Can Dogs Drink Milk? (Solved & Explained!)

Although your dog might have a varied diet, it’s still probably only drinking water. While this is perfectly healthy, perhaps there is a drink out there that can be a treat for your dog as well! Obviously, you don’t want to give your dog sugary drinks like juice or soda. So what drink might be good for your dog that isn’t water?

Can Dogs Drink Milk? Yes. As long as it’s given in small amounts, milk can be perfectly fine for dogs. Occasionally giving your dog a little bit of cow’s milk or goat’s milk is a good way to reward them for good behavior, or just to change up their diet. 

But how much milk can you serve your dog? Is milk good for all kinds of dogs? What kind of milk can your dog drink? There are plenty of questions that come with feeding milk to your dog, so read on to find out the answers you need! 

How to prepare milk for your dog

Obviously, you don’t want to just recklessly pour milk into your dog’s bowl. Try a few tablespoons. It can be served warm or cool, and they will most likely enjoy it either way. The key here is to not serve too much milk. Scroll down to the “How much milk can dogs drink?” section to learn more about this. 

The last thing to consider is the expiration date. As we all know, milk spoils quite easily, so use the date on the carton combined with your best judgment to decide whether or not to serve the milk to your dog. Do not serve your dog spoiled milk. 

How much milk can dogs drink?

It is important to not overserve milk to your dogs. Too much in one serving can lead to digestive problems for your pup. Although it varies depending on the size of a dog, you should never be serving more than a few tablespoons of milk. 

After feeding milk to your dog, closely monitor its behavior and digestive health afterward. Watch for loose bowel movements, diarrhea, vomiting, excessive flatulence, or any other digestive issues. 

How often should dogs drink milk?

Dogs should not drink milk on a daily basis. It should be more of an occasional treat. The reason for this is that milk is quite high in sugar and fat. Consuming it too regularly can lead to obesity and pancreatitis.

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Both of these conditions can shorten the lifespan of your dog significantly. Obviously, this won’t happen too quickly, but it’s important to make sure your dog’s diet will keep it happy and healthy for as long as possible. 

Can other dairy be given to dogs?

Much like milk, other dairy products, such as eggs and cheese, can also be given to dogs semi-regularly. They pose no major health concerns in the short term, so they can make fantastic treats for your pet. Keep in mind, however, you shouldn’t feed these foods to your dog too often, especially if they respond poorly digestively. 

Do not give your dog dairy if you figure out that they are lactose intolerant. Scroll down to the “Can dogs be lactose intolerant” section to learn more!

Are there health benefits for dogs drinking milk?

The main health benefit of drinking milk, much like it is for humans, is the high levels of calcium that are present. Calcium will strengthen your dog’s bones, which is especially helpful for athletic or active dogs. Strong bones will make for a healthier and happier dog overall. However, you’ll need to find other consistent sources of calcium, as you can’t feed your dog milk too often. 

Are there health risks for dogs drinking milk?

There are a number of health risks associated with drinking milk, although they mostly come with drinking it regularly. Mainly, its high sugar and fat content can make it bad for dogs, as it will cause pretty serious weight gain. Being overweight can stress your dog’s heart, joints, and be very detrimental to its overall health. 

Milk and other dairy products can also cause digestive issues, especially for lactose intolerant dogs. 

Can dogs be lactose intolerant?

Yes, dogs can in fact be lactose intolerant. In fact, lactose intolerance is the most common kind of food intolerance dogs have. Some dogs only have poor reactions to milk, while for others it’s all dairy. Make sure you know your dog’s dietary restrictions well before giving it dairy products. 

How to tell if your dog is lactose intolerant

If your dog is lactose intolerant, there are a number of signs that will show you. After feeding dairy to your pooch, watch out for some of the following. Loose stools and diarrhea are probably the most common response to dairy intake for lactose intolerant dogs. 

More severe symptoms might include serious abdominal pain and vomiting. It can be hard to tell with some dogs if they are lactose intolerant or have just consumed too much milk, as large amounts of milk will make even non-lactose intolerant dogs sick. 

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Other ways to change up your dog’s hydration

There are a number of other ways to change up your dog’s drinking habits, rather than drinking milk. These can be good alternatives for overweight or lactose intolerant dogs. You’ll want to avoid anything with any kind of sugars, syrups, or additives. That means no soda, no juice, and no other sugary drinks. 

Try and stick to water. Carbonating it is fine, and so is adding some sugar-free sweeteners. Putting some fruit in the water, provided it is a fruit that your dog can eat, is also an option. 

How to introduce milk or new drinks 

Before giving your dog milk, dairy, a new drink, or any other new part of the diet, make sure to consult your veterinarian. They will be able to let you know how and when to put new foods and drinks in your dog’s diet safely and effectively, with as little risk as possible to your dog.