Can Dogs Drink Milk?

Milk is rich in calcium and therefor good for our health, but is milk good for dogs as well? Can dogs drink milk?

Can Dogs Drink Milk? Yes, and No. It’s Complicated.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends not to let your dog drink milk as a lot of dogs have trouble digesting dairy products.

Most Dogs Are Lactose Intolerant

1 cup (250ml) of cow’s milk contains 22.8 grams of lactose — a disaccharide sugar derived from galactose and glucose. In order to digest milk or other dairy products, lactose needs to be broken apart to galactose and glucose. To break apart lactose, the body must produce a special enzyme called lactase. Most dogs, though, do not produce enough lactase to break apart lactose, and therefor, drinking milk would cause problems in their digestive system.

Can My Dog Drink Milk?

can-dogs-drink-milkIn order to determine whether your dog is lactose intolerant or not, you could let your dog drink a little milk, and then keep an eye on her to see if that caused any digestive issues or not. If your dog seems to be able to handle lactose, it’s most likely okay to let your dog drink milk in moderation. However, there’s a slight chance that your dog might be allergic to milk protein as well, and therefor I’d recommend consulting with a veterinarian before adding milk to your dog’s diet.

If Dogs Cannot Drink Milk, Where Can They Get Calcium? 

Do not worry, there’s plenty of other foods that contain a sufficient amount of calcium to keep your dog’s bones strong.  Most commercial dog foods already contain the correct amount of calcium dogs need. Also, many vegetables such as broccoli and spinach are rich in calcium.

In conclusion, while some dogs can drink milk, a lot of dogs cannot digest milk and other dairy products. Before giving your dog milk, it’s advised to consult with a veterinarian.

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  1. Vicki Betts

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