Milk products are very nutritious for people. And dogs are also known to drink milk as they feed on milk from their mother when they are born. So is it safe to share your milk with your favorite pet in the world?
And aside from milk, are dairy products generally safe for the canine species? Will they benefit from the high protein, vitamins and minerals that are present in milk products? You are probably surprised to find out that milk products should not be given to dogs. This just goes to show how different the human system is from the canine system.
Milk and milk-based products contain a large amount of lactose and the human body has the necessary enzymes to break down this component to be absorbed by the body. In the case of dogs, however, they don’t have enough of these enzymes to process lactose. In short, dogs are lactose-intolerant just like some people are.
Can I Give My Dog Milk? Answer: No
Harmful Effects of Milk for Dogs
Just like people, dogs have different levels of tolerance for lactose too. While some dogs may be immediately affected, there are also those that are not affected by lactose at all. In both cases, it is still important that you know how feeding milk to your dog can cause a great imbalance in the system and cause other health problems as well.
Serious 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 situation clears up quickly, then the issue is resolved. But if the diarrhea and vomiting 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 might be able to hear some rumbling sounds in their tummy. Most of the time, dogs that are suffering from gas will refuse to eat their food until the situation clears up.
How Dangerous is Milk for Dogs?
Milk is not really life-threatening to dogs. In fact, some dogs can even tolerate it. However, why should you risk it? Even if your dog might only suffer mild forms of diarrhea, you will still be exposing your canine friend to bacteria when this happens. And bacteria problems can always progress into more serious diseases.
If you feel the need to give your dog milk, as some people find warm milk to have a soothing effect especially for puppies, then get lactose-free milk products. In order to play safe, you can buy dog milk from pet supply stores as these types of stores carry milk products that are really intended for dogs.
Choosing Milk Products for Your Dog
Generally, you should avoid giving milk products to dogs. As previously explained, a dog’s system cannot process milk properly. Soy milk for humans should be particularly avoided as this type of milk contains high amounts of protein. And your pet dog simply can’t digest this type of protein from milk.
You can opt to give healthy dairy products like yogurt as these types of products are easily digestible. But aside from yogurt and lactose-free milk, it would be better if you simply avoid giving dairy to your dog.
Go to a pet supply store and you will find that there are a lot of doggy treats and snacks that are guaranteed safe for your dog. There are dry and moist dog food types as well as kibble treats in different flavors. Yes, there are also milk products that are intended for dogs and these are safe as these products were especially made for the canine species. You can keep a stock of doggy treats and snacks at home so that you will not be tempted to share people food with your dog all the time.
A Healthy Tummy Makes a Healthy Doggy
As you can see, milk products for humans can possibly do your dog more harm than good. So if you want what’s best for your canine friend, you will eliminate milk or dairy from their daily food regimen.