Most types of milk, including almond milk and soy milk, are healthy beverages for humans, but can dogs have them? We often think of milk as a great source of calcium that can make our bones strong, but most human foods have a different effect on dogs than they do for humans. So, while serving almond milk might seem like a healthier beverage choice for your dog, you might want to do your research first.
Can Dogs Have Almond Milk?
Yes, dogs can have almond milk, but like many human foods, it should only be served in moderation. This is because it can be high in unnecessary calories, which could cause your dog to gain weight. However, if you accidentally spill a few drops on the ground and your dog licks them up, there should be no cause for concern.
The only significant problem with almond milk for dogs is xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that’s found in sugary substances like gum. It’s not always in almond milk, but some brands contain it. So, always check the ingredient list if your dog consumes almond milk because xylitol is considered one of the most toxic human foods for dogs. If almond milk has xylitol in it, then your dog cannot have it.
Benefits of Almond Milk for Dogs
The main reason dog parents might consider serving almond milk to their dogs is because it’s dairy free. Many dogs are lactose intolerant, which means they have a difficult time digesting dairy products like milk and cheese. Almond milk is plant-based instead, so it’s less likely that your dog will have a negative reaction to it.
Also, dogs love the taste of almond milk and most other types of milk. So, your dog will be happy to get a lick of your delicious almond milk. However, just because it makes your dog happy doesn’t mean it’s healthy or safe. Other than these minor positives, there are no significant benefits of almond milk for dogs.
Risks of Almond Milk for Dogs
While fictional stories often mention dogs and cats enjoying a nice bowl of milk, that’s not the reality. Dogs drink milk from their mother when they’re puppies, but as adults, there are no real benefits of milk for dogs. There are no significant reasons for dogs to drink almond milk, and there are plenty of other human foods that would be safer, such as beneficial fruits and vegetables.
As mentioned before, almond milk can have a lot of calories for dogs. So, if your furry friend were to consume almond milk on a regular basis, they’d be at risk of obesity. Almonds and other nuts particularly contain a lot of fats, so just because the beverage is free of dairy doesn’t mean it’s free of all unhealthy ingredients. Almond milk really just substitutes one mediocre ingredient for another in terms of what dogs need.
Also, if your dog accidentally consumes a brand of almond milk that has xylitol in it, there could be more severe risks. Xylitol consumption could lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness for dogs. In extreme cases, it could even cause low blood sugar, liver failure, or seizures. So, if your dog drinks almond milk with xylitol, keep a close eye on them for unusual behaviors. As soon as symptoms show, don’t hesitate to rush them to the vet.
Can Dogs Have Other Types of Milk?
Like almond milk, most types of milk are safe for dogs in small quantities. Regular milk is often beloved by dogs as an occasional treat, but it should never be served on a regular basis. Not only does milk contain lots of calories and fat like almond milk, but it also has dairy. So, for dogs that are lactose intolerant, it’s not a good human food to serve. Sure, it’s a good source of calcium, but you should be able to find better bone health sources in high quality dog food. Other dairy products like plain yogurt and cheese are often easier for dogs to digest than milk. Too much milk could lead to obesity or pancreatitis for dogs.
It’s also important to avoid flavored milk, such as chocolate milk or strawberry milk. These options might be tastier for humans, but they have a high sugar content and could contain xylitol. Therefore, you should keep all types of flavored milk out of reach from your dog just to be safe.
While almond milk, soy milk, and regular milk aren’t life-threatening for your dog, they’re not healthy either. It can be difficult to say no to your dog’s adorable begging face, but quality should come before taste. Don’t give your dog human food simply because they want it, but instead, choose the food that will be both healthy and tasty. Your dog might be frustrated when you tell them no at first, but they’ll be grateful that you helped them live a long, healthy life.