Ensure is a supplement drink that’s loaded up with vitamins and minerals. It’s often used to help people pack on pounds if they’re underweight. Some use it to heal quicker after an injury. Would giving it to a dog make any sense?
Ensure contains a good amount of lactose, which many dogs are intolerant of. That said, is there any situation where giving some could be beneficial for a canine? Let’s find out.
First off, there isn’t anything dangerous for dogs in Ensure. Besides the lactose, this health product has a lot of vitamins and minerals. So, in general, it isn’t considered harmful if your pet gets hold of it.
Can I Give My Dog Ensure? Answer: Yes, but some dogs don’t agree with it
While Ensure has been formulated for human consumption, there may be times when you can give it to your dog.
Owners of older dogs are sometimes looking for ways to promote health for their dog as they age; maybe they’re struggling to maintain weight or are taking a long time to heal after an injury.
Since Ensure was developed specifically for human consumption you are encouraged to ask your vet about its use. They will have their opinion but also your dog’s full medical history. There isn’t a better piece of advise.
Once your vet agrees there is no harm in offering this to your dog now and then, start with small amounts. Even though Ensure has recently been changed to include a lower lactose level, too much of it can still lead to severe diarrhea for dogs
Help Your Dog Bulk Up
Some dogs are naturally skinny, this may be due to a nervous disorder where they shiver and shake so much their metabolisms need to burn more fuel or maybe you have a dog that refuses to drink water and you know that fruit juice or milk are not alternatives.
Start by introducing your dog to Ensure slowly, small amounts mixed will reduce the risk of diarrhea. If your dog develops diarrhea it may be worthwhile reducing the mix further or stop giving it to your dog altogether. Skinny dogs will benefit from the extra minerals and vitamins that Ensure will be able to offer them, ensuring that they have good health no matter how thin they are, it may even help them bulk up.
Lactose and Diarrhea
The main side effect that dogs will have from drinking Ensure is diarrhea caused by the lactose in the mix. While the majority of dogs are lactose intolerant, the worst side effect you can expect to see will be diarrhea. Ensure has decreased the amount of lactose in their shakes, but there’s still enough to affect most dogs.
Remember this formulation has been designed for human consumption, not for animals. If diarrhea develops make sure that they drink plenty of water to reduce the risk of dehydration. Also, at that point, stop providing Ensure.
Monitoring the Situation
Whenever you offer your dog something designed for human consumption, monitor them for changes in their behavior or overall health. If your dog starts vomiting or gets diarrhea, it may be prudent to contact your vet. Make sure they drink plenty of water to combat dehydration. Canines can become dehydrated very quickly. Pull the skin up between the shoulder blades as a test. If it takes a couple of seconds to go back into place, your dog could already be dehydrated and may need medical attention.
A Good Shake Choice?
If you have an older dog that is suffering after an accident and isn’t recovering as quickly as it should, you may want to help them along. By offering them a shake that can improve recovery but can cause other symptoms, you need to decide which the best option is.
You may feel that your dog being able to move around freely is more important than having a dog with severe diarrhea, but bear in mind that older dogs may not digest the lactose as easily as their younger counterparts and you may be doing more damage than good.