Can I Give My Dog Milk?

Can Dogs Drink Milk?Milk is generally nutritious and healthy for people, but sharing with a dog often raises eyebrows. Puppies drink it shortly after birth, but is dairy appropriate for them later in life?

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Weigh milk’s high protein, vitamins and minerals against the downsides. Many dogs are actually lactose intolerant to a degree. They lack an enzyme to break down this type of sugar.

It could be the case that your dog cannot properly absorb dairy. On the other hand, there are certain situations where milk or a replacement product makes sense for a vulnerable pet.

Can I Give My Dog Some Milk? Answer: Not Normally

But there are always exceptions.

Lots of dogs are intolerant to milk, while some handle dairy consumption with ease. You simply can’t know how your dog will react until symptoms surface. Milk-Bone Dog Treats are more appropriate. Feeding pure milk to a pet dog has the potential to cause digestive imbalances.

Keep reading. We’ll be touching on milk replacements and several other important considerations.

Dairy Replacers for Dogs

Esbilac’s Powder Milk Replacer is made specially for dogs and puppies. It’s easier to digest and provides important nutrients. Sometimes this is necessary for animals recovering from illness or surgery.

There’s a similar well-regarded weaning food product made just for puppies. So, you see, milk-like formulas can be beneficial for dogs under some scenarios. Most vets will agree.

The Problem with Milk

Lactose intolerance can cause vomiting and diarrhea among other gastrointestinal problems. If so, keep your dog hydrated by providing plenty of fresh water. Pedialyte also works wonders.

Mild intolerance may manifest in the form of gas. If your dog is gassy, expect to hear rumbling sounds in their tummy. Fido may refuse their food until the situation clears up.

Recognize negative reactions to certain foods or liquids, including milk, so you can discontinue them. A vet visit is in order, and as soon as possible, for severe allergic reactions.

Common Sense K9 Advice

Consuming a bit of milk isn’t a huge cause for concern or even dangerous for most dogs. Again, they may even tolerate it. That does not necessarily mean you should be sharing any of your milk.

It’s really a judgement call for pet parents. Vets advise against it, unless there’s a good reason to do so. Even then, it’s often a milk replacement product.

Different Dairy Decisions

There are lots of dairy products these days. Soy milk is best avoided since it has very high levels of protein. Your dog may not be able to digest it, though it’s not always so obvious.

Unfortunately, skim milk isn’t much better. Yogurt will likely be easier on your dog’s stomach. It’s more easily digestible. But ask yourself, what’s the reason for feeding Fido dairy foods?

Quality lactose-free milk is another alternative. Lower lactose levels generally increases the likelihood that a milk-based food will be better tolerated. Watch this quick yet informative video.

Conclusion on Milk

Giving milk to a dog is normally inappropriate. Dairy usually doesn’t make sense for adult pet pooch. Bowel irregularity and other digestive problems are common. Milk, and dairy in general, often won’t agree with even a mildly lactose intolerant dog. Most canines don’t need milk once the mother’s finished lactating.

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Dr. Stephanie Flansburg Cruz, a practicing vet, has reviewed and endorsed this article. She has 3 dogs of her own and cares about the welfare of all animals.


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