We all know the enormous benefits of milk. But when it comes to dogs, one must be cautious. In fact, feeding dairy products to dogs causes some eyebrow-raisings since there are several factors to be considered.
What is the problem?
Let´s break it down from here. Milk contains a sugar called lactose. This sugar is a disaccharide, meaning that it is composed of two sugars (monosaccharides) linked together chemically. When consumed, in order for it to be properly digested, it must be broken down inside the body.
To break down lactose into its two simpler, more digestible sugars, it needs an enzyme called lactase. This is the one that poses a problem for your pet. If a dog does not produce lactase, it cannot break down lactose and vomiting and some intestinal acute symptoms might appear.
Can they drink milk at some point?
Puppies actually digest their mother's milk when they are newborns. They have lactase in their bodies, therefore, they digest the lactose in their mother´s milk. Once they grow up, even when they thrived on their mother's milk, they are usually not tolerable to cow's or goat's milk.
The truth is that if it is ok for your pup to drink milk or not is not necessarily time-dependent. A large number of dogs out there do not produce the enzyme needed to digest lactose.
Can my dog become lactose-intolerant?
So we have puppies producing lactose. But this ability wears out when they grow older. It is at this point where dogs develop lactose intolerance. The symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs are usually the same manifested by humans.
The level of resistance varies as well. Some dogs might experience some mild GI distress while others might manifest severe clinical conditions.
Want to know what is the best way of feeding your pet? Connect with us at Dogalize. If you want to make sure if your pet is lactose-intolerant or not, visit your local veterinarian. You can aid yourself with our Dogalize directory.