Milk and dairy products can have great benefits for humans. They’re rich in vitamin D and calcium, which can help keep your teeth and bones nice and strong. But can our beloved pooches have milk, too?
When it comes to whether dogs can have milk, the quick answer is that it depends. Most of the time, a little bit of milk isn’t going to be harmful or toxic. But there are exceptions, and dogs can face several health issues if they drink milk or eat dairy products in high quantities or over a long period of time.
As always, you should ask your veterinarian before sharing human foods or drinks with your dog, including milk.
Here’s what you should know about whether dogs can drink milk.
Can Dogs Safely Drink Milk?
Dr. Stephanie Liff, DVM and owner of Pure Paws Veterinary Care of Clinton Hill in Brooklyn, NY said about the subject of dogs and milk, “Most dogs can drink cow’s milk or goat’s milk, however some dogs may be allergic or lactose intolerant.”
Dr. Heather Brausa at New York City’s Animal Medical Center also stated, “It’s the consequence of that milk drinking that we worry about.”
“Milk contains a sugar called lactose that requires an enzyme called lactase for digestion,” Brausa says. “Puppies generally have the enzyme in abundance as it is used to breakdown their mother’s milk while nursing.”
As puppies become weaned, or introduced to more adult foods, they’ll produce less lactase in their system, and that, in fact, is when they can become lactose intolerant.