Believe it or not, “Can dogs have dairy products?” is a fairly common question that pet parents have searched for on the internet. What did we ever do without good old Google, eh?
And, as it happens, the answer is not as straightforward as just a simple yes or no. Products containing dairy aren't necessarily bad for dogs but like some humans, dogs can also have food allergies or be lactose intolerant.
Anything that contains lactose, such as butter, cheese, cream, ice-cream and yogurts can potentially cause some extremely unpleasant side effects. They’re not usually life threatening but if the symptoms were to go on for a period of time or untreated, then things could get a little dodgy.
Even if your dog is not intolerant, it’s advised that milk shouldn't be given to them in large amounts or very often as it is both high in fat and natural sugars. Too much of it could actually lead to obesity and or pancreatitis. That’s some scary stuff; I should know!
It may not always be obvious that you dog has an intolerance to dairy but there are some common symptoms you can look out for, such as:
- Gas (yes, the farts)
- Pain or tenderness in the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unexpected weight loss
There may be some situations where a puppy still needs milk but is unable to get it from its mother. In these situations, goat’s milk has been shown to be the better alternative to cow's milk, and many breeders now recommend goat’s milk.
This is because goat’s milk is easier to digest. It has smaller, softer casein curd and its fat globules are also smaller which helps it to be digested completely in the small bowel, meaning there’s less chance of the dreaded windy pops!
You may or may not have seen that I recently gained a little sister called Maahi, who got me thinking about this blog post…
Mum actually gives both me and Maahi goat’s milk. I’m on the adult stuff and Maahi the puppy one, it’s from a company called Toplife Formula and I must admit we absolutely love it! Apparently it’s not only delicious, it’s also nutritionally beneficial because it contains some important added extras (glucosamine and chondriotin) which help with healthy joints, and it also has Green Tea Extract to support the immune system.
If you’d like to find out more about this product or order some for your own pup you can find it here on their website.
Like always, if your pet is showing any signs of illness please contact your vet for advice.
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