Dairy foodstuffs are one of the leading sources of food intolerance in dogs, also many dogs are lactose intolerant meaning they have difficulty in digesting milk. There are cases when lactose-intolerant dogs who have trouble in drinking milk can easily handle dairy products like cheese and plain yogurt, while others shows unfavorable response to dairy products in general.
For lucky dog owners whose dogs don’t have an adverse effect of milk or other dairy products, milk can provide the essential nutrients like vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12, calcium, and phosphorus, which play a significant part in dog's metabolic processes and growth.
So, we can draw a mixed conclusion that there are no simple answers to this question, perhaps there are few guiding principle that can be kept in mind while feeding milk to the dog. Most of the dogs can drink cow's or goat's milk, however some dogs may be sensitive to milk or lactose intolerant.
Hence, if your dog has no allergies or intolerances towards milk or dairy products, you can feed him the same.
Till what age all dogs can drink milk:
You may like to ask that how it is possible that milk not be digested by the dogs and if it so than why puppies drink their mother’s milk?
As per the animal nutrition experts, mother’s milk is a primary source of nourishment and food for infant puppies. Like any other mammal, for the early part of their lives, little puppies drink their mother’s milk as they have plenty of enzymes to breakdown the milk while nursing. Once they are grown, the majority of adult dogs do not produce enough lactase to breakdown, process, and digest lactose, a sugar that occurs naturally in milk.
Cow Milk Vs Goat Milk: Best Milk for Dogs
Cow’s milk is rich in lactose and giving your dog cow’s milk can lead to tummy upset due to the lactose. The fat in cow’s milk may cause bloat, cramping and discomfort in case of dogs when they drink it. This fat takes around 24 hours to digest and get through the human’s digestive system, but with a dog’s much shorter digestive tract it can cause tummy upset.
Goat’s milk is gaining popularity among health conscious individuals as a superior and more ideal option for our own bodies to digest. The lactose content in the goat’s milk is considerably lower and can be fully digested in only 20 minutes. Apart from rich in calcium, goat’s milk tastes better with no or little side effects to most people and pets.
Symptoms of Lactose Intolerant Dog:
The common symptoms of lactose intolerance among dogs include:
- Loose stools
- Abdominal pain
Is it safe to give cheese to dogs?
Lactose content in most of the cheese is far less than milk, and if given in small quantities it is safe for dogs. Cottage cheese especially, can be served in moderate quantities to the dogs if it is low in sodium, low sodium and low in lactose content.
Is it safe to give ice creams to dogs?
As of now we have already established the fact that it is lactose in dairy products which creates problems in digestion for dogs. In case of ice creams though the lactose content is less than milk, but it may contain far more sugar and other sweeteners than a dog can handle. However, you can serve very small portions of ice cream with low or no sugar as a summertime treat. Do avoid chocolate based ice creams like the plague as the chocolate acts as a toxin for dogs
Can dogs eat yogurt?
Yogurt is one dairy product which can be good for your dog. Yogurt with live bacteria, low fat content, and no artificial sweeteners can be good support for a dog with an upset stomach.
The above list of dairy products is not exhaustive; we have only included those products which are frequently used in our homes. We can also use a general thumb rule for dogs and dairy products that they should be low in lactose, less or no sodium, and very little artificial or added sweeteners. Moreover, it is advisable to keep a list of other human food which can be toxic or harmful for your dogs
. Also, visit your nearest veterinarian to seek advice on the diet and ingredients for your dog based on the breed, age and other characteristics.
Does your dog drinks milk? Tell us your dog’s experience with dairy products in the in the comments!
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