Can I Give My Dog Milk?

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Can I Give My Dog Milk?Milk is considered nutritious and healthy for people but even that’s debatable. Sharing some milk with your dog is even more questionable. Dogs do drink it but only from their mothers post birth. So does that mean it’s okay for them to consume it later on in life?

Dairy products for dogs, in general, raise several questions. It’s a stretch to say they are safe for canines. Will they really benefit from the high protein, vitamins and minerals in milk? You may be shocked to learn that milk-based products shouldn’t be given to dogs. This is yet another case of how humans are different from dogs.

Milk and milk-based products contain lots of lactose. Most people have the necessary enzymes to break down this component which is then absorbed by the body. Dogs, however, do not have enough of these special enzymes to properly process lactose.

Can I Give My Dog Milk? Answer: No

They have poor levels of tolerance for lactose. In fact, most dogs are lactose-intolerant to varying degrees.

Some dogs may be immediately affected. There are also those who aren’t phased one bit by dairy consumption. You can’t know until the sickness arrives and then you’ll regret it.

That’s why it’s important to understand that feeding milk to your dog can cause significant imbalances in their system and possibly trigger other health problems as well.

What to Expect

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, it’s wise to consult with a veterinarian right away.

Mild forms of lactose intolerance can also manifest in the form of gas. If your dog is gassy, 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 clear sign of intolerance to certain foods that you will hopefully notice.

How Dangerous is Milk

Milk is not 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 certain 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 some, warm milk can have a soothing effect especially for puppies. Get lactose-free milk products in order to play it safe. You can buy this kind of milk for your dog from pet supply stores because they carry milk products which are specially formulated, usually for 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 four-legged friend 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 good 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.

Milk & Dairy Conclusion

Milk products for humans can 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 won’t be tempted to share people food with them, including dairy.

It’s a misconception that milk is healthy for dogs. Just ask your vet to confirm it! Then, please share what you found here.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Buck December 4, 2014

In Africa dogs routinely drink cow milk. This is true for local breeds like Basenji but also for the many German Shepherds found there. Vets there do not have a problem with it and often feed milk and milk products to dogs in boarding.

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Sadhana October 11, 2014

I give my dog cow milk and she loves to drink it. She doesn’t have stomach upset or any problem. Should I continue giving her milk once in a while? Sometimes she gets fed up with chicken and rice and dog food and stops eating. But when I mix dog food with rice or roti with milk she loves it and starts eating her usual food. What shall I do?

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Tiffy October 22, 2014

If you’ve been doing it for a while with no ill effects, I don’t see a problem with it. Plus, you only do it occasionally. I think this article is meant for people who do it pretty often. I’m lactose-intolerant and I still eat ice cream occasionally. I only get an upset tummy. Still worth it!

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Betty April 23, 2014

A dog drinking milk from a cow is radically different from a puppy drinking his own mother’s milk!

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