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Is lactose free milk safe for dogs? Does it ever make sense for a pet pooch?
Truth be told, most dogs have trouble digesting sugar in regular milk due a genetic intolerance that becomes apparent following their puppy weaning days.
While feeding lactose-free milk is an interesting idea, grown canines rarely need a mothers milk substitute.
Lactose-Free Milk Isn’t Recommended For Dogs
But a modest amount is unlikely to be harmful. It’s just that, under normal circumstances, pets are much better off drinking fresh water.
FYI: Lactose-free or not, the source is cow’s milk which means you’d still be feeding your dog a dairy product.
How About For Sick Dogs?
Are there special situations where lactose free milk could arguably be beneficial?
The answer is yes.
For example, milk can be nutritionally useful for certain dogs with a chronic disease or vitamin deficiencies.
That said, you would need a vet’s expert help. And, quite honestly, they’d likely have a hydration solution other than lactose-free milk.
Otherwise, it is a bit dubious to be supplementing a healthy dog’s liquid intake in this way.
Less Worse Than Regular Milk
While not outright dangerous, you really should not allow your dog to drink milk of any kind.
Despite being free of lactose, the calcium is not sufficient reason to share.
Granted, there is arguably less potential for gastrointestinal disruption compared to regular cow’s milk.
As we’ve said, a modest amount is probably not an issue. Nevertheless, we don’t think it’s a good idea.
Consider diluting the lactose free milk if you’re still keen.
Don’t Complicate Your Dog’s Diet
There is no way around it: Dogs are fairly sensitive to lactose and, to a lesser extent, dairy products.
Why risk triggering an upset stomach or other gastro-related discomfort?
Your healthy adult dog definitely would not be drinking milk out in the wild.
Of course, that alone doesn’t necessarily make a small taste so terrible. At the very least, closely watch for indications that your buddy’s bowels are reacting badly.
Puppies And More Perspective
Humans are the only species that drinks milk beyond the infant phase.
Sure, dogs also consume plenty of lactose. As puppies when they drink their mothers’ beast milk, but in nearly no time they wean off of it.
So your dog only required milk as a newborn. Beyond that it is basically unnatural.
If need be, there are specialized weaning formulas for when circumstances call for a replacement.
Get a checkup if, for some reason, you think your dog or puppy may benefit from regular milk or the lactose-free variety.
The Bottom Line
While a taste is no harm done, dogs generally should not be consuming lactose-free milk.
True, a modest amount may be better than regular milk. At the same time, feeding your dog lactose free (dairy or not) is not exactly smart irrespective of intolerance issues.
Besides, lactaid in itself won’t help a vitamin or mineral deficient pet dog.