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Can Great Danes Drink Milk? The Ultimate Guide

Considering giving milk to your Great Dane? Discover if it’s a treat they can enjoy or if it’s best avoided. Let’s lap up the facts together!

Most Great Danes can drink small amounts of milk. However, it should be avoided in large quantities as it could lead to health issues such as obesity and pancreatitis.

While each dog is different and there are many different types of milk that you could be giving your dog. All of these may have different effects on different dogs. 

In some dogs, milk will cause them to have GI problems whereas some dogs will be perfectly fine no matter what type of milk they drink.

Milk is a nice reward to give your Great Dane in small amounts if it does not cause any negative gastrointestinal side effects. 

What are the benefits of milk for Great Danes?

Milk has a lot of good things that your Great Dane needs in their diet! This includes protein, and calcium, as well as vitamins A, D, B12, and other essential nutrients that your Great Dane needs.

However, milk may not be the best way to get all of these wonderful nutrients because of all the added sugar. 

Most of these nutrients are also found in their dog food!

These are the main health benefits of drinking milk

  • Calcium: helps build bones and teeth and helps maintain muscle mass
  • Protein: can serve as a source of energy, and build and repair muscles
  • Potassium: helps regulate blood pressure
  • Phosphorus: helps to strengthen bones and make energy
  • Vitamin D: Help keep bones strong
  • Vitamin B12: helps keep red blood cells healthy and helps with nerves
  • Vitamin A: Helps the immune system, eyes, and skin
  • Vitamin B2: Helps convert food into energy
  • Niacin: Helps break down sugar and fatty acids. 

Milk has many wonderful benefits and if your Great Dane can tolerate milk, it would be a good idea to give it to them occasionally as a treat. Milk does contain a lot of fats and sugars, so make sure to limit the amount they get to drink.

If your Great Dane drank milk in very large amounts, it could cause them to become obese or cause a more serious health problem like pancreatitis.  

Can My Great Dane be lactose intolerant?

Most dogs are actually lactose intolerant, meaning they have trouble digesting milk. Many dogs with food allergies are allergic to dairy products. 

Some lactose-intolerant dogs can eat things like cheese and yogurt but have problems digesting straight milk.

If your Great Dane has GI issues after drinking milk, they are probably lactose intolerant, and you should not give them milk.

Signs that your dog may be lactose intolerant include: 

If you think that your dog is lactose intolerant, you can take them to your vet or stop giving them any products that contain lactose and see if they get better. 

Your vet can test your dog to see if they are really lactose intolerant, or if there is something else causing their symptoms.

Can my Great Dane drink soy milk?

Soymilk is another type of non-dairy, plant-based milk that people drink.  Soymilk contains a protein called isoflavones.

Isoflavones are phytoestrogens meaning that they contain plant estrogens or female hormones. There is a lot of debate in the vet community on whether these are good for dogs in large quantities!

Some vets say that isoflavones have many wonderful health benefits for your Great Dane. In people, they have been shown to lower cholesterol and decrease certain cancers that respond to estrogen.   

Evidence shows that soy protein can even reduce urinary incontinence in Great Danes. Some vets even recommend supplements containing isoflavones to help treat urinary incontinence. 

Giving your Great Dane soymilk in moderation is not harmful. Actually, many dog foods contain soy-based ingredients

Most dogs will digest soy products very easily, which makes soymilk a good product to give to your dog. However, you should treat it as you do any other milk and watch for any GI signs after first stating to give them soymilk 

What kind of milk can puppies drink?

When your Great Dane puppy is born, they will drink milk from their mother. Actually, this is needed so they can get all the antibodies to keep them healthy.

Their mother’s milk is the best source of nutrients for your Great Dane. As a puppy, your Great Dane’s digestive tract is able to digest all the lactose in the milk that it gets from its mother.

As they start to wean, the lining of the GI tract starts to change, and they cannot break down lactose as easily.

Usually, at this time, your Great Dane is starting to be weaned from its mother and drinking more water and eating solid food. Sometimes adding puppy milk replacer to the food for a short period of time is good for transitioning your Great Dane puppy to kibble.  

Great Dane puppies are a very fast-growing breed and are on special diets specifically designed for large breed dogs. These foods have lower calcium content to help prevent any bone and joint problems. 

Since milk contains high levels of calcium, it is best not to add any milk to your Great Dane puppy’s diet.  

Cow’s milk contains more lactose than dog’s milk and is much easier on a young Great Dane puppy’s sensitive GI system. If you notice diarrhea after your Great Dane puppy drinks cow’s milk, stop giving it to them and find a dog milk replacer.  

Can puppies drink powdered milk? 

If your Great Dane puppy is not able to nurse its mother for any reason, you will need to supplement it with a milk replacer. 

Try to use dog milk replacer as this is higher in protein and calories and easier for your Great Dane puppy to diet than any type of dairy or non-dairy milk.

Make sure that the milk replacer that you use for your puppy contains all the needed nutrients. Some milk replacers have lower concentrations of calcium, protein, and fat than other milk replacers. 

Most vets recommend using a milk replacer that has a higher amount of calcium, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. These are all needed for your puppy to be healthy.  

Most vets carry puppy milk replacers. Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer is one of the best brands that you can use to supplement your Great Dane puppies with milk. 

Powdered milk made for people is a better choice for your dog than regular milk. Some of the bad parts of milk are lost in the drying process, leaving more of the beneficial nutrients still intact. 

Can dogs drink almond milk?

If your Great Dane is lactose intolerant and you are considering giving them almond milk, this too may cause them to have GI issues. Some nuts, such as macadamia nuts, can be very toxic to dogs.

Almonds are not as bad as some of the other nuts, but most dogs do not digest almonds very easily.  

Almonds are also very high in fat, which can lead to your Great Dane to becoming obese or developing pancreatitis. 

A small amount of almond milk would be okay to give your Great Dane as an occasional treat.  

When you first try giving your Great Dane almond milk, look for any signs of GI issues such as diarrhea.  When buying almond milk, look at the label of the milk and make sure that it does not contain xylitol

Many kinds of almond milk are sweetened with artificial sweeteners, which are very toxic to dogs.  

Can dogs drink lactose-free milk? 

Lactose-free milk can still cause GI problems in your Great Dane.  This is less of a concern than regular milk.  When giving your Great Dane lactose-free milk, make sure to monitor them for any GI signs. 

Also, make sure that lactose-free milk does not contain artificial sweeteners that could be deadly for your Great Dane. 

Can dogs drink goat’s milk?

Goat’s milk is easier for your Great Dane to digest and contains all the wonderful vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and enzymes found in cow’s milk. 

If your dog does not tolerate any kind of cow’s milk, consider trying goat’s milk as a tasty but healthy treat. 

Final Thoughts On Milk

While milk is a staple in many houses, feeding it to your Great Dane may cause GI issues. Milk does have many wonderful benefits that you may want to try to give to your Great Dane in moderation. 

When you first give your Great Dane any milk products, monitor them for GI issues such as diarrhea or abdominal pain. These would be signs that your Great Dane is lactose intolerant and should not be fed any dairy products. 

If you try products without lactose, such as soy milk, this may be a great way to give your Great Dane these wonderful nutrients without the bad side effects. 

1 thought on “Can Great Danes Drink Milk? The Ultimate Guide”

  1. I make my own yogurt, both for my dogs and for myself, but I also give them whey to drink, which they love. If seems to help them not have bad gas, so I give them about 4 ounces daily. Are you saying this might not be good for them?


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