Can Whippets Drink Milk?

can whippets drink milk?

Milk is something us humans enjoy on a regular basis, it goes in our tea, coffee and with our cereal.

Cow’s milk is the most common type of milk humans drink, therefore it’s the most likely type of milk to be given to your whippet.

So can whippets drink milk? Yes, but there are a couple of things you need to know about giving your whippet milk before you reach for the semi-skimmed.

In this post we’re going to go through everything you need to know about giving your whippet milk because it’s not quite as simple as sharing your bowl of cornflakes with your pup, there are some things you need to look out for.

Let’s get to it…

Is Milk Good For Dogs?

Milk is a natural product that is an excellent source of calcium as well as potassium, phosphorus and vitamin D.

However, pet nutrition experts warn that some dogs have difficulties digesting lactose, which is a natural sugar found in dairy products (milk).

Although milk is full of vitamins, your pet should be getting these from his dog food regardless.

can whippets drink milk?
Image: Michael Mangold

Dog nutritionists say that moderation is the key when it comes to giving your pet milk, they can be given small amounts of milk as a treat but should be drinking water primarily.

Believe it or not, but milk has a lot of sugar and fat, meaning if you’re overindulging your whippet with milk, he can become obese rather quickly.

Not only that but serious health conditions can be associated with dogs drinking too much milk, such as pancreatitis.

Milk is excellent for us humans, it’s what we were fed on as babies to keep us big and strong.

But when it comes to your furry friend, milk should only be given sparsely and on occasion. 

How Much Milk Can Whippets Drink

Milk in small quantities can be an excellent reward for your whippet, providing they don’t have an intolerance or allergy.

If your pet does have an intolerance or allergy, then you’ll need to stay clear of it altogether.

You should only be giving your whippet a couple of teaspoons of milk every now and again as a treat, don’t allow him to guzzle as if he’s anything like my whippets he’ll certainly try.

Throughout this post I’ve been speaking primarily of cows milk, but what about other types of milk, goats milk? Almost milk? Coconut milk?

Well, some of these are slightly easier to digest for your pup, and the likes of goat’s milk even has more nutrients than other types of milk.

However, the same statement applies, moderation is key when it comes to giving your whippet any type of milk. 

Is Your Whippet Lactose Intolerant?

Dairy products don’t sit well with some dogs, and surprisingly enough there are a lot more lactose-intolerant dogs than you may think.

Lactose intolerant means they have trouble digesting milk, but some lactose-intolerant dogs may be just fine eating other dairy products such as milk and cheese.

There are several components in dairy products that can upset your dog’s stomach, such as sugar, preservatives and fat.

These are hard for some dogs to digest and can really make your pup unwell, so it’s important to identify whether or not your whippet has an intolerance before feeding him milk or other dairy products.

But how do you know if your whippet is lactose intolerant? Keep reading to find out…

How To Tell If Your Dog Is Lactose Intolerant

When your whippet was a puppy, he used to have an enzyme that was incredibly active called Lactase, this was used to break down the milk that your pup got from his mother.

As your whippet gets older, the activity of this enzyme decreases dramatically as it’s no longer needed, because your pet now drinks primarily water and eats dog food rich in nutrients.

can whippets drink milk?
Image: Michael Mangold

Also, cow and goat milk contain a higher amount of lactose in their milk than canine milk, meaning this milk is harder to digest.

Here are some signs to look out for which may indicate to your whippet being lactose intolerant;

Diarrhea

One of the most common symptoms for lactose intolerance in your dog is diarrhoea.

If you’re noticing your whippet needs to use the bathroom a lot more than normal, or it’s watery and loose then you may have a lactose-intolerant whippet.

The stool of your dog should be solid and firm, so be careful to monitor this.

You’ll most likely be able to see diarrhoea within 12 hours of your dog consuming dairy products.

Loss of appetite

We all know just how greedy whippets can be, they’ll give you the puppy dog eyes even after they’ve just devoured a full bowl of nutritious dog food.

If your pup has suddenly lost his appetite, this could be because he’s feeling nauseous from digestion issues.

A sudden change of appetite is always concerning for a dog owner but could be down to lactose intolerance, an injury or illness too. It’s always best to consult a veterinarian if you are unsure or concerned. 

Bloating

Another incredibly common side effect of a lactose intolerant whippet having dairy is they bloat out.

Not only this, but they pass some serious gas too if you notice your cute little whippet letting rip regularly then this could be a sign of intolerance. 

Vomiting

When your dog vomits, it’s usually because they’re trying to clean out their stomach, maybe they’ve eaten some grass and want to cleanse their insides.

However, if you notice your dog vomiting regularly and with intensity, then this could be due to changes in their cut after eating dairy.

If your whippet starts to dribble a lot or licks surfaces, this is usually a sign that he’s about to vomit.

Again, if you’re concerned it’s wise to speak with a veterinarian if your whippet is vomiting regularly, but this is a tell-tale sign of an intolerance to dairy. 

Final Thoughts

So, can whippets drink milk? Absolutely, providing it’s in small quantities and they are not lactose intolerant or allergic to milk.

I personally use milk as a reward for my whippets, if they’ve been suspiciously good or loving I’ll allow them a couple of teaspoons of goat’s milk as a treat.

That being said this is very rare, but if you want to treat your furry friend with a little splash of milk every once in a while, then feel free to do so.

Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two from this post, and now have a better understanding of how your whippet digests milk and why it can cause issues for some, and be a good reward for others. 

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