Can Dogs Drink Milk? Is Milk Bad for Dogs? (2024)

Many canine companions love dairy products. But can dogs drink milk? In short, maybe. Like many human foods, it should only be given to your dog in moderation. Also, a lot of pups are lactose intolerant, and drinking milk can cause intestinal upset.

How Much Milk Can Dogs Drink?

Milk is a safe treat in small quantities. A few tablespoons of cow’s milk or goat’s milk on an occasional basis can be a nice reward for your dog. But, you should probably hold off on offering your dog an entire bowl in one sitting, as it can cause unpleasant reactions, including diarrhea, vomiting, and loose stools.

The beverage is high in fat and natural sugars. Too much of these in your dog’s diet can lead to obesity and pancreatitis, which are serious conditions.

Lactose Intolerance in Dogs

Dairy products are a leading source of food intolerance in dogs. Many canines are lactose intolerant, which means they have difficulty digesting milk. Some lactose intolerant dogs have trouble drinking milk, but can handle dairy products like cheese and plain yogurt, which are typically easier to digest. Other pups may have adverse reactions to dairy in general.

Can Dogs Drink Milk? Is Milk Bad for Dogs? (1)

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How to Tell If Your Dog Is Lactose Intolerant

Dogs can have varying degrees of lactose intolerance; some might experience only mild symptoms, while other cases may be more severe. The most common symptoms are:

Many owners don’t find out that their dogs are lactose intolerant until they feed them milk. Trying to determine if your dog is lactose intolerant can also be tricky if your pup has consumed a large amount of milk; that can also trigger vomiting and diarrhea even in dogs that are not lactose intolerant. However, if your dog shows signs of these symptoms after drinking a small amount of milk, you should find a different treat.

Always consult your veterinarian before introducing anything new into your dog’s diet. And read more about more foods dogs can and can’t eat.

Here at the AKC, we field many queries from anxious dog owners about what is and isn’t safe for their canine companions to eat. Questions range from the obvious (“Can dogs eat steak bones?”) to the trendy (“Can dogs eat quinoa?”) Check out more “Can dogs eat…” articles on AKC.org to see which foods are and aren’t harmful to your dog.

Can Dogs Drink Milk? Is Milk Bad for Dogs? (2024)

FAQs

Can Dogs Drink Milk? Is Milk Bad for Dogs? ›

Milk is a safe treat in small quantities. A few tablespoons of cow's milk or goat's milk on an occasional basis can be a nice reward for your dog. But, you should probably hold off on offering your dog an entire bowl in one sitting, as it can cause unpleasant reactions, including diarrhea, vomiting, and loose stools.

Is milk harmful to dogs? ›

Whilst rich in beneficial nutrients, like calcium and proteins, cow's milk is not a healthy option for your pooch at any age. Cow's milk contains a sugar called lactose, which dogs lack the necessary enzyme for digesting. Ingesting cow's milk can therefore cause digestive discomfort and possibly excretion issues.

What kind of milk can dogs drink? ›

Both normal milk and lactose-free milk, as well as other dairy products like cheese and ice cream, contain fat and should only be given occasionally in small amounts as treats. Pups can also safely consume small amounts of plant-based milk such as soy milk, coconut milk, and almond milk.

What happens if a dog licks milk? ›

It's not dangerous but it can cause him some gastric problem such as diarrhea or bad winds. it's not recommended to give your puppy milk on a regular basis, but nothing bad will happen from this incident.

Can dogs drink bottled milk? ›

If you're here because you're wondering - can dogs drink milk or is milk in some way poisonous to dogs - well you'll be pleased to know that milk certainly isn't in any way toxic to dogs. Unlike ingredients such as garlic, onions and grapes, milk doesn't contain anything that will poison your dog.

Is cheese bad for dogs? ›

While cheese can be safe to feed to your dog, there are some things to remember. Cheese is high in fat, and feeding too much to your dog regularly can cause weight gain and lead to obesity. Even more problematic, it could lead to pancreatitis, a serious and potentially fatal illness in dogs.

What liquids can dogs drink? ›

While water should always be the primary source of hydration for dogs, there are safe and healthy alternatives to explore. Bone broth, coconut water, herbal teas, goat's milk, kefir, fruit and vegetable juices, Pedialyte, and homemade frozen treats can provide variety and additional hydration for your furry friends.

Are eggs good for dogs? ›

Eggs are not only a perfectly safe food source for dogs – they offer much in the way of nutritional benefits. Aside from being rich in protein, eggs are also a great source of linoleic acid, Vitamin B2 and B12 and water-soluble Vitamin A – all of which are wonderful for your dog's skin and coat.

How much milk can you give a dog? ›

Milk is a safe treat in small quantities. A few tablespoons of cow's milk or goat's milk on an occasional basis can be a nice reward for your dog. But, you should probably hold off on offering your dog an entire bowl in one sitting, as it can cause unpleasant reactions, including diarrhea, vomiting, and loose stools.

Can dogs have bananas? ›

Yes, dogs can eat bananas. In moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They're high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but because of their high sugar content, bananas should be given as a treat, not part of your dog's main diet.

What should I do if my dog drank milk? ›

Vomiting, diarrhea, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite after drinking even a small amount of milk may be secondary to lactose intolerance in dogs. If these signs are severe or persist more than 12 hours, contact your veterinarian for advice.

Can dogs have a drop of milk? ›

Is it OK to give milk to dogs? Milk in small amounts can be OK for dogs who aren't lactose intolerant but should be avoided in larger amounts as it's high in fat and sugar, which can cause obesity and pancreatitis.

Can dogs drink milk mixed with water? ›

Dogs cannot drink milk. While high in calcium and protein, cow's milk shouldn't be a part of your dog's diet because it can upset their stomach and cause long-term health problems.

What human milk is safe for dogs? ›

Adult dogs are likely to be lactose intolerant, which means pretty much any milk will be devastating to their tummies. At the very least, human milk isn't nutritionally adequate to support growing puppies. Alternatively, goat's milk contains less lactose than other types, making it a safer choice for dogs of all ages.

Can dogs eat cheerios? ›

They won't harm your dog, but they don't provide much benefit either. Cheerios are made from mostly whole-grain oats, which provide no essential component of your pet's diet. As a result, mass-produced Cheerio treats function only as filler—they're just empty calories when dogs need a high-energy diet.

Can dogs have peanut butter? ›

Whether speaking to new or seasoned pet parents, veterinarians are often asked 'can dogs eat peanut butter? ' The good news is that regular peanut butter is safe to give your dog as a treat. Just make sure to avoid peanut butter with Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in lower or sugar-free products.

What happens if a dog has milk? ›

Milk is a safe treat in small quantities. A few tablespoons of cow's milk or goat's milk on an occasional basis can be a nice reward for your dog. But, you should probably hold off on offering your dog an entire bowl in one sitting, as it can cause unpleasant reactions, including diarrhea, vomiting, and loose stools.

Is human milk toxic to dogs? ›

1) Dogs and puppies are generally lactose intolerant or lack the enzyme required to digest lactose found in human milk formula or cow milk. Hence feeding them such milk will make them sick or lead to soft stools, gas and diarrhea. This affects some pets more than others.

Why do dogs love milk? ›

Dogs love milk for its rich fat content. But that doesn't mean it's good for them. While cow's milk is an excellent source of calcium that's great for building strong bones in humans, it's not necessary for adult dogs. Yes, dogs can drink milk in small quantities, but it's not a vital part of a dog's diet.

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