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Can You Give a Dog Milk? What Happens If a Dog Drinks Milk?

Last updated on December 18th, 2023 at 02:08 am

Many canine friends love dairy products. But can you give a dog milk? What happens if a dog drinks milk? What kind of milk is good for dogs? Read on to find out your best answers!

Can you give a dog milk?

Generally, you can give a dog milk in small quantities as a treat. Milk contains a sugar called lactose that requires the enzyme lactase to digest. Many dogs can safely drink small amounts of milk, but some are lactose intolerant, which means their digestive system does not produce enough lactase to break down lactose.

What happens if a dog drinks milk?

If your dog is lactose intolerant and he accidentally drinks a lot of milk, he can have some of these symptoms:

    • Abdominal pain
    • Bloating
    • Constant gas/flatulence
    • Diarrhea
    • Loose stools
    • Vomiting

Always check with your veterinarian to ensure that your dog isn’t allergic to dairy products or lactose intolerant to avoid any pain or discomfort.

How much milk can dogs drink?

Can you give a dog milk

Dogs can drink a few sips of milk as an occasional treat if your vet approves. Because this beverage is high in fat and sugar, dogs should only drink it in small amounts. A few tablespoons of milk probably won’t hurt them, but higher amounts may have harmful short- and long-term consequences.

It’s a good idea to follow the 90/10 rule that limits the treat intake to no more than 10% of their total daily calories.

Lactose intolerance in dogs

Lactose intolerance is caused by undigested sugar molecules passing through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The body does not produce enough enzymes to break down the nutrients for absorption into the bloodstream.

Most dog owners don’t know their dog is lactose intolerant until they notice some dogs exhibiting lactose intolerance symptoms after consuming dairy. Only a veterinarian’s diagnosis can tell you whether your dog is safe to drink milk, but you may be able to recognize the signs if you notice any of the symptoms we mentioned above.

Can dogs become lactose intolerant?

Can you give a dog milk

Yes, some dogs can become lactose intolerant. Puppies produce less lactase in their system as they are weaned or introduced to more adult meals, and this is when they can become lactose intolerant.

What happens if a puppy is orphaned? Should you give a puppy milk?

Milk from a puppy’s mother has more than twice the protein of cow’s milk. That’s why cow’s milk isn’t suitable for feeding orphaned puppies.

Therefore, commercial puppy milk substitutes are recommended as they are better than cow’s milk and homemade mixtures. Make sure to provide your puppy with good-quality puppy milk.

Why can puppies drink milk?

Puppies have an abundance of lactase enzymes that break down their mother’s milk while nursing, so they can drink milk while many adult dogs cannot. After weaning, their bodies produce less of the enzyme to adjust to their new nutritional demands. As a result, many dogs develop lactose intolerance.

However, drinking milk from their mother is the best choice for your puppy since it is high in antibodies and essential nutrients for proper development. If you give your puppy other milk to replace breast milk, you must choose carefully and ensure the quality of that milk is good for them.

What kind of milk is good for dogs?

What kind of milk is good for dogs

There are multiple different types of milk on the market right now. Many dog owners wonder if their dogs can drink almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, and other similar drink replacements as plant-based sources become increasingly available. Keep reading to find your answer!

Is warm or cold milk for dogs better?

Depending on the temperature, you can feed your furry friend warm or cold milk. For example, on a hot summer day, you can make some yogurt popsicles for them. In winter, you might warm the puppy milk replacer to approximately 100°F (38°C) and add a tablespoon of milk to your puppy’s food, but be careful not to overheat it. 

Can a dog drink almond milk?

What kind of milk is good for dogs

Yes, a dog can drink a moderate amount of almond milk. It is a lower fat and calorie alternative to cows’ milk. You should read the ingredients and make sure it doesn’t include xylitol. This chemical is poisonous to dogs, and even a tiny amount can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), liver failure, and even death in some situations.

Can dogs have oat milk?

Yes, dogs can have oat milk in moderation like other plant-based milk. Oat milk is made by soaking and mixing entire oat grains in water, occasionally with an added sweetener such as sugar. 

Because oat milk is highly digested and contains almost no harmful components, it is safe to offer to dogs. Compared to other plant-based milk products, it also has more nutrients like vitamin B-complex, calcium, and vitamin D.

The only risk of consuming oat milk is its high fiber content. While fiber is essential in keeping a healthy GI tract, too much of it can lead to various symptoms like constipation and diarrhea. 

Can dogs drink soy milk?

What happens if a dog drinks milk

Yes, dogs can drink soy milk in small quantities. Soy is considered safe and is used as a protein source in many pet foods. However, it is one of the most common dog food allergies. So soy milk should be avoided when your dog has food allergies. 

Can dogs drink coconut milk?

Yes, dogs can drink coconut milk. It could enhance their immune system, add shine to their coat, and improve their breath.  However, coconut milk is sometimes over-processed and may contain many additives that your dog does not need. 

Other coconut products, such as pure coconut water and coconut oil, are high in electrolytes, nutrients, and healthy fats, which will give you even more benefits.

Can dogs drink cow milk?

Yes, dogs with lactose intolerance can drink cow’s milk but only in small amounts. Although rich in beneficial nutrients, like calcium and protein, it is not a healthy option for your dog at any age. Consuming cow’s milk can cause digestive discomfort and even excretion problems.

Can a dog drink goat milk?

How much water should a dog drink in a day

Yes, a dog can drink goat milk in small quantities. Goat’s milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk, and it lacks the complex proteins linked to allergies.

Can I give my dog milk instead of water?

No, you cannot give your dog milk instead of water. Dogs are much better off drinking fresh water.


Generally, you can give a dog milk in small quantities as a treat. Follow the 90/10 rule that limits the treat intake to no more than 10% of their total daily calories.

Milk contains a sugar called lactose that requires the enzyme lactase to digest. Many dogs can safely drink small amounts of milk, but some are lactose intolerant, which means their digestive system does not produce enough lactase to break down lactose.

Last but not least…

Many readers have loved learning how to train their dogs based on scientific methods from a free workshop conducted by Dr. Alexa Diaz (one of the top service dog trainers in the U.S.) and Eric Presnall (host of the hit Animal Planet TV show “Who Let the Dogs Out”) at the K9 Training Institute. In the free workshop, you’ll discover:

    1. How to train your dog using body language rather than verbal cues
    2. The 3 key techniques that service dog trainers use to train dogs and how you can use them too
    3. The most important step that “normal” dog owners have been missing (this is very important to get your dog’s attention, and it works 100% of the time)
    4. How to stop bad behaviors like excessive barking, pulling on the leash, jumping, etc.
    5. Why a lot of dog owners are unable to establish the amazing bond that service dog trainers have with their dogs


Whether your dog is a puppy or an adult, this pre-recorded workshop will help you train them successfully. You may not want to miss the chance to learn these groundbreaking techniques. Here’s the free workshop.

About us: Pet Chao is a community for Asian dog breed enthusiasts. Our goal is to keep you and your four-legged friend healthy and happy by providing valuable resources and fostering a like-minded community.

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