What milk can dogs and cats drink?

2 MINUTE READ

Calling all pet lovers! This one’s for you – but maybe not for your furry friends.

Giving them a treat is something most of us admit to doing. But how do we know if it’s good for our pampered pals?

It’s a common belief cats and dogs love milk – probably driven by the fact they’ll often gulp it down at the slightest of chances.

But while they may like the taste of milk, it isn’t necessarily the best treat for them according to veterinarian and farmer Emma Riley.

“As they grow, puppies and kittens quickly lose the ability to digest lactose, around the time they would naturally wean off their mother.”

Liz Earl from the New Zealand Veterinary Association adds, “Individual dogs may have differing degrees of lactose intolerance – some will digest milk well, whereas others can develop stomach upsets with only a small amount.”

 

Although that may be bad news for our fur babies, milk is still great for us. It’s a great source of protein and calcium, as well as nutrients including vitamin B12 and iodine. “Unlike our four-legged animals, humans are designed to reap the benefits of milk and all its nutritional value,” says Fonterra’s Senior Veterinary Manager Michael Shallcrass.

Individual dogs may have differing degrees of lactose intolerance – some will digest milk well, whereas others can develop stomach upsets with only a small amount.

liz earl, New Zealand Veterinary Association

There is some good news for cats and dogs who like a milky treat, though - specially formulated pet or lactose-free milk is an option for those still wanting to give them a taste of the good stuff.

We recommend talking to your vet about the most appropriate treats to give your pet.