Over the last few years, almond milk has become a hugely popular alternative to regular dairy milk. But the question is can dogs drink almond milk?
While some dogs can happily slurp up a little cow’s milk now and again, other dogs are lactose intolerant, and drinking dairy milk makes them ill. It’s not surprising because most animals are only supposed to drink milk while they are young. Once they begin maturing, they do not have the necessary lactase enzyme that breaks down milk lactose.
Can Dogs Have Almond Milk?
Yes, dogs can have almond milk, but there are some provisos. Dogs should only drink natural, unsweetened almond milk. Many supermarket almond milk products contain sugar and artificial ingredients that are particularly unhealthy for your dog. If the packaging states “sugar-free,” you can bet the manufacturers are using artificial sweeteners such as xylitol. Beware of this because xylitol is very bad for dogs and can make them very sick.
Plain and unsweetened almond milk in small quantities can be good for your dog because it’s low-calorie, lactose-free, and has nutritional benefits for your dog.
If this will be the first time your dog has tried almond milk, then give a minimal amount to test the waters. Wait 24 hours and see if there’s any adverse reaction. If there’s no unpleasant reaction, your dog can probably tolerate almond milk; even so, feed your dog almond milk sparingly and as a treat, not a regular drink.
Symptoms Of Xylitol Reaction
Should your dog accidentally ingest xylitol, the symptoms you should look out for include: Vomiting and a possible abrupt lowering of your dog’s blood sugar. Indications include weakness, incoordination, and a noticeable drop in activity levels leading to seizures and collapse.
Is Almond Milk Good For Your Dog?
What are the benefits of feeding your dog almond milk? While I’m not a big believer in the thought that dogs get bored with food and drink in the same way as humans do, giving them small amounts of alternatives to their regular diet is fine as long as there are associated health benefits.
As we have mentioned, unsweetened and plain almond milk is the best variety; other varieties containing sugar, artificial sweeteners, and flavorings are terrible for your dog, and you must avoid them.
One cup of unsweetened almond milk will contain 2.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and around 30 calories. However, don’t feed your dog one cup of almond milk at one sitting; it’s far too much.
I would suggest only one-third of a cup at one go and not every day. Remember, it’s a treat, so it must come off the dog’s daily calorie count.
There are several health benefits your dog can potentially gain by drinking plain, unsweetened almond milk, such as:
- Almond milk is a low-sugar drink.
- It contains vitamins and minerals.
- It might be good for heart health.
- It’s low in calories.
Almonds can have health benefits for dogs because they contain essential vitamins and minerals. There is vitamin B3 to help keep your dog’s coat and skin in top condition, support their liver and help prevent eye conditions. Reasonable levels of vitamin E help with the dog’s immune system.
Almonds contain minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium for strong bones.
Offering snacks, be it liquids or edible treats, add to your dog’s calorie intake. We know that obesity is getting out of control with dogs because of owners overfeeding their dogs. So if you can find snacks low in fat, low in sugar, and low in calories that your dog is happy to eat, then it’s a bonus; there’s an even more significant advantage if the snacks have some health benefits.
Obesity can bring on some severe health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and bone and joint problems later in the dog’s life.
I’m sure you’re aware of and don’t do this, but I want to point it out; don’t substitute other liquids for your dog’s drinking water, and that includes almond milk.
Giving Your Dog Almond Milk
A large percentage of the almond milk you’ll find in supermarkets is not the best kind to feed your dog. If you check the ingredients, you’ll be lucky to see more than 2% is almonds. You should stay away from this almond milk because it’s not adding anything nutritious to your dog’s diet.
Finding high-quality almond milk isn’t easy, and when you do find a supply, it will not be cheap. If you can’t find the quality almond milk you need from your local stores, you might have to go online and search for specialty stores that stock almond milk with the level of almonds that offers nutritional value to your dog.
A great alternative to store-bought almond milk is to make your own at home.
To make your almond milk, you need 1 cup of raw organic almonds and 2 cups of water. You’ll need extra water to rinse the almonds later.
Soak the almonds for up to 2 days; as they absorb the water, they’ll begin to expand. The longer you leave the almonds soaking, the creamier texture you will get.
Once you have finished soaking, rinse them thoroughly.
Place the almonds along with the 2 cups of water and blend them. Blend at high speed for two minutes. If you have pulse control on your blender, use that a few times, then blend for a further 2 minutes.
Strain the mixture with cheesecloth; press the mixture as much as possible and then squeeze the cheesecloth into the container. You should have at least two cups of plain, unsweetened, and nutritious almond milk.
Alternatives To Almond Milk For Dogs
If your dog doesn’t like almond milk and you still want to offer milk alternatives, you might try something from this selection:
In small quantities, soy milk is safe for dogs. Several well-known commercial dog foods contain soy-based ingredients.
Oat milk is non-toxic to dogs and perfectly safe for them to drink. But once again given as a treat and not too much at one time.
Another popular milk substitute for humans, but is it safe for dogs? If dogs can tolerate coconut milk, giving them a small amount is acceptable. There is a high-fat content in coconut milk, so keep that in mind. Also, the ASPCA advises against giving dogs coconut milk.
Many humans choose goat’s milk as an alternative to dairy milk, so it’s natural they want to know if it’s safe for their dogs.
Dogs can drink goat’s milk, and it does have lower levels of lactose. It’s higher in some nutrients but lower than others in a direct comparison with cow’s milk.
It’s always best to be cautious, and even if your dog is happy to drink goat’s milk, keep the amounts low and only as an occasional treat.
Can Puppies Drink Almond Milk?
I don’t believe it’s a good idea to feed puppies almond milk. If they haven’t been weaned, they still need their mother’s milk; almond milk is not a substitute.
If they have been weaned, they need a diet that is age-appropriate for puppies. It’s not healthy to give unnecessary food or treats to your puppy. Puppies have a young digestive system, and they can’t cope; they’ll either vomit or suffer diarrhea which is very debilitating for a puppy.
In Conclusion: Can Dogs Drink Almond Milk?
Yes, in moderation and only if the almond milk is plain and unsweetened. Ensure it doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners such as xylitol.
If you want your dog to enjoy nutritional benefits from drinking almond milk, you need to choose top-quality almond milk or make your own at home.