For humans, milk is an important staple food with high nutrient content. Cats love milk but, like many people, are also lactose intolerant.
Therefore, there is a low-lactose variant for these four-legged friends: cat milk. Dogs also have difficulty digesting lactose, but can they still drink cat milk? We will get to the bottom of this question together in this guide.
the essentials in brief
- Dogs can drink cat milk.
- Cat milk is not a substitute for fresh water.
- Milk is not part of a balanced dog diet and should only be used as a treat, as it makes you fat.
- While the vitamins present are helpful for cats, they are of no benefit to dogs.
- Cat milk can be mixed into your dog’s water if he isn’t drinking enough on his own.
Can dogs drink cat milk?
The short version is: Yes, but of course in moderation! Basically, it is not dangerous if your dog has drunk a little cat milk. In contrast to whole milk, cat’s milk is much better tolerated by dogs because it contains no lactose.
Worth knowing: Even cats should not be given cat milk as a regular dietary supplement. Cat milk has too many calories for that. In addition, unnecessary additives and by-products are often contained in the milk. So it’s more of a special treat.
So dogs can drink cat milk, but they shouldn’t do it too often. This is mainly because cat milk is high in calories and fat.
The cat happily slurps its milk from an old bowl. In the middle of the barn, between cows, sheep and chickens.
This romantically transfigured image of a farm cat won’t leave our heads. To solve this dilemma, the pet food industry came up with cat milk.
A clever solution that makes people and cats’ intestines equally happy. Adult cats are just as lactose intolerant as dogs.
But of course dogs want to drink cat milk too.
Cat milk for dogs?
Coming back to the title question first, the answer is yes, dogs are allowed to drink cat milk. The products of well-known manufacturers do not contain anything that would harm your dog. At least it doesn’t contain any ingredients that would harm dogs more than your cat.
Because cat milk is actually superfluous. Rather, it is an artificial product based on cow’s milk. The milk is freed from lactose.
At the same time, the milk is mixed with additional vitamins and nutrients such as calcium or taurine. And so cat milk is tailored to the needs of house tigers.
This is how cat milk affects the health of the dog
It seems that dogs tolerate cat milk quite well. Nevertheless, it should be an exception if your dog drinks cat milk.
We briefly go into a little more detail about the effects on your dog’s health.
Cat milk consists mainly of milk and dairy products as well as vegetable by-products. This means that in addition to cow’s milk, it also contains waste products from the production of food from plants. This can be, for example, soy, peanut shells, vegetable flour, wheat bran or even straw. Such fillers are difficult to digest and do not add any value.
However, since cat milk contains less lactose, it is better tolerated by your dog than whole milk or other dairy products.
The high-calorie content of cat milk, it contributes to your dog’s weight gain when fed regularly. It’s not an important part of your pet’s diet, so don’t provide it too often. It is best to always offer your dog fresh water, it is healthier.
Sugar is also plentiful in cat milk. Dogs are like humans: if they eat too much sugar, it attacks their teeth. So this is another reason not to make cat milk a regular part of your dog’s diet.
Sometimes your dog may drink less than usual, whether due to illness or old age. Here it can be helpful if you mix some cat milk under your dog’s water.
Mixing is the key though: pure cat milk only as a treat on special occasions; mixed with water it can help your dog stay hydrated.
Tip: If you want to get your dog to drink, you can simply mix water with his food. Feeding foods that contain a lot of water is also helpful. For example, cucumbers or watermelons consist of almost 100% water.
Vitamin D, vitamin E, taurine and other additives are often added to cat milk. These are part of a cat’s healthy diet. Since cats are pure carnivores, they need much more taurine than dogs, which should eat vegetables and grains in addition to meat.
Of course, dogs also benefit from the vitamins, but with a balanced diet they have everything they need. Because of the vitamins, you don’t have to give your dog cat milk.
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How much can I give my dog cat milk?
Dogs come in all different sizes. You also have to orientate yourself on this if you want to give your dog cat milk. A small dog should therefore only get a little cat milk, a large dog can tolerate a little more.
Tip: At the beginning it is advisable to try with a small tablespoonful whether your darling tolerates the milk at all. Even if it contains very little lactose, the risk of intolerance remains.
Cat milk is not a drink and should never replace the water you must always provide your dog with. A small portion of cat milk from time to time is harmless for your dog. The mantra should still be: Less is more!
This must be taken into account when providing cat milk
There are a few points you should consider before and during the process of providing cat milk.
Test whether your dog tolerates the cat milk.
If you want to do something good for your dog with cat milk, you should of course make sure that it is really good for your dog. So test a little bit first and watch your darling afterwards. If he does not tolerate the milk, it can lead to diarrhea or discomfort.
Always have a bowl of water ready
Cat milk should never replace water. Even while your dog is drinking some cat milk, he should have fresh water available.
Consider whether it’s a good idea.
If your dog drinks little, it can make sense to sometimes add some cat milk to the water. Even if he is supposed to gain weight, cat milk can provide calories quickly. This is exactly why you should not give your dog cat milk if it is overweight.
Unhealthy substitute drink
As you can see, I’m not a fan of cat milk. In addition to the said cow’s milk, cat’s milk contains unspecified vegetable by-products.
In addition, an increased sugar content should make the cat milk tasty. However, we buy this with a high calorie content. At the same time, cat milk promotes tooth decay.
Not to mention that the products are really expensive. Converted to the liter, prices of up to five euros are compared to a normal milk price of around ninety cents per liter.
In particular, dogs do not need additives. Especially taurine because dogs can synthesize the amino acid themselves in the liver. According to the current state of knowledge, however, the intake of these substances is not dangerous and does not lead to any side effects.
When pets share the food bowl
If you have more than just one four-legged friend at home, you have to economize. Wouldn’t it be easier if Bello, the horse, and the kitty share their food with each other?
At first glance, “food sharing” does not appear to be a problem for dogs and cats. After all, both wolves and wild cats feed on the prey they take while hunting
So the wild ancestors of our beloved four-legged friends are both carnivores. Or not?
- In fact, only cats are so-called obligate carnivores. That means cats have to live off meat alone.
- Dogs, on the other hand, are facultative carnivores. You don’t necessarily need to eat meat to stay healthy and happy.
Dogs can thus utilize carbohydrates and plant-based food components. In theory, you can even feed your dog vegan.
Your house cat must have a diet based on meat and fish. If you don’t want your velvet paw to starve miserably or be malnourished.
A few bites from the neighbor’s food bowl are certainly not a problem for either side. The majority of the diet should be tailored to the needs of the animal in order to make it possible to live a long life with healthy bones.
Despite all the similarities, the needs of dogs and cats are fundamentally different.
Lactose intolerance in animals
They do, however, share one thing in common. Adult dogs and cats are usually unable to digest lactose. That’s why they don’t tolerate cow’s milk. The enzyme lactase is also lacking in large parts of the African and Asian human populations.
If such a lactose intolerance is present, the consumption of dairy products in cats, dogs and humans can lead to flatulence, diarrhea and other digestive problems.
You often don’t know for sure whether your pet can tolerate milk. You should therefore generally avoid giving cow’s milk.
Drink water better than milk
So the question remains why you want to feed dogs and cats with cow’s milk products. As a rare treat, cat milk is certainly not wrong.
However, when it comes to meeting your pet’s nutritional, fluid or calorie needs, other foods with fewer additives are certainly a better choice. Conventional lactose-free milk is also safe for your pet’s digestive tract.
Dairy products such as quark or cottage cheese can provide protein, protein and calcium without being sugar bombs:
When it comes to hydration, fresh water is always the first choice. For cats that drink poorly, adding tuna water has proven itself to give conventional drinking water a fishy note.
Conclusion on Can dogs drink cat milk
Despite everything, are you still struggling to get rid of cat milk and do you dream of dogs and cats licking together from the same bowl? Then dose the treat sparingly. And treat your pets to a glass once a week at most.
After all, we humans also know that alcohol and soda are not healthy. Still we drink it.
As with all sugary drinks, you should be careful with cat milk. The stomach hardly notices liquid calories. And so it is possible that with regular use of cat milk, your pet will gain weight quickly without feeling full.
So pay close attention to the needs of your pet. Do not give too much and keep an eye on whether your dog likes and tolerates the product offered.
However, if gastrointestinal problems occur that you can attribute to the cat milk, it is not advisable to continue giving the product. Your dog will certainly be happy about any other treat, such as cheese. And it doesn’t have to be cat milk.