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Can Dogs Drink Milk? Is It Bad For Them?

If you like to start your days with a tall glass of milk, then you may be wondering if you should share some milk with your dog.

After all, the media tells us that cats like milk, so why not dogs?

Well, you should first consider this – can dogs have milk? Either cow’s milk or goat milk?

The answers is yes, dogs can drink milk, but only in moderation.

However, some dogs are lactose intolerant and they should not have milk.

Keep reading to learn more about dogs and milk.

Is Milk Safe For Dogs?

The biggest concern when you’re considering give a dog some human food is – it is safe for dogs?

Milk is safe for dogs to drink.

This applies to both cow’s milk and goat milk.

But you should never give your dog a lot of milk at once because it will result in unpleasant side effects.

Instead, only give your dog milk in moderation, as an occasional treat for the pup.

Also keep in mind that milk has natural sugars and is high in fact, both of which are not good for your dog in large amounts.

This is another great reason to practice moderation when giving your dog milk.

You may even want to dilute the milk with a bit of water before giving it to your dog.

Side Effects Of Too Much Milk For Dogs

When you are ready to give your dog some milk, be sure to not fill up the entire dog bowl.

If your dog ends up drinking too much milk at once, it will cause some side effects.

Too much milk often gives a dog tummy troubles.

Some of these side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, and loose stools.

Definitely things that neither you or your dog want to deal with, right?

What About Bottle Feeding Milk To Puppies?

If you are in a situation where you have some puppies that need to be bottle fed, definitely do not fill those bottle with cow’s milk or goat milk.

Pre-weaned puppies should be bottle fed milk that is specifically designed for puppies, and not humans.

After puppies have been weaned (around 8 weeks), you can start to introduce cow’s milk or goat milk in the smallest of amounts to see how they handle it.

Keep in mind that puppies often have more sensitive digestion than adult dogs, so watch for any signs of an upset tummy with the pups.

Can Dogs Be Lactose Intolerant?

If you only give your dog a small amount of milk and he exhibits some of the side effects listed above, then your dog is probably lactose intolerant.

Yes, that’s correct, some dogs are naturally lactose intolerant.

Of course, your dog may only have a problem with milk and be able to eat cheese and other dairy just fine.

Here are the most common signs that your dog is lactose intolerant:

  • Loose stools
  • Excessive thirst
  • Gas
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Weakness

Unfortunately, the only way to know if your dog is lactose intolerant is to give him some milk and then wait to find out if he has any negative side effects.

Final Word

While cow’s milk and goat milk likely isn’t going to kill your dog, you should still exercise some caution when giving it to your pup because he may be lactose intolerant.

Practice moderation and only give your dog a small amount of milk at a time.

If you notice any bad side effects from the milk, then immediately stop giving your dog milk.

You should also consult your vet or local animal hospital before giving your dog milk.

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