We have seen dogs drink milk, and more often than not, we have wondered if German shepherds can drink milk?
After doing our research and asking people about giving milk to the dog, we found the answer to be confusing.
Most of the solutions we got contradicted what we previously were told, so we did more research. And here, we have a complete article on can German shepherds drink milk? If not, then why? If so, which milk is right for them?
Can German shepherds drink milk?
Yes, German shepherds can drink milk, however, not in large amounts and only as treat-based. While many pet owners claim (and swear) that they have been giving their precious pet milk ever since they were puppies. In contrast, many other claims that milk is like poison to the dog.
So what exactly is it?
Not all dogs are the same; while some dogs do not have any problem whatsoever in drinking milk, others tend not to drink milk. The main reason for not being able to drink milk is lactose intolerant. But what is lactose intolerant, and how can a dog become lactose intolerant?
Meaning of being lactose intolerant?
Lactose intolerance is when dogs are like dogs not being able to consume carbohydrates. In lactose intolerance, dogs are not able to eat dairy products or drink milk. Being lactose intolerant is common in dogs.
How does a dog develop lactose intolerant?
When the dog is born, it has an abundant amount of lactase (an enzyme that is essential for digestion); however, as the dogs start to grow old, their ability to produce lactase is reduced significantly. Ultimately, they become lactose intolerant. Although the puppies have abundant lactase, it is still not good to feed puppies cow or goat milk. The most suitable milk for the puppy is the milk of the dog.
What are the symptoms of being lactose intolerant?
Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing if your companion is lactose intolerant other than giving him milk. Some dogs will show symptoms like:
- Soft stool
- Excessive gas.
These symptoms can be seen soon after the dog has consumed milk.
While other dogs show severe symptoms like:
These symptoms start to show within 12 hours of your furry friend consuming milk.
If your dog is suffering from diarrhea, he can become dehydrated. It is essential to monitor the water consumption of your dog to be safe. If you are not sure, you can perform tests like pressing your dog’s gum and seeing if the gum’s color retracts immediately or slowly. If the color takes a while to return, then your dog is dehydrated.
What milk should we give to German shepherd?
Before you decide to give milk to your dog, you should know that not all milk is the same. Most people suggest giving goat milk to the dogs as it contains less lactose compared to cow milk. Dog milk contains 3.1% of lactose. Cow milk contains about 5% lactose. Goat milk contains 4.2% lactose. While the goat milk does not boost the lactose level as low as the dog, they are still not as high as the cow.
How to give milk to German shepherds safely?
Now that we have discussed some of the symptoms, your dog can suffer from consuming milk; if you still feel like giving him milk. Here are some of the tips that can help in your dog’s milk consumption safely:
- Give milk like treats:
Giving milk to the dog can be dangerous. Providing milk to the dog daily or frequently can have a severe effect on the dog. It is better to give the dog milk like rare treats.
- Small portions:
Giving a large amount of milk at the same time can be devastating for the dog’s health. Half a milk cup will be good for the adult German shepherd as it would not upset his health.
Some dogs have also been seen to develop iron toxicity. Therefore, you need to be careful when you decide to give milk that is fortified with iron.
Alternative of milk:
- Some people think that if they cannot give pure dairy products to their little companion, maybe mixing it with other things will help? Or perhaps different types of milk that are available might be good for the dog. As mentioned above, the milk is not suitable for the dog, no matter what kind of milk it may be. However, if you are content with giving your precious friend some milk, here are some kinds of milk that you can give to your furry friend occasionally.
Is soy milk good for my German shepherd?
Soy is not a dairy product and is plant-based. Moreover, soy is present in dog foods, and so people tend to think that it may be safe for their precious friend. Although soy has no severe effect on the dog and is a rich source of nutrition, it is better to consult a vet before you decide to feed hi, soy milk.
Some dogs are also allergic to soy in varying degrees. Soy milk also has sugar in it and is rich in calories, which is not healthy for the furry friend.
Is almond milk good for my German shepherd?
Like soy, almond is also plant-based, which leads to people thinking that it may be safe for the dog. Almond milk is also rich in fat, which ultimately makes the furry friend obese.
Is yogurt good for my German shepherd?
Yogurt is also a dairy product and is made from milk. However, yogurt contains a small amount of lactose compared to milk. Most of the lactose in the milk is converted to lactic acid, which is easy for the dog to digest.
If you want to give your precious friend yogurt, you can buy organic yogurt without sugar or other additives. There is also lactose-free yogurt available that you can give to your furry friend.
Although many people claim to give their dog milk and say that they do not show any adverse signs to it, however, it is not wise to give your dog milk on a suggestion or a whim as it has a severe effect on the dog. Most dogs are lactose intolerant and cannot drink milk.
In this article, we have discussed can German shepherds drink milk? And what are various factors that are involved in it?
What do you think of this article?
Has your dog consumed milk? If so, has he suffered some of the side-effects of being lactose intolerant?