Plant Based Milk for Your Dog:  6 Types to Choose

Almond, soy, hemp, rice, oat milk are plant-based milk that you can feed your dog but consult with a vet before feeding.

Milk is an excellent source of nutrition. It contains vital components like vitamin B12 & D and is helpful for both humans and dogs.

However, there are some significant facts about giving milk to your puppy. Like humans, dogs can develop an intolerance for lactose. So, it’s essential to find alternative sources rather than regular cow’s milk, which contains a high amount of lactose & sugar.

Even with these alternatives, you need to consider several factors before giving your dog any plant-based milk.

What Is a Plant-Based Milk?

Plant-based milk is extracted primarily from plants like almond, coconut, soy, hemp, oat, etc. It is similar to regular dairy that is extracted from animals' mammary glands. However, the taste of plant-based milk differs from natural milk. The nutrition components of plant-based milk are also lower than regular milk.

Cow’s milk is the first thought that comes to mind when we think of milk. Unlike cow’s milk, plant-based milk has low calcium, protein, and sugar content and in some cases may be absent. If your dog is intolerant to lactose, non-beverage plant-based milk is a better option.

Plant-based Milk Suitable for Dog

You can substitute regular milk with the following plant-based milk for your dog-

1. Coconut Milk

One of the most common questions about milk is Can Dogs Drink Coconut Milk

Yes, they can but like every other milk on this list, the consumption has to be monitored.

Coconut milk has tons of benefits such as boosting the immune system, reducing any bad breath issues, and improving the overall dental health of your dog. However, coconut milk has high levels of fat which could quickly increase your dog’s weight

So, consult with a vet before feeding your dog coconut milk.

2. Soy Milk

Soy milk is an excellent alternative to cow’s milk. Most importantly, dogs can digest soy pretty well. Many commercial dog foods even contain soy. So, a small amount of soy milk can be helpful for your dog.

Some nutritionists and veterinarians suggest soy milk for dogs as supplements too. Soy milk contains isoflavone which is responsible for weight management in dogs. Besides, if your dog suffers from urinary incontinence, soy milk can help mitigate that issue as well.

3. Oat Milk

Oat milk comes from oats soaked & mixed in water. Oat milk is digestible & doesn’t contain any toxic elements for your dog. So, you don’t need to be concerned about feeding your dog oat milk.

Oat milk has many nutritional values. It contains vitamin D, calcium, riboflavin, and fiber. However, regular feeding is not a good idea because oat milk is very high in fibrous materials.

Feeding too much fiber can cause stomach issues. So, give a few spoonfuls of oat milk first to check how your dog reacts. 

4. Almond Milk

First, if your dog is sensitive to lactose or struggles to digest dairy products, it may be a good idea to feed almond milk. This milk comes from almond nuts. Unlike other nuts, almonds are not toxic for dogs. Also, it contains lower levels of lactose.

However, sometimes dogs can’t digest almonds too well. So, you need to monitor that. Also, almonds are high in fat and increased consumption can cause obesity in dogs. If you feed them more than the required amount, your dog may suffer from pancreatitis.

Avoid all types of sweeteners in almond milk because sweeteners like xylitol are highly toxic for the dog. So, make sure to read the label before buying almond milk.

5. Hemp Milk

Hemp milk comes from the plant Cannabis Sativa. This milk is produced by blending the seeds & then mixing with water. Hemp milk is rich in calcium. Also, the taste of hemp milk is almost similar to cow’s milk. There may be sugar or salt added for flavor.

Being rich in calcium, hemp milk can be used as a remedy for cognitive dysfunction, arthritis, seizures, etc. However, hemp milk is scarce. You may have to look online or big retail shops to get this.

But don’t overfeed. Provide a small quantity & check your dog’s adaptability to the milk.

6. Rice Milk

Rice milk is probably the least non-beverage milk item that has very few nutritional contents. Rice milk is produced by boiling the rice & then draining the excess liquid. 

The main reason to go for rice milk is to tackle lactose intolerance & nut allergy. If your dog can’t digest nuts & lactose, rice milk is the preferable option.

Is Plant-based Milk Suitable for Puppies?

Firstly, the answer is No. Puppies should always drink their mother’s milk.  Only consider alternatives in case the puppy gets weaned from its mother or orphaned. Regular dog milk has high amounts of protein & calories and is easier for puppies to digest.

However, cow’s milk is rich in lactose. So, never give cows milk to puppies with lactose intolerance. You can choose from various plant-based milk, but only after consulting with a vet.

How Much Plant-based Milk Should Your Dog Consume?

You can only give your dog plant-based milk if it’s sensitive to lactose. Otherwise, cow’s milk is good for those who can tolerate lactose. Even so, the amount of milk given also matters.

The amount varies with the dog’s age. However, it can be given once or twice a week. If given regularly or too often they may gain weight. For most puppies, 20 ml is enough. The medium age can digest up to 50 ml & the matured ones need 100 ml.

Final Thoughts

So, can you feed your dog plant-based milk? Yes, but only if the dog has lactose intolerance. Also, feed a limited amount & check the adaptability of your dog to the plant-based milk.

About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, beagles, English bulldogs, carin terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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