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Can Dogs Drink Milk? Is Milk Good For Dogs Everyday? [Explained]

If you’re wondering, ‘can dogs drink milk.’ 

Then you’re at the right place, as after thoroughly researching, I have found that it depends on the dog whether he can drink milk or not. 

In this post, you will learn…

  • Can Dogs Drink Milk?
  • Can Puppies Drink Milk?
  • How Much Milk Can Dog Drink?
  • What to Do if Your Dog Drinks Milk
  • What Kind of Milk Can Dogs Drink?
    • Can Dogs Drink Almond Milk?
    • Can Dogs Drink Oat Milk?
    • Can Dogs Drink Coconut Milk?
    • Can Dogs Drink Soy Milk?
  • What Kind of Dairy Products Can Dogs Have?

Can Dogs Drink Milk?

Most dogs will consume milk without any issue in moderate amounts, but some dogs might have problems digesting milk. 

Dogs that can’t digest milk properly are lactose-intolerant. This is because they lack an enzyme called lactase that breaks down lactose into simpler sugar forms called glucose and galactose for energy.

Cow’s milk contains 5% lactose, and when a dog with lactose-intolerance drinks cow’s or goat milk, the lactose in the milk goes through the GI tract (Gastrointestinal tract) undigested, causing problems such as: 

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain 
  • Constant Gas
  • Lack of appetite
  • And a condition which is known as Colitis

In some cases, dogs can be allergic to milk, which can have much worse effects.

Most dog owners don’t know if their 4-legged buddy is lactose-intolerant until they face some of the symptoms mentioned above. 

However, some dogs with a lactose-intolerance face mild to no apparent symptoms. In this case, consulting a vet is the only way to know if your dog can drink milk without any problem. 

Also, it is worthy to note, whole milk contains more saturated fats, and consumption regularly can lead to obesity and critical health issue like pancreatitis

Can Puppies Drink Milk?

Now, you might be wondering, if not all adult dogs can drink milk, then how can puppies drink milk.

The answer is simple; puppies produce more lactase, the enzyme that breakdown lactose, than adult dogs. However, when the puppy matures, the enzyme production starts to decrease. 

Puppies need their mother’s milk to grow because it contains colostrum. Colostrum contains a high percentage of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. 

It helps build the puppies’ immune system in the early stages, which offers a defense mechanism against diseases to survive—making colostrum essential for newborn babies.

You might wonder how the puppy will get milk if the mother dies or the puppy gets separated from the mother in the early stages. In such circumstances, cow’s or goat’s milk should be avoided as the puppy couldn’t digest it. 

Instead, you should give commercial puppy milk to the puppy. 

How Much Milk Can Dog Drink?

Many dogs love milk, and some consume a bowl of milk in the spur of the moment. But, cow’s or goat’s milk should be given in moderation even if the dog is not lactose-intolerant. 

A little bit of milk should not be harmful to your dog. Hence, a few tablespoons of milk will be a nice treat for dogs without the side effects of overindulgence. 

But, keep in mind not to give your dog an entire bowl of milk in one sitting, as it can upset the GI tract.

If your dog is allergic to milk or has lactose intolerance, you should completely avoid milk.

What to Do if Your Dog Drinks Milk

While a small sip of milk shouldn’t be a big deal unless your dog is allergic to milk, if your dog gets his hands on some milk and drinks too much, you first need to take away any milk to which your dog has access. 

Depending on how much milk he consumes, he may experience diarrhea or vomiting, dehydrating him. So give your dog plenty of fresh cool water to drink.

Lastly, take your dog out for bathroom breaks frequently.  

What Kind of Milk Can Dogs Drink?

There are different kinds of milk available in the market. Below we will discuss each type of milk for dogs.

Can Dogs Drink Almond Milk?

Almonds are not toxic to dogs, but dogs generally can’t digest almonds properly. Almonds are also rich in fats, resulting in weight gain and pancreatitis if consumed in large quantities. But few sips as a treat should be delicate if offered occasionally. 

Can Dogs Drink Oat Milk?

Oat milk is also not toxic to dogs and can be a great plant-based dairy alternative for dogs that love the taste of milk. But, again, it should be offered in small amounts as it could be challenging to digest in large quantities. 

Can Dogs Drink Coconut Milk?

There are plenty of benefits coconut milk offers dogs, such as a softer, shinier coat. But, coconut milk should also be provided in less quantity as coconut oil can upset the GI tract of the dog. 

Can Dogs Drink Soy Milk?

Most of the commercial dogs food contains soy-based ingredients. So, soy milk in moderate quantities should be fine for your dog. Soy-milk also contains isoflavones, which are known to help dogs with urinary incontinence in dogs.  

What Kind of Dairy Products Can Dogs Have?

So, are cheese and ice cream safe for dogs? Occasionally, it is okay to feed your dog a small amount of dairy as a special treat. 

Dairy products with low lactose content, such as plain yogurt, cottage cheese, and cheddar cheese, are fine to give your dog. Yogurt can even help the dog alleviate gas or diarrhea as yogurt contains prebiotics. 

On the other hand, ice cream may be toxic for your dog. For example, some ice cream may contain chocolate and xylitol, which are harmful to dogs. So, be careful before giving your dog ice cream.

The Bottom Line

Most Dogs can drink milk in small quantities, but some adult dogs are lactose-intolerant due to the absence of enzyme lactase. On the other hand, puppies can drink mothers’ milk because they have abundant lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that breakdown lactose into simpler sugars known as glucose and galactose for energy.

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