HomeHealthCan Dogs Drink Milk? Is Milk Bad for Dogs?

Can Dogs Drink Milk? Is Milk Bad for Dogs?

What you will learn from this post:

  • The majority of dogs can drink cow or goat milk, however, some may have allergies or are lactose intolerant.
  • Then, is it okay to give a dog milk? It might be acceptable if you know when to give your dog milk and how much milk the puppy can consume.
  • Understand what your dog might encounter when having milk and which solutions you can carry on to avoid bad cases.

Can Dogs Drink Milk? Is Milk Good or Bad for Dogs?

Protein, calcium, and the vitamins A, D, and B12 that dogs require in their diet may all be found in milk, so is milk good for dogs? The answer is milk is not the ideal food source for these nutrients because it contains an excessive amount of sugar.

Milk should only be given occasionally to dogs since they cannot digest fat as quickly as humans can. Dogs may also be lactose intolerant; you will often notice this if your dog develops loose stools or develops gas after ingesting dairy.

Moreover, according to Jamie Whittenburg, DVM of Senior Tail Waggers and the head of Kingsgate Animal Hospital in Lubbock, Texas, there is no reason for dogs to consume milk. Many dogs cannot accept milk since it is one of the top two dietary allergies for them.

There are various signs that suggest your dog may be allergic to milk or other foods.

  • Licking their paws;
  • Itchiness;
  • Losing hair;
  • Irritated skin;
  • Nausea;
  • Diarrhea.

When Can Dogs Drink Milk?

Before giving your dog milk, you have to consider carefully the majority of milk products and make sure that they are safe for dogs as long as they don’t have any other additives. You should refrain from giving your dog traditional, animal-based milk if they have any of these health issues.

Lactase is an enzyme needed to digest the sugar lactose found in milk. Since the enzyme is utilized to break down their mother’s milk when nursing, puppies often have a lot of it. While puppies thrive on their mother’s milk, later in life they might not be able to accept the cow’s or goat’s milk you find in your fridge. 

Lactose-free milk is a better option for dogs.

Then, if you wonder “Can dogs have cow’s milk or any animal-based milk?” the response might be “No, they can’t.”

How Much Milk Can Dogs Have?

When consumed in moderation, milk is a safe drink. Your dog would like to receive a few tablespoons of cow’s milk or goat’s milk on occasion. Just keep an eye out for lactose intolerance signs. The recommended serving size for plain yogurt is one or two spoonfuls. Cheese is acceptable to add in moderation as well.

However, it’s usually best to refrain from giving your dog a whole bowl at once because doing so might result in unpleasant side effects including vomiting, loose stools, and diarrhea.

Milk and other beverages can contain a lot of natural carbohydrates and fat. These two factors can cause pancreatitis and obesity in dogs. And both diseases can be dangerous if they are consumed in excess.

It’s a good idea to adhere to the 10% rule when it comes to dairy and you should keep your dog’s treats to no more than 10% of her daily calories.

Can Dogs Drink Plant-Based Milk?

Milk derived from plants is created without dairy. Then is that type of milk good for puppies? Or is it now safer for dogs to drink? The fact may surprise you because plant-based milk doesn’t do much for dogs.

Plant-based milk is not poisonous to dogs like cow’s milk, but the same problems still exist. Even in dogs that are not allergic, plant-based milk can upset the stomach and create gastrointestinal problems, according to the expert.

Are Dogs Lactose Intolerant?

If your dog is a lactose intolerant pet, you must be well aware of how milk, cheese, and ice cream affect your body. However, did you know that dogs are much more sensitive to dairy since they cannot digest lactose as humans can? It is true that even our puppies might have lactose intolerance.

Milk, yogurt, and cheese can be added to dog food but must be in moderation.

While some lactose-intolerant dogs have problems drinking milk, they may tolerate simpler-to-digest dairy items like cheese and plain yogurt. In general, some dogs might not respond well to dairy.

Compared to dog milk, cow milk has less nutrition and higher lactose content, which introduces dogs to a harder time digesting non-canine milk. The reason could depend on their capacity to make lactase (the enzyme responsible for breaking down lactose) declines with age.

How to Tell If Your Dog Is Lactose Intolerant

You should know the following symptoms, which reveal that your dog may be lactose intolerant:

  • Bloating;
  • Loose stools;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Weight loss;
  • Gas;
  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Lack of appetite.

The key point is you should provide milk in moderation to your pet, also, avoid any dairy to spare your dog’s stomach the discomfort. 

What Will Happen If Your Dog Drinks Milk?

Be careful if your dog drinks milk.

The older dogs may have a harder ingestion time when consuming milk if there isn’t a lot of the enzyme lactase. Their GI tracts will let the lactose in milk pass through undigested into their colons, where it will pull in water and cause diarrhea. The fermentation of bacteria in their colons may also cause gas and discomfort. 

According to Dr. Stephanie Liff, milk consumption might cause GI distress, including diarrhea and vomiting, due to lactase deficiency in dogs. Whole-fat milk and other dairy products may also contain too much fat and cause vomiting and diarrhea. 

If dogs consume new dairy products, especially those heavy in fat, they may also develop pancreatitis, a potentially dangerous condition.

What to Do if Your Dog Drinks Milk

Unless your dog is allergic, it shouldn’t be a major concern if they sometimes lick your ice cream cone or drink from your cup, but you should try to limit how much milk and other dairy products they consume overall. 

According to Dr. Heather Brausa, GI discomfort will often happen within 12 hours when a dog ingests milk. Therefore, every dog’s owner has to pay attention to any gastrointestinal trouble, including some specific symptoms like vomiting and/or diarrhea.

To Sum Up

Is milk bad for dogs? It depends on your dog’s ingestion system and the treat you give your puppy.

A lot of dog owners don’t realize their dogs are lactose intolerant until they give them milk. If your dog has drank a lot of milk, it can be difficult to tell if they are lactose intolerant because even dogs that are not lactose intolerant might have vomiting and diarrhea as a result.

Before adding anything new to your dog’s diet, always check with your veterinarian. And you should learn more about what items dogs should not consume.

Camp Canine Florida
Camp Canine Florida
We are special people who love pets, especially dogs. Over the past 3 years, we have accumulated a lot of experience in how to care for and train dogs. Now, what we're doing is building an in-depth blog to share knowledge that will help you get to know your dogs better, making you and your dog best friends.

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