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Can Dogs Consume Dairy Products and Drink Milk?

Without any negative consequences, milk and other milk-based foods are enjoyed and beneficial by many dogs. If you want to include dairy products in your dog’s diet, stick to these recommendations.

Any food given to dogs may cause conflict, but dairy products cause conflict more frequently than most.

Due to their high levels of protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc, and other minerals, milk and dairy products are highly appreciated. Because of this plus the fact that the majority of dogs adore dairy products, milk and other milk-based foods continue to be common additions to canine diets.

dairy and milk

Does Dairy Harm Dogs?

Healthy young puppies may easily digest their mother’s milk, but adult dogs frequently struggle to process lactose, the sugar found naturally in milk. Diarrhea, vomiting, appetite loss, bloating, gas, and other lactose intolerance symptoms are attributed to the lactose in cow’s milk.

The discussion of dairy for dogs up until recently centered on the production and processing of milk. Dairy cattle are frequently raised in cramped quarters nowadays, fed unsuitable diet, and given hormone and antibiotic treatments that leave residues and lower milk quality. People who believe milk is the best nourishment for adult dogs and puppies call for a return to small-scale, ethical, organic, grass-fed dairy farming.

The nutritional value of milk is said to have decreased as a result of pasteurization. Milk is pasteurized to eliminate dangerous bacteria, yeast, and molds; ultra-pasteurization (treatment at higher temperatures) further increases shelf life.

Critics of these practices assert that pasteurization kills the valuable enzymes in milk and changes the proteins in milk. These people recommend raw milk as the cure. Updates, resources, and safety information on raw milk are available from the Campaign for Real Milk (realmilk.org). While laws differ from state to state, raw milk products for dogs are available in a number of states at pet supply stores.

Additionally, homogenizing is criticized. As cream separates from fresh whole milk, it rises to the top. The majority of dairies sell homogenized milk, which has been processed under high pressure to break the cream into small particles and produce a homogenous combination. Some dairies sell whole milk with a layer of cream on top. It is uncommon to homogenize goat’s milk or sheep’s milk because the fat molecules are already tiny enough to produce a consistent texture.

A New Concept Regarding Dog Lactose Intolerance

While milk production and processing techniques continue to be important issues, genetics has altered the dairy for dogs discussion. A1 beta-casein, a milk protein, is produced by a mutation that affects over half of America’s dairy cows. Recent studies have suggested a connection between human health issues like allergies, dyspepsia, and possibly autoimmune illnesses and the consumption of A1 milk, which is produced by Holstein cattle, the most productive dairy cows in America.

In contrast, the older, original A2 gene is more prevalent in cows like Guernsey, Jersey, Charolai, Limousin, Norwegian Reds, and Brown Swiss cows. A Systematic Review of the Gastrointestinal Effects of A1 Compared with A2 Beta-Casein, published in the September issue of the journal Advanced Nutrition, is one of more than 200 studies comparing the effects of A1 and A2 milk in the medical literature. According to that study, both rodents and people who consume A1 milk experience gastrointestinal discomfort and have inflammatory response markers.

While there haven’t been any scientific studies comparing A1 and A2 milk’s effects on dogs, anecdotal tales from vets, breeders, and owners describe dogs with dyspepsia brought on by dairy doing better on A2 milk.

In American supermarkets and natural food stores, it is now simple to locate milk that is branded as A2 or A2A2 (which denotes that both parents of the cows who produced the milk have the A2-milk producing genes).

Sheep, goats, bison, camels, donkeys, and yaks are additional animals that can produce A2 milk. Any of these milks can be given as a supplement for young puppies or as a way to help sick or elderly dogs recover from their illnesses.

Can Dogs Consume Cheese?

Dairy products manufactured from milk, particularly cow’s milk, may cause dogs either no issues at all or severe stomach disturbances. The common explanation for complaints is lactose intolerance.

In comparison to whole milk, cottage, Swiss, and cheddar cheese have much lower lactose content per ounce. Most dogs can accept string cheese or young (as opposed to aged) cheddar training rewards better than old hard cheeses. Mycotoxins, which can be poisonous to dogs, are present in ripened cheeses including Roquefort, blue cheeses, and Stilton. These veined, fragrant cheeses are made with roquefortine C, a toxin that can make dogs throw up, have fever, and even have convulsions.

The salt level in feta and various other forms of aged, hard cheese is considerable. Dogs with heart illness, Addison’s disease, advanced kidney disease, and other disorders that call for a low-salt diet might suffer from too much salt. Goat, Swiss, mozzarella, cottage, and ricotta cheeses often have minimal salt content.

The fat content of cheese, which can cause weight gain and, in rare situations, pancreatitis, a serious condition in dogs, is another issue. Mozzarella, cottage cheese, and cheeses marked “low fat” or “reduced fat” are examples of cheeses that are lower in fat. Moderation is your best cheese-feeding advice because eating large amounts of any cheese can lead to issues.

Whey, a leftover substance from producing cheese, has historically been fed to farm animals, including dogs. Whey protein powder is marketed as a sports supplement that can help canine athletes and dogs who are recuperating from illness or injury perform better. Consult your veterinarian and make any necessary dietary changes for your dog if they think they would benefit from a whey supplement. Some retailers and farms sell liquid raw-milk whey; visit getrawmilk.com for more information.

Microbiome and dairy

A microbiome is an umbrella word that encompasses colonies of bacteria, viruses, fungus, and other microbes in the body, particularly in the digestive tract.

Beneficial or “friendly” microorganisms emit substances that kill off undesirable bacteria. Colonies of good bacteria starve dangerous microorganisms by denying them resources and space if they are present in sufficient quantities. The immune system’s first line of protection is a healthy microbiome.

Dogs with yeast infections, inflammation, skin problems, allergies, and digestive disorders are frequently advised to consume lactofermented dairy products, which are probiotics that maintain the microbiome.

The most well-known fermented dairy products are yogurt and kefir, both of which have recently gained popularity as dog food. Especially after receiving antibiotic therapy, they support the body’s healthy bacteria by restoring digestion, boosting the immune system, and strengthening the immune system.

In natural food markets and pet supply stores, a variety of yogurt and kefir products, some of which include extra ingredients, are sold. These goods include fresh or frozen goat’s milk and cow’s milk products (check labels). Making your own plain, unflavored, sugar-free yogurt or kefir is the most economical and straightforward option.

Yogurt starters and live milk kefir starter grains that have been dehydrated are widely accessible. Both the fermentation process and active cultures, which continue to digest lactose while the cultured milk is refrigerated, aid in reducing the amount of lactose in milk.

While kefir ferments at ambient temperature, yogurt must be made in a warm, consistent environment, such an electric yogurt maker. Use organic, pasture-raised A2A2 milk or goat’s milk if you can. Kefir and yogurt should be refrigerated or frozen for long-term storage. Search online for “make your own yogurt or kefir” to find how-to videos on YouTube.com and other websites that walk you through the process.

Start introducing these foods to your dog’s diet in tiny doses, such as 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight. Wait 24 hours before checking for gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea. Add more the next day if your dog likes the taste and appears healthy. According to some experts, you should give your dog up to 2 tablespoons of yogurt or kefir per 20 pounds of body weight each day, but many healthy dogs consume much more. For the best outcomes, keep an eye on your dog’s reaction and consult your veterinarian.

Is Ice Cream Safe for Dogs?

Dogs enjoy frozen dairy treats much like their owners do, but it’s possible that the treats don’t reciprocate. Cow’s milk ice cream is likely to be artificially flavored, rich in fat, high in lactose (and presumably high in A1 milk proteins), and sweetened with sugar. Always check the ingredients; xylitol, which is highly poisonous to dogs, is a component of certain ice cream.

Typically lactose- and xylitol-free, dog-specific ice cream products may nevertheless contain sweeteners like maltodextrin, polydextrose, sorbitol, and other dubious substances.

Making a healthier substitute is as simple as freezing plain yogurt or kefir in popsicle molds, ice cube trays, or freezer pop molds. Before freezing, fresh fruit, peanut butter, or other sugar-free flavorings can be added. Wooden sticks can also be used to hold the dog treats.

Allow Your Dog to Enjoy Milk!

It’s no secret that dogs adore dairy products! Your dogs can fall in love with milk-based products that love them back thanks to carefully chosen ingredients. If you are looking for more information you can contact us through our contact form or you can visit our Facebook Page.


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