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Can dogs drink milk? A controversial topic

Can dogs drink milk? A controversial topic

As dog parents, we only want the best for our four-legged friends, and that includes a healthy and balanced diet. However, there are many questions and uncertainties when choosing food for our furry friends. A common question many dog ​​owners ask is, "Can dogs drink milk?" Although milk is considered a nutritious food that is beneficial for humans, it is important to know if it is also suitable for dogs. In this blog post, we examine the pros and cons of milk for dogs and clarify the most common myths and facts surrounding the topic so you can make an informed decision about whether or not your dog should drink milk.

Always check with your veterinarian before sharing human foods or drinks with your dog, including milk. Find out whether dogs should drink milk here.

Uncertainties and myths about milk in dogs

If the question: Can dogs drink milk? emerges, there are many uncertainties and myths. A common myth is that dogs can drink milk just like humans because they are also mammals. However, in reality, many dogs do not tolerate milk as well as humans, particularly due to their lactose intolerance.

Another uncertainty concerns the question of whether lactose-free milk is a good alternative for dogs. While lactose-free milk may be a good option for some dogs, dog owners should keep in mind that lactose-free milk still contains milk proteins that are difficult for some dogs to digest.

Another myth is that milk is an important source of calcium and other nutrients for dogs. In fact, there are many other foods that provide a better source of these nutrients for dogs, and milk should only be considered in moderation and in certain cases.

A common uncertainty also concerns the dosage and frequency of feeding milk and dairy products to dogs. It is important to note that each dog's individual nutritional needs and tolerances are different and that dog owners should follow their veterinarian's recommendations.

Is milk good or bad for dogs?

Milk is an excellent source of calcium, potassium and vitamin D. But is it also good for our thirsty four-legged friends? The answer to this question is not easy as it depends on various factors. In principle, dogs can drink milk, but it is not necessarily recommended as many dogs may have difficulty digesting milk due to lactose intolerance or a milk allergy.

Signs of a milk allergy or a food allergy in general can include:

  • Itching e.g. on ears and paws
  • Licking the paws
  • Red, irritated skin
  • Hair loss
  • Vomit
  • Diarrhea

Milk is high in fat and calories, but not filling. Therefore, it is not a good choice for dogs and can lead to excessive weight gain if it is on the menu.

However, some dogs tolerate dairy products well, especially lactose-free dairy products such as lactose-free milk or yogurt. These may even be recommended by some veterinarians as they can provide additional nutrients such as calcium and protein.

However, it is important to note that milk does not contain all the nutrients that dogs need and generally contains too much sugar due to lactose. A balanced diet should consist of animal proteins, carbohydrates and fat sources as well as vegetables and fruits.

How much milk can dogs drink?

The amount of milk dogs can drink depends on several factors, such as the dog's weight, age and health, and the type of milk they drink. In general, however, dogs should drink milk in moderation because milk contains lactose, which many dogs cannot digest well.

It is recommended that dogs should not consume more than 20 mg of milk per kilogram of body weight per day or 10% of their daily calorie intake from milk and dairy products. One cup of milk (250 ml) contains about 150 calories, which can be a lot for a small dog. So if you want to give your dog milk, it's best to do it as an occasional treat and in small amounts.

It is also important to note that dogs should drink enough water to ensure hydration. Milk should never be used as a substitute for water. If you give your dog milk, make sure he also has enough water available.

It is also important to note that some dogs are more sensitive to dairy products than others. If your dog shows signs of digestive problems or allergic reactions, you should keep him away from milk and dairy products and consult a veterinarian.

Can I give my dog ​​milk for constipation?

Do you notice that your dog strains when he wants to go potty? Constipation in dogs isn't exactly a common problem, but it can be very uncomfortable for your furry friend. Avoid giving your dog milk for constipation, as this can lead to diarrhea and an upset stomach. You don't want to mess up your dog's gastrointestinal tract even more if he already has a problem and you could make it worse. Instead, try giving your dog some exercise, giving him a small amount of high-quality oil (such as olive oil), or asking your vet if over-the-counter medications can help your dog get back on his feet.

Can dogs drink plant-based milk?

Plant-based milk is made without dairy products. Does this make it safer for dogs to drink them? It may surprise you, but it's not better for dogs. Plant milk is not as toxic to dogs as cow's milk, but it has the same problems. Plant-based milk is an allergen for many dogs. Even in dogs that are not allergic, it can cause stomach and intestinal upset.

Plant milk - like cow's milk - does not make dogs feel full, but is high in fat and calories, which leads to undesirable weight gain if given frequently. Another problem with plant-based milk is that the sweetened versions can contain artificial sweeteners that can be toxic to dogs. Plant-based milks made from nuts can also be dangerous for dogs with nut allergies.

Almond milk

Almonds and almond milk may sound healthy, but neither is recommended for dogs. Almond milk is high in fat and calories and often contains artificial sweeteners (like xylitol) that can be harmful to your four-legged friend.

Oat milk

Oat milk is a delicious milk alternative that is also very popular with us humans. Although it consists of harmless ingredients such as oat flakes and water, it is not recommended as part of your four-legged friend's daily diet due to its high fiber content. It can cause your dog to have an upset stomach.

Coconut milk

Coconut milk is another people's favorite, but it should generally be avoided because it could be an allergen, has no significant nutritional value, and can cause stomach upset.

This is how you can tell if your dog is lactose intolerant

Dog licks milk

Lactose intolerance can vary in severity in dogs; Some people only experience mild symptoms, others have more severe symptoms. The most common symptoms are:

  • Loose, watery stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Vomit
  • Abdominal pain

Many owners only find out that their dog is lactose intolerant when they feed them milk. Determining whether your dog is lactose intolerant can also be difficult if your four-legged friend has drunk a large amount of milk. This can also cause vomiting and diarrhea, even in dogs that are not lactose intolerant. However, if your dog shows these symptoms after drinking a small amount of milk, you should find another treat.

Always talk to your veterinarian before adding anything new to your dog's diet. And read about other foods that dogs can and cannot eat.

What can happen if your dog drinks milk?

Even if drinking milk isn't toxic to your dog, it can cause a number of problems over time. Many dogs are lactose intolerant to some degree, meaning they have difficulty digesting dairy products.

Some of the symptoms of lactose intolerance after consuming dairy products include:

  • Loose chair
  • Flatulence
  • Constant bloating/blister formation
  • Vomit
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea

Due to lactase deficiency, consumption of milk can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. In addition, whole milk or other dairy products can contain too much fat and lead to diarrhea and vomiting. Due to the high fat content of most dairy products, especially whole milk, consuming them can cause severe pancreatitis in your dog.

Although an occasional lick of ice cream or a round of milk isn't a big deal for your dog. You should avoid dairy products as much as possible or only allow them in moderation. In general, dogs may experience gastrointestinal distress within about twelve hours of consuming dairy products.

Speak to your dog's veterinarian to make sure your furry friend is not allergic to dairy products or lactose intolerant. And that consuming dairy products does not cause severe pain or discomfort.


Can dogs drink milk? In summary, drinking milk is not strictly forbidden for dogs, but it is not necessarily recommended either. Many dogs may have trouble digesting milk due to lactose intolerance. In this case, lactose-free dairy products may be a better option. It is also important to note that milk does not contain all the nutrients dogs need and that a balanced diet should be composed of animal proteins, carbohydrates and fat sources, as well as vegetables and fruits. Additionally, dogs should not drink too much milk as this can lead to diarrhea and vomiting.