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A lot of us associate dogs and especially cats with a bowl of milk. But to our surprise, we need to understand that cats and dogs cannot be fed with milk. When you read the above line, many of you would not agree with us. Hence let us see in detail below why milk for cats and dogs are not allowed.
Just like many humans, cats and dogs are lactose intolerant. What does lactose intolerance mean? This simply means dogs and cats do not have the enzyme called 'lactase' which help in the digestion of milk. You might wonder then how puppies and kittens drink their mother's milk. Puppies naturally have the lactase enzyme in abundance while born to digest mother's milk. The enzyme levels drastically low down when they are weaned off.
Dogs and cats suffer most symptoms due to lactose intolerance just like humans. The lactose in the milk will travel through the GI tract and colon undigested. This might cause absorb more water in the colon causing discomfort. The common symptoms are:
2. Irritation of the skin
In general milk products are not recommended for cats and dogs. An occasional lick of ice cream, a small piece of cheese is ok but watch out for any GI upset. The exhibit symptoms after 12 hours of consumption. If your pet has vomiting or diarrhea every time after consuming milk and milk products, then they are allergic to it.
Curd can be given to pets in small amounts as the lactose gets lost in the process of fermentation. Goat's milk can be given in moderate amount if needed to cats and dogs. Goat's milk contains a lesser amount of lactose than cows milk. Lactose-free milk is also available which can be given to pets. Never give any kind of milk or dairy products to puppies or kittens as they might result in risky health conditions.
Dogs and cats can survive without milk and milk products and it is better to avoid these foods. All milk products contain lactose and hence feeding milk for cats and dogs are not recommended.