We’ve heard it from our veterinarians, family members, friends and neighbors. Milk is harmful to dogs, right? The answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no, and the choice to give your dog milk should be an educated decision that we make for our pets. Balance the pros and cons carefully before letting your dog have his own bowl of dairy. SO lets find out together the answer to “can dogs drink milk”.
My Dog Drank Milk, This Is Dangerous, Right?
Not necessarily. Giving your dog cow’s milk does carry it’s own risks of causing tummy upset due to the lactose. In cow milk, fat is actually a large globule that causes bloat, cramping and discomfort even in humans when we drink it. These large globules of fat is what makes cow’s milk so hard to digest, taking up to 24 hours to get through the human’s system! With a dog’s much shorter digestive tract, it can cause even more tummy upset than it does in a human. Furthermore, cow’s milk has a large percent of lactose, also called sugar. This large amount of sugar is what ends up causing lactose intolerance.
However, we all know that cow’s milk is not the only one available on the market. Goat’s milk is becoming popular among health conscious individuals as a better and more ideal choice for our own bodies to digest. The lactose is substantially smaller and can be fully digested in only 20 minutes! Furthermore, there is actually more calcium in goat’s milk and it even tastes better to most people and pets. Milk produced from a goat has numerous health benefits for both humans and dogs, with little to no side effects like cow’s milk. Goat’s milk has the advantage of a 35% medium-chain fatty acid that helps it digest easily, quickly, and boost health. Additionally, goat’s milk has a much smaller count of lactose, and the vast majority of humans who are intolerant have no reaction to goat’s milk!
Lactose Free Milk for Dogs?
While you can give your dog lactose free cow milk, you’re also taking away a large portion of the benefits milk provides to begin with. Whole milk, or vitamin D milk, holds the most vitamins, proteins and minerals in their most digestible and useful form. Milk that is lactose free, or even reduced fat has far fewer benefits to drinking it in the first place, making the entire process virtually pointless for a dog.
On the other hand, whole milk is thicker, creamier and should be given in smaller amounts. Consider the purpose of milk to begin with; it is a liquid food meant for growing baby animals. Milk is literally a liquid meal, and a dog on a homemade or raw diet would benefit greatly from adding a small amount to his diet in food or homemade dog treats. Vitamin B complex, vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamin E and many, many more are found in goat’s milk and all greatly benefit both humans and dogs who ingest it!
Think Safety First with Dairy
Goat milk may carry a large portion of benefits and very little, if any, risks for dogs but you must also take great care in the amount you dog drinks as well as where it is sourced. Make sure the goat’s milk you use is pasteurized by a trustworthy source, or sanitize it yourself on the stove top. Raw milk of any type carries dangers of bacteria once harvested from an animal, and you don’t want to risk your dog’s health!
Too much of a good thing is always bad, even when it comes to healthy goat milk. Keep amounts of milk small and consider it a supplement along with a healthy and balanced diet, never as a meal unto itself. Drinking too much can cause diarrhea, and if you decide to let your dog drink cow’s milk the portion should be even smaller to help reduce the chances of bloat. Treat your dog with dairy for both his health and happiness, but do so in moderation!
Photo Credits: Dogs Data and Crasstalk
Owner at NewDogOwners.com
Living in Indiana, I love many of things. God, my family and almost anything outdoors.
I started newdogowners.com for one simple reason, to help prepare new dog owners for owning a new puppy. My goal is to help stop the passing around of dogs. The forever home, should be a dog's first home.
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