Can Dogs Drink Milk or Cream?

by Naomi Millburn
    Grrr. Stick with nondairy dog foods.

    Grrr. Stick with nondairy dog foods.

    Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

    As a dog owner you're likely acutely aware how difficult it is to ignore a pup's huge, pleading eyes. No problem. Some snacks are OK. But keep milk and other dairy products such as cream on the table and away from your canine cutie's mouth.

    Milk and cream are dairy products, along with yogurt, cheese, ice cream, butter and others. The ASPCA recommends that, along with all other dairy products, you keep both milk and cream away from your precious pet's palate, no matter how much she begs. Since dogs don't have high levels of the enzyme lactase, lactose deconstruction is usually very difficult for them, leading to unpleasant digestive issues. Lactose is a carbohydrate component of milk and all dairy products, including cream.

    Offering your doggie milk or cream may trigger unnecessary stress for the both of you. Hello, yucky cleanup duties. Since digestion of milk isn't the easiest task for most pets, your dog may end up with a major tummy ache and diarrhea -- the last thing you need. Vomiting also may be a possibility. You'll keep the risk of runny stool and especially frequent bowel movements at bay by never allowing your dog to consume milk or cream. In some instances, especially excessive vomiting and diarrhea from canine dairy consumption can yield potentially dangerous consequences, pancreatitis being one of them. Protect your dog from pancreatic inflammation by keeping the dairy far, far away.

    Although milk and cream certainly don't typically produce the most comfortable results in canines, they aren't toxic to them either, notes the ASPCA. However, molded or expired milk and cream can be poisonous, so be extra-cautious when it comes to anything spoiled inside of your refrigerator.

    Instead of worrying about what beverages your fluffy pal can drink, just stick to the classic -- water and only water. Water is a vital component to any healthy and 100 percent nutritionally balanced canine diet. Always keep your dog sufficiently hydrated by making sure that she has ample clean water close to her 24 hours a day.

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    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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