biggest issue when it comes to drinking human milk. So, if your dog is lactose intolerant, it’s best not to feed human milk or for that matter any dairy product to your pooch. Dogs with lactose intolerance have a harder time digesting milk and it could lead to gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Furthermore, it could lead to bloating, increased gas, and even pancreatitis. Human milk has a higher lactose content compared to cow milk, so you would need to be extra careful about your dog drinking human milk.
Human Milk And Lactose Intolerance In Dogs
As dogs mature, the amount of lactase they produce reduces significantly. Lactase is an enzyme that helps in digesting lactose. Lactose is a sugar and is what gives the milk its sweet taste. It’s found in the breast milk of all mammals. Human breast milk has a higher lactose content than any other species of mammal on earth, so if your dog drinks human milk, he/she could seriously get ill. Some symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pains, bloat, increased gas, and pancreatitis.
If you want to try feeding your dog human milk, just be careful about its lactose content. However, we recommend you don’t feed any amount of human milk to dogs. Dogs don’t require milk in their diet. They can gain all the nutrients they could gain from drinking milk from their daily kibble. So, it’s best not to risk feeding any milk and stick with just the regular kibble.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Drink Human Milk?
While human breast milk is extremely nutritious for human babies, you shouldn’t feed it to your dog. The lactose content in human milk is too high for your dog to digest, and it can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, bloat, increased gas, and pancreatitis if your dog drinks large amounts of human milk.
Dogs don’t require or even gain much from drinking milk. It’s best not to risk it and just stick with kibble feeds for dogs instead. While drinking small amounts of human milk isn’t life-threatening for your dog, it’s best to avoid the risk and not feed your dog any amount of human milk. If your dog starts feeling ill after drinking human milk or any milk, you should take it out of his/her diet right away. And if the symptoms persist for a long time, consult a vet.
Thank you for reading the article.
To explore more, here are some other milk-related articles that you might be interested in.
How often do you feed human milk to your dog? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community in the comment section below.