Can dogs drink milk?

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The dog feeding It is one of the factors to which we must pay more attention if we want to guarantee that we offer you the best care. Regardless of the type of diet we give it, including natural foods in it is more than recommended for its nutritional value. Thus, giving meat, fish, fruits and vegetables to the dog will not only allow him to enjoy delicious food, but will also provide him with great benefits such as the quality of the products, vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and a long etcetera..

Especially if we have just adopted a puppy, during the process of choosing the best foods for our dog it is common that we have doubts and we ask ourselves questions, such as, for example, if the puppies can drink milk. In this AnimalWised article we will talk about this drink so consumed throughout the world, we will explain if dogs can drink milk and, if so, how.

You may also be interested: Can cats drink milk? Index
  1. Is milk good for dogs?
  2. Can puppies drink milk?
  3. Can dogs drink milk?
  4. Benefits of milk for dogs
  5. Can dogs have soy, oat or almond milk??
  6. How to give milk to a dog?
  7. Are milk derivatives good for dogs?

Is milk good for dogs?

At birth, dogs are exclusively breastfed for the first few weeks of life. As they grow and the first months go by, weaning occurs, which should occur naturally when the mother deems it appropriate. So, in this first stage of the puppy's life, milk is essential to guarantee its correct development. However, ¿why on numerous occasions we hear that milk for adult dogs is bad?

In the composition of milk we find lactose, a type of sugar present in the milk produced by all mammals. To synthesize lactose and transform it into glucose and galactose, all babies, including dog puppies, produce an enzyme called lactase in great quantities. This enzyme is reduced in production as the puppy grows and acquires new eating habits. The digestive system of most animals is constantly changing because it adapts to the different stages of growth. For this reason, when you stop drinking milk, the body considers that it does not need to produce as much lactase, and may even develop lactose intolerance as part of the natural adaptation process and this being the main reason why it is not recommended to give milk to an adult dog.

However, not all puppies stop producing it in the same way and, therefore, not all are lactose intolerant. Especially those who continue to drink cow's milk after weaning, can continue to produce a certain amount of lactase in order to digest that lactose. Therefore, it is possible to see dogs that drink milk without being negatively affected. Then, ¿is milk good for dogs? It all depends on the organism of the animal itself, on whether it tolerates it or not. If so, drinking milk can be positive as long as it is offered appropriately, in moderation and taking into account that can be given as a supplement to the diet, but not as the main basis of it.

Can puppies drink milk?

Puppies can drink breast milk without problem. In general, weaning begins to occur naturally from 3-4 weeks of age, at which point we can introduce solid feed intakes so that they get used to it. However, in this period they continue to drink breast milk, so it is not until approximately two months of life that breastfeeding does not end. In this way, it is not recommended to separate the puppies from their mother before 8 weeks, and not only because it hinders lactation, but also because during these first weeks the puppies begin the period of socialization. A premature separation will hinder these first relationships and can cause behavior problems in the future..

¿You can give a puppy cow's milk?

Sometimes, it may happen that the bitch does not produce enough breast milk or that we find a litter of orphaned newborn puppies. In these cases, ¿puppies can drink cow's milk? The answer is DO NOT. Necessary purchase milk for lactating dogs, specially formulated to meet the needs of this animal species, since, although all mammals produce milk, the composition is different because not all the digestive systems of animals are the same. Cow's milk provides half the calories of bitch milk and, therefore, the nutritional needs of puppies are not covered with it. The problem with giving a puppy cow's milk as the only food is not that he can or cannot digest it properly, it is that it is not enough to feed him.

Now, if it is not possible to go to a veterinary clinic to buy milk, there are some recipes for emergency formula milk that can be prepared to offer food to the little ones until the moment of visiting the specialist. These recipes can include cow's, sheep's, or goat's milk, plus other ingredients to simulate the nutritional value of bitch's milk. Check out this article to review them all: "Formula for emergency puppies ".

¿Even when to give milk to a puppy?

The ideal is to start introduce solid foods from 3-4 weeks, alternating them with milk feeds for nursing puppies. As they grow, milk intakes will decrease and solid food intakes will increase. In this way, at two months of age they can eat only solid food..

It is important to note that to promote chewing, it is recommended to moisten the solid food in water for up to two or three months of life..

And if the puppy already eats solid, ¿can drink milk?

If you do not have symptoms of lactose intolerance, can drink milk from time to time. In any case, it is always advisable to opt for lactose-free milk or vegetable milk with a low sugar index..

Can dogs drink milk?

Adult dogs produce very little or no lactase enzyme, so they may have developed lactose intolerance, making it totally counterproductive to give them milk. Now, if the animal does not present symptoms that show the appearance of this disorder, it is possible to give milk as a food supplement.

Lactose intolerance in dogs

To know if a dog can really drink milk, it is necessary to know a little more about this disorder. When the dog's small intestine stops producing the enzyme lactase, the lactose in the milk cannot be broken down, so it automatically passes into the large intestine without being digested, A fact that causes a fermentation of it and, as a consequence, develops a series of reactions in the body to expel it. Thus, in these cases, the body is not able to digest lactose, does not tolerate it and shows the following symptoms of lactose intolerance in the dog:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gases
  • Abdominal swelling

Lactose allergy in dogs

Intolerance and allergy are different pathologies, so it is necessary to learn to differentiate them. Intolerance affects only the digestive system, while allergy affects the immune system. This is so because an allergy is caused by a hypersensitivity of the organism upon contact with a certain substance. In this way, upon entering the body, a series of reactions such as the following are triggered:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Itching and redness of the skin
  • Otitis
  • Inflammation of the eyelid and muzzle area
  • Urticaria

Food allergy dermatitis is usually one of the first symptoms, along with respiratory distress, so if any of these signs appear, it is necessary to withdraw the milk and go to the vet..

Benefits of milk for dogs

If the dog tolerates milk without problems, there are many benefits that this drink can bring to its body. Cow's milk is rich in proteins of high biological value, carbohydrates, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vitamin C, vitamins of group B, vitamin A, vitamin D and lipids. However, if there is one thing that stands out for the nutritional composition of milk, it is its high calcium content. The consumption of this mineral is very important in all stages of the dog's life, but it becomes even more relevant during the puppy stage, since it promotes proper bone growth. Likewise, since the milk of all animal species is rich in fat and sugars, it favors the correct development in general..

Puppies need to ingest those fats, sugars, vitamins and calcium that their mother's milk contains. At weaning, if the little one tolerates cow's, sheep's or goat's milk, he can take it from time to time to take advantage of its benefits. During adulthood and old age the same happens, as long as the dog does not show signs of intolerance or allergy, it can drink milk moderately.

Can dogs have soy, oat or almond milk??

Plant milks do not contain lactose, so they are a good option when giving milk to a dog. However, ¿what type of vegetable milk is better? Those that contain less sugar and, therefore, are less caloric. Thus, soy milk, rice milk, oat milk and almond milk are the most recommended, as long as it is indicated on the package "no added sugar". Then, ¿dogs can drink coconut milk? This is one of the most caloric vegetable milks, so it is not one of the most suitable for dogs. However, introduced into a recipe or offered very occasionally, it does not produce negative effects. The problem lies in its abuse.

How to give milk to a dog?

Once the question arises about whether dogs can drink milk, it is time to know how to give it to them if you can. Well, the first thing is to choose the type of milk. For puppy dogs, the whole milk it is not a problem because the fats and sugars that compose it are good for them. However, when we talk about adult or elderly dogs, the most advisable thing is to choose skimmed or semi-skimmed milk. This type of milk does not contain less calcium, in fact the amount is the same as that offered by whole milk, the difference between them lies in the fat and fat-soluble vitamins. During the process of skimming the milk, the fats found in it are eliminated and, as a consequence, the vitamins dissolved in these fats, which are D, A and E. In the market we also find skimmed milk enriched with these lost vitamins.

If we have adopted an adult or elderly dog ​​and we prefer not to take risks, the use of lactose free milk or any of the vegetable milks mentioned in the previous section. As for the ways to give milk to a dog, the easiest and fastest way is to pour some milk into his bowl and let him drink it. The amount of milk will vary depending on the age and size of the dog, but it is always good to observe and start with small doses.

¿Are you one of those who is used to preparing recipes for your dog? Then we encourage you to make homemade ice cream, cakes or cupcakes. Through these recipes the dog consumes milk and other good foods for him at the same time that he enjoys eating. Especially during hot weather, ice creams are highly recommended and are a delicious natural snack. Check out these articles and cook for your best friend:

  • Homemade ice cream for dogs
  • Dog cupcakes
  • Dog cakes

Are milk derivatives good for dogs?

We have already seen that dogs can drink milk if they tolerate it but, ¿what about yogurt or cheese? Dogs can eat yogurt perfectly because this is a derivative of milk with a very small amount of lactose. In addition, it is one of the best foods for dogs thanks to its composition, since natural yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics, which favor the flora and regulate intestinal transit. Of course, it is precise that it is natural yogurt without sugar.

For its part, cheese is also beneficial as long as it is fresh. Cured, semi-cured and blue cheeses are not recommended. Thus, a good breakfast for a dog can be a natural yogurt mixed with a teaspoon of rolled oats and pieces of fresh cheese., ¡complete, nutritious and delicious!

On the other hand, the milk kefir or kefirada milk is another dog food highly recommended by canine nutritionists. This product contains even more probiotics than plain yogurt and its properties are even better. Kefir is good for both puppies and adult and elderly dogs.

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