Staci is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, she spends most of her time trying to keep up with her four rescue cats and Australian shepherd puppy.
Food Learn About Dogs

Can Dogs Drink Milk?

Sep 2 ·

Can dogs drink milk? There’s a common belief that cats love to drink milk even though it’s not good for them, so you might have considered giving some to your dog for a tasty treat. Or you might be thinking about milk as an ingredient in something else, and wondering if it’s safe for your pup to indulge in.

By researching first, you’re doing the right thing. Not every human food is safe for dogs, and some of it can even be toxic. Before giving anything to your dog, make sure it’s okay. For example, many wouldn’t suspect that grapes and cherries are toxic, but they are!

So, can dogs drink milk? Here’s the answer.

Can Dogs Drink Milk?

The short answer is yes, they can, but there are many problems that may arise with indulging in large quantities.

Is It Safe?

In small amounts, it should be safe for your dog to drink milk.

Is It Healthy?

Although milk has many health benefits for humans, the risks outweigh the benefits for dogs. They shouldn’t be allowed to have large amounts.

Don’t Puppies Drink Milk?

puppy milk

Yes! For the first few weeks of their life, puppies will drink their mother’s milk, and this might lead owners to mistakenly believe that dogs will always be able to indulge safely. However, this just isn’t true. Once puppies are weaned, they stop producing the enzyme that breaks down milk, and that means dogs can become lactose intolerant. Therefore, older dogs won’t process milk as well as younger dogs, and this can cause problems for them if they drink too much.

The Risks

The main risk is that because they might be lactose intolerant, dogs could suffer from digestive issues if they try to drink too much milk. In many dogs, this might manifest as mild symptoms such as diarrhea. They might not even have any symptoms at all.

In other dogs, however, they could vomit, get red skin and rashes, and even show signs of an allergy to milk.

Even if your dog doesn’t show any signs of having problems with milk, it’s still not good to let them drink it. Milk contains a lot of fat and calories that can pose a huge problem to dogs, especially small breeds who can easily become obese. Obesity sets your dog up for a whole host of problems, including problems with their joints and bones. It also opens them up to various diseases and heart problems.

Can I Give My Dog Any Milk At All?

If your dog shows no reaction to milk and it really seems to work as a high-value reward for training, you can give them a few tablespoons as a treat every now and again. It should, however, not be an everyday thing.

Can Dogs Drink Milk? My Dog Accidentally Drank Some

If you’ve never given your dog milk or they’ve shown a bad reaction in the past — or even if they’re fine with milk, but accidentally drank too much of it — you’ll want to keep a close eye on them. If they have diarrhea or obvious stomach upset, you can feed them a bland diet of white rice and boiled chicken for a couple of days until it seems to have settled. 

 More serious symptoms, such as vomiting or are clearly in pain, mean a call to your veterinarian is necessary. They will be able to advise you on the seriousness of the problem, what you can do at home, and if you should bring them in.

If your vet’s office is closed, you can usually find an emergency vet to call who will take a look at your pup if you’re truly concerned.

What About Milk In Other Things?

can dogs drink milk

If you’re wondering if your dog can safely enjoy milk in other things, the answer is that they can in low concentrations. However, that doesn’t mean they can enjoy everything! For example, milk is in chocolate, but there are other things in there that can be poisonous to dogs.

Dogs often enjoy ice-cream, but if your dog does, it’s best to find options that are safe for them. There are many dog-safe ice-cream treats that you can give them on a hot day to enjoy, and you can even melt some and put it inside of a KONG. Ben & Jerry’s, for example, does great doggy ice-cream! 

Better Options

if you’re looking for other tasty human foods to give your dog, look no further than this list! These are not only safe, but have added health benefits for your dog.

So, can dogs drink milk? It’s better for them not to. Although you might find they love it and have no reaction to it, most dogs can’t tolerate it very well, and it’s better avoided.

Staci is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, she spends most of her time trying to keep up with her four rescue cats and Australian shepherd puppy.
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