Giving milk to a dog has been a common practice among pet parents. Milk has high amounts of vitamins and minerals but is it safe for dogs to drink?
Many of us are unaware of the health problems that may appear when giving milk to dogs. In this blog, we will look at some considerations of giving milk to your dogs and puppies.
Keep reading to learn more!
Can dogs drink milk?
Technically, maybe! There may not be a simple yes or no answer. When feeding milk to dogs, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind.
Our furry companions do not process fat as easily as we do. So, milk should only be served on an occasional basis. Usually, a little bit of milk isn’t going to be harmful to your four-legged child. Dogs can face several health problems if they drink milk in high quantities or over a long period of time.
What happens if a dog drinks milk?
Dr. Stephanie Liff, DVM, owner of Pure Paws Veterinary Care of Clinton Hill in Brooklyn, NY says, “Most dogs can drink cow’s milk or goat’s milk, however, some dogs may be allergic or lactose intolerant.”
Dogs lack the enzyme lactase that breaks down sugars in milk. The lactose found in milk will pass through your dog's GI tracts and into their colons undigested.
Dr. Liff further adds, “Due to deficient levels of lactase, milk ingestion can lead to GI upset including diarrhea and vomiting. Additionally, whole milk or other dairy products may contain too much fat and can lead to diarrhea and vomiting too.”
Dogs may also develop a potentially serious disease called pancreatitis if they consume high-fat milk or dairy products. However, occasionally a few sips of milk may not be a big deal for your dog.
How much milk can dogs drink?
Milk is a safe treat for dogs if fed in small quantities. A few tablespoons of cow milk or goat milk can be given to dogs on an occasional basis. But, don't let your dog drink an entire bowl of milk in one sitting. It can cause gastrointestinal upsets, including diarrhea and vomiting.
Just watch your dog for symptoms of lactose intolerance. GI upset will generally occur within twelve hours or so of drinking milk.
Lactose intolerance in dogs
Keep in mind that many dogs are lactose intolerant, and drinking milk can cause unpleasant reactions. Various components in milk, like fat, proteins, sugar, and preservatives, can give your dog an upset stomach. The common symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs include
- Lack of appetite
- Abdominal pain
Dogs and dairy allergies
Not only can dogs be lactose intolerant, but they can also have milk or dairy allergies. Milk and other dairy products are known to be among the top allergens for dogs.
Milk allergies can cause similar gastrointestinal symptoms as lactose intolerance. They can also cause issues such as
- Itchy skin
- Skin infections
- Hair loss
Few considerations before giving milk to dogs
Milk contains lots of nutrients, including protein, calcium, and vitamins A, D, and B12. However, milk isn’t the best way to get these nutrients for your dog.
Here are a few things that you must look at before giving milk to your pooch:
- Before feeding your dog with milk, you need to make sure your furry friend is not lactose intolerant.
- Don’t allow your dog to drink chocolate milk, as chocolate can be toxic to dogs.
- Remember to control the amount of milk your dog drinks. It is a great nutritional supplement, but shouldn’t interfere with your dog's regular, balanced diet. You can consult your vet for a better idea of the amount of milk that you add to your dog’s diet.
Even if your furry companion loves milk and shows no symptoms of adverse reactions, you should limit its intake of milk. Limiting milk intake can help prevent digestive upset.
Pro tip: If you are unsure of a specific food that you can feed to your dog, always seek advice from your vet.
It is undeniable that your dog will enjoy the taste of milk. As a responsible pet parent, you must ensure to satisfy their tastes wisely and safely. Offering milk in small amounts can be an occasional treat if your dog doesn’t suffer from any of the potential side effects. Always consult your vet before introducing anything new into your dog’s diet.
One of the most convenient ways to get a probiotic into your dog is by offering them Safeguard Detox and Probiotic supplement. It supports and protects a healthy gut and immune system.
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Until next time everyone!