Getting a new cocker spaniel puppy or rescuing an older dog is an exciting time. It can be stressful to make sure that you are taking care of your new pet in the best way. There are many different questions that you might have about taking care of your dog. One of these might be, can cocker spaniels drink milk?
The answer is yes, cocker spaniels can have milk. In small amounts milk, is a nice, safe treat for a spaniel, it is not toxic. However, you should be aware that some cocker spaniels are lactose intolerant and giving them milk may cause tummy upsets and diarrhea.
What is lactose intolerance in spaniels?
Lactose is the sugar that is found in milk and other dairy products. In some older dogs and other mammals, there is an intolerance to this sugar that can cause digestive issues.
To deal with lactose effectively your dog needs to be able to produce an enzyme called lactase. This enzyme breaks down the lactose into sugars that the dog’s body can process.
If your dog is unable to produce the enzyme, or cannot produce enough of it, then he will experience problems with lactose and may be intolerant to it.
It is said that many adult dogs have some levels of lactose intolerance.
What are the signs of lactose intolerance?
You should always get the professional advice of your vet whenever you are looking at or trying to identify a health problem with your Cocker spaniel or any other dog or pet.
Most dogs that have a lactose intolerance will experience and display very similar symptoms that humans with the same condition experience:
- Lots of smelly trumps or gas ( depending on what you call it )
- Runny of loose stools
- General upset tummy which could be painful
As is the case with all aspects of your dog’s health you should always get professional advice and diagnosis.
Can Cocker spaniels drink goat's milk?
Goat’s milk is a more suitable option for a Cocker spaniel to drink as it contains less lactose than cow’s milk and a lactose sensitive spaniel may find goat’s milk to be a better option.
It is recommended that pasteurized goat’s milk is used as this is considered to be the safer option having been processed to remove harmful bacteria.
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Is soy milk safe for Cocker spaniels to drink?
Soyi milk is a lactose free milk that is a suitable choice for Cocker spaniels.
However, soy is also one of the top food allergies that many dogs suffer from so you should check first to make sure that your spaniel is not allergic to soy.
Soy milk is also high in calories so if you do give it to your dog then you should watch his weight.
How often can a Cocker spaniel drink milk?
Most milk, whether lactose free or not contains high levels of calories and, as a result, you should take care not to give too much to your Cocker.
Dogs fare best when they drink water and milk should only be ever used as a treat for an adult dog, unless, of course you are offering it under the advice of your vet.
If you do want to treat your spaniel to a drink of milk and you are happy that he will not suffer any adverse reactions, then a small drink of milk once or twice a week would probably not do any harm.
What other milk can a Cocker spaniel drink?
There are many other types of milk that are suitable for a Cocker spaniel – many of which are lactose free or which contain lower levels of lactose.
When considering a milk for your dog always choose one that contains no added sugars, colourings or preservatives ( as these can be harmful to dogs ) and, if possible always choose a 100% organic milk.
Milks to consider include:
Before you introduce any new item to your Cocker spaniel’s diet it is always best and wise to consult your vet and to introduce the new food/drink gradually.
Puppies of all breeds, including Cocker spaniels can drink milk. Puppies are more tolerant of lactose due to enzymes that are contained in their mother’s milk. As they grow older they become less tolerant however.
When giving milk to your Cocker you should aim to find a lactose free or reduced milk. Always choose a milk that is unsweetened that has no additives or preservatives and try to go for the organic option.
Make sure that your spaniel has no allergies to the type of milk that you choose and always get the advice of your vet if unsure.
The content of this article should be treated as information and not advice. We recommend that you always get professional advice from a qualified veterinary professional before making changes to your dog’s diet.
Last update on 2020-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API