Dairy products are often included in the menu of their favorites by dog owners. Still, few owners are attentive to the real benefits of milk and its features in the diet of adult dogs and small puppies. Is milk bad for dogs? Whether it is really a useful product and how not to harm your pet with it – read more.

Whether dogs and puppies can drink milk

The level of use of any milk should be evaluated based on its type and main components. It is no secret that cow, goat, or mare’s milk will have its own individual characteristics that affect the speed at which it is absorbed by the dog’s body. It mainly concerns the puppy age.

Whether dogs and puppies can drink milk

Cow’s milk

Cow milk is the most popular alternative to dog products in the process of feeding the puppies. However, both options are very different from each other. It is no secret that the cow’s milk contains a large amount of lactose. At the same time, proteins, fats, lime, iron, and phosphoric acid are usually three times less than in dog milk.

puppy is drinking milk

To somehow normalize the balance of vitamins and minerals essential for puppies, raw eggs are added to the cow’s food before feeding by diluting it with water (fatty milk can affect the health of the animal’s digestive system).

Important! Lactose, which is present in cow’s milk, is almost completely broken down by intestinal enzymes of puppies, which is impossible in adult pets. Starting from 3-4 months, the animals lose the ability to do this process, making the milk more dangerous.

Goat milk

This variant of milk is deservedly considered more preferable because the content of lactose is relatively lower, and the protein, unsaturated fats, calcium, and easily digestible vitamin A is more.

Due to the ease of absorption, it is recommended to give such milk to puppies more often than cow milk, but do not forget to monitor the pet’s well-being and the consistency of his feces.

Diarrhea is a direct confirmation of the chosen diet’s inappropriateness, so do not exclude the possibility of rejection of any of the products, replacing it with special milk powder from the veterinary pharmacy.

is milk bad for dogs?

Mare’s milk

Compared to previous versions, mare’s milk contains the smallest amount of proteins and fats, while lactose levels are much higher. For this reason, veterinarians firmly recommend not giving the product to adult dogs. When feeding, the young will have to dose its amount.

Koumiss – is not suitable for feeding pets because the presence of ethyl alcohol in it can cause severe poisoning.

Some dairy companies supply mare’s milk to the market, which has undergone a particular procedure to reduce the lactose content. It is the best choice for puppies as a snack, especially if the owner has no other options.

funny puppy fell in the milk

Store milk with a reduced percentage of fat is always preferable to domestic fatty dairy. It does not matter if it comes from a cow, goat, or horse. Not only is it easier to digest by the dog’s body, but it also contains no pathogens, which reduces the likelihood of infectious diseases.

Did you know? The most fertile dog listed in the Guinness Book of Records is a Neapolitan Mastiff named Tia. In 2004, the dog gave birth to 24 puppies; however, only 20 survived.

Milk and dry dog food

Suppose a puppy is already accustomed to dry food. In that case, it is not recommended to mix it with natural products, especially in one feed. Over time, the animal’s digestive system is adjusted to digest and assimilate a particular type of food, and constant change of its kind threatens with stomach upset, chubby belly, vomiting, or even allergies.

Read more about how to get a dog to eat dry food

Mixing premium dry food and milk in the daily diet is possible only with the following scheme: dry food – 25% of the daily norm (for example, if based on the weight of the animal it needs 500 grams of drying granules, you should give no more than 125 g), and the rest – natural food.

Mixed dry food with milk or cottage cheese can not. Instead, it should act as a feed between the main receptions of natural food. It is also possible to separate the feeds by drying and straight: the first day and the second in the evening.

Milk and dry food in the dog's diet

Milk for breastfeeding dog

On the first day after delivery, a pet may refuse to eat, which is considered normal. The appetite will return and significantly increase in the next three weeks, exceeding the usual figures by about 2-3 times.

For a dog’s milk to be as healthy and nutritious as possible for its offspring, the owner needs to think over its diet. If the dog is used to eating natural food, you can offer him nonfat sour milk products, cereals porridge, and a great drink. It is better to avoid fresh domestic milk, which will prevent stomach upset both the nursing mother and her offspring.

Fermented milk products in the dog’s diet

Fermented milk products are always easier to digest in the dog stomach than fresh milk, so it is recommended to introduce them into the diet in almost all cases. Whether it is kefir, yogurt, cottage cheese, or cheese, it is up to the owner to decide, but always consider the dog’s taste preferences.


Both dairy products’ variants are usually introduced into the puppies’ diet after complete separation from breast milk. Low-fat yogurt contains useful bifidobacteria that have a positive effect on digestive processes. This product often allows you to cope with constipation, but not all four-legged puppies like its taste and smell.

An acceptable alternative in such cases may be yogurt, whose flavor is not so sharp. Still, the composition is rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, bifidobacteria. The use of yogurt allows your pet to reduce gas formation in the stomach, eliminate the possibility of the intestinal disorder as in the consumption of fresh milk, and remove toxins from the body.

By penetrating the dog’s digestive tract, beneficial microorganisms infiltrate the internal microflora and contribute to the reproduction of beneficial microorganisms.

To improve digestive processes, dogs are given 2 tbsp. of yogurt before each meal, but only if we are talking about natural food. It is also important to consider the animal’s body’s reaction to the sour milk product: in case of diarrhea, bloating, or allergies, you will have to give it up.

Fermented milk products in the dog's diet

Cottage cheese

The use of cottage cheese is explained by its rich vitamin and mineral composition, based on protein and calcium. Both elements are essential for forming musculoskeletal bones in young dogs, mainly since they are easily digested by the digestive system and normalize its work.

Low levels of calcium lead to a gradual deformation of bone tissue and, as a result, the curvature of the legs. Try to pamper your pet with cottage cheese every day, perhaps replacing one daily feeding.

Important! If, in addition to cottage cheese in the pet’s daily menu is already present calcium-containing products, they will have to be alternated. Excessive amounts of this element are dangerous for both puppies and adult dogs because there is a risk of an allergic reaction, wrapping the intestines, and other hazardous violations.

Calcined cottage cheese for dogs

Calcined curd can be given to young dogs. Increased calcium contributes to the formation of healthy teeth, bones, support muscle tone, proper functioning of the transmission of nerve impulses, and quality hematopoiesis.

Also, calcined cottage cheese will be useful for pets with disturbed processes of blood clotting and violation of cellular metabolism, as well as pregnant bitches and age dogs, whose bones become less healthy due to calcium washing out of them.

Calcined cottage cheese in the dog's diet

How to choose quality cottage cheese

No matter how useful a product is, the level of its use largely depends on its quality. By organizing your dog’s diet, it is recommended to give preference to store cottage cheese with a reduced percentage of fat (below 9%).

Still, fully fat-free options are also not the best solution. Fat is necessary for the full absorption of calcium, so the smaller it is, the harder it is for the dog’s body to benefit from this element.

The protein present in the cottage cheese is considered dietary, so it is possible to avoid overweighting the dog. With an active lifestyle of the pet, it will become the primary building material for muscles. Amino acids will contribute to developing the animal’s mental activity and the normalization of all processes in the dog’s nervous system.

The effects of excess calcium in a pet

Excess calcium in the dog’s body leads to hypercalcemia, which is dangerous for puppies as much as a shortage of trace elements. The consequences of excessive consumption of the mineral with dairy products are expressed in the following typical disorders:

  • radial bone curvature;
  • development of secondary mineral deficiency and osteochondrosis;
  • limited absorption of zinc, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus;
  • hypertrophic osteodystrophy.

Excess calcium is no longer eliminated from the dog’s body, so when feeding small pets need extra care: to overdose the mineral, they require much less of the same curd than larger congeners.

If a puppy or adult pet stubbornly refuses to eat the offered product, you can not forcefully feed it. Calcium is contained in milk and in many foods or dietary supplements, so it will be easy to find a more acceptable source. Trying to forcefully feed the dog, there is every chance to form its strong aversion to a particular type of food.

Excess calcium in the dog


Unlike the store cottage cheese, industrial cheeses contain a higher percentage of fat, so it is not recommended to feed the dog every day. At the same time, increased fat content is not the only reason for this. With frequent consumption, cheeses can change the taste of animals, which, as a result, will lead to the rejection of the usual food.

To prevent this, it is recommended to dry the sliced product and use it as a treat for training or as a disguise for medicines: the pill is simply pressed into a cheese slice and given to the pet.

When choosing cheese for your dog, you should pay attention to the least fatty varieties: cheddar, goat, and Swiss. Among other advantages, the first variant has a high alkali content, which allows normalizing the pH level in an animal’s mouth.

The daily rate of hard cheeses for small breed puppies is 30 g per day, and for large breeds – no more than 70 g. With age, the number of products in the daily diet can be increased to 100 g for small dogs and 200 g for large breeds.

Important: Exotic, smoked, and smooth cheeses should not be included in the menu of your pet dog. They do not have a high nutritional value, and the latter also contains a significant amount of harmful additives.

Some pets have an allergic reaction to cheeses, so it is essential to closely monitor your pet’s behavior after they are issued. If any irregularity is noticed, the product will be temporarily suspended.

Sour cream and cream

Sour cream and cream are some of the fattest dairy products, so it is not recommended to give them to dogs every day. In standard milk assimilation, sour cream is sometimes given to nonfat cottage cheese, adding 2-3 teaspoons per week.

This food will be especially useful for nursing females and puppies during their active growth.

The cream is used in the same way as sour cream, but it is diluted with water if it is a very fatty product. The amount of product given to the dog depends on its age and weight, but in any case, do not forget about the pet’s individual characteristics.

Sour cream in the dog's diet

Rules of the introduction of milk into a dog’s diet

In most cases, with age, dogs themselves stop drinking milk, but some individuals do not stop doing this. In the latter case, the owner will have to carefully consider the question of its proper introduction into the diet, always adhering to the daily norm for pets of different sizes and ages. Puppies can be given milk according to the following scheme:

  • 1-2 months – no more than 100 ml per day;
  • 2-3 months – not more than 200 ml;
  • 3-4 months – not more than 250 ml;
  • 4-5 months – milk is replaced with kefir, increasing the daily allowance to 300 ml.

An adult dog can be given no more than 1-2 glasses of milk a day, 2-3 times a week. To reduce the likelihood of diarrhea or other unpleasant consequences of consuming this product, it is better to dilute it with water in a ratio of 1:1.

Fat cow’s milk is replaced, if possible, by goat’s milk or a particular lactose-free variant available in many veterinary drugstores. If a dog is lactose intolerant, this is the right solution.

Dairy porridge in the dog’s diet

Dairy porridges are more relevant for feeding small puppies. At the same time, for adult dogs, cereals are cooked with the addition of vegetables and meat.

However, in the organization of natural food for various dishes that can be prepared for adult pets, the main thing is the lack of lactose intolerance, which often manifests itself in vomiting and diarrhea.

Simply put: if a pet drinks milk calmly, then the milk porridge will not harm. The most suitable cereals for cooking such porridge will be buckwheat or rice.

Milk porridge in the dog's diet

The combination of milk with other products

Dairy products are best combined with each other (for example, cheese with sour cream). However, the option of cooking the above-described milk porridges are not excluded. It is not recommended to mix milk with meat or even more so with vegetables, just as it is not recommended to soak pellets of dried food in milk.

Independent consumption of dairy products will reduce the likelihood of problems in your pet’s health, so the owner will not have to solve the problem of bloating of the dog’s stomach or diarrhea.

Did you know? The smallest dog in the world – chihuahua called Millie. It weighs no more than 800 grams and is less than 10 cm tall.

Milk consumption for diseases

People often use milk to prepare therapeutic drinks for colds and some other ailments. Still, for dogs, such treatment is unacceptable.

In a weakened body, the digestive system is unlikely to cope with the increased load, so the animal nutrition during this period should be as gentle as possible, without the risk of side effects.

When poisoning

Food poisoning is a direct contraindication to giving out heavy dairy products to a dog. The recovery period includes low-fat, low-calorie cottage cheese, and cooked on water oatmeal, diet meat, liver, and protozoa after the illness.

In pure form, milk can help in sporadic cases, such as first aid in lead or mercury poisoning (protein helps to remove heavy metals from the body).

Dog poisoning

Which dairy products are prohibited for dogs

Despite the impressive list of allowed dairy products, not all types of dairy products are worth giving to dogs. First of all, they are prohibited products:

  • Fatty varieties of hard cheese in large quantities;
  • ice cream made with sugar, palm oil;
  • fatty homemade sour cream (mainly if it is used regularly);
  • condensed milk, which contains a lot of sugar.

Read more about dog diseases for humans

Suppose you want to pamper your pet with a milk treat. In that case, you can make your own ice cream, for which you only need 1 glass of classic yogurt without sugar, 1 banana, and 1-2 hours of honey, provided that the animal is not prone to allergic reactions.

After mixing all the ingredients, small balls are formed from the resulting mixture and sent to the freezer for a few hours. If the resulting mass is too liquid, ice molds will help.

Lactose tolerance is a variable phenomenon. When you enter any dairy product on the menu, you should always know the measure. Cake and kefir almost always have a beneficial effect on the animal’s digestive system and are well digested even by adult pets, but can not be replaced by milk daily food intake.

It is best to use dairy products as a snack, at first carefully watching the dog’s behavior.

How to Cook Home Dog Food

Estimate Cost : USD

Time Needed : 25 minutes

Follow these simple advice and your dog will be healthy and happy.

  1. Include protein

    A dog weighing 15 kg needs at least 25 g of pure protein per day. Protein sources can be eggs (which are rich in amino acids useful for dogs), chicken, lamb or turkey meat.
    Is Milk Bad For Dogs? 9 Facts You Should Know

  2. Add some fats

    A dog weighing 15 kg (the size of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier) needs at least 14g of fat per day. Fat can be provided by feeding the dog meat or chicken skin. It is recommended that at least 5% of a dog's diet (by weight) be fat.
    Is Milk Bad For Dogs? 9 Facts You Should Know

  3. Include carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates should be the main source of calories for the dog. Namely, about half of a dog's diet should consist of carbohydrates. An active 15-kilogram dog needs about 930 calories a day. To provide it with the necessary calories, its diet should include wheat, rice, oats and barley.
    Is Milk Bad For Dogs? 9 Facts You Should Know

  4. Add minerals

    Dogs need calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, iron and copper, among other things. Lack of minerals can cause a number of health problems, including weak bones that are prone to fractures, anaemia and a poor nervous system that can lead to seizures. Different foods have different mineral content, especially fresh vegetables, which need to be carefully collected in order to provide a sufficient amount of all minerals for your dog.
    Is Milk Bad For Dogs? 9 Facts You Should Know

  5. Add vitamins

    Vitamins are an important part of a dog's diet. Vitamin deficiency can lead to blindness, weakened immune system, skin deterioration and exposure to infections. Since vitamins in different concentrations are found in some foods, offer the dog a variety of vegetables. Usually green vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, but some dogs do not like their taste and refuse to eat them.
    Is Milk Bad For Dogs? 9 Facts You Should Know

  6. Find out what portions to feed your dog

    You will need to find out how many calories your dog needs so he doesn't start to get fat or lose weight. A dog's need for calories is not linear. For example, a 20 kg dog does not need double the calorie intake of a 10 kg dog due to double the weight.
    Is Milk Bad For Dogs? 9 Facts You Should Know

  7. Know the products that are toxic for the dog

    Many people know that chocolate is harmful to dogs. However, there are a number of other products that are quite suitable for people, which are dangerous to eat for dogs. When using a new recipe, always double-check the safety of the ingredients.
    Is Milk Bad For Dogs? 9 Facts You Should Know

  • Plate, spoon, measuring cup, scales
  • Food from groceries

Questions and Answers

  1. Can milk give dog worms?

    Most puppies are actually born with worms infected from their mother's milk, while other dogs get worms from fleas or the environment. If your puppy or dog has worms, there is no need to worry – your veterinarian can help you with treatment.

  2. Will milk help dog constipation?

    Since many dogs are lactose intolerant, some people claim that milk is a good home remedy for constipation in dogs by acting as a laxative. However, milk can cause diarrhea and is not recommended as it can cause additional health problems by itself.

  3. Is milk bad for dogs liver?

    As dogs grow older, they are less able to digest the enzymes contained in milk. Some pets have allergic reactions, stomach pains, and impaired liver function. As with other products, an individual approach is important.

  4. Is milk bad for dogs teeth?

    Calcium has a beneficial effect on teeth, claws and hair of pets. Lactose or “milk sugar” promotes the correct functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. In dairy products, high protein content is noted, it helps development and growth. But dogs can also be lactose intolerant, so be careful.

  5. Is milk bad for dogs with kidney failure?

    These products have a rich phosphorus content: milk yogurt, cottage cheese. If your dog has kidney problems, these products should be chosen with the highest fat content.

Tags: dog, dog health, dog care, pet care tips for dogs, dog nutrition, dog and milk

Is Milk Bad For Dogs? 9 Facts You Should Know

Article by Kate Thompson – she has always been admired and inspired by dogs and is happy to share her experience.

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