Milk is considered nutritious and healthy for people but even that’s debatable. Sharing milk with your dog is even more questionable. Dogs do drink milk, from their mothers post birth. But does that mean it’s okay for them to drink it routinely later on?
Dairy products for dogs in general raise several questions. Are they safe for the canine species? Will they benefit from the high protein, vitamins and minerals in milk products? You may be shocked to learn that milk based products should not be given to dogs. This is yet another case of how our human system is different from that of a dog.
Milk and milk-based products contain lots of lactose. Most humans have the necessary enzymes to break down this component which is then absorbed by the body. Dogs, however, do not have enough of these enzymes to properly process lactose. In short, dogs are mostly lactose-intolerant.
Can I Give My Dog Milk? Answer: No
Many dogs have poor levels of tolerance for lactose.
Some dogs may be immediately affected. There are also those that are not affected by dairy consumption at all. It’s important to know that feeding milk to your dog can cause a serious imbalance in their system and trigger other health problems as well.
Severe cases of lactose intolerance can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. If this happens, you should keep your dog hydrated by offering some Pedialyte which is an oral dextrose. If the symptoms continue or worsen, you should consult a veterinarian right away.
Mild forms of lactose intolerance can also manifest in the form of gas. If your dog has gas, you may be able to hear some rumbling sounds in their tummy. Often times, dogs experiencing gas will refuse to eat their food until the situation clears up. This is a sign of intolerance to certain foods that you will hopefully notice.
How Dangerous is Milk
Milk is not really life-threatening to dogs. In fact, your dog may even tolerate it. However, why should you risk it? Even if your dog suffers only mild forms of diarrhea, you will still be exposing your canine friend to bacteria as a result. Bacteria-related problems can progress into more serious diseases which are sometimes difficult to diagnose.
If you feel the need to give your dog milk, warm milk can have a soothing effect especially for puppies, then get lactose-free milk products. In order to play it safe, you can buy dog milk from a pet supply store. These types of stores carry milk products that are specially formulated for dogs, usually puppies.
Different Milk Products
Generally, you should avoid giving milk products to dogs. As previously explained, a dog’s system cannot really process milk properly. Soy milk for humans should be particularly avoided as this type of milk contains very high amounts of protein. Your pet dog simply can’t digest this type of protein from milk but it may not be so obvious. Unfortunately, skim milk isn’t really much better.
You can opt to give more healthy dairy products, like yogurt, as these types of products are more easily digestible for dogs. There really aren’t many other human options aside from yogurt and lactose-free milk when it comes to providing dairy.
Pet stores are your best bet for alternatives. You will find that there are a lot of formulated doggy treats and snacks that are safe for your dog. There are also some milk products made for dogs but be very selective for all the reasons explained here.
Conclusion on Milk & Dairy
As you can see, milk products for humans can very possibly do your dog more harm than good. If you want what’s best for your canine friend, you will eliminate milk and dairy from their daily food regimen. Keep a stock of healthy doggy treats and snacks at home so that you will not be tempted to share people food with your dog all the time including dairy.
It is a misconception that milk is healthy for dogs. Just ask your vet to confirm it! Then, please share what you found here.