Milk can be a lovely treat for your pooch on an occasional basis, but is it safe? Though milk is loaded with vitamins and essential nutrients, milk also contains fat which doesn’t come without side effects when consumed in large quantities. Drinking milk in a large quantity or on a frequent basis could lead to obesity and pancreatitis which are both very serious conditions for your dog.
When it comes to milk, you may have a host of questions before feeding your dog milk. Are dogs equipped to digest milk properly? Is it possible for dogs to have a milk allergy? Would my dog get sick if I give them milk? These are probably some of the many questions that you would have in mind when you consider your dog and milk.
Though milk is loaded with vitamins A, D and B12, milk may not be the best way for your pooch to get these nutrients. This is because milk is very high in sugar. When it comes to the diet of a dog, you should seek to maintain a balance of 30% fat, 30% protein and 40% carbohydrates, which includes sugars.
Milk contains a similar ratio of nutrients, however, the carbohydrates in milk are sugars, mostly lactose. This much sugar without complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre could lead to a nutrient imbalance.
What Happens if a Dog Drinks Milk?
Milk isn’t bad for dogs. Though the nutrient profile of milk contains a lot of sugar, in small quantities, it is fine for your pooch. Then again, if your pooch is lactose intolerant, even a small amount of milk may cause digestive issues. This is because their gut simply cannot digest the lactose, thereby bring about various digestive complications such as diarrhoea, vomiting and gas.
Milk is not toxic for dogs. There is nothing wrong with giving your dog some milk, just so long as they are not lactose intolerant. When you feed your dog milk, if they are not lactose intolerant, they will be able to properly digest the milk and absorb the nutrients from it.
If a dog drinks too much milk, it could lead to obesity and complications such as pancreatitis, which can really dampen your pooch’s health. The high content of sugar and fats makes milk not the best drink to be consumed on a frequent basis.
How Do Dogs React to Milk?
Dogs, especially puppies usually like the taste of milk. However, puppies are more prone to lactose intolerance than adult dogs. That being the case, if you give your dog a whole bowl, they may consume the whole thing without any questions asked. However, too much milk is not healthy for your dog.
A few tablespoons of milk can be great as an occasional reward for your dog. This way, you prevent any side effects from dampening health.
When dogs drink large quantities of milk in one sitting, it could cause unpleasant reactions such as diarrhoea, vomiting and lose stool. Hence, it is never a good idea to give your dog a whole bowl of milk.
Dogs could also have adverse reactions to milk if they are lactose intolerant. If you notice any signs of lactose intolerance, it is best to consult a veterinarian before you give your pooch any more milk.
Lactose Intolerance in Dogs
Lactose intolerance in dogs is the inability of a dog’s gut to digest lactose. Milk is primarily made of lactose, hence if your dog is lactose intolerant, you should not be feeding your dog milk.
Much like humans, dogs experience adverse reactions to milk if they are lactose intolerant. Common signs of lactose intolerance include diarrhoea, bloating and abdominal discomfort.
Many canines are actually lactose intolerant, which means most dogs do have a hard time digesting milk. That being the case, all dogs are not lactose intolerant and may not show signs of intolerance when fed with small quantities.
Will Milk Make a Dog Sick?
Milk can make a dog sick, especially if they are lactose intolerant. Similarly, if you feed your dog too much milk in one sitting, this could also cause your dog to become sick.
Common reactions to milk include diarrhoea, vomiting, bloating, gas and abdominal discomfort.
Much like humans, dogs can develop intolerance to lactose over time. Hence, even if your dog is not lactose intolerant at first, you should be on the lookout for signs of intolerance.
Consuming milk, in general, is safe for your pooch and doesn’t bring serious complications into the equation unless they are allergic to milk. However, your dog can get sick after drinking milk and if they do, you shouldn’t feed them milk anymore and consult a veterinarian before feeding them milk again.
How to Know if My Dog is Allergic to Dairy?
Dogs can be allergic to milk. It doesn’t matter which breed your dog is, they could be allergic to milk. This could lead to secondary complications brought about by the allergy and the symptoms experienced.
Symptoms of allergies to milk include diarrhoea, vomiting and excessive itchiness (ear scratching and paw or anus licking.)
If you feel that your dog is allergic to milk, you shouldn’t be giving it milk. Giving an allergic dog milk could have disastrous results. From the instance you notice symptoms of allergies, you should stop feeding them milk and consult a veterinarian for advice.
What Kind of Milk is Good for Dogs?
Cow’s milk and goat’s milk which are the common types of milk consumed are considered safe for dogs. These types of milk have a high-fat content which could bring about various side effects of overindulgence, such as obesity. Hence, moderation and proportions are very important.
Raw, organically grown, unpasteurised, unhomogenised milk straight from the cow or goat is considered the best type of milk for your dog to consume. This milk is great for dogs of every description, regardless of breed.
Plant-based milk can also be safe for your pooch in small quantities. They are usually lower in fat content, making them a healthier option for both you and your dog. Plain almond milk in small quantities for example will not make your dog sick.
However, you should be careful when feeding your dog plant-based milk and should work to avoid sweeteners, gums and stabilisers. These could work to irritate your dog’s stomach lining, bring with it digestive issues.
Plant-based milk also contains smaller amounts of lactose which is great if your pooch is lactose intolerant. If you do notice that your pooch is showing signs of lactose intolerance, you can consult a veterinarian and get guidance on whether you can or should give them plant-based milk instead.
Benefits of Milk for Dogs
Milk contains many nutrients that are great for your dog’s health and wellbeing. It contains good amounts of calcium, which is great for your pooch’s bones and teeth. Milk also contains vitamin D which is another component of skeletal health.
Vitamin A, which is also abundantly found in milk is also an essential vitamin for dogs, which should be a part of the diet for your dog to maintain optimum health. Vitamin A will give them a richer coat and skin and will work to facilitate the functions of nerves and muscles.
Milk also contains good amounts of protein which is necessary for maintaining muscle mass and is also a good source of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 plays an integral role in your dog’s overall cell system, especially the nervous system. It also works in the formation of red blood cells and facilitates protein synthesis and fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
All in all, milk can be an excellent treat to give your pooch an added nutrient boost. You can feed your dog milk on an occasional basis to reap these benefits, just so long as they are not allergic to milk nor lactose intolerant.
How Often Should You Feed Dogs Milk?
Feeding dogs milk on a frequent basis can lead to obesity and pancreatitis. Milk contains a high content of fat and sugars which can be unhealthy in large quantities. Hence, it is best to treat your dog to milk on an occasional basis. A few tablespoons, two times a week would be a good way to go.
When giving your dog milk for the first time, you want to ensure that you serve them a very small quantity and increase the quantity with time to observe any reactions they may have to milk. After all, many canines are lactose intolerant and you should be on the lookout for any signs of intolerance.
Overindulgence of anything is not considered good and this goes to milk too. You shouldn’t be feeding your dog more than a few tablespoons of milk a couple of times a week. If you feed them too much milk and too frequently, they could start showing signs of digestive discomfort and can even lead to the development of lactose intolerance.
Milk can be a great treat for dogs and they will enjoy the reward of milk and reap the benefits of it, just so long as you don’t allow them to overindulge.
With milk, it can be easy for your dog to overindulge. However, overindulgance brings with it a host of complications and runs the risk of your dog developing an intolerance to lactose over time.
That being the case, to answer the question, can we give dogs milk and do dogs drink milk; yes they do. Just so long as they are not lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, milk can be a safe and healthy addition to your dog’s diet, enjoyed on an occasional basis.
We hope we answered the questions that you had with regards to your dog and milk. We aimed to provide you with a definitive answer and hope that after reading this word to word, you have a good idea about milk for dogs.