Milk and dairy products can prove quite beneficial to humans. They have significant amounts of B vitamins, vitamin D, Calcium, Phosphorus, and Potassium, which help keep the human bones and teeth nice and healthy. As milk is rich in calcium, consuming it and other dairy products may even prevent osteoporosis and bone fracture. So, it is certain that humans benefit from drinking milk, but what about man’s best friend? “Can Dogs Drink Milk?”. In a word, maybe.
Dogs can drink milk, but only if fed in a moderate amount. However, most pups are lactose intolerant, meaning they can get intestinal problems from drinking milk. Each dog is an individual, and not all of them will show signs of rejection of certain foods, but it is necessary to note what’s good and what’s bad for your dog.
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How Much Milk Is Safe Enough?
Dairy products are not toxic to dogs; however, they are not necessary in your pooch’s diet as they may cause some discomfort in your pup. A few tablespoons of cow’s or goat’s milk once every while proves to be a nice treat for your dog without any risk of ailments. However, abstain from feeding them an entire bowl of milk in one sitting. Feeding them large quantities of milk at once can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and loose stools.
“Puppies generally have the enzyme in abundance as it is used to breakdown their mother’s milk while nursing.”
As your dog is introduced to more adult foods, they’ll produce less lactose in their system, and that is when they can become lactose intolerant.
So, how much milk is too much, you ask? It all depends on your pup’s age, size, and health. Still, giving them one or more bowls of milk is a bad idea. Moderation is key. Start with a small amount, maybe one teaspoon, check your dog’s reaction, if no adverse reactions are seen, perhaps you could add another teaspoon next time.
Are All Kinds Of Milk Safe?
No, not all kinds of milk are safe for your pooch. Your dog can easily digest some types of milk, and some can be a little difficult to digest. Below is a list of kinds of milk, both good and potentially bad for your dog:
|Yak Milk||Almond Milk|
|Goat Milk||Chocolate Milk|
The above table isn’t suitable for lactose intolerant dogs. If your pooch is lactose intolerant, then even small amounts of milk, such as a spoonful, can induce intestinal problems. Still, every dog is an individual; some may be able to drink almond milk, and some may not. Still, most kinds of milk are good, not only for dogs but for most pets.
How Can I Tell If My Pup Is Lactose Intolerant?
Most owners don’t know that their dogs are lactose intolerant until they feed them milk. The following symptoms can be seen in a lactose intolerant dog who had some milk:
- Loose stools
- Intestinal Pain
Since most dairy products contain a lot of fat, consumption can lead to pancreatitis for your dog, which is a highly severe condition.
So, how can you determine if your canine is lactose intolerant? The answer is simple. Try feeding your pup a small amount of milk, and if they show the symptoms mentioned above, find a different treat. Generally, dogs can experience gastrointestinal upset sometimes within twelve hours of drinking or eating dairy products. However, trying to determine if your dog is lactose intolerant can be difficult if they have drunk a large amount of milk. Even non-lactose intolerant dogs are prone to vomiting and diarrhea if they drink too much.
Can Dogs Eat Cheese?
We now know that the answer to the question “Can Dogs Drink Milk?” is yes if fed in moderation. Well, what about other dairy products like cheese and ice-cream.
You can check the detailed answer to the question “Can Dogs Eat Cheese?” by clicking here.
Obviously, for a dog with lactose intolerance, most dairy products are a big no, but not all dairy products are too much for your pooch. Below is a table of lactose content of some common dairy products:
|Lactose Content Of Common Dairy Foods|
|Product||Serving Size||Lactose (Grams)|
|Milk (Whole)||1 Cup||11|
|Milk (Skim)||1 Cup||11|
|Ice Cream||1/2 Cup||6|
|Yogurt (Low Fat)||1 Cup||5|
|Sour Cream||1/2 Cup||4|
|Cottage Cream||1/2 Cup||3|
|American Cheese||1 Ounce||1|
|Swiss Cheese||1 Ounce||1|
|Cheddar Cheese||1 Ounce||0|
As we can see, most cheeses have low lactose amounts; dogs intolerant to milk can also eat cheese without any risks. In fact, almost any cheese can make a great natural treat for your dog.
What About Ice Cream?
An occasional lick of ice cream won’t prove problematic for your dog, but you should only allow it in moderation. But still, even if dairy products themselves are non-toxic to dogs, certain ice cream flavors contain chocolate, raisins, or macadamia nuts, which are very harmful to dogs. It is necessary to be stern with your dog when they show you their “puppy-dog eyes” when you’re having food that can be potentially dangerous for your dog. Additionally, some dairy products contain artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, which can also be toxic to dogs.
So, in a nutshell, yes, dogs can eat cheese and ice cream, if fed in moderation (without including chocolate ice creams or other potentially toxic flavors). The lower the lactose content, the more likely your dog can tolerate consuming the dairy product without any risks.
Is milk healthy for my dog?
Since milk is so beneficial to humans, is it suitable for dogs as well? Milk contains lots of vitamins like vitamins A, D, B12, protein, and calcium that can be a good addition to your dogs’ diet, but milk isn’t truly a good way to get these nutrients. “Why?” Because milk is too high in sugar.
Excess fat and sugars are never good for anyone, humans and animals included. So, feeding your dog milk, thinking that it is healthy, might be going a little overboard. Of course, you can replace milk with other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, as they are both low in sugar but high in nutrients.
In a nutshell, yes, dogs can drink milk, that is if fed in moderation. As long as you know when to stop feeding milk or dairy products to your dog (in a sitting), everything’s going to be okay. Do you let your dog eat dairy products or drink milk? What is their reaction afterwards? Let us know in the comments below.