Dogs can drink almond milk in regulated quantities.
In fact, it is an excellent replacement for traditional cow milk. A cow’s milk contains lactose which many dogs, especially adult dogs, have a problem digesting.
Their systems lack the lactase enzyme. Although you can incorporate cow milk in small quantities in the diet, it’s best to avoid dairy products, especially whole milk, due to lactose intolerance in dogs.
Plant-based alternatives, such as almond milk, do not have lactose and high-fat quantities, making it a safer alternative. So, what amount is safe for your dog, and how do we give almond milk to our dogs?
As much as we love our pets, it’s also essential to read the ingredients to ensure we are in the clear before allowing our dogs to drink almond milk with us. Dogs love eating whatever their humans eat.
What Does Almond Milk Consist Of?
Finding a milk alternative for your dog involves keen observation of the ingredients. Like humans, dogs respond differently to what they eat and drink.
Is Almond Milk Safe for Dogs?
The ingredients differ based on the brand. The basic components are ground almonds and water. However, some companies add ingredients such as artificial sugars and flavors like vanilla. While these may make almond milk sweeter and more flavorful, it takes away from the health benefits.
Almond milk has vitamins, like vitamin D and E, minerals, and protein. Other components are:
Dangerous additives that safe almond milk for dogs shouldn’t include xylitol. This additive is in many almond milk brands and is toxic to dogs. Xylitol puts your dog at risk for hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, liver failure, and death in the worst cases.
Signs of Xylitol Poisoning
The following symptoms show after a dog’s intake of almond milk with xylitol:
- General weakness
- Stumbling or lack of coordination
All these indicators show ill health. Seek veterinary advice immediately you notice your dog’s not feeling too good.
Can Dogs Drink Unsweetened Almond Milk?
If you insist on giving your dog almond milk, make sure it is as natural as possible. Give your dog unsweetened almond milk.
Additives such as artificial sweeteners and saturated fat are not suitable to add to your dog’s diet. Additionally, vanilla almond milk is a no for dogs. Vanilla almond milk contains some amount of alcohol (because of the vanilla) detrimental to your dog’s health.
When offered in small amounts or as an occasional treat, unsweetened almond milk is okay. However, keep in mind that almond milk is high in calories. It also doesn’t add any nutritional value. Your dog already gets many nutrients from the regular diet.
If your dog insists on having your own almond milk, give them a sip and a healthy dog treat to distract them. Besides, your dog might end up not liking the taste of almond milk or happen to be intolerant. This in itself is a major reason to keep them away from almond milk.
How to Serve Almond Milk to Your Dog
One of the crucial points to note is that almond milk in large quantities in a dog’s diet can cause health issues. Obesity is a possibility if you do not regulate almond milk intake. Obese dogs suffer from numerous other health risks, especially heart problems.
So, how do you serve almond milk to your dog or control dog consumption?
The introduction of foreign food is crucial, especially if you are dealing with a picky eater. Dog owners must introduce almond milk slowly to watch for any effects that will need emergency veterinarian services. Start by giving a tablespoon of unsweetened almond milk first.
If your dog reacts well to it and likes the taste (most dogs are picky eaters), continue giving it in small quantities.
It’s not advisable to give your dog almond milk all the time. You can choose to add it as a low-sugar snack as you please.
Keep in mind that not all dogs appreciate almond milk when incorporated in their kibble or dog food. A taste of almond milk gets some dogs to devour their food, which is a plus in the end.
How Does Almond Milk Benefit a Dog?
Even though dogs should get almond milk in small quantities, it has immense positive health effects on your dog. Almond nuts have essential nutrients like B3. This vitamin helps keep your dog’s fur healthy and shiny. The same vitamin B3 is great for keeping your dog’s skin healthy.
Moreover, almond milk (without xylitol) helps maintain your dog’s eyes and liver. The high concentrations of vitamin E in the milk help in detoxing. Vitamin E removes radicals from your dog’s body and boosts your dog’s immune system.
Another essential mineral is calcium. Calcium is a vital mineral because it strengthens the bones and joints. Others like phosphorous and magnesium are also good complements.
If your dog gets a well-balanced diet, adding almond milk to the feeding schedule might beat the purpose.
Alternatives to Almond Milk for Dogs
The chances are that your dog won’t like the taste of almond milk. If this is the case, healthy alternatives are available in the market. These are safer too, but you should regulate your dog’s intake:
- Goat milk
- Cow milk
- Soy milk
- Oat milk
Again, it’s proper to ensure these milk products are as natural and organic as possible. Any added sugar and artificial sweetener are unhealthy.
In some cases, you need to give your dog milk if they’re in the puppy stage. A puppy’s diet requires a higher amount of milk, especially if they’re not getting enough of their mother’s milk. Young puppies drink almond milk and digest it without much problem because they have the lactase enzyme in their systems.
For older dogs, regular dog food works just fine.
Almond Milk vs Cow’s Milk
Inarguably, almond milk has less fat and fewer calories compared to cows’ milk. Unfortunately, almond milk does not have as many nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. This lack of nutrients is the main reason why many almond milk brands add them during production.
Other companies won’t add these essential vitamins, making some brands of almond milk nutrient deficient. Almond milk works better for your dog compared to cow’s milk because it does not contain lactose. Lack of lactose makes it easier for dogs to digest. Regardless, neither is necessary in most dog diets.
Is Almond Milk Good for Dogs?
Almond milk is safe for dogs only if you offer it in minimal quantities. Once you have the amount in check, almond milk is perfectly safe.
Unflavored and unsweetened varieties without xylitol are safe for dogs if you think it’s vital to add milk to the dog feeding schedule. Seek veterinarian advice to be safe on which brands you can give your dogs.
Here’s a recap of what you should watch out for in case of intolerance:
- Loose stool
- Constant gas or flatulence
- Abdominal discomfort
Even puppies benefit more from their mother’s milk than any other, so avoid alternatives as much as possible.
One thing you cannot overlook is how much to give and whether or not your dog is intolerant to lactose. That aside, adding milk from almonds to treats, kibble, and other foods is not entirely necessary. Dogs get all the nutrients they need from regular food as long as it’s properly balanced.
When you’re having a glass of sweetened and flavored almond milk, restrain yourself from sharing it with your dog. I know dogs can get insistent, but it is for their own good. Get your dog plain almond, goat, or soy milk so they can join you safely.
In case your dog consumes almond milk that is sweetened by mistake, observe their reactions. It’s important to let your vet know so that they can advise further in case it gets dire. Rush your dog to the vet’s office immediately if you notice symptoms such as incoordination, stumbling, and seizures.