Milk and dairy products can prove quite beneficial to humans. As milk is rich in calcium, consuming it and other dairy products may even prevent osteoporosis and bone fracture. So, there’s no doubt that humans benefit from drinking milk, but what about man’s best friend?
Can dogs drink milk? Well, yes, however, conditions apply.
Dogs can drink milk, but only if fed in a moderate amount. 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, however, it is necessary to note what’s good and what’s bad for your dog.
How Much Milk Is Safe for My Dog?
Dairy products are not toxic to dogs; however, they are not necessary for your pooch’s diet as they may cause some discomfort in your pup. A few tablespoons of cow’s milk or goat’s milk every once in a while is absolutely safe and 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.
Milk is also high in fat and natural sugars. It contains a kind of sugar called lactose that requires an enzyme called lactase for digestion.
Puppies generally have the enzyme in abundance as it is used to break down their mother’s milk while nursing. However as they are introduced to more adult foods, they’ll produce less lactase 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. Yak milk and goat milk might be a good option if your pooch doesn’t like drinking cow milk. As for harmful types of milk, keep chocolate milk and any sweetened and fat-rich milk away from dogs.
However, 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 Dog Is Lactose Intolerant?
Most owners don’t know that their dogs are lactose intolerant even after they’ve been feeding milk to their dogs for a long time. You can tell if your dog is lactose intolerant if you see the following symptoms after you feed them some milk:
- Loose stools
- Intestinal Pain
Since most dairy products contain a lot of fat, consumption of such products can lead to pancreatitis in your dog, which is a highly severe condition.
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 had a large amount of milk. Even non-lactose intolerant dogs are prone to vomiting and diarrhea if they drink too much milk.
Can Dogs Eat Cheese and Ice cream?
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?
Obviously, for a dog with lactose intolerance, most dairy products are a big no, however not all dairy products are too much for your pooch. 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 any problems for your dog, however, you should only allow it in moderation. However still, even if dairy products themselves are non-toxic to dogs, certain ice cream flavors contain chocolate, raisins, or macadamia nuts, which can be 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, we might assume that it is good for dogs as well. However, milk isn’t actually much beneficial to your dogs’ health. Milk contains lots of vitamins like vitamins A, D, B12, protein, and calcium that can be a good addition to your dogs’ diet, however, 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, by feeding your dog milk, thinking that it is healthy, you 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 however high in nutrients.
Always be smart about how much milk you feed your dog and make sure they don’t drink too much. There are many benefits to giving your pup a few dairy products, however, you should also know the risks of giving them too much.
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 milk to your dog? Did you know about the harmful effects? Or is your dog lactose intolerant? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community in the comment section below.