There are millions of images of kittens drinking milk, and it’s not so great for them. In fact, most cats are lactose intolerant. But what about puppies and dogs? Can they drink milk? Should they drink milk?
The other part of the conversation is that there are many types of milk. Dairy milk from cows, goat and sheep’s milk as well as some plant-based and non-dairy "milks” like oat milk, rice milk, almond milk, and coconut milk. How do you know what is safe to share with your pup?
While it may seem obvious as dogs are mammals and drank their mother’s milk when they were born, most dogs become lactose intolerant as they get older. Small amounts of milk from a cow or goat should be an okay treat for your pet.
Milk is not a toxic substance but it may cause some unpleasant side effects if your pup can’t digest it properly. These include:
This may be challenging – especially if your pet has overindulged in milk. Even dogs who tolerate lactose just fine may get sick if they consume too much milk.
If your pet is exhibiting the side effects listed above after consuming only very small amounts of milk that is likely a good indication that your dog is lactose intolerant. You should not continue to give your pet milk as it is probably a very uncomfortable experience.
You may also be curious about other dairy products including cheese, yogurt or even ice cream. Can you share these treats with your pup? In limited quantities, your dog might enjoy some cheese or yogurt.
Some people swear by the health benefits of goat’s milk for their dogs. These include:
Other kinds of animal milk that may be considered are sheep’s milk and camel milk. Before feeding any milk to your pet, you may want to consult your vet to discuss the risks and benefits.
Plant-based milk may also be safe for your pet in small quantities. Plain almond milk, for example, will not make dogs sick in smaller doses.
Be careful to avoid feeding milk containing sweeteners, gums, or stabilizers that can irritate your pet’s stomach lining. Additionally, be sure to never feed almond milk or any product containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol as this is deadly to dogs.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.
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