Can dogs have almond milk? What about dairy? Dogs are mammals just like humans and drink milk when they are young. Can they keep this up throughout their lives like some humans can?
Hi my name is Mike and I’m a dog trainer. This website came into being because I was getting a lot of questions about dogs and I wanted to document my responses to reach as many people as possible. Today we will be discussing the question, “Can dogs have almond milk?”. We will also explore dairy and some of the other drinking options dogs have in general. Lets dive right in!
Can Dogs Have almond Milk?
So can dogs have almond milk then? Yes, dogs can have almond milk but in strict moderation. A better question would probably be, “Should dogs drink almond milk?”. My answer to this would be no. Almond milk is not something that dogs can really take any nutrition from. All it holds is extra calories. These calories would be in addition to whatever your dog’s current diet is. Not only could they be intolerant to the milk, your dog could also put on weight because of it.
Almond milk is not only high in calories, There are also many sugars and other compounds contained within this drink that aren’t good for your dog. Overconsumption of sugary items by your dog could lead to metabolic issues like weight gain and diabetes down the line as well.
What If I get my dog sugar free almond milk? Most sugar free versions will contain some kind of sweeteners in them. All of them have their own toxicity levels but some (like xylitol) could cause real damage to your pet and even lead to death.
In short, almond milk may be ok for your dog to have in small doses but It’s not going to have any benefit for them at all. There are only downsides to this drink for your pet and I strongly recommend to avoid it.
Can Dogs Have Dairy?
How about dairy then? Is this something dogs can drink? Cow’s milk is not something that dogs are able to process well in general. They lack the necessary enzymes to break down and process this drink in their bodies. Most of the time, this will lead to stomach upset and general discomfort for your dog.
Lactose intolerance is very common in dogs. What about getting my dog lactose free milk? While this is an option, I don’t consider it a very good one. Even dogs who drink lactose free milk have problems processing and digesting it. Milk is just not something dogs should have in any amount.
My dog drank their mother’s milk when they were a puppy. Why can’t they process milk now? This happens for a lot of the same reasons that some humans can’t process milk either. When your dog is a puppy, they have specific enzymes available to help them digest and utilize their mother’s milk. As they grow into adulthood, these enzymes are no longer being made. Their mode of nutrition switches and their bodies shut off the production of those compounds.
It should also be mentioned that cow milk and dog milk are very different as well. Not only does your dog lack the enzymes to process milk, they are also not equipped to handle milk from another species. Bottom line, keep your dog away from milk and dairy.
What Should My Dog Drink?
So now that we have discussed whether or not dogs can have almond milk or dairy in general, lets take a look at some of the things your dog can drink. The list is pretty short and in my opinion, only has one or two items on it.
Water is the only thing your dog should really be drinking on a constant basis. H20 has one goal with dogs. Hydration. Their diet should take care of the nutrition portion and you should not really be looking for a drink to aid in this department.
Ideally, you want to have a full water bowl available to your dog at all times of the day. During house training or puppy phase, limiting the water consumption at night is fine but once your dog is trained up, they should be good with a bowl left out overnight. This water should be cool and refreshed every day. My brother’s dog will always let us know when the bowl is empty by flipping it over 🤣.
This is the only other thing I really consider giving my dog on occasion. Bone broth does contain some great nutrients but not all dogs tolerate it well. The best way to use bone broth is by adding it to your dog’s food at meal times. The nutrients contained within are easily absorbed by your dog as they are coming from sources that dogs are able to easily digest in the first place.
As mentioned above, some dogs don’t tolerate bone broth well. If that’s the case, skip it. There are plenty of other ways to get your dog the nutrition they need. Adding in a little quality wet food or increasing meal frequency temporarily are two good options for the short term.
Lastly, I value bone broth so highly because it’s easy for me to make at home and control the ingredients in it. I don’t have to worry about extra chemicals or additives because I’m cooking it myself. This is another great way to control the quality of your broth. There are store bought options as well but I also find that making it from scratch at home is way cheaper.
Drinks Your Dog Should Avoid
The list of drinks that your dog should avoid is pretty much anything not included in the section above. With that being said, lets take a look at some of the more common drinks out there and discuss why they aren’t ideal for your furry little buddy.
Most sodas are loaded with sugars which can cause your dog real issues down the line. Luckily, your dog will probably ignore soda to begin with. I’ve worked with many dogs over the years and only 1 of them ever showed any real interest in this carbonated beverage.
What about the diet or sugar free varieties? Still a no in my book. They may not have the sugar in them but they have other harmful chemicals that could cause your dog just as much distress. Stay away from soda when it comes to your dog.
Alcohol is another thing to keep away from your dog. Dogs do not have the ability to process alcohol the same way that we do. Poisoning and organ failure are a serious issue when this beverage comes into play.
Dogs can be seriously affected by even a small amount of this drink so try to keep it away completely. I did know a dog who’s owner used to give them a beer from time to time. Definitely a strange situation and I wouldn’t recommend anyone try it on their dog to see how it’s tolerated.
Dogs can have fruit so juice should be fine for them as well right? Negative. Most juices these days are loaded with artificial sugars. This is not good for your dog’s long term health. Fresh squeezed juices aren’t ideal either because they are full of natural sugars that can become an issue as well.
Why is it ok for dogs to have whole fruits and not the natural juices then? Unprocessed fruits contain fiber and other nutrients in them to slow the sugar absorption down. You should still give them fruits in moderation because of the sugar content but this is the only way they should eat any to begin with. Natural squeezed juice removes all the fiber and would give your dog a super sugar shot which could cause stomach upset and diarrhea in the short term and metabolic issues in the long term.
Stay away from fruit juice!
Sports drinks are marketed as healthy alternatives to water that give you the electrolytes and energy you need to compete on a high level. While this may be the case to some degree in humans, it’s very much not in your dog. Sports drinks are basically large cups of flavored sugar and salt water with caffeine thrown in. These drinks are not ideal for your dog to have because of the sugar and salt content. Caffeine is also something that dogs are hyper sensitive too and could cause issues.
While these drinks may be beneficial to us in certain situations, they provide no benefit to our dogs and only offer negative outcomes. Keep these drinks away from your pup!
Can Dogs Have Almond Milk Summarized
In the last few paragraphs we have looked at several different drinks and their potential effects on our dogs. It’s important to note that each dog is a bit different and reactions can be that way as well. One dog might take to bone broth and love it while another may not be able to tolerate it at all for example. The key takeaway here is that dogs should pretty much just be drinking water. Anything else is not optimized for them and in some cases, can have a negative impact on their lives.
I would strongly suggest only giving your dog water and maybe trying bone broth if your vet tells you your dog is malnourished. Another great resource would be your vet. Talking to them and getting their feedback on your animal is a great way to determine what does and doesn’t work for your dog.