Lactose Intolerance in Dogs

Lactose intolerance is one of the most common canine digestive disorders. It’s a disorder that involves an adverse reaction to milk and dairy products, and can cause dogs discomfort if not adequately treated when it first begins to impact their health. Within this blog, we’ll review the symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs and highlight effective ways to care for dogs with lactose intolerance.

The Causes and the Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Cow and goat milk contains, on average, 4.5-to-5% lactose. This compares with 3.1% lactose in dog’s milk. This milk can be a great source of calcium in dogs whose systems can tolerate lactose. However, the higher level of lactose within dairy products can overpower a dog’s digestive system, especially in younger puppies. Lactose intolerance is largely related to a lack of the enzyme lactase, which is critical for puppies in milk digestion.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs include the following:

  • Abdominal sensitivity
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Drinking excessive amounts of water

In cases where your pet appears to be suffering from one or a number of these symptoms over a period of days, it’s important to take them to a vet as soon as possible for analysis and treatment.

Caring for a Lactose Intolerant Dog – Listen to the Vet & Consider Lactose-Free Treats

One of the many challenges for those caring for a dog with lactose intolerance is that their diets must be carefully monitored to ensure no contact with dairy products.

Under certain circumstances, owners may be able to feed their dogs products such as cheese and unpasteurized yogurt, which usually have the lactose removed before being sold in stores. However, it remains exceptionally important to speak with a veterinary professional before making assumptions on a lactose intolerant dog’s ideal diet.

Fortunately, there are a number of high quality lactose-free items that all dogs can enjoy. Speak with your local area vet today if you feel your pet is suffering from lactose intolerance. Proactive owners can protect their pets against long-term physical issues. Working with your vet will allow you to create a regimen that offers optimal nutritional support to your dog for the long-term.