28 July, 2021

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Can Dogs Eat Milk?

Can dogs eat milk?

Can dogs eat milk

“Can my dog have milk?” A question that most canine owners have asked themselves at one point or another. According to research, dogs can drink milk, but it should be given in moderation.  However, in some cases, dogs should not be given milk.

As a responsible canine owner, there is a need for proper knowledge on this subject matter. This is especially important considering that there may be health implications if a dog that should not drink lactose is given milk. This guide will help you determine whether your pooch can safely drink milk!

Can Dogs Drink Milk? 

There are two circumstances that canine owners must consider before feeding milk to their dogs. If the dog is lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, it cannot be fed milk. If your dog is not lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, it can be fed milk in moderate amounts. Though, the type of milk you give your dog is equally important. Choose reduced-fat milk without added sugar, so your dog’s digestive tract is not overwhelmed. Additionally, avoid flavored drinks like chocolate milk.

How Much Milk Can Dogs Drink?

The safest amount of milk for most dogs is a few tablespoons at a time.  Feeding milk to dogs must be given moderately to avoid excessive fat consumption. Too much fat in your dog’s system could lead to health issues such as vomiting, pancreatitis, obesity, loose stools, and diarrhea.

Is Milk Safe For Dogs?

Milk is safe for dogs if they are not lactose intolerant or allergic to it. Canine owners must seek the advice of a veterinarian before feeding milk to their dogs. Once determined to be lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, avoid treats or dog food that contain dairy. However, if your pup is not lactose intolerant or allergic, drinking milk in moderation is safe.

Can Dogs Safely Drink Milk? 

Goat’s milk and cow’s milk are considered safe for dogs to consume. However, some experts recommend goat over cow milk since the former contains more essential vitamins and nutrients.

Dogs can safely drink milk if they are not lactose intolerant or allergic to milk.

When Can Dogs Drink Milk? 

Dogs acquire an essential enzyme called lactase by drinking their mother’s milk. This enzyme plays a crucial role in dogs’ digestion processes. Dogs can drink milk once they no longer depend on their mothers’ milk. Ask your veterinarian if they think cow or goat milk (or neither) would be best for your dog.

Can Dogs Become Lactose Intolerant?

If dogs are given too much milk, they may become lactase deficient. Lactase is the enzyme that breaks down lactose. Without enough lactase, the milk cannot be efficiently utilized, leading to gastrointestinal troubles. This condition is known as lactose intolerance. As a result of lactose intolerance, your dog may show signs of gastrointestinal distress.

What Can Happen If Your Dog Drinks Milk?

Drinking an excessive amount of goat’s milk or cow’s milk can lead to lesser lactase production, hindering digestion in dogs. Gastrointestinal upset often takes the form of diarrhea, vomiting, and pancreatitis.

What to Do if Your Dog Drinks Milk

If your dog should not drink lactose and it happens to find some milk, remember to stay calm. Dogs are highly empathetic animals, and they may experience unneeded stress and anxiety if they see you panicking. An allergic reaction usually comes on quickly, but a lactose intolerant dog may not show signs for 12 hours. Monitor your dog’s signs and take it to the vet as soon as it is safe to do so. You may want to let your dog throw up once or twice to get the milk out of its system. While severely sensitive dogs should be taken to a pet hospital immediately, canine lactose intolerance is rarely fatal.

The Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Milk 

Both cow and goat milk are safe for dogs. However, experts are steadily realizing that goat’s milk may be more beneficial for dogs than cow’s lactose. For example, raw goat milk contains more vitamins and minerals than cow’s milk. Goat’s milk has many additional benefits, including:

  • Suitable for lactose intolerant dogs. This is because it is unpasteurized and therefore still contains the lactase enzyme. 
  • Easier to digest due to its particles, enzymes, and probiotics.
  • The most common milk-related allergy reaction in dogs is in response to the protein alpha-S1 casein. Goat’s milk does not have as much of this protein as cow’s milk, so the risk of triggering an allergic reaction is lower.
  • Packed with probiotics that can boost immune function.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Helps dogs gain weight.
  • Contains nutrients such as potassium, zinc and selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, calcium, and vitamin B12.
  • Benefits the digestive system as an antacid.

Is Milk Healthy for My Dog?

Milk has high sugar content. A dog’s diet must be balanced, and canines only need forty percent carbohydrates (which includes sugar). Milk has forty-five percent sugar, so a serving size acceptable for a human would contain far too much sugar (and fat) for dogs. Generally, milk is healthy for dogs if given moderately. However, canine owners can resort to dairy products with lower sugar content, such as yogurt and cheese.

Serving Ideas

To begin, consult your vet about giving your dog milk. Once an expert has signed off, give your dog a teaspoon of milk and wait 24 hours to ensure there are no adverse side effects. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, head back to the vet to discuss what’s next. If your pet is fine after 24 hours, give a small dog half a tablespoon of milk (a full tablespoon for a large dog). One to two tablespoons of milk now and then can boost your dog’s well-being, but try to reserve milk as a treat rather than a portion of daily food. Additionally, avoid exceeding two tablespoons per serving.

As we mentioned, you can also try other dairy products like yogurt or cheese! Feel free to get creative with serving food to your dogs. You can use yogurt or cheese as a sweet topping on dog food, to conceal medicine, and even to train your pooch!

Can Milk Be Dangerous for My Dog?

Dogs that are allergic to milk or are lactose intolerant should not drink milk. Canine owners must be aware of the various symptoms that determine the lactose intolerance of their dogs. Vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, and bloating are aftereffects of drinking milk in lactose-intolerant dogs.

References 

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