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Can Dogs Eat Milk and Dairy Products – Are They Safe for Your Canine?

Some dogs are able to digest milk and dairy products, while others can’t and they experience symptoms like gas, diarrhea and vomiting whenever they eat these kinds of food. Bottom line is the ability of your dog’s digestive system to handle a specific nutrient found in milk called lactose.

Can Dogs Eat Milk and Other Dairy Products

What Exactly is Lactose?

Lactose is sugar found in milk. Not one sugar but two sugar molecules chemically bound together. Dogs can digest milk if lactose is broken apart into two basic, easy absorbable sugars and this can only happen if dog possesses the ability to produce lactose-splitting enzyme called lactase. Unfortunately most dogs can’t produce lactase, and this is the main cause of problems that manifest when our furry-friends consume milk and dairy products.

 Dogs Can Suffer from Lactose Intolerance Just Like Humans

Dogs love having some milk or yogurt from time to time but this can only happen if your doesn’t suffer from lactose intolerance. If you notice your dog’s stool looks loose after drinking some milk or he has a gas after taking half a cup of yogurt, it is likely that he suffers from this condition and you have to stop feeding your canine high lactose dairy products.

Knowing a Food’s Lactose Content Can Help

Dogs can be allergic to protein in milkshake, but that rarely happens. Milk is not something that’s considered bad or toxic for dogs. However for a dog that has lactose intolerance, dairy products can present a great discomfort, but thankfully not all of them contain the same amount of lactose. Yeah, that’s right, even though your canine may not be able to digest milk, that doesn’t mean that he can’t digest a low lactose diary product, like cheese for example.

Lactose Content of Common Diary Foods Milk (Whole) -1 Cup – 11 grams of Lactose

Milk (Skim) -1 Cup – 11 grams of Lactose

Ice Cream – ½ Cup – 6 grams of Lactose

Yogurt (Low Fat) – 1 Cup – 5 grams of Lactose

Sour Cream – ½ Cup – 4 grams of Lactose

Cottage Chease – ½ Cup – 3 grams of Lactose

American Cheese – 1 Ounce – 1 grams of Lactose

Swiss Cheese – 1 Ounce – 1 grams of Lactose

Cheddar Cheese – 1 Ounce – 0 grams of Lactose

You can notice how all chesees contain very little lactose, which means that you can give them to your dog as an occasional treat, even if he is actually lactose intolerant. Cheese is a great treat for canines because it contains many valuable nutrients, important for their health. Cheddar and Swiss cheese are the best for this purpose.

Final Verdict

Even though most people think that if their dog has lactose intolerance, all dairy products are forbidden. That’s not the case. If a dairy product has lower lactose content, your dog is more likely to consume it without it causing any discomfort.

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