Milk products are nutritious and healthy for people although even that is debatable. Therefore, it’s not surprising there’s some controversy about sharing your milk with your favorite pet in the world. Dogs do drink milk from their mothers post birth but does that mean it’s OK for a dog to drink it at a later time?
This leads to another question regarding dairy products for dogs in general. Are they safe for the canine species? Will they benefit from the high protein, vitamins and minerals that are present in milk products? You may be shocked to learn that milk products should not be given to dogs. This is yet another instance showing how different the human system is from the canine system.
Milk and milk-based products contain a large amount of lactose. The human body normally 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 properly 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. While some dogs may be immediately affected, there are also those that are not affected by dairy consumption at all. In both cases, it is still important that you know how 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 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. This is a sign of intolerance to certain foods that you will hopefully notice.
How Dangerous is Milk for Dogs?
Milk is not really life-threatening to dogs. In fact, some dogs can even tolerate it as stated above. 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. Bacteria-related problems can always progress into more serious diseases which are sometimes difficult to diagnose.
If you feel the need to give your dog milk, some people find warm milk to 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.
Choosing Milk Products for Your Dog
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.
You can opt to give healthy dairy products like yogurt as these types of products are more easily digestible. Aside from yogurt and lactose-free milk, it would be better if you simply avoided giving dairy products to your dog.
Pet supply stores are your best bet for alternatives. 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 many different flavors. There are also milk products for dogs but be very selective for all the reasons already explained here. You should 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.
A Healthy Tummy Makes a Healthy Doggy
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 or dairy from their daily food regimen. It is a misconception that milk is healthy for dogs. Just ask your vet to confirm it! Then, please share what you found here.