If you’re a fan of almond milk in your morning coffee, you may be wondering if it’s safe to give your dog a sip.
We contacted Dr. Corinne Wigfall, a veterinarian with SpiritDog Training, to ask if dogs could drink almond milk.
Is almond milk safe for dogs?
In spite of the widespread agreement that it’s fine to give your dog almond milk, you should exercise caution if she’s already overweight because the beverage is relatively high in calories.
Almond milk containing xylitol (also known as birch sugar) is highly toxic to dogs, so never give it to your pet.
According to Dr. Wigfall of the Mayo Clinic, “if the almond milk contains xylitol, this can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugars),” which can be fatal.
Ingesting foods containing xylitol, such as almond milk, can cause your dog to become toxic within 30-60 minutes.
Indicators of hypoglycemia include:
- Pale gums
Consuming excessive amounts of xylitol can cause liver failure in the worst cases. Some of the signs that your liver is failing are:
- Discolored feces
- The symptoms include extreme dry mouth and urination.
- Coordination problems
When ingested by your dog, xylitol can be fatal because it is a leading poisoning cause for canines. To be safe, call your vet right away if you suspect your dog has gotten into any.
In addition, due to the high fat content of almonds, some dogs may experience gastrointestinal distress after consuming almond milk. If you see this in your pet, Dr. Wigfall advises you to stop feeding her almond milk.
But what about Almond milk? Can dogs drink this instead?
In a nutshell, yes. Almond milk is not recommended for dogs of any age, including puppies. Even almond milk with added ingredients like chocolate, raisins, and sweeteners is not safe for dogs.
Why almond milk and dogs doesn’t work
Pure almonds can be bad for a dog’s tummy because, once again, they weren’t evolved to digest them. Large doses can cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs.
Dogs have a digestive system optimized for processing high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets.
When you give your dog almond milk, you’re essentially giving him almonds, albeit in a much watered-down form, as almond milk itself rarely contains more than a handful of almonds per eight ounce bottle.
If your dog is not allergic, giving it a small amount of almond milk on occasion is probably safe.
The almond milk is nutritionally empty for your dog.
As a result, adding this to your dog’s diet is an unnecessary financial burden that provides no benefit whatsoever. Your dog’s diet may become unbalanced if you give it only almond milk.
Can dogs have almond milk often?
Almond milk in its natural, unsweetened form is fine to give as a treat now and then, but should be avoided on a regular basis due to its high calorie content and potential to upset the stomach.
Rather than feeding your dog almond milk, consider some of the healthier alternatives. (But remember that all treats combined shouldn’t exceed 10% of your dog’s daily calorie allowance.)
Among these healthy options, you can give your dog any one of these:
So while it’s fine to give your dog a small amount of almond milk, there are far more beneficial options.
Original, unsweetened almond milk only for dogs!
In its natural state, almond milk poses no danger to dogs. Artificial sweeteners like xylitol can be added to almond milk that has been altered (for example, with vanilla and coconut).
Milk containing xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs, so if your dog has accidentally consumed some, you should contact a veterinarian immediately.
Can puppies have almond milk?
Dogs should never be weaned on almond milk. Puppies should be breastfed exclusively for the first few months of their lives, and then transitioned to a diet of soft starter foods.
Instead of breast milk, consider using a puppy formula if mom is unable to produce enough. They can rest assured that it has been expertly crafted to provide them with everything nutritionally necessary.
Many dogs are lactose intolerant, so it’s also not a good idea to give them regular cow’s milk. Goat’s milk could be an option if your dog absolutely must drink milk.
Conclusion on dogs and almond milk
An occasional serving of natural almond milk is probably not going to hurt your dog too much. Almond milk is difficult for dogs to digest, too. There are better treats out there that you could be giving your dog instead, as it provides no nutritional value.