Can dogs drink milk? Is goat milk good for dogs? Why is goat milk for dogs good? You may be surprised to know that cow’s milk isn’t actually good for dogs, but that doesn’t mean milk is completely off the table. Milk of goat for dogs is a healthier, tastier option for pets and is loaded with nutrients that support digestion.
A tall glass of milk seems like a normal beverage for us, but giving your dog it could lead to a digestive disaster. We’ve all heard the warning that you shouldn’t feed giving your dog (or cat) milk, but why? Are they lactose intolerant?
Can Dogs Drink Milk?
Technically, yes, but it turns out that the reason they shouldn’t drink milk has to do with the animal it comes from and how it’s made.
Cow's milk is not toxic for dogs, but it's not easy to digest, which is why milk is often labelled as bad for dogs. Instead of cow's milk, dogs are much better off drinking goat milk which is high in nutrients and easier for your dog to process.
What's So Bad about Cow’s Milk?
Milk has become a controversial topic because of its digestibility and farming practices. Despite its bad rap, milk is still a staple in many households. How could something as normal as milk be bad for adult dogs? To understand why cow’s milk is not good for dogs, we have to look at what is done to it to make it safe for us.
There’s a reason we don’t drink milk straight from the cow. Partially because that sounds super gross, but mostly because it could make us sick. Fresh cow’s milk is loaded with gut bacteria that our dainty human bodies just can’t handle. To break it down further, we need to talk about lactose and casein.
Our milk is pasteurized. Pasteurization is a way to kill off any harmful bacteria in the milk. This is done by heating the milk to a temperature that the gut bacteria can’t survive. This makes the milk safe for us to drink, but it's also what makes the milk not so good for giving your dog.
When you cook the milk to pasteurize it, you are killing off good bacteria and enzymes, as well as harmful stuff. This is where the lactose intolerant rumour comes from.
To break down lactose, a naturally occurring milk protein, dogs need the milk enzyme called lactase. When the milk is cooked, that enzyme is eliminated, leaving lactose that is very difficult for your dog to digest.
This is one of the reasons that adult dogs tend to have lactose intolerant-like symptoms if they consume too much of a dairy product. Their bodies just can't digest the lactose properly.
There are two types of casein, A1 and A2 beta-casein. A1 casein is hard to digest and can be linked to allergies and digestive issues, while A2 is considered to be easier to break down and, therefore, better for dogs and cats.
The protein in cow’s milk contains as much as 80% A1 beta-casein, which is another reason why many dogs react poorly to cow’s milk.
Why is Goats Milk for Dogs Any Different?
It turns out raw goat milk for dogs is a universally tolerated milk for mammals. Any mammal can consume raw goat milk safely, so next time you want to treat your dog to a little milk, reach for goat’s milk instead.
The key here is that the goat’s milk is raw or unpasteurized. Raw goat milk for dogs is more than just a treat, it’s a nutritional aid. The gut bacteria in raw goat milk are excellent for supporting digestion and reducing symptoms of allergies and inflammation.
Raw or fermented goat’s milk is loaded with lactase enzymes to make the milk sugars easy to break down and digest. In addition, goat’s milk contains A2 beta-casein, which is much easier to digest and is not linked to the same issues as casein found in cow’s milk. Can dogs drink whole milk contains?
You don't have to be a goat farmer to have access to fermented or raw goat best milk for dogs. Goat's milk has become a popular and widely available supplement for dogs. Goat’s milk is most commonly sold in frozen liquid formats, but if you are travelling or if you prefer to make your goat's milk as you need it, then look for a powdered form of goat's milk.
Check out some of our favourite brands:
Benefits of Goat’s Milk for Dogs
Not only is goat’s milk safe for dogs, but it’s healthy and highly recommended! The biggest and most desirable benefit of goat’s milk is its digestive properties. Goat’s milk is loaded with probiotics that help to support digestion by increasing the population of healthy bacteria in your dog’s digestive tract.
Supporting your dog's digestion helps to improve nutrient absorption, boosts the immune system, and aids in filtering out toxins. In addition, goat’s milk also provides:
- Moisture - vital to all systems in your dog's body
- Calcium - component of bone, strengthens muscle and supports blood clotting
- B vitamins - support a healthy metabolism, digestion, and hormone regulation
- Vitamin A - maintains eye health and cell function
- Protein - provides amino acids needed to run the whole body
5 Tips for Feeding Goat’s Milk for Dogs
1. As a Meal Topper
Spruce up any diet by dousing it with a little bit of goat milk for dogs. This delicious dog cereal is a great way to add more moisture, probiotics, and flavour. Kibble diets benefit the most from this moisture boost, but goat's milk can also complement a raw diet.
2. Rehydrating Freeze-Dried
Instead of rehydrating your dog’s freeze-dried pet food with plain old water, use goat’s milk instead. The additional nutrition will bolster the meal. This is a great tip for picky pets who need a little more encouragement to maintain healthy eating habits and those who would benefit from the digestive boost.
3. Frozen Dog Treats
Use goat’s milk in your favourite frozen dog treat recipe. Goat’s milk can replace the more common base in frozen dog treats, yogurt. Mix it with pureed fruit or bone broth for a tasty and nutritious snack.
4. Whipped “Not-Cream” Puppuccino
If you’ve ever been through the Starbucks drive-through with your pooch, then you’ve probably treated him to the infamous “secret-menu Puppucino.”
While this treat is tasty and adorable, it uses whipping cream made from cow’s milk, and might not agree with your dog’s tummy. We put together a dog-friendly alternative to this creamy treat using egg whites and goat’s milk.
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup goat’s milk
- 1/8 tsp (or less) of lemon juice
- In an electric mixture (or by hand if you’re Popeye), beat egg white and lemon juice on high. This will take 3-5 minutes, at least.
- The mixture should start to look creamy and fluffy. Continue beating until the creamy mixture starts to look glossy and smooth.
- Gently fold in the goat’s milk until just combined. Serve immediately.
This recipe is definitely more work and is not going to be an everyday treat, but is a super cute recipe for special occasions like birthdays and puppy play dates. Customize this recipe by adding a splash of bone broth or chicken stock for an extra tasty surprise.
How Much Goat’s Milk Should Dogs Have?
All good things are in moderation, as they say. Yes, goat’s milk is good for dogs, but too much of a good thing can be bad.
Goat’s milk is a great nutritional supplement, but shouldn’t interfere with their regular, complete, and balanced diet. If you want to supplement daily, try to stick to about 2 oz or less per 20 lbs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of feeding goat's milk to dogs?
Goat's milk is packed with essential nutrients, probiotics, and enzymes that can aid in digestion, boost the immune system, and promote overall health in dogs.
Is goat's milk suitable for dogs with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies?
Goat's milk is often tolerated better by dogs with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies because it contains lower levels of lactose and different proteins compared to cow's milk.
How can I incorporate goat's milk into my dog's diet?
Goat's milk can be offered as a standalone treat, poured over kibble, or used as an ingredient in homemade dog treats or as a base for mixing with other dog-safe foods.
Are there any specific benefits of goat's milk for puppies or senior dogs?
Goat's milk can be especially beneficial for puppies due to its easy digestibility and immune-boosting properties. For senior dogs, it can aid in nutrient absorption and support joint health.
Can goat's milk be used to soothe digestive issues in dogs?
Yes, goat's milk is known for its ability to help with upset stomachs and diarrhea in dogs. Its probiotics and enzymes can restore gut balance.
Is goat's milk a suitable alternative for dogs who cannot tolerate cow's milk or commercial dog milk replacers?
Goat's milk is often a suitable alternative for dogs with cow's milk sensitivities or those who don't tolerate commercial milk replacers well, as it is generally easier on the digestive system.