Can Dogs Drink Milk?

Even though mentally picturing a pet drinking milk doesn’t appear to be a wild though, there might not be an uncomplicated yes or no answer to the question: Can dogs drink milk?. And there are definitely a few rules to keep in mind. Here’s the starter:

“Most dogs can drink cow’s milk or goat’s milk. However some dogs may be allergic or lactose intolerant,” states Dr. Stephanie Liff, DVM.

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Yes, pups take mother’s milk. It has a sugar named lactose. And to digest it you need an enzyme called lactase. Dogs have plenty of it as it is utilized to digest their mother’s milk during the puppyhood. But once pups are detached from their moms, they’ll create less lactase, and in that precise moment, they may grow lactose intolerant as most dogs do.  

So, can dogs have milk?

Not many dogs will pass on the chance to try the remaining milk in your cereal dish or leftover cheese, but they can’t realize the destruction it’s going to bring into their digestion. (By the way, if you also tempted to feed your pup that cereal, you should definitely read my guide “Can dogs eat Cheerios?”).

Insignificant lactose intolerance will present as some digestive upset like a bit of gassiness. More severe matters of lactose intolerance will bring your pup to absolute agony. They’ll have diarrhea, vomit, and have a burning stomach bloating.

What happens if a dog drinks milk?

Without the plenty of lactase, the enzyme that crumbles down sugars containing in milk, grown-up dogs can have quite a challenging time digesting the food. The lactose will go through their gastroenterological tracts to their colons unprocessed, and it will later draw water into the colon provoking diarrhea. Furthermore, the bacteria’s fermentation in their guts may lead to discomfort and flatulence.  Eating dairy, particularly high in fats, may also start a possibly dangerous disease named pancreatitis in dogs.

While the irregular lick of ice cream should not be a huge deal—except for the cases if your canine allergic—you should not allow your dog to indulge in considerable quantities of milk or any other dairy products.  Any stomach upset after consuming milk will usually happen within 12 hours or so. Therefore it might be a good idea to watch your pet for any signs of abdominal distress or any other troubling symptoms, including diarrhea or vomiting within that timeframe.  

Is milk bad for dogs?

Let’s first break down two major types of milk: goat and cow.

According to the research database of the United States Department of Agriculture 100ml of goat milk contains 50 calories, 3.33g  of proteins, 3.33g of fats (including 2.08g of “questionable” saturated fats and the rest being “good” poly- and monosaturated). And a whole bunch of other nutrients: 125 mg of Calcium, 1 mg of Vitamin C, 125 IU of Vitamin A.  On the dark side – 10 mg of cholesterol and 50 mg of Sodium, but both are in non-critical quantities.

100 ml of whole cow milk has 67 calories, 3.33g  of proteins, 3.75g of fats (including 1.25g of “questionable” saturated fats and the rest being “good” poly- and monosaturated). And other nutrients: 125 mg of Calcium and 125 IU of Vitamin A.  On the dark side – 15 mg of cholesterol and 50 mg of Sodium, but both are in non-critical quantities, but goat milk seems to be an obvious winner of this competition.

Goat milk producers often declare that goat’s milk is a way better choice for humans and dogs to drink as there’s no lactose in it. Goat’s milk is really healthy and possesses a wide diversity of nutritional advantages with the least danger to the consumer.

Although the risk is moderate, still, milk isn’t necessarily needed in a developed animal’s diet. If you definitely want to share a dairy treat with your pup, then goat’s milk can be a proper choice. When you’re buying the goat’s milk from a farmer (you most likely won’t be able to source it from your regular grocery store), it might be a good idea to have a little tour around the farm to see how the milk it’s produced.

And the product has to be sterilized before you consume it or share with your pup to exclude any risk of bacterial germination.

If you are determined to offer your pup goat’s milk, only serve it to them infrequently in small amounts.

Dogs and milk. Summary

Milk and dairy products overall are not toxic to canines.  However, they are not required in their diet and can provoke extreme discomfort to your pooch.  Too much of the milk – cow or goat – will cause diarrhea and lead to a couple uncomfortable days in your pup’s life.

The main perk of milk is that it’s high in Calcium, but regular dog food will include all the Calcium your pup needs. So you might want to skip feeding your pup with milk altogether.

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