Milk is packed with nutrients and has a lot of proven health benefits to both people and animals, it’s a common parental task trying to get our kids to drink milk regularly. But what about our beloved dachshunds? Can they drink milk?
No, it’s generally not a good idea for dachshunds to drink milk. Most dachshunds are actually lactose intolerant meaning they are not able to fully digest the lactose in milk. This can result in your dachshund experiencing a variety of stomach issues like diarrhea, vomiting, gassiness, bloating, and general discomfort depending on how severe the intolerance is.
You can get your dachshund tested for lactose intolerance via your vet if you wish, but as a puppy, the dachshunds mother’s milk provides the most nutritional value, and for adult dachshund’s water is really the wisest and safest choice.
Is Milk Good or Bad For Dachshunds?
Technically speaking, milk is not at all bad for dachshunds, no worse than it is for humans. Milk does of course contain lots of minerals, calcium, fats, proteins, and other nutrients that should realistically be healthy and beneficial for your dog, whether dachshund or otherwise.
However, the issue that arises here, mainly due to genetics and selective breeding over the years is dachshunds as a breed have developed a tendency to suffer from food related allergies, as well as general lactose intolerance.
In fact, many studies out there show that not just some, but in fact the majority of dachshunds are indeed lactose intolerant.
Lactose intolerance of course means that the body in question cannot properly digest and absorb the lactose in the milk, and this can cause serious issues.
A lactose intolerant dachshund drinking milk can cause a variety of stomach and intestinal issues, mainly nausea, vomiting, gassiness and bloating, and general discomfort.
This is really no different from humans that are lactose intolerant. The effects are more or less the same, but there is one even more severe health concern that arises when lactose intolerant wiener dogs drink milk, which is bloat.
Bloat in dachshunds is a condition that is characterized by large amounts of gas and pressure building inside of the stomach, mainly as a result of the stomach turning and twisting, thus blocking off the path to the digestive system, and this can quickly be lethal if left untreated.
***Just keep in mind that not all dachshunds will be lactose intolerant. While many do indeed develop lactose intolerance as they go from being a puppy to being an adult, it doesn’t always happen, although it usually does.***
Can Dachshunds Puppies Drink Milk?
So, we have established that most adult dachshunds cannot drink milk, but what about dachshund puppies?
Well, to explain this, it is important for us to explain exactly why most dachshunds adults are lactose intolerant.
Now, this has not been 100% confirmed, but with that being said, it is assumed that dachshund adults are lactose intolerant because they stop producing a special enzyme called lactase.
Lactase is an enzyme that dachshund puppies, and all other dogs, produce when they are puppies, and this is an enzyme that has the ability to breakdown the sugars in lactose.
Both dogs and people tend to be lactose intolerance due to a lack of this lactase enzyme.
When they are young, puppies generally produce a whole lot of this enzyme so that they can digest the milk from their mothers. Most of this enzyme production usually occurs in the first four to six weeks of life.
However as the dachshund puppies are weaned off of their mother’s milk, their bodies no longer produce this lactase enzyme, or at least most dachshund puppies will stop producing this enzyme as they are weaned off of their mother’s milk.
Therefore, due to a lack of this lactase enzyme, most dachshunds will therefore become lactose intolerant right after they stop drinking their mother’s milk.
Therefore, when dachshund puppies are still really young, and when they are still used to drinking their mother’s milk, they should be able to drink normal cow’s milk without suffering any serious health issues.
However, just because a dachshund puppy can drink cow’s milk doesn’t mean that it should. If a dachshund puppy is drinking milk, the absolute best kind to drink is its mother’s milk, as this is by far the most nutritious.
Cow’s milk is not nearly as nutritious as the milk of a mother dachshund’s milk.
Can Miniature Dachshunds Drink Milk?
Miniature dachshunds are just smaller versions of standard dachshunds, and there’s really not much deviation in terms of this lactose intolerance.
Both standard size and miniature dachshunds tend to be lactose intolerant when they’re older, and this means that whether they’re small or big, they usually can’t drink milk without suffering from those effects brought on by lactose intolerance.
Signs Your Dachshund Is Lactose Intolerant
If your dachshund is lactose intolerant (it probably is), here are some very common symptoms that he/she is indeed lactose intolerant;
- Increased thirst
- Weakness (usually due to dehydration)
- Lethargy (usually due to dehydration)
- General discomfort
While you could give them milk to find out, we would NOT recommend this route as we really don’t want to cause our beautiful pets any discomfort or for them to experience any of the above horrid symptoms.
If you are really determined to find out then just consult your vet and they can run some allergy tests and give you a definitive answer.
Is Lactose Free Milk Better For My Dachshund?
OK, so if milk that contains lactose is bad for your dachshund, what about lactose free milk? Of course, one of the main things that comes to mind here is almond milk.
Now, almond milk does not contain any lactose, so in terms of lactose intolerance, it should be perfectly fine for your Wiener dog to drink.
However, with that being said, what you need to consider here is that although almonds are safe for Dachshunds to consume, there are many other types of nuts that are not safe for these dogs to consume, and even many kinds of nuts that can be downright poisonous to your Wiener dog.
The issue is that many factories that process one type of nut usually also process many other types of nuts, so when it comes to almond milk, you really don’t know what traces of other nuts are in there, and this can of course present huge problems.
Besides nuts, almond milk may also contain traces of other ingredients, such as chocolate and flavorings.
Therefore, if you can rest assured that if the almond milk in question really only has almond milk in it, and no other nuts or any of those other bad ingredients, then you can give your dog almond milk. However, generally speaking it really is not recommended.
Besides almond milk, another option here is of course soy milk. What needs to be said about soy is that it is very often used in dog food as it is a great source of protein.
However, what you also need to know is that soy is also one of the largest allergens for dogs, and this is especially bad for doxies because they tend to have a lot of food allergies when compared to other breeds.
Although some dachshunds may very well be able to handle soy milk without issue, there may also be those that are intolerant to soy and may suffer from a variety of allergic reactions.
Therefore the bottom line is that whether we are talking about normal cow’s milk, soy milk, or almond milk, it’s really not recommended that you give any of those to your dachshund.
Are Other Dairy Products Like Cheese and Butter Ok?
In terms of lactose intolerance, both cheese and butter are really no different than milk. If your doxie is lactose intolerant, it’s not going to be able to handle cheese or butter any better than it can handle milk.
Besides this issue of lactose intolerance, the other issue here is that doxies are of course prone to obesity, and as you might know, cheese is not the best choice to go with if you are looking to stay slim and trim.
Too much cheese can easily make your dachshund a fat little Wiener dog, and that can then lead to a variety of other issues, such as spinal issues and diabetes.
The bottom line is don’t give your dachshund cheese, butter, or any dairy product really.
There you have it folks, everything you need to know about giving your dachshund milk.
What it all boils down to is that whether it’s cow’s, almond, or soy milk you really shouldn’t be giving it to your dachshund as it’s very likely lactose intolerant and will cause a variety of stomach problems and discomfort to your adorable best friend.