Your dog is looking at you with big, begging eyes as you drink milk. You want to share the milk with your dog, but you’re wondering can German Shepherds drink milk.
Many people like to give their German Shepherds human food as a treat, but it’s important to remember that not all foods are suitable for them.
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Can German Shepherds drink Milk?
No, milk is not a suitable drink for German Shepherds because, like other dog breeds, they are lactose intolerant. Even the ingestion of cow’s milk can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and loose stools.
However, offering alternative kinds of milk such as almond milk, soy milk, and other lactose-free milk is suitable for German Shepherds. Additionally, some other dairy products such as yogurt and cheese are allowed for German Shepherds, but in limited amounts.
As a pet parent, the safety of your dog should be one of your top priorities. Therefore, it is important to understand why serving milk to a German Shepherd is not a good choice.
At the same time, it is important to know about suitable alternatives as a treat for your German Shepherd. Proper research is always a good approach before adding or excluding food items from your dog’s diet.
Can German Shepherd Puppies Drink Milk?
Just like all animals on Earth, German Shepherd puppies also depend on their mother’s milk shortly after they are born. For healthy growth and strong bones in the German Shepherd puppy, it is vital to have a mother who gives milk.
Like all dogs, German Shepherds’ bodies are lactase-rich in their puppyhood. This enzyme allows the puppies to easily digest their mother’s milk.
However, it is important to note that just because the puppies have lactase in their bodies, it does not mean that you can provide them with a bowl full of milk. German Shepherd puppies should consume their mother’s milk until they are mature enough.
As they grow older, their bodies will produce less lactase and they will no longer be able to easily digest lactose-based milk. By the time a German Shepherd is fully grown or a mature dog, their body will have stopped the production of lactase enzymes.
What happens when a dog drinks milk?
Loose stools, diarrhea, and vomiting are the issues that can happen when your pup drinks milk and is not able to digest it.
Though milk is not directly harmful to dogs, it can cause other health issues that are harmful to German Shepherds. Milk is harmful to dogs who are lactose intolerant, even at a minor level. Lactose intolerant means that pups will face some degree of difficulty when digesting milk.
It is possible that some pet parents may not be aware if their dog is lactose intolerant or not. To check, note the following symptoms after drinking milk:
- Abdominal pain
- Loose stools
When your dog’s body is lacking the lactase enzyme, it will soon suffer from the conditions mentioned after consuming milk. Diarrhea and vomiting are the apparent and first symptoms to notice when your pup is not capable of digesting milk.
Therefore, in this case, you must not serve your German Shepherd with any lactose-based dairy products. Even experts recommend avoiding giving ice cream or yogurt to your dog if they are lactose intolerant.
Always consult a vet to know the accurate health of your dog. In case of an accident, do not hesitate to get proper medication.
But, is there any form or type of milk that is acceptable for dogs?
What kind of milk can dogs drink?
When we mention that milk is not suitable for dogs, it does not include all milk categories. Some alternatives are indeed allowed for dogs and even for German Shepherds.
As mentioned above, lactose-free milk such as soy milk and almond milk are perfect alternatives when it comes to serving milk as a treat. While exploring dog stores, you will realize a wide range of alternatives that are not harmful to the health of our dogs.
Make sure any alternative kinds of milk do not contain added sugars, sweeteners (like Xylitol), or other ingredients that are dangerous for dogs.
Just like humans are provided with cow milk in case of any digestive issues, why not try some alternatives for our beloved German Shepherds?
1. Almond milk
The first healthy alternative that comes to mind is almond milk. Its smooth and silky texture is relatively easy to digest compared to cow’s milk. Additionally, there are different flavors available, such as vanilla and coconut.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a possibility that your dog may be allergic to nuts or dry fruits, so consulting a vet is a good idea. Additionally, start by providing a small amount of almond milk to check if it’s suitable for your dog or not.
2. Cashew milk
The milk is not only healthy but also has a better taste than regular goat or cow milk. Like almond milk, cashew milk is relatively easy to digest and does not cause any harm to the dog’s body.
However, it may harm the pup’s body if there is any allergy. Again, consulting the vet is a good option before adding milk to your German Shepherd’s diet.
3. Coconut milk
You may notice that your German Shepherd enjoys having coconut milk in its diet due to its taste and easy-to-digest nature. Additionally, you can serve your dog with coconut water if coconut milk is not available at times.
However, it may be less flavorful compared to coconut milk. Some dogs may refuse to have coconut water, while others may crave it in their meals. Additionally, there are no known allergies or issues related to coconut milk or water, but consulting a veterinarian is still recommended.
4. Oat milk
Last but not least, an alternative to milk is oat milk. Oat milk is a mixture of oats and other ingredients, making it both tasty and healthy for dogs.
It is highly recommended to consult a vet before adding any alternative Milk to your dog’s diet.