Cocker Spaniels are notorious for being greedy dogs and because I have 3 kids, my Cocker was always trying to pinch anything they dropped, including their milk. But is milk safe for Cocker Spaniels to consume?
Can Cocker Spaniels drink milk? Your Cocker Spaniel can drink milk but first, you have to find out whether your Cocker is lactose intolerant of which many are. Diarrhea, vomiting, and gas are signs of intolerance towards lactose and milk.
Though milk may be a delicious treat for your Cocker Spaniel, there are a few steps that you must take in order for it to be safe for your Cocker to drink. Keep on reading to figure out what must be taken into consideration before you decide whether or not your favorite four-legged friend should even be drinking milk at all.
How Much Milk Can A Cocker Spaniel Drink?
As I have already mentioned, how much milk your Cocker can drink safely will depend on how tolerant your pooch is to lactose. Just like humans, many dogs have an intolerance towards dairy products but in moderation, they will suffer no ill effects.
My youngest son Daniel is lactose intolerant but he still enjoys many dairy products but in very small amounts and only occasionally. I will mention though that we went on holiday and he regularly ate ice cream which was bad parenting on my behalf and it did result in quite a few loose stools and this is exactly what could happen to your dog if they do indeed suffer from some sort of lactose intolerance.
What Is Lactose Intolerance In Dogs?
I’m not going to get all technical here but Lactose is a nutrient that’s found in milk and other dairy products due to their milk content. Basically, it’s a kind of nutrient that is formed by two types of sugar that are chemically linked together.
In order for dogs, humans, or any other mammal to digest milk and dairy products, they need to be able to break lactose down into two easy – to – absorb sugars.
In order for this to happen, a dog must be able to produce a lactose – splitting enzyme called lactase. Unfortunately, many dogs are unable to safely produce this which is where the intolerance comes into play.
Many thanks to the Dog Food Advisors page for the information.
How To Test Your Dog For An Intolerance To Lactose
I’m going, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure that there even is a way to fully test whether your dog is lactose intolerant at all other than maybe having some tests done at your local vets.
What I would do if I was you would be simply to start off by giving your Cocker Spaniel just a few small portions of milk and see how he/she reacts.
By small portions, I mean something a small as 3 or 4 tablespoons to start off with. Even if your Cocker has no obvious ill effects don’t suddenly up the quantity then next time you give the dog some milk.
Keep an eye out for any ill effects such as the ones I mentioned at the beginning of this article. My Cocker Spaniel has a good old farting session if he has a little too much dairy produce.
What Are The Signs Of Lactose Intolerance In A Dog?
There are usually a few symptoms that will present themselves if a dog is lactose intolerant. Like I just mentioned, my Guinness goes through a spell of having a rumbling tummy followed by a prolonged spell of gas.
The most common symptoms, in no particular order, are:
- Loose Stools
- Rumbling Tummy / Abdominal Groaning and pain.
How Often Can A Cocker Spaniel Drink Milk?
This question seems open to debate. If you visit any online forums you will read that some people give their dog milk every day while others don’t let their dog have any milk.
I’m kind of in the middle with this regardless of whether a dog is lactose intolerant or not…..let me explain.
If your dog doesn’t suffer from any intolerance towards lactose then there’s no real harm in having some milk or other dairy product every day. But just because your dog can have it every day doesn’t mean you should give it milk every day. It should be used as a treat. Do you eat ice cream every day?
Dogs who are fine with dairy products can have them as a treat four or even five times a week. I really wouldn’t recommend a daily treat of milk.
At the other end of the spectrum, even a dog that suffers from lactose intolerance, just like my Cocker Spaniel, can still enjoy milk in small quantities.
If your dog is intolerant then I would recommend only giving your Spaniel milk twice a week, as a special treat and no more than three or four tablespoons although if your dog has no reaction to that quantity, you may want to up the number of spoonfuls by one each time.
Can A Cocker Spaniel Puppy Drink Milk?
A very common question. I mean babies drink milk right? Yeah, I can see where people are coming from with this kind of statement but again, each dog is different.
My advice would be to try very small amounts with a puppy and if all seems fine, up the dosage as your puppy grows bigger and stronger.
EDIT: Please check with your local veterinary before giving a puppy anything you are unsure of.
Which Type Of Milk Is Best For Your Dog?
Milk which is lower in lactose would generally be better for any dog but obviously more so any dog that is lactose intolerant.
Both full fat and skimmed milk have pretty much the same amount of lactose per serving so if you are giving your dog either of these as a treat, I know which milk I would prefer taste-wise, yip the full-fat milk for me, please.
Goats milk still contains lactose but not quite as much as full fat or skimmed so this may be a better option for any dog who has some form of mild intolerance.
Which Other Dairy Products Can I Give My Spaniel?
- Low-fat cheese such as cottage cheese or quark is a great dairy product treat for your dog.
- Low-fat yogurt is another firm favorite of my Cocker Spaniel
- Ice cream? Hhmm I’m still on the fence about this but many people online say its fine.
I will let you be the judge when it comes to which dairy products you will give to your Cocker Spaniel but just remember what I said about portion sizes and testing your dog’s intolerance before letting your dog dive in.
For many other common questions about Cocker Spaniels go check out my Frequently Asked Questions Page.
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