Is milk for dogs good or bad? The answer is not simple, and a lot depends on your dog’s health and age.
The truth is that veterinarians differ in their opinions about whether you should or should not feed milk to your dog.
Nutritional experts who recommend giving milk to dogs, believe that it can prevent osteoporosis and perhaps colon cancer.
They believe that it has big benefits for your dog: healthy bones, lots of calcium, protein, and B vitamins for stress relief and vitamin A for sharp eyesight.
There is another side, though…
As they age, most adult dogs do become lactose intolerant. This means that they become unable to digest milk properly. If your dog is lactose intolerant, you will see one or more of these symptoms when he has milk:
Some adult dogs do not become lactose intolerant, so don’t assume that your dog is lactose intolerant, unless you see the symptoms above. If you do see them, you should not feed your dog milk or milk products like cheese or yogurt.
In addition, if your dog is obese or overweight, you need to count his calories and make sure that he doesn’t get too many calories—of any kind!
If you are careful and give your dog small amounts of milk (1/4 cup of dry milk per dog treat recipe), you will be fine.
If your dog is lactose intolerant, simply replace liquid milk in a recipe with water—and leave the dry milk in a recipe out.
However, there is a way that your dog can get too much calcium. Never feed your dog a calcium supplement.
If your dog gets too much calcium, he won't be able to assimilate copper, zinc and other important minerals. This can actually result in bone deformities.
Lastly, giving extra calcium to large breed dogs, many of whom have hip or joint problems, can aggravate such conditions.
So, giving milk to dogs can be healthy. But make sure that you do so in moderation, and keep an eye on your dog to make sure that he doesn’t develop symptoms of lactose intolerance as he gets older!