There are so many vet approved lactose-free milk formulas on the market, yet some dog-owners still opt for almond milk.
Perhaps it is because dogs seem to enjoy the taste? Or maybe because it’s already, easily accessible and in their fridge?
Either way, this article will go through the pros and cons of giving your beloved doggy almond milk, ultimately tackling the question of ‘can dogs have almond milk?’
Is It Safe for Dogs to Drink Almond Milk?
Almond Milk is safe for dogs to drink but in moderation and on rare occasions.
And if you feed your dog almond milk, it must be plain and unflavored because sweeteners and flavorings are bad for dogs.
Moreover, you should always be careful about the ingredients found in the almond milk that you're feeding your dog because some sweeteners, like xylitol, are poisonous to dogs. Also, other ingredients, such as caffeine and chocolate are dangerous for dogs to eat as well.
It is always strongly advised to speak with your local vet about the best diet for your dog, perhaps during a routine check-up, because depending on your dog’s weight, age and overall health it may be unwise to give them any almond milk at all.
Can Puppies Drink Almond Milk?
Puppies need to attain certain nutritive value which can only be found in their mother's milk. In the scenario that a pup’s mother isn’t producing enough milk and/or she’s neglecting to feed them, you should never give puppies almond milk — not even the plain and unflavored ones.
It is vital that a puppy receives the right kind of nutrients, which almond milk certainly does not contain. It's best to use vet recommended puppy milk replacement formulas. I recommend Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer - it is easily digestible and delivers high quality nutrition to puppies.
Can Dogs Drink Unsweetened Almond Milk?
Though unsweetened almond milk is a safer alternative to sweetened almond milk, especially since it doesn’t have xylitol or other harmful ingredients, it still isn’t necessarily advised to give it to your dog regularly.
Nuts and milk aren’t naturally a part of a dog’s suggested diet, and almond milk is high in calories and can lead to weight gain.
More importantly, some unsweetened almond milk had sea salt listed as one of its ingredients - a dog ingesting too much salt can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, therefore defeating the purpose of them having a drink.
My Dog Drank Almond Milk, What Should I Do?
If your dog has ingested almond milk, perhaps from taking a sneaky sip from something you were drinking, it is crucial that you check the ingredients present in the almond milk.
If the almond milk contained xylitol, then you should call your vet ASAP, especially if your dog drank a lot, and ask what to do. They will likely want to see your pet, as xylitol is dangerous for dogs.
Though they aren’t always lethal to your dog—depending on how much they had, they can have harmful side-effects and result in death if large amount is ingested. It is always safer to speak with your vet just in case.
Additionally, it is also important to watch out for symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting, even if the ingredients seemed more harmless, as every dog has its own sensitivities.
Why Isn’t Almond Milk a Healthy Choice for Your Dog?
There are numerous reasons why almond milk isn’t a healthy choice for your dog, but the main reason is that a dog’s digestive system isn’t the same as humans. That’s why there are pet foods that are made especially for dogs, and it has ingredients that are easy for your furry friend to digest and enjoy.
So almond milk, though generally good for humans, aren’t advised for your dog and can have many ingredients that—even though they seem harmless, like for example sea salt—can actually cause bad side effects if taken in excess.
And these side effects may not happen instantaneously; they can happen over time, slowly deteriorating your dog’s health.
Ultimately, the bottom line is dogs can drink almond milk in moderation, and on rare occasions (so not daily).
Even if you opt for a brand that doesn’t have ingredients that are poisonous or harmful to your dog, almonds and milk aren’t ideal for your dog’s diet, and most the other ingredients are still intended for human consumption, making them not ideal for your pet.
Alternatively, there are many vet-approved milk replacements that are specifically made for puppies.
These milk replacements for dogs are lactose-free, since many dogs are lactose intolerant, and contain all the nutrients your dog needs. They should still not be given regularly, as most milk products/replacements are high in fats, but they are generally safe and made for your dog’s digestive system.
More than often these milk replacements for dogs are just as affordable as almond milk—if not even more so, and have more vitamins and minerals that are safe for dogs to ingest, so why not opt for the safer option and buy those instead? Usually, milk replacements for dogs are readily available from pet stores.
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