Why Are Milk Bones Bad For Dogs

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Have you ever wondered if milk bones are bad for dogs? No? Okay, well I did anyway. Not only can milk bones be bad for dogs, they’re way too high in fiber too (not to mention being a weird treat). In case you missed that — they’re treats, not meal replacements!

In this article, I’d like to tell you about why milk bones bad for dogs and discuss a few alternatives that are both nutritious and tasty for your dog.

Why Are Milk Bones Bad For Dogs

The beverage may be cholk full of benefits for the humans, but can dogs drink milk – or is milk bad for dogs? Ultimately, it depends on the dog’s digestive system, so the answer changes on a case-by-case basis. It’s unlikely that drinking a small amount would be toxic to pets, but it should never be consumed in large volume, and some dogs should avoid it altogether.
It all comes down to lactose – a natural sugar found in milk – and your pup’s ability to digest it. Read on to learn how to tell if your dog is lactose-intolerant, how much milk is safe for dogs with strong stomachs, and more details on the presence of dairy in dogs’ diet.
The beverage may be cholk full of benefits for the humans, but can dogs drink milk – or is milk bad for dogs? Ultimately, it depends on the dog’s digestive system, so the answer changes on a case-by-case basis. It’s unlikely that drinking a small amount would be toxic to pets, but it should never be consumed in large volume, and some dogs should avoid it altogether.
It all comes down to lactose – a natural sugar found in milk – and your pup’s ability to digest it. Read on to learn how to tell if your dog is lactose-intolerant, how much milk is safe for dogs with strong stomachs, and more details on the presence of dairy in dogs’ 

Here are 3 reasons why milk bones are unhealthy for your dog.

  1. Some brands pack sugar into their milk bones – Milk Bones Essential plus Oral Care lists sugar as a third ingredient in their milk bones. That’s right, they are putting sugar into a product that is supposed to help our pups teeth!!  Imagine if a toothpaste company did that? The problem, according to Dr. Ernie Ward  is that “sugar is incredibly attractive to dogs. If a dog gobbles a treat quickly, an owner is more likely to give another – and another.  This adds up to more sales – and profits. In the race for pet treat profits, our pets’ health is being bankrupted.”
  2. Milk Bones can contain BHA – Now we want to be careful here but, some iterations of Milk Bones contain BHA, a preservative that is a known carcinogen. This preservative consistently produces tumors in lab animals. While the FDA asserts that BHA is safe in low doses, dogs are being fed these tainted foods day in and out. Milk Bones also contain wheat which, along with soy and corn, dogs have even more difficulty digesting than humans. And while the verdict may be out on BHA, would you want to take the risk?
  3. More than BHA, there are a ton of chemicals in certain brands – For this final point we’ll just leave this picture here with a list of all the chemicals included in some of America’s most popular pet treats.

Can dogs drink milk, or are dogs lactose-intolerant?

Many dogs can safely consume milk in small amounts but others are lactose-intolerant, meaning their digenstive system does not produce sufficient levels of an enzyme called lactase that’s tasked with breaking down the sugar in milk, or lactose.

Dairy is the primary source of dogs’ adverse food reactions, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. The severity of each response depends on how well the dog’s digestive tract can process lactose and how much sugar is present in the specific food or beverage, as levels vary depending on how the dairy product is made. Some dogs can’t drink milk because the sugar content is very high, though they can tolerate other types of dairy (such as cottage cheese) perfectly fine due to its significantly lower lactose levels.

Golden Retriever puppies nursing in grass

What causes lactose intolerance in dogs?

Lactose intolerance is caused by undigested sugar molecules traveling through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract because they can’t produce enough enzymes to break down the nutrients for absorption into the bloodstream. When it enters the colon, water is then drawn to the undigested sugar molecule, leading to a loss of water retention in the tissue walls, inflammation of the large intestine, and diarrhea consisting of loose, watery stool – a condition otherwise known as colitis in dogs.

Why can puppies drink milk?

The reason why puppies can drink milk, though many mature dogs cannot, is because puppies have an abundance of lactase enzymes that break down their mother’s milk while nursing. Once they are weaned, their bodies will produce less of the enzyme to adjust to its new nutritional demands, at which point many dogs develop an intolerance.

Puppies can drink milk strictly from their mother because it’s full of antibodies and necessary nutrients for healthy development. Cow’s milk and other dairy sources can cause unpleasant effects on a puppy’s delicate digestive system.

But, what happens if a puppy is orphaned? In circumstances where a safe alternative must be found in lieu of the mother’s milk, commercial replacements are a better option than cow’s milk for puppies. That’s because milk from a dog is richer in calories and essential proteins, plus it’s much easier for pups to digest than dairy sources. Be sure to consult your vet before choosing a suitable milk replacement for newborn puppies.

Overweight dog lying on the floor appears uncomfortable

What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs?

Pets can’t tell us when they’re not feeling well, so it’s important to keep an eye on their behavior in order to recognize the clinical signs of illness, including adverse reactions to food. The symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs can range from mild to severe, and most often appear as:

  • Loose stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite

How to recognize lactose intolerance in dogs

Most of the time, pet parents don’t knwow their dog can’t drink milk until they obviously demonstrate the symptoms of lactose intolerance after consuming dairy. However, some dogs only display a mild intolerance with less clear symptoms. A vet’s diagnosis is the only way to know for certain whether your dog can drink milk without issue, but you may be able to recognize the signs if you notice any of these red flags:

  • Diarrhea in lactose-intolerant dogs is typically present within 12 hours of dairy consumption.
  • Sudden drooling or the licking of surfaces might be a sign of nausea due to changes in the gut.
  • If your dog is extra gassy or appears more bloated than usual, it could caused by a higher volume of gases produced by bacteria during the fermentation of sugar in the bowels.
  • Abrupt weight loss might occur if your dog experiences a change in appetite that causes them to eat less so they can avoid GI troubles.

In other cases, lactose intolerance may be confused with a dairy allergy in dogs, which refers to the inability to tolerate the proteins in milk and can be far more serious. In addition to the symtoms above, dogs with dairy allergies might display signs such as:

  • Red, inflammed skin
  • Itchiness and scratching
  • Hives
  • Facial swelling
  • Difficulty breathing

MILKBONES FOR PUPPIES

When you give the wholesome goodness of Milk-Bone dog snacks, you’re giving more than just cleaner teeth and fresher breath.

Key Benefits

  • Promotes healthy brain development with DHA
  • Natural Omega-3 fatty acid which contributes to the development of the brain and nervous system
  • Crunchy texture helps remove plaque and tartar build-up which cleans teeth & freshens breath
  • Calcium & Vitamin D are added to support strong teeth and bones
  • 21 vitamins & minerals that are fortified for puppies one year and younger.

About Milk-Bone Dog Treats

Everyday Treats

What are Milk Bone Allergies?

The most common symptom of any kind of allergy in your dog is itchy skin. Your dog’s skin is what protects the body from the environment so it is most often the first place that shows signs of sensitivity. With Milk Bone allergies, your dog may show gastrointestinal upset first, such as diarrhea and vomiting. In some cases, the signs of allergy may not even be noticed at all. In fact, you may mistake it for a stomach bug or something else besides the Milk Bone snacks because your dog has eaten them before without a problem. This happens because your dog’s system recognizes an ingredient as dangerous even though it is not, and it releases histamines to get rid of them. It is the rise in histamines that cause the respiratory, digestive, and skin reactions.

Milk Bone dog treats are a popular choice for pet owners who like to give their dogs a reward or a special snack on occasion. The three main ingredients in Milk Bone dog treats (wheat, beef, and milk) may cause an allergic response in some canines. These are three of the most common food allergens in dogs and dogs may react to one or all of them.

Dogs who are sensitive to these ingredients may have an immediate and obvious reaction to Milk Bone treats (vomiting, diarrhea, itching), or it may take several hours to days before any symptoms show. While Milk Bone allergy is not usually dangerous, in some dogs it can cause a condition called anaphylaxis in which the airway swells and the dog cannot breathe. This is a rare but serious condition and if you notice your dog is wheezing or having trouble breathing, you should go to an animal hospital immediately.

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