Milk and Dairy Products — Are They Safe for Your Dog?

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Dog Enjoying Milk Product

Some dogs have no problems digesting milk and dairy products. Yet others experience acute intestinal distress — like gas, diarrhea or vomiting — whenever they consume these kinds of foods.

It all comes down to how your dog handles a specific nutrient found in milk — a nutrient known as lactose.

So, what exactly is lactose?

Well, lactose is a kind of sugar. Not just one single sugar, but two sugar molecules chemically linked together.

In order for a dog to digest milk, the lactose must first be broken apart into its two basic, easy-to-absorb sugars.

And in order to do that, a dog’s body must be able to produce a special lactose-splitting enzyme known as lactase.

And that’s one thing most dogs can’t reliably do.

Like Humans — Dogs Can Suffer
from Lactose Intolerance

Without lactase, a dog simply cannot digest dairy products. And acute intestinal symptoms nearly always arise. 

Now, this inability to digest milk is infamously known as lactose intolerance. And it’s the same lactose intolerance so many humans suffer from every day.

So, if you’ve ever noticed your dog tends to develop gas or loose stools after having milk, there’s a good chance your pet may be suffering from this condition.

Knowing a Food’s Lactose
Content Can Help

Now to be fair, and in rare cases, a dog can be allergic to the protein in milk1.

However, milk shouldn’t be considered toxic for a dog. Yet for dogs that are lactose intolerant (as so many actually are), dairy products can present a real problem.

Yet for those pets, there’s still hope.

That’s because a dog’s reaction to lactose can be directly related to the “dose”. The higher the lactose content, the greater the likely response.

Thankfully, not all dairy products contain the same amount of lactose. Many kinds of cheese and yogurt contain considerably less lactose than milk.

Take a look at this table. Notice how some milk products contain only a minimal amount of lactose per serving.

Lactose Content of Common Dairy Foods

For example, notice how most cheeses contain very little lactose. About a gram per serving. Sometimes less. Now, compare that quantity to whole milk, which clocks in at a whopping 11 grams.

The Bottom Line

In a nutshell…

The lower the lactose content of any dairy product, the more likely it will be for your dog to tolerate consuming them without distress

So, depending on the food, it may be OK to offer low-lactose dairy products to your dog. In fact, almost any cheese can make a great natural treat for any pet.

Footnotes

  1. Wills J, Harvey R, Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, “Diagnosis and management of food allergy and intolerance in dogs and cats”, Australian Veterinary Journal, 1994 Oct; 71(10):322-6
  • Stacee Severino

    WELL I MUST ADMIT THAT THE MODEL FOR THIS ARTICLE IS MIGHTY BEAUTIFUL :) HEHEHE I HAVE 5 BERNESE MT DOGS MYSELF <3

  • theBCnut

    As long as she still gets a good diet otherwise and the milk doesn’t give her diarrhea, yes, it’s just fine.

  • patty

    Aww im.so.sorry for.ur lost!! Your story caught me eye because mine is 8 months chiguagua.mixed w.terri and she eats what ever she wants too..she loves everything a kid loves she loves chocolate and.sometimes i get scared but shes healthy….so ur story gives me.a piece of mind thanku

  • patty

    My puppy is 8 months old and she loves milk..When she doesnt want to eat i give her a lil bit and shes happy…..Is that ok

  • http://day2daytips.com/author/usgirl88 Jenny1015

    Your dog must be lacotose-intolerant.

  • theBCnut

    Not all dogs react to milk this way, just like not all people react to milk this way.

  • becky

    I have been ;treating’ my dog to the last bits of mine and my partners cups of tea…and over the last week or 2 with it being so hot, to get him to drink the whole bowl (drink=usually water) I have gave him milk and water. 2 parts milk to 1 part water, and he has been farting a hell of a lot along with diarrhoea and since taking him to the vets have found out this is due to the milk I have been giving him……SO PLEASE DONT LET YOUR DOG DRINK MILK-especially if you love him and he’s your best friend ;)

  • whooosh

    None of these products will cause problems for a dog if you give them sparingly. A few ounces of milk ok. A small bit of turkey ok. Don’t give a huge portion of anything like a human would eat.

  • whooosh

    My dog has a sensitive stomach, so I sometimes give him a few ounces of 2% milk in the middle of the night. It keeps his stomach calm for that long period of time between meals. he loves milk and has never shown any signs of intestinal problems from he milk.

  • Margaret Young

    You sound a bit like me.many years ago I was in a vets office with a pup who had developed parvo despite being vaccinated. The vet sent us home with the instructions to just keep doing exactly what we were doing. After a lengthy discussion on diet he said according to what he learned in vet school, I was doing everything wrong. He said it was hard to argue with success though and said that he was noticing a pattern of people with exceptionally healthy dogs, long life spans, few problems able to recover quickly bfrommdisease or injury and all of these dogs were fed large amounts of people foods. Now we are learning much more about the sho tcomings of petbfoods and home made diets are becoming more common. I do feed dog food _ also Royals Canine at the moment, but my dogs also get milk on a regular basis as well as eggs, cheese, meats including fish, cooked veggies, fresh fruits, potatoes, grains etc…. Of course they get adequate exercise as well and are kept at a healthy weight. I be often had criticism that my staffies are thinner than average,but they can have as much dog food as they like after eating their meat etc… I just like time to get a lot of exercise too which burns the calories off. My oldest staffy was pout down 2 weeks before her 17th birthday. My last one was only 8 but had that ldha thing a genetic disease from which most dogs die around age 2 so 8 was a good age considering. My current dogs are roughly age 6 years a (acquired as an adult so having to rely on a very unreliable previous owner for age estimate) and age 3 months. Both are the picture of health.

  • Yin

    Gee people need to be more informed by information. Reasoning without knowledge is so dangerous. Cats, dogs are mammals, just like humans. By definition, we are all fed milk when we are infants. However, lots of mammals lose their ability to digest milk when they grow older, including early humans. Some evidence suggest that the ability of digesting milk in adulthood in humans was gained and spread about ten thousand years ago. Even in modern humans, there are still some groups suffering from lactose intolerance extensively, such as Asians.

  • Pouya777

    shut your mouth u disgusting piece of filth.

  • Shawn Robeck

    Obviously any schlub can write a book. So that’s not a credible source at all. Really need to find several credible sources with long term studies done. You should really already know that though.

  • tallen2007

    Obviously you haven’t read the book because everything is fully documented. For others who might want more info here’s another journal posting: http://www.ijem.in/article.asp?issn=2230-8210;year=2012;volume=16;issue=5;spage=856;epage=856;aulast=Sodhi

  • Shawn Robeck

    Theres a small chance any mammal including us, can get sick from chickens, or any meat. Just cook it and you remove any possibility.

  • Shawn Robeck

    Going by 1 study based off a conspiracy theory is never really a good idea. Great for Hollywood movies, but very rarely ever hold any water.

  • Shawn Robeck

    Along with unpasteurized milk (chaulk full of bacteria which can be very harmful unless the farmer is ocd clean) there’s a local snake oil salesmen in town that sells a cure-all-fix too.

    People are so gullible, I swear even 1,000 years from now, there will be a new fad diet people will swear cures all, despite zero evidence (and usually accompanied by some government cover-up or a conspiracy theory to “prove” it really does work).

  • tallen2007

    Thanks for the link, I hadn’t seen that one yet. I was referring to the histidine that keeps the opiate from being released. All is good, we are on the same page. Now if we could get the rest of the world to join us in understanding the danger of A1 milk!

  • Shawna

    Hi tallen2007,

    It’s actually A1 and A2 dairy that I am talking about. A2 cows went through a genetic mutation where the 67 amino acid chain changed from proline (in A2 cattle) to histidine (now called A1 cattle). This paragraph does a really good job of explaining the significance of this change and how BCM-7 (an opiate) is involved.

    “The side chain that comes off this amino acid is called BCM 7. BCM 7 is a
    small protein (called a peptide) that is a very powerful opiate and has
    some undesirable effects on animals and humans. What’s important here
    is that proline has a strong bond to BCM 7 which helps keep it from
    getting into the milk, so that essentially no BCM 7 is found in the
    urine, blood or GI tract of old-fashioned A2 cows. On the other hand,
    histidine, the mutated protein, only weakly holds on to BCM 7, so it is
    liberated in the GI tract of animals and humans who drink A1 cow milk,
    and it is found in significant quantity in the blood and urine of these
    animals.” http://thebovine.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/the-devil-in-the-milk-dr-thomas-cowan-on-how-a2-milk-is-the-answer-to-the-mystery-of-why-even-raw-milk-sometimes-does-not-seem-to-be-enough-of-an-improvement-over-store-bought/

    Keith Woodford, the author of The Devil in the Milk, discusses BCM-7 in several different articles on his site. https://keithwoodford.wordpress.com/category/a1-and-a2-milk/

  • tallen2007

    Look up A1 vs A2 milk. It will explain why we all should be avoiding cows milk and it has nothing to do with raw or pasteurized. The A1 protein causes the problem not the opiate. Read The Devil in the Milk. Scary book.

  • tallen2007

    Look up A1 vs A2 milk. It will explain why we all should be avoiding cows milk and it has nothing to do with raw or pasteurized.

  • John Smith

    Her main diet was Royal Canine for Yorkies, but she did get what ever she wanted and yes she lived a healthy life to the age of 19.
    In fact the last thing she had was a piece of Hershey chocolate (I can hear the gasps now). She had regular vet visits and was always given a clean bill of health, the vet always said keep doing what your doing. She actually passed from old age her last year she suffered from a form of doggie Alzheimer’s, she would sit and stare at the pendulum on the grandfather clock for hours, if she walked into a corner she would cry because she didn’t know how to back up. We were fortunate she passed peacefully

  • noshitsherlock

    Cow milk is different from the milk mother dogs produce, you know. A mother dog’s milk is specifically formulated for growing puppies, while cow’s milk is a different thing altogether. Also, I hope you don’t just feed your dog scraps as their main diet, because if so I find it hard to believe your dog would be 19 years old at all and “healthy” if its main diet is potentially unbalanced table scraps.

  • John Smith

    I can’t believe milk would be “bad” for you dog or cat both are nursed from birth on it. My wife and I have given our Yorkies milk at dinner on a daily basis for year our eldest is 19 years old and healthy, albeit a little slower than she was but very happy and healthy. Years ago our vet asked what we feed her, we said what ever we eat. If we have bacon and eggs for breakfast Kirby gets the same steak she gets steak, her favorite food is Itlaian (gives me heartburn)

  • Cyndi

    I agree!! I buy almond milk now. I will never buy regular milk again after hearing all the crap that it has in it!

  • Pouya777

    i purchase Raw milk straight out of the cow and in to a bottle from a farm about 1 hour drive from the city here in London. i give a small cup to my Yorkshire Terrier and Chiuwawa every day, they LOVE it and i have had no problems. Also since were on this subject, raw milk has changed my mums life, we found most of the illnesses she had were caused by the hormones and poisons they put in bottled milk from the shelf, so everyone should do a bit of searching and start buying raw milk

  • Claudia

    I agree, this is just insane how can you gice a dog vegan food he needs the protein of the meat, same as a cat if you put a cat in the wiild he is going to hunt mice not lettuce -.- if you want to be vegan then be vegan but don’t make your pet suffer, or get a cow as a pet…

  • Claudia

    I was worried since everyone told me that a dog can’t drink cow milk I gave it to my dog and he of course loved it and he is “going to the bathroom” normally and everyday at the same time as well he has never vomited or had diarreah, so it is ok for my puppy to drink the milk correct?

  • Ryan Gothard

    you wanna be vegan hippies.at least I keep it to myself and don’t preach to the world. Have you ever heard it see anything positive about fish or chicken?keep it to yourself tired of hearing about it eat healthy and you’ll be healthy. Point blank

  • theBCnut

    If your dogs don’t get digestive upset from milk or milk products then it’s fine, but yogurt or kefir would be better.

  • ame thyst

    I almost panicked, I thought its toxic for dogs, we don’t have goatmilk here in our place :( so my dad gives our dog cow’s milk… I’m now worried , though I haven’t seen our dog got diarrhea or even got constipated since..

  • Kirsty Ellis

    how do you feed a vegan dog?

  • Shawna

    I bet she is adorable!!!

    Dairy is a common allergen/sensitivity for humans but not sure how common it is in dogs? I wouldn’t worry too much but do watch for symptoms etc. If you see anything like gas, acid reflux, ear/eye problems, digestive issues in general, itchiness, hot spots etc then it couldn’t hurt to hold back all dairy to see if there might be a connection.

  • lauren

    I have a maltipoo puppy who just loves milk ad will drink it any chance she an. She shows no problems but still should I be worried?

  • Scott Rodehaver

    Don’t u clowns have anything better to do? I can’t believe there are seriously people on here arguing over dogs diets. My dog just likes milk so I wanted to see if its safe. I didnt come here to see assanine arguments on whether dogs should be vegans. Get a frickin life.

  • Patricia

    I totally agree with you. It’s plain stupid and inconsiderate to make a carnivore eat a vegetarian diet. It’s like feeding meaty bones to children. It’s totally unnatural for the species. I respect people who go vegan and yes, there are tons of benefits in being vegan, not to mention to minimize cruelty to other farm animals, but people should not push this lifestyle to creatures that were genetically programmed to eat more meat.

  • Patricia

    If PETA is constantly fighting on the rights of farm animals, that they are denied their ‘natural movements or behaviour’, etc., don’t you think it’s cruel to make an animal adapt a diet that is totally unnatural for his biological make up? Would you let cows and goats eat meat? They are herbivores. So why make a carnivore eat a vegetarian diet or make a human eat kibbles for cats? That’s equally cruel. Vegan pet owners should get a vegetarian animal, not dogs and let alone, cats. Cats are pure carnivores.

  • theBCnut

    Most dogs don’t have lactose intolerance problems, so I don’t even consider it until it proves to be a problem.

  • Keith Vanderee

    Candy like chocolate contains sugar, both are bad news,a no no, ice cream contains sugar.. Cream can cause lactose intolerance as in milk, but not in all dogs. Your veterinarian will never suggest sugar intake, only in events of blood sugar deficiencies.We raise show dog puppies ( for 20 years so far,without one single problem) mainly on a natural raw meat diet (no kibble do dogs or cook their food?) and we use Permeate free Grade 3; low lactose milk, calcium enriched,

  • Pamela

    I myself am lactose intolerance, And my dog has problems with constipation, when my Vet suggested giving him mineral oil directly, I was hesitant so I put it in his food and for some reason he likes. But concerned about putting it on his food all the time to keep him regular I researched it. I found that giving it to him directly as he suggested could cause him to aspirate it into his lungs. However I did find that Milk and Pure Pumpkin can do the very same thing and is better for him. I never thought he might b lactose problems but I had heard about the worms wise tail. The good news for my dog is that by my being lactose intolerant, if I do buy milk I only buy the Lactaid Whole Milk brand which is 100% lactose free and has 20% more calcium added to it. My dog loves it and it works!

  • Laurie Handforth

    love to see the study that proves that – most vegan and vegtarian diets for dogs require multipe supplements and additives to make sure the dog has what it needs to be healthy. Dogs need protein and fat for their bodies to be healthy – so better to feed them a proper diet of good dog food than feed them vegan/veg and have to give them suppliments and pills to make up the lacking elements.

  • dchassett

    Just be sure you know the lactose content in the cheese your feeding. Try to use a low lactose cheese like cheddar, american, swiss. Check Mike’s chart above and don’t give too much. I don’t think it’s harmful it’s my understanding that some dogs have a harder time with dairy. Can cause gas and loose stools.

  • Diana Evans

    I do the same because my dogs are so picky. They seem be be fine with it no issues :)

  • Pattyvaughn

    WOW!! I actually have to emphatically agree with you here, Ross. Why give your dog a taste for something and convince them it’s OK to eat it, when if they found a larger amount on their own, it could do permanant damage or even be fatal.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You can argue with people about why grass is green if you like. I don’t need to.

  • Pattyvaughn

    The argument that dogs aren’t allergic to tryptophan, if they were they’d have to be vegetarian is ridiculous. What they eat is not why they are or are not allergic to something. The fact that they can not live without it is. The fact that their own bodies must contain the substance that you are debating about is. The fact that they can’t have any muscles without typtophan is.

  • Rossagator

    People, please stop feeding your dogs chocolate in any amounts. Sure a small amount won’t kill them, but it is very bad for them. Just like small amounts of cyanide wont kill a human. Nany subjects are debatable here, bones, dairy, training methods. Where it comes to chocolate, the research has been done, the evidence gathered, its supported by and understanding of canid physiology. The conclusion :

    Never ever feed your dog chocolate unless it is specifically made for dogs (in which case its not real chocolate). Dell, i agree.

  • Rossagator

    Hmm, unnatural is always a desperate argument in my view. Give us evidence. Is it unnatural to give them antibiotics? How about a roof over their heads? Kibble? Theres none of that on the wild. If there’s a good readon not to give it and it can be justified on a physiological level, then great.. Lactose intolerance would be such an argument. Unnatural? Not such a hot one .

  • Rossagator

    Come on now patty.. Ridiculous is hardly a well formed argument.. I DO agree with you though, but on the basis that tryptophan is an essential amino acid for dogs, that they would have struggled to have evolved with such an intolerance given that it forms part of their natural diet and that no evidence exists in the literature to this effect to my knowledge. Nonetheless, in the scientific tradition I’d be happy if we were proved wrong. .. Seems unlikely tjough ;-)

  • Rossagator

    Tryptophan. This is a constituent of protein. Its also found in meat. Dogs aren’t allergic to Tryptophan. If they were, they’d have to be vegetarian. Please reveal your source of information, im interested to learn more about your theory. I learned this during my zoology degree. Protein digestion is one of the basics and was in fact first studied in dogs, begore exrrapolating the information to humans .

    Are you suggesting a protein source with proportionality more Tryptophan than can be anabolised by the dog can remain in the bloodstream in toxic amounts? If so thats an interesting theory, though rather an evolutionary dead end for canis lupus one would have thought.

    Please reveal your source as it seems goes against the establised body of evidence.

    Thanks.

  • Lola The Pitty

    Great information, thank you. I do not use cow milk in the treats I make simply because they do not seem to digest it well. Even cheese with our pups results in gas :(. Greek yogurt is great though and they love it.

  • Robert Ziegler

    Oh, yeah. That’s why dogs are CARNIVORES IN NATURE! Because they can’t eat meat. Shake my head.

  • Ross C.

    Dogs can digest goat milk much better than cows milk, in fact this is true of most mammals other than calves of course. The protein structure of goat milk is much easier to digest. Most supermarkets have goat milk products including the large containers of plain whole milk goat yogurt.

  • kerry

    Veganism is proven better for many species, especially dogs and humans.

  • kerry

    Vegan dogs live forever!

  • Diane

    I’ve been giving my very picky Yorkie Poo a little shredded cheese along with her Premium dry dog food 2 or 3 times a day.
    Is this okay? She won’t eat the kibble unless there’s cheese in it.

  • Tim

    My dog loves milk and today was the first I noticed he had a loose stool. Can I give my dog milk substitute with no lactose?

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    I prefer using milk from cows that haven’t been given growth hormones or antibiotics (organic milk), or raw goat milk or Lifeway kefir.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I’d never heard of Prosure but it appears to be a flavored beverage mix to be used as a weight gain supplement for people suffering from cancer? There’s nothing in it that would hurt the dog that I can see but I just don’t see why you’d want to feed it to a dog. Like I recommended to Julie in the above post, if you want to give your dog a dairy-type addition to their food I’d recommend plain kefir, yogurt or raw goat’s milk.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    It’s not going to harm her – the worst that could happen is possible loose stools. I’m not sure why you’d want to give the puppy milk though? I’d suggest instead considering adding plain kefir, plain yogurt or raw goat’s milk (such as Answer’s Additional). These diary products are generally better tolerated by dogs and they have the added benefit of containing probiotics.

  • Julie

    If I give my 4 month old Heeler/Pryenees puppy dairy milk, is it bad for her in any way??

  • pedro

    hello, is the prosure milk good for my belgian pup? 4months old. TIA

  • Shawna

    No, not unless she is allergic or intolerant of the proteins in dairy or lactose intolerant.

    The casein protein in dairy is a relatively common allergen and symptoms aren’t always recognizable. I am allergic to casein and I get a variety of symptoms that come and go — sometimes I have joint pain, sometimes itchy scalp, sometimes my jaw and sinuses become inflamed etc. On a more extreme level, I have MRI diagnosed brain “lesions” and have also had episodes of blindness in both eyes for short periods of time.

    There is some evidence that an opiate (called BCM-7) in most dairy products can cause autism, type 1 diabetes and schizophrenia in some susceptible people.. I have no reason to believe that BCM-7 might not be problematic in dogs as well but there is currently no evidence to support that.

    BUT I highly doubt, even if mildly allergic or intolerant, giving one cup once a month will cause any long term problems. It’s the every day or even frequent stuff that you have to be cautious with.

  • Leah Kuester

    ok so i give my.dog Lucy one cup of milk each month. Will it cause her life span to get shorter?

  • Cyndi

    No one knows who you are talking to unless you hit reply under the persons comment.

  • da kidd

    Purina one is not the cause of your dog dying!!!!! most likely all the milk you gave the dog. Smh

  • mdkroma

    Absolutely dogs can eat turkey. As Mike posted below, tryptophan is one of the 10 essential amino acids dogs need.

  • Barbara dexters mom(chickenman

    So at the end of the day. Can a dog have turkey ? And now that I have read this Article, I have Realized that chicken also has this tryptophan in it. And my yourkie eats chicken every day along with rice or oatmeal ! So what can he eat if this is bad for him ?

  • losul

    There is sugar added to the flavored ones.

  • Shonya

    I’ll bet there’s lots of sugar in this. Unless you use sparingly as an infrequent treat, the sugar isn’t good for your dogs. I, for one, don’t want to teach my dogs to like sugar.

  • Shonya

    Yes, animal protector, the poster said raw chicken bones, which are not only fine, but nutritious for a dog.

  • Steve Freeman

    As someone who suffers from lactose intolerance, this article is a bit misleading…or at least missing an important piece of info. At least in humans, and I have no reason to think it’s not the same with dogs, lactose builds up in our systems over time. I take daily supplements to help, but I still do have a reaction once every several months.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yes, you can or a soft boiled egg or fried, scrambled, poached, or raw eggs. Just limit the amount of raw eggs to a couple times a week.

  • rflucero

    Can i give my baby dog a hard boild egg

  • Dr J

    The dog was about 50 pounds, and a Mars bar contains little chocolate as far as I am aware, plus it is rather crappy chocolate. However, I have never and will never feed my dogs chocolate. There is no reason to do so.

  • Dell Roberson

    Yeah how large was the dog , I am sure you can get away with small increments and from my understanding depending on what kind and depending on the amount of Theobromine which is the real determent for the toxicity and the affects their of. Here is a little more info as I still think it is a dangerous practice to fool around with.

    Why chocolate poisons dogs and how to treat chocolate dog poisoning

    While the pathetic begging look that goes across the face of a dog wanting chocolate can weaken the most stoic dog owner, stay firm. Do not give in. Ever.

    Once dogs have tasted chocolate, they want more.

    And for dogs, that’s a bad thing.

    You might disagree, thinking back to a time when you noticed a dog enjoying a tidbit of chocolate with no deleterious effect.

    Don’t be fooled.

    The problem, according to veterinary experts, is that eating a speck of chocolate leads a dog to crave more. It can mean that your dog will jump at a opportunity to get any type of chocolate, not knowing that certain chocolates are more lethal than other types. Larger amounts of chocolate, particularly of the most toxic type, can bring about epileptic seizures in some dogs, and in all dogs, can kill.

    Poisoning of dogs by chocolate is not as uncommon as you might think.

    Why is Chocolate Lethal?

    Chocolate contains theobromine. A naturally occurring stimulant found in the cocoa bean, theobromine increases urination and affects the central nervous system as well as heart muscle. While amounts vary by type of chocolate, it’s the theobromine that is poisonous to dogs.

    Symptoms of Chocolate Dog Ingestion and Poisoning

    You can recognize that your dog has eaten a toxic dose of chocolate from the symptoms. Within the first few hours, the evidence includes vomiting, diarrhea or hyperactivity. As time passes and there’s increased absorption of the toxic substance, you’ll see an increase in the dog’s heart rate, which can cause arrhythmia, restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination or excessive panting.

    This can lead to hyperthermia, muscle tremors, seizures, coma and even death.

    How Much Chocolate Is Deadly?

    If a 50-pound dog eats a teaspoonful of milk chocolate, it’s not going to cause serious problems. However, if that same dog gorges himself on a two-layer chocolate cake, his stomach will feel more than upset and soon it’s likely he’ll be vomiting or experiencing diarrhea.

    To answer the question “How much is too much” is not simple. The health and age of your dog must be considered. Obviously if your dog is aged and not in top shape, his reaction to a plate of chocolate is going to be different from a young healthy dog of the same weight.

    Another fact that must be considered is this: Not all chocolate is the same. Some has a small amount of theobromine; another type has a large amount and still another contains an amount that is somewhere in between. The quantity has a relationship with the weight of your dog. Small dogs can be poisoned, it is easy to understand, from smaller amounts of theobromine than large dogs.

    Which chocolate is the safest, relatively speaking? White chocolate. It has the least amount of theobromine: 1 mg per ounce. Far on the other side of the spectrum is baking chocolate, which has a huge 450 mg of theobromine per ounce!

    Here are a few other chocolates for you to ponder: hot chocolate, 12 mg of theobromine per ounce; milk chocolate, 60 mg/oz; and up there near baking chocolate: semi-sweet chocolate with 260 mg/oz.

    You might try using this to remember these chocolates from least to most toxic: What Happy Moose Says BAA? Or: White-Hot-Milk-Semi-Baked. If you have a better way to remember, contact us!

    Knowing which chocolate is the most toxic is important, but leaves one wondering how much must be eaten to poison a dog. The list in this box should be helpful. Maybe you can clip it and post it on your refrigerator?
    White chocolate: 200 ounces per pound of body weight. It takes 250 pounds of white chocolate to cause signs of poisoning in a 20-pound dog, 125 pounds for a 10-pound dog.

    Milk chocolate: 1 ounce per pound of body weight. Approximately one pound of milk chocolate is poisonous to a 20-pound dog; one-half pound for a 10-pound dog. The average chocolate bar contains 2 to 3 ounces of milk chocolate. It would take 2-3 candy bars to poison a 10 pound dog. Semi-sweet chocolate has a similar toxic level.

    Sweet cocoa: 0.3 ounces per pound of body weight. One-third of a pound of sweet cocoa is toxic to a 20-pound dog; 1/6 pound for a 10-pound dog.

    Baking chocolate: 0.1 ounce per pound body weight. Two one-ounce squares of bakers’ chocolate is toxic to a 20-pound dog; one ounce for a 10-pound dog.

    CJMF 6/03

    More Information

  • Dr J

    My sister in law’s dog ate a Mars bar a day and died age 17….Heck I don’t feed my dogs chocolate, because I don’t think is a good idea, never mind that a bar of chocolate once in my hands is gone before I can say dog..

  • Dr J

    Funny, considering that turkey is in many dog foods, never mind that chicken is actually higher in tryptophan or that red meat contains it as well, what about fish?…ahhhh yes tryptophan positive and so are soy beans and God knows what else. The only death sentence occurs when you are tryptophan deficient.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Tryptophan is NOT deadly to a dog when supplied to the animal in appropriate amounts. It is a required nutrient — one of only ten essential amino acids for the canine diet.

    An essential nutrient means that the animal cannot make this amino acid within its own body and that is is necessary to sustain life.

    Tryptophan got a bad wrap because of a bad batch of the supplement that was imported into the US from Asia a few years ago. You can read about tryptophan by clicking the following link:

    http://www.vetinfo.com/using-a-tryptophan-supplement-for-dogs.html

  • Pattyvaughn

    Tryrptophan is not deadly to dogs, that is ridiculous.

  • BROOKLYN

    ICE CREAM IS DEADLY TO DOGS BECAUSE IT HAS TRIPTIPHAN IN IT, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT BEING A DAIRY PRODUCT. ALTHOUGH DAIRY PRODUCTS ARE VERY GASSY, DIFFICULT FOR DOGS TO DIGEST & CAN CAUSE BLOAT WHICH IS AS WELL A DEATH SENTENCE TO ALL DOGS. SO UNLESS YOU DON’T CARE IF YOUR DOGGIE BABY DIES DON’T FEED THEM ICE CREAM, TURKEY OR ANYTHING WITH TRIPTIPHAN & DAIRY PRODUCTS SHOULD BE VERY LIMITED.

  • Cyndi

    & chocolate in small amounts won’t kill a dog. I had a dog who ate an entire bag of chocolate candy, wrappers and all, and was just fine. Not runny poop, or vomiting at all. I don’t suggest feeding chocolate on a regular basis, but a little bit won’t harm a dog.

  • Cyndi

    There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with feeding a dog raw chicken bones, or any other raw meat or bones.

  • animal protector

    WOW!!! I Just read your comments and I can not believe anyone would take a chance and feed their dogs chocolate CHICKEN BONES or any other food that would essentially KILL your dogs. You really need to be more vigilant in researching what to feed your dog and is it ok (SAFE) or just don’t have pets, it is that simple. Shame on you for putting your pets at risk.
    animal protector

  • Johnny Moore Jr.

    um ive seen 100s of vids where ducks drink from cats dogs drinking from goats and even as gross as a woman breast feeding two dogs at once so ur statement if flawed it happens

  • Susan Breaud

    I have a 8month old apple head chihuahua, a 2 year old lab mastiff, and a 7 year old terrier mix and they all love whole milk. My lab mastiff mix and terrier mix have had ice cream since they were puppies and have had no problem. All my dogs also eat candy but I dont give them chocolate. As for chocolate is bad for them. My lab mastiff mix will wine the whole time I am eating ice cream until I giver her some. She even goes with us to sonic and McDonald’s to get an ice cream cone for her and she eats the whole thing. She only gets that once in awhile.

  • Bob K

    Freny – Avoid the cream. Perhaps microwave the dry kibble with a little water for 10 seconds to bring out the flavors. Dribble some gravy over the food and let it soak in for 10 mins. so they do not lick it off. Perhaps mix in some raw egg and mush it around. Other additives: peanut butter, liver sausage. Make sure you mix it up good or the dog will just lick it off. Only microwave till its warm, do not make the food hot as it might burn the dogs mouth. Canned gravy is cheap.

  • freny

    I adopted a 2 year old dog from a shelter and he is very skinny and he would does not eat regular dog food. If I add meat to the dry dog food he will just pick out the meat. I tried cream (1- 1!/2 ounce over the food) and he loves the cream and will eat his food.
    I am just trying to nurture him to a normal weight. Is cream bad for him?

  • mdm3000

    Just gave my 7 month old Deer Head chihuahua about 4oz of sweet milk (whole cow milk) . He begs me for it every chance hegets. So I gave in, and let him try it. He lapped it up big time. So we’ll see how it goes…

  • ct

    try making brown rice and serve it with a small amount of chicken broth. my 2 month old teeth already came in so he’s been eating dry food (earthborne holistic)

  • ganimete shatri

    does anyone ?

  • ganimete shatri

    does anyone tell me how to feed my pupiee ?

  • Alexandra

    Yet I’m sure that doesn’t stop you from consuming other dairy products, right? Other species don’t drink from other species because they can’t. How would a cat drink from a cow? However, if you were to put a bowl down of cow milk for the cat, they’ll drink it. It sounds so stupid when people try to say “well other animals don’t drink milk from other animals.” My dog will happily lap milk if she’s given it. Why? Because it tastes good. I’d say it’s more unnatural to eat a starburst or any other lab created candy than it is to drink milk.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Since newborns are so fragile and some dogs do have trouble with cow’s milk which results in serious diarrhea that can be deadly to newborns, it is better to give newborns goat’s milk. Are you talking as a replacement for mother’s milk? Because it doesn’t have everything it needs in it.

  • Diana

    Is it ok to give carnacion milk to new born’s?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yes, they can.

  • Levi

    can our milk products cause skin allergy for dogs? like dandruff perhaps?

  • Dell Roberson

    Ah wow!!!!! , you need to do your research before you end up killing your dogs , dairy ok whatever , but chocolate is very toxic for dogs and given to much per body weight can kill them and even in small amounts over time will destroy their liver and kidneys , look it up, research it.

  • lily

    It’s completely unnatural to feed dogs dairy, you would not feed them cat milk or horse milk. No other species drinks the milk from another species, except humans.

  • Ann

    my chi drank milk, ate ice cream and loved cheese since birth…then last year, at two, he became ill, so, as always when he wasn’t feeling well, I would give him a dish of warm milk…needless to say, he was still very sick, so off to the vet we went….turns out he IS lactose intolerant and had to go on meds to get better…I was shocked. Here I was, killin my dog with kindness…

  • Milky

    I read my post and had to say when I give them chicken legs I hold the leg and they will go around the bone pulling all the meat off. First time I had to tell them “no” when they went to grab the bone and from that they knew they were allowed only to take off the meat, They are very smart dogs

  • Milky

    I have 3 Australian Cattle Dog/Miniature Dachshund mixes ages 4 1/2, 5 and 5 1/2 weighing 31, 22 and 24 lbs. Since they wear able to move their head they have been drinking milk. As I am typing this they finished my plate of Death by chocolate Ice cream. I have yet to find anything these dogs can’t handle. But I did stop giving them chicken or turkey bones (unless not cooked). people think its funny cuz when I give them chicken legs it looks like they are eating Corn on the Cob. Only thing I limit them on is candy or chocolate .maybe twice a month they can have a piece.

  • Mizz Wizzy

    Hi there, Ivy! I am glad to find someone who understands what I mean. And cherishes these wonderful little animals. Why are people so cruel to animals? I don’t understand; they never do anything to hurt them and they are so cold-hearted. Gives them no right to hurt animals :( I’m really sorry, it broke my heart to read what happened. If you know who those people are, report them as soon as you can, and get them thrown in prison. That’s wonderful you have all these animals, I have two wonderful Dogs and Cats. Goo luck to you.

  • ivy

    Abslu

  • Fmat

    I have 2 Chihuahua, dachshund mixes. 1 is 14.2 pounds and 1 is 19.2 pounds. I have been giving them milk since they were babies. One is 6 years old and one is 5 and a half years old, and never once had a problem. Now the oldest is allergic to corn and I have had to change his dog food to wellness which is wonderful. You just need to find out what your dog can handle and go from there. Also if your dog loves ice cream and can not have regular ice cream, Walmart sells an ice cream just for dogs called frosty paws. Frosty paws sells about $4 a four pack and my dogs love them. I have small dogs and I only give them about a tablespoon full chopped up in a small bowl every few days. As for the milk I give them each about one and a half ounces once or twice a day because when I have my milk, well they have to have there’s too.

  • Kdpickens

    So my friend who I got my puppy from started the puppies off mixing there food with a little bit of milk, none ever seeming to have a problem, mine is now 5 months. I’ve tried to get her to eat the dry food, she eats it but never that much of it, definitely not at much as she was eating with the milk. I’m not sure when I should do.

  • DAmom054

    Thanks, I’ll check it out.

  • Mizz Wizzy

    I agree 100%.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Going to try that one next!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    http://www.lifeway.net/ I’ve used a couple of the flavors for me and the dogs.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Birthday cake?!? Now I have another excuse to go to the regular grocery!!

  • Betsy Greer

    Mine too, and just a few flavors, probably those you mentioned. The other grocery store I shop at has a bunch of different flavors. I couldn’t resist a bottle of birthday cake. : )

  • Pattyvaughn

    It is like a yogurt drink. For people.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yep!! It’s Lifeway and we only have lowfat strawberry and blueberry, but that’s a start.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I use Lifeway too. I was checking out their website the other day (if you sign up for their mailing list you can get coupons!) and they have this really interesting looking product – organic green kefir. It’s got all kinds of fruits and veggies plus stuff like chlorella, barley grass, alfalfa, etc. I really want to try it! They don’t carry it at any of the grocery stores near me though. :(

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Your Walmart sells kefir?!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I drink it and use it on granola and cereal. In fact I just made a great smoothie for lunch – 1 part vanilla kefir, 1 part cranberry juice and a few handfuls of frozen organic berries and blend it up. I give my dogs the full fat plain kefir daily.

  • Crazy4cats

    I’m assuming it is a human product. Do people eat it like yogurt? I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who hasn’t heard of it :)

  • Pattyvaughn

    I get mine at Walmart by the yogurt. we only have strawberry and blueberry though. It is kind of like a thick yogurt drink with more probiotics.

  • DAmom054

    The truly are wonderful. They are so loving and so loyal and really appreciate being loved in return. However, if you do not have the personality to return a dog’s love, get a goldfish. It is heartbreaking to see a lonely, neglected or abused dog or ANY animal.

  • DAmom054

    Where do you buy Lifeway Kefir. What exactly is it?

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    I also feed mine Lifeway Kefir. It has several flavors too. And also Answers Goat Milk (frozen product).

  • Dave’s Hounds

    I give my dogs Kefir ever day

  • DAmom054

    This is great news. I’ve been trying to get my ‘baby’ to get berries but she doesn’t seem to know what to do with them. I think I try mixing them with cottage cheese.