Is lactose-free good for dogs? In recent years, the need for a healthy and well-balanced diet has inspired us to change the way we consume food. For instance, many of us have sworn off dairy as well as meat and become vegan. For a healthy dose of fiber, some have switched to gluten-free oats instead of bread.
Similarly, dog lovers and pet parents around the world are switching to lactose-free treats as they seem to be better and healthier options. But is lactose-free good for dogs? Let’s find out!
Is It Safe?
Once puppies turn 45 days old, they start weaning off their mother’s milk. This goes to show that dogs shouldn’t consume milk beyond infancy, mostly because their digestive tracts lack enzymes that can break down lactose. It’s, therefore, safe to say that all dogs and even cats are by and large lactose-intolerant.
How unsafe is milk for dogs? Is lactose toxic for dogs? Can my dog drink milk?
Here’s what you need to know.
Since a dog’s gastrointestinal tract can’t produce lactase to break down lactose, feeding it dairy products like milk adds zero nutritional value. So, if you’re thinking it’s okay to give your dog milk, cheese, and yogurt as snacks, think again! While these food items aren’t toxic on their own, they can cause digestive problems in dogs.
Is lactose-free good for dogs? While modest amounts of lactose-free milk or yogurt is definitely a better way to go than regular milk, the source of these lactose-free treats is still dairy. Is it safe? Yes, it is but lactose-free treats shouldn’t be made a regular indulgence.
Everything in moderation. Even too many lactose-free treats can upset your dog’s stomach.
Some pet parents look for alternatives like Lactaid in the form of milk or tablets based on the idea that lactose-free milk is healthy for puppies.
However, it’s worth considering: is Lactaid safe for dogs?
The answer is yes, but only in small amounts so be sure to monitor how much Lactaid your dog consumes.
If you really want to give your dog milk, the best thing to do is get plant-based products such as soy milk, hemp, or oat milk. Since they’re excellent sources of essential vitamins, calcium, and fiber, plant-based treats are healthier options for your dog.
ALSO READ: What’s Good For Your Dog to Eat?
Benefits of Lactose-free Treats
If your pup’s been showing signs of lactose intolerance, it’s probably time to ditch the dairy and switch to lactose-free treats for good. Wondering how lactose-free treats can boost your dog’s health? Here are a few benefits of lactose-free treats:
Since dogs are lactose-intolerant, carefully controlled portions of lactose-free treats can help maintain a healthy digestive system. Lactose-free treats that are packed with protein and fiber can correct digestive problems and can help settle your dog’s stomach while providing crucial vitamins and minerals.
Has your dog been feeling weak and been lethargic lately? Lactose may be the culprit. By switching to lactose-free treats, you can bring energy and healthy activity back into your dog’s life. Since lactose tends to cause inflammation in the thyroid gland as well as the digestive system, eliminating it and replacing it with lactose-free treats prevents thyroid-related diseases in dogs.
If your pup has been experiencing skin, coat, and fur issues, blame lactose. On the other hand, lactose-free treats like vegan chews and CBD snacks are rich in nutrition that lead to a shiny and soft coat.
Packed with anti-inflammatory properties, lactose-free treats can address several skin issues that your dog may have. It can also lead to a healthier and more beautiful coat.
Signs of Lactose Intolerance in Dogs
How does lactose intolerance affect dogs? As a new pet parent, it’s hard to tell whether your pup is lactose intolerant especially when it excitedly laps up all the milk and cheese. However, just because dogs enjoy the taste of lactose in dairy products, doesn’t mean it’s good for them.
How do I know if my dog is lactose intolerant? Here are signs to watch out for:
Loss Of Appetite
It’s rather odd for a perfectly healthy dog to frequently skip meals. If you don’t notice anything else wrong with your pup, it may be the milk that’s taking its toll.
Lactose consumption causes excessive gas, acidity, and bloating in dogs. If your dog’s stomach is puffier and rounder than usual, it’s probably too full and bloated. This is a clear sign of lactose intolerance.
Diarrhea is one of the most common signs of lactose intolerance in dogs. If your dog passes a lot of loose stool in a short period of time, you might want to lay off the dairy entirely and add lactose-free treats to your dog’s diet.
Other symptoms of lactose intolerance are:
- Breathing difficulties
- Swollen face
- Redness around the anus
Wouldn’t it be nicer if you knew whether your dog is severely lactose-intolerant to prevent any issues? How do they test for lactose intolerance in dogs? The best way to know beforehand is to serve your pup tiny amounts of food items like yogurt, cheese, and lactose-free milk.
Top Recipes of Lactose-free Treats
Lactose-free treats can be yummy and healthy especially when they’re homemade. Here are a couple of recipes you can try:
Lactose-free Frosty Paws Dog Treat
Why serve ice cream when your dog can enjoy the yumminess of a Lactose-free Frosty Paws Treat? Made from a delicious and healthy blend of bananas, peanut butter, lactose-free yogurt, and honey, this frozen Frosty Paws recipe is tasty and extremely easy to make.
Frozen Fruit Treats for Dogs
Looking for a delicious and juicy lactose-free treat? Make frozen fruit chews at home. If you’ve already used bananas, you can also make this treat with berries like strawberries and blueberries. Even frozen apple treats will do the trick. Set them in cute bone-shaped molds to make them fun.
Lactose-free treats are safe for dogs and offer an array of health benefits that regular treats don’t. If you still have doubts regarding lactose intolerance and lactose-free foods for dogs, it’s best to consult a vet and seek professional advice regarding your dog’s specific wellbeing and diet.