Thursday, July 11, 2013

Can I Give My Dog Milk?

Milk, it does the body good, right? We have always been told how important milk is for us to grow strong and healthy teeth and bones. It is one of the top sources of Vitamin D and we would do good to drink lots of it. If it is that good for us, then surely it has to be just as good for our dogs. I mean, what about Milk-Bone Dog Biscuits? That has to have dairy additives, right? Well, not exactly. Milk may not be a definite no-no for your dog, but you should definitely use caution when it comes to giving it to him.

Many people can't drink milk because of what is known as "lactose intolerance." Basically, all that means is that their body does not produce the enzymes needed to break down the natural sugars that are found in milk. This leads to problems with diarrhea or loose stools and stomach cramping. Many dogs face the same problem. Actually, it is a lot more common in dogs than it is in humans. That is why most veterinarians advise against giving dogs milk as part of their diet.

The good news is that if a dog does drink milk and gets sick, it is usually not a life-threatening situation. They may seem a little lethargic for a day or two along with diarrhea and possible vomiting. But once they have purged the milk from their system, they are back to their normal, playful self. Many dogs are able to handle milk perfectly fine, but you will never really know until they have actually had some. If you know your pooch has gotten into milk on purpose or by accident, you will know soon enough if they are intolerant to the lactose.

This also brings up the question of other dairy products. Generally, the higher the amount of lactose, the more risk there is to causing sickness in a dog. Whole and skim milks contain about 11 grams of lactose which is pretty high when compared to different types of cheeses which range from 0 to 1 gram of lactose. That is why most vets do not discourage feeding your dog cheese, especially when you are trying to hide certain types of medications in it.

The bottom line is that it may or may not be safe for your dog to ingest. Experience is the best teacher in this case. However, as a general rule, most professional dog trainers and veterinarians advise only giving water to your dog to keep him hydrated and healthy.

1 comment:

  1. I like the information on this article about Dog Milk, keep your good work.