Dog health & Nutrition

Can Dogs Drink Milk? Is Milk Bad for Dogs?

Dairy products are beneficial for humans, but what about dogs? Can dogs drink milk? This question pops into our minds whenever we share our milk or milk-based snacks with our dogs. Most vets believe that dogs have different tendencies to digest which depends on the dog’s stomach, whether it is allergic to milk.

Every dog has a different tendency to digest food, particularly milk and milk products. If you are concerned that your dog should drink milk or not, then you should consult your vet first.

The following tips can help you if you are thinking,


Can dogs have milk? Is milk good for dogs or not?

How Much Milk Can Dogs Drink Safely?

Milk for dogs is a nice treat but only in small amounts, like one or two spoons in a single sitting. Never go for a whole bowl of milk for your dog, as it can severely affect your dog’s health and cause various GI issues, including vomiting and diarrhea.

When Can Dogs Drink Milk?

Puppies can drink milk from their nursing mother as it is very healthy for the newborn and cannot be replaced. The milk contains a massive amount of lactose sugar which is only digested by an enzyme called lactase. This enzyme helps in the digestion of lactose sugar. You cannot give cow or goat milk to the puppies as they cannot digest that and can only digest the milk from their nursing mother.

Can Dogs be Lactose Intolerant?

The puppies have lots of lactase enzymes to digest milk easily, but when these puppies are weaned, the amount of lactase enzyme produced in the body is reduced to a minimum. So, adult dogs are unable to digest the lactose sugar. That makes them lactose intolerant.

When the dogs drink milk, it is not digested in the stomach. When this undigested milk reaches the colon, it draws lots of water and leads to loose, watery stools. Some of the symptoms that show lactose intolerance in dogs:

  • Vomiting
  • Loose stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas

Dog parents often ask the question.

Can dogs drink cow milk?

When you are thinking of giving your dog milk, you have to check if your dog is lactose intolerant or not. You cannot determine if your dog is lactose intolerant unless you give your dog milk. Try to provide a small amount of milk and then observe your dog for any symptoms that could indicate lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance in dogs varies within dogs. Some dogs show mild GI stress, while others show significant problems and cause dairy allergies. It may trigger skin allergies like itching and redness of the skin.

What Happens If Your Dog Drinks Milk?

Adult dogs are deficient in lactase enzyme, which is necessary for digesting lactose sugar. When dogs drink milk, it is not digested in the stomach and reaches the colon. This undigested sugar leads to water stools and diarrhea.

Dairy products and whole fat milk have high-fat content, not supported by the dog’s stomach. When these milk products are given to dogs daily, it can cause obesity and pancreatitis.

What to Do If Your Dog Drinks Milk?

If you are fond of sharing a bit of your food with your dog, then a little sip of milk or a tiny lick of ice cream will not cause any harm. But a big gulp may lead to allergies. You can observe your dog for the symptoms. The symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting may appear 12 hours after consuming milk. You should consult your vet immediately to avoid any severe reaction.


Is milk good for dogs?

Milk is a nice treat for dogs but only in small amounts, like one or two spoons in a sitting. It can be harmful if you give a whole bowl of milk and can lead to an upset stomach and other GI problems.

Can dogs have whole milk?

Milk is a natural source of food and energy for puppies, but you cannot replace their mother’s milk with whole milk or other formula milk. The mother’s milk contains antibodies and lots of nutrients for the young ones, which is not replaceable by any other form of milk.

Is milk harmful to dogs?

Milk can be harmful to dogs if they are lactose intolerant. When you give a small amount of milk to a lactose intolerance dog, the following situations may occur:

  • Vomiting
  • Loose stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

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