Dog owners often ask, “Can dogs have condensed milk?”. The answer is yes, they can have it, but it’s not good for them. Condensed milk has a lot of sugar, which can cause gastrointestinal issues and with long term use diabetes and other sugar-induced medical conditions.
The Differences Between Condensed Milk and Evaporated Milk
Many people interchange the condensed milk and evaporated milk. They are not the same and when considering each one for your pup, it’s important to know the difference.
Condensed milk is regular cow’s milk without water. After the water has been removed, manufacturers add sugar. Condensed milk that has no sugar in it is called evaporated milk.
The main use of condensed milk is in dessert due to its sweetness.
Many dog owners confused evaporated milk with sweetened condensed milk. Evaporated milk is regular cow’s milk that’s been unsweetened. Since the main issue with sweetened condensed milk is that it is high in sugar, evaporated milk (full fat) is the best coice in feeding a puppy milk when mother’s milk is not available.
What Happens When Dogs Have Condensed Milk
Condensed milk is not toxic to dogs – it’s just not healthy. Equate it to drinking something high in sugar, like Starbucks Frappacino. Once and a while, it’s okay, but regularly, it could lead to issues.
Immediate Consequences of Dogs Drinking Condensed Milk
The most common result of a dog drinking condensed milk is diarrhea. Since the stomach and intestines are not accustomed to so much sugar, it can cause irritation.
Diarrhea or soft stool in dogs isn’t always an emergency. It may subside quickly if a lot wasn’t consumed.
However, if diarrhea or soft stool continues, it’s important to reach out to your veterinarian because dehydration can be life threatening to a dog or puppy.
Lactose Intolerance in Dogs
Dogs, like humans, can suffer from an intolerance to the enzyme lactase. Signs of a dog suffering from lactose intolerance are:
- Lack of Appetite
- Weight Loss
- Uncontrollable Bowels
Stomach cramps may occur but can be hard to identify. Lethargic or clingy behavior may signal cramps are also happening.
The above symptoms are often noticed 30 minutes to two hours after consumption of dairy products.
Milk for Newborn Puppies
Puppy formula or puppy milk is the gold standard when mother’s milk isn’t available. However, many pet parents use other types of milk to dam’s milk replacer.
Evaporated milk can be offered to puppies who are 3-4 weeks old. Newborn puppies often start to wean from dam’s milk around that age, but it can take as long as 7-8 weeks to fully transition.
Goat’s milk is another option for puppies who don’t have dam’s milk. However, it’s high in lactose, which can be a serious problem for lactose intolerant puppies.
While almond milk isn’t a dairy product, dogs don’t digest nuts well. It’s also important to realize almonds are high in fat. The fat in almond milk can cause weight gain and pancreatitis in some canines.
Many dog foods contain soy, so soy milk isn’t harmful to pups of any age. It may even be beneficial for dogs with urinary incontinence due to proteins called isoflavones, which veterinarians recommend for it. Despite this, soy milk should not be a replacement for a main source of nutrition as it lacks essential nutrients.
Again, a puppy milk replacer is better than offering dairy products or human foods (such as normal cow’s milk, ice cream or plain yogurt) as its fortified with essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
Oat milk is a plant-based non-dairy product. It is safe in small amounts, but digestion issues can occur over time or if consumed in large quantities.
Puppies may consume oat milk as a lactose substitute when weaning. It can also be given to dogs who require additional calories.
Coconut is highly beneficial to dogs for many reasons:
- Softer Coat
- Shinier Coat
- Relieve Skin Irritation
Dogs should consume coconut milk in moderation, as the oils in it can cause gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea.
Raw milk is another option for dogs, but not humans. Raw milk is unpasteurized, so it could have harmful bacteria in it that could make humans sick. The benefits of raw milk for dog are the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that were not cooked out during the pasteurization process and the mighty amino acids in the milk.
Can Dogs Have Condensed Milk? Yes, but…
Human foods are for humans. Dog foods, including milk, are for dogs. While a little bit of regular milk may not hurt your pup, it’s not the best form of nutrition. Before a puppy can eat solid food, it’s a good idea to use a products specifically made for dogs rather than normal cow’s milk or another type of milk like coconut milk.
Remember: Happy Dogs ~ Happy Owners
Additional Reading: Can Dogs Have Milk?