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No, dogs should not drink milk because dogs have a lower amount of lactase, the enzyme needed to break down the lactose in the milk. This lack of lactase can result in a range of digestive issues in dogs if they drink milk. Some dogs might experience mild gastrointestinal distress while others might have more severe symptoms.

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Caution: This food is generally considered risky by the veterinary community. Dogs should not eat this food and should be monitored for adverse effects.

Food Safety Can be drunk but like to lead to digestive issues.
Nutritional Issues Milk has lactose, which is difficult to digest for most dogs. Milk is also relatively high in fat, which can cause digestive issues.
Potential Risks The lack of lactase in dogs can make lactose indigestible and once ingested, it can lead to gastrointestinal issues. The high fat content of milk can also lead to weight and conditions like pancreatitis in the long run.
Symptoms Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, abdominal pain, skin irritation, redness, itching.
Every dog is different. For specific feeding guidelines, including quantities and beneficial foods that are best for your dog, please consult your vet.

How Much Milk is Bad for Dogs?

An occasional lap of milk or a lick of your ice cream is fine for dogs unless they are severely lactose-intolerant. However, regularly drinking milk or dairy products with a lot of milk can lead to digestive issues.

What Makes Milk Unsafe?

Milk has a specific sugar called lactose. Lactose can only be digested if the body has significant amounts of lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose and makes it digestible. Dogs have lower levels of lactase, which makes digesting milk difficult for them. Puppies have a higher amount of lactase, therefore, they are able to digest milk.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Dogs can drink lactose-free milk. However, it is not suggested for them and they should instead get essential nutrients from a balanced diet.

  • Dogs can safely drink almond milk, but, it should only be given occasionally.

About the Writer
Dan Greco , Dog Dad

Having been a dog dad for 5 years, I know how hard it is to make sure your dog gets the right nutrients and stays away from hazardous foods. With the help of a veterinarian who specializes in nutrition, I created this blog to help dog owners quickly access food information they need.

photo of vet holding a pup
About the Contributor
Dr. Hillary Wolfe , Veterinarian & Certified Food Therapist

Dr. Wolfe holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University and holds nutrition certifications from the NAVC and CIVT. Her business, Tula Veterinary Nutrition, hosts online courses that teach owners how to cook for their pet for optimal health and longevity. Follow her on Instagram at @doctorwolfe.dvm for dog nutrition tips, recipes and insights.