Can dogs drink milk? Pros and cons

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dog drinking milk

It is very curious to observe the contradictory opinions that are obtained when looking for information on whether a dog can drink milk. Some indicate that they can not only drink milk but it is also recommended, while others equate it to giving them cyanide.

The truth is that they are all a little right whenever we talk about adult dogs, since puppies require more special care. We will review when a dog can drink milk and how careful we should be.

Index of contents

  • 1 Can dogs drink milk?
  • 2 Can cubs drink cow’s milk?
  • 3 How do I know if my dog ​​tolerates milk?
    • 3.1 Symptoms in dogs that do not tolerate milk
  • 4 What is the best milk for a dog?
  • 5 Can a dog eat cheese, ice cream, or yogurt (derived from milk)?

Can dogs drink milk?

The correct answer is yes and no, with no prevailing at general levels. Milk contains a complex sugar called lactose, which needs an enzyme called lactase to be digested. Dogs do not have large amounts of this enzyme in their digestive system, so they cannot digest it.

Dogs should not drink cow’s milk as it contains high amounts of lactose, which they cannot digest. However, a minority of dogs can drink milk, since for various reasons their digestive system does contain high amounts of the enzyme they need to digest it.

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So to be completely sure whether or not our adult dog can drink cow’s milk, we must do the test with a small amount and evaluate if after consuming a digestive problem. We can give him some milk and just observe how it feels.


Can cubs drink cow’s milk?

Puppies do not have a developed digestive system and are also excessively sensitive, so under no circumstances should we give cow’s milk to a puppy. The only milk that puppies can drink is their mother’s (bitch’s milk) and failing that, the one they sell in veterinary clinics that is special for puppies or a specific feeding for puppies.

Only from four or five months of age, we can start to do a test by giving them a little milk to see how they feel. We must keep in mind that milk will never be your main food source, but a supplement. A dog cannot live just by drinking milk It is not a nutritionally complete food.

How do I know if my dog ​​tolerates milk?

The correct way to know if our dog likes cow’s milk is by giving it small amounts and observing if it tolerates it well. As an example, we can give a dog weighing about thirty kilos a third of a glass of milk as the first time and see how it feels. If the dog is smaller we will simply give him less milk.

If our dog does not show any symptoms in the following hours or days, then we could say that it tolerates milk well, but always in controlled doses since an excess can make them feel bad. However if we observe any of these symptoms, it will mean that our dog does not tolerate cow’s milk.

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Symptoms in dogs that do not tolerate milk

A few hours after milk intake, or sometimes the next day, our dog It will show one or more of these symptoms if your body does not tolerate lactose (milk):

  • Decomposition in the stool / diarrhea
  • Vomiting or fainting to vomit
  • Excessive gases (farter than usual)

Any of these symptoms would indicate that our dog cannot drink milk and therefore we should avoid giving it. They usually disappear on their own at twenty-four or forty-eight hours, so there is no need to see a vet.

However, there are some cases in which a dog is not intolerant because it does not have a certain enzyme in its digestive tract, but you may be allergic to milk or any of its components, such as lactose. In that case we would see how our dog gets very bad, down, sometimes swollen … if we appreciate any symptoms that may seem unusual or exaggerated, we should urgently go to a vet. There are very few cases, but there are.


What is the best milk for a dog?

Keeping in mind that not all dogs feel good about milk and that puppies should never drink cow’s milk, within the known brands there are no great differences between better and worse.

Any whole, skimmed or semi-skimmed milk can be useful if our dog tolerates it well, but always in its proper measure. However goat’s milk appears to contain much less lactose than cow’s milk. That means that if possible, it is better to give our dog goat’s milk than cow’s milk.

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The quantity should always be small, although milk has many nutritional properties, it cannot feed a dog on its own. So it should never be considered part of your diet, but a supplement to give you as a reward from time to time or daily if you do not feel bad.

Can a dog eat cheese, ice cream, or yogurt (derived from milk)?

Cheese is milk already fermented so contains very little amounts of lactose, when it contains it. We can give cheese to our dog in any of its forms, cured, semi-cured, fresh … Although by common sense, it is best to always start with small amounts and evaluate how it feels.

Dogs love cheese and any milk derivatives. Ice cream however can be harmful if it contains any other ingredient or added sugar, dogs can eat natural ice cream without sugar, although it is best to freeze some natural yogurt without sugar.

They love yogurt too and they enjoy it as little kids, but it should be administered only in its natural format and without sweeteners (sugary). Yogurt for dogs You can loosen your guts even if you tolerate it, so it is convenient not to abuse it.

However, puppies younger than four or five months should stick to their diet. Because cheese, yogurt or ice cream can make them feel bad and cause serious damage. When they are so young, they are excessively sensitive and their diet must be closely watched.