Can you give your dog milk? This is one of the most common questions among dog owners. Well, you cannot blame them. You have surely heard how veterinarians and professionals in the pet industry say that milk and other dairy products are bad for dogs. However, this topic has lots of room for discussion.
Milk and Its General Benefits for Dogs
It is not a secret that milk plays an important role in a balanced and healthy diet. Humans benefit from milk because it offers numerous benefits.
This is where the problem starts. Dog owners often treat their pets like children. They have this belief that milk can give their dogs the same benefits it gives to humans. Sadly, this is not really the case.
Is It Safe for Dogs to Drink Milk?
This question doesn’t directly get a no or a yes for an answer. But, to answer this question truthfully, no, it is not safe for dogs to drink milk.
If this is the case, is milk bad for your dog, then? Not really but it is also not so good.
However, it is only one point of view. In case your veterinarian advises you otherwise to achieve a certain goal or address certain health concerns, you should always follow the vet’s guidelines.
Instead of feeding dairy products to your dog, it is best to feed him with high-quality food.
Can You Give Your Dog Milk?
As this inquiry requires covering a wide spectrum, it is best to explain the main factor to help you make a decision yourself.
Of course, being mammals, dogs can also become lactose intolerant. Lactose is the simple sugar present in dairy products that can only be digested properly through the help of the enzyme known as lactase.
The problem lies in the fact that the system of most dogs doesn’t have lactase and the result is that they cannot digest milk. Symptoms may vary but these are not that different from the symptoms experienced by lactose-intolerant humans after they consume dairy.
These symptoms often appear around 12 hours after you feed dairy to your dog. Symptoms include:
* Gastrointestinal problems
* Skin allergies and rashes
* Decreased appetite
As expected, these symptoms won’t appear simultaneously. This will still depend on how much milk your pooch has consumed as well as his level of lactose intolerance. But, dogs are not naturally born as lactose intolerant.
How about the Milk from the Dog’s Mother?
Comparing the mother’s milk with store-bought milk is out of the question. The milk you buy from stores is different from the milk that comes from a mother’s breasts.
The best argument is that newborn dogs and those still in the nursing period don’t just need milk for proper growth for at the same time, their bodies can safely handle it.
When puppies are born, they still have high amounts of lactase required to properly digest lactose present in the milk of their mother.
But, once they enter the weaning period and they stop drinking milk from their mother, lactase significantly decreases so they can no longer properly digest milk.
So, if you are wondering if you can give your dog milk, remember that as your pet grows up, he will need lesser milk because he will also have lesser lactose to process it. At the end of the day, it all depends on the age of your furry friend.