Can Dogs Drink Milk

Essentially milk is composed of fat, water and lactose along with some minerals, vitamins, enzymes and other goodies. It’s said that milk is valuable in maintaining the health of human bones and teeth. But, can dogs have milk? Though milk can have some benefits for your pooch it’s best to limit the amount of milk for dogs. Protein, calcium, and vitamins can be a nice addition to their diet, BUT dogs get those essentials from their normal food typically.  The downside to milk? It contains a lot of sugar and many dogs are considered lactose intolerant. As pet parents, we often want to share what we’re eating or drinking with our dogs well… Here’s what you need to know about keeping your dog healthy & safe when it comes to milk.

How is milk good for dogs?

Milk contains protein, calcium, vitamin B12 as well as A and D. Those are considered good for dogs if consumed according to your veterinarians diet plan. What type of milk is safe for puppies? Commercial canine milk replacers are often used, but be sure they state “for puppies”. Again, ask your vet if you have any questions. In adult dogs however, lactose-free milk would be the best choice, even goat milk is better than cow milk. These are only recommended as an occasional snack. Which is better: goat’s milk or cows milk? Well, goat milk contains a lower amount of lactose than cow milk. It can be easier for your dog to digest, also it’s less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Although milk is not harmful or toxic it would best for your pooch if you limit the amount of milk you give your dog. Best to be safe than sorry and because you can get the nutrients elsewhere in their normal diet there is no real need to give dogs milk. 

Why is milk bad for dogs?

It is a sad reality that some dogs just do not tolerate milk well. Milk is also high in fat. Too much milk can contribute to pancreatitis, obesity and other medical conditions. Can dogs drink milk? Yes, but milk has lactose and is difficult to digest. As a puppy, your dog may have had the enzyme lactase in abundance, because it was used to break down the mother’s milk. But, as your dog gets older their body produces less and less lactase. This is how most dogs become lactose intolerant and leads to your loyal friend suffering from abdominal pain or diarrhea. 

Imagine your dog vomiting or even worse bloating just because of a few too many sips of milk. The high-fat content in dairy products such as whole milk can cause pancreatitis which can be a very serious condition for your furry friend. One of the most common food allergies in dogs is dairy. Once there is a reaction to dairy you should discontinue feeding your dog dairy, and call your vet immediately. Allergic reaction signs may include redness or irritation of the skin, yeast infection, diarrhea, vomiting and itchy ears. Did you know that it only takes about 12 hours from eating or drinking any dairy for a gastrointestinal upset to affect your pooch? This is why most dog owners steer clear of milk altogether. You should also really consider why you are providing milk for dogs. There isn’t a real need, so we suggest you avoid this pairing.

How do you feed milk to your dog?

First off, we suggest you don’t. But, if the temptation is just too great…a lick here and there of ice cream or milk would not be the end of the world. Perhaps switching to coconut milk may also be a good alternative. Milk should be a rare-if-ever treat. 

Recipes for dog treats containing milk.

We didn’t want to provide any recipes for dog treats containing milk, although we’re sure you’ve heard of milk-bone dog treats. The majority of recipes contain everything else and milk is a very minor binding agent to be used to stick it all together before baking.

What do vets and nutritionists have to say about dogs and milk?

It is always best to consult with your pooch’s vet to find out if your dog is allergic or lactose intolerant before feeding your dog milk or any dairy. Usually treats should be given in moderation but it would be wise to take extra precaution when it comes to milk. Can dogs have milk? It is not harmful or toxic, but it is best to be careful with the amount your dog consumes, if any at all. Always put our dog’s health first.

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