Can Dogs Drink Almond Milk?
Written by: Dr. Merliza Cabriles, DVM
Most animals are only designed to drink milk from mammals when they are little. As they mature, they no longer possess the lactase enzyme required in large enough quantities to break down the lactose the milk contains.
But what about Almond milk? Can dogs drink this instead?
Technically, yes, they can. However, it is not recommended for dogs of all ages; puppies shouldn’t have almond milk either. And almond milk with chocolate, raisins, and additional extras, such as sweeteners, can even be dangerous for dogs.
Why almond milk and dogs doesn’t work
Almonds in their pure form can cause digestive upsets in dogs as once again they are simply not designed to digest them. If ingested in large enough quantities, dogs can suffer from vomiting or diarrhea. The digestive system of dogs is designed to efficiently digest diets high in protein with limited amounts of carbohydrates.
Almond milk is feeding your dog almonds in a much more diluted form; the milk itself rarely contains more than a handful of almonds per eight ounces bottle. If your dog consumes a little bit of almond milk from time to time and they are not allergic, they are unlikely to have any problems.
Another important thing to take note of is that your dog will not receive any beneficial nutrients from the almond milk. It is, therefore, an expensive addition to their diet that apart from being a bit different, is not going to help your dog in any way. If your dog receives a large amount of almond milk in its diet, it may end up nutritionally lacking in other aspects due to an imbalance.
BTW almond butter isn’t a good idea for dogs either.
Original, unsweetened almond milk only for dogs!
Almond milk in its original form is safe for dogs or at least not harmful in small quantities. Almond milk that is modified (for instance with vanilla and coconut) can also have artificial sweeteners such as xylitol included. Xylitol is very poisonous to dogs, and if your dog has ingested milk with this in it, the best thing to do is to call your vet.
Can puppies have almond milk?
Never wean puppies using almond milk. Puppies should be raised on their mother’s milk, being weaned onto soft starter foods when they are old enough. If mom isn’t producing enough milk for any reason, use a specialist puppy formula instead. It will be specially formulated to contain all the nutrients they need.
Conclusion on dogs and almond milk
Overall, a little bit of all natural almond milk is unlikely to harm your dog in the long term. Also, dogs have a hard time digesting almond milk. It has no nutritional benefits, and there are many other more preferable treats that you could be feeding your dog instead.
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