Can Siberian Huskies Drink Milk?


There are many questions that new owners want to ask when they get a dog. The Siberian Husky is exceptional though in so far as it has many, many requirements that it makes of its new owner. The Husky is not a breed of dog that is typically purchased by someone new to the breed and is a full-time job from the moment their paws cross the threshold of your home. However, in the last decade, the popularity of the Husky has boomed, which is most likely related to social media and the number of images of this breed that is now being shared by people all over the world. They are, after all, a very photogenic breed and it’s easy to look good when you’re standing next to one of these 🙂

If you’re not familiar with dogs though, there are a few things that are good to know before you get your new little puppy inside your home. When it comes to the diet of the Husky, there are many people that have an opinion on what’s best for them – some swear by a raw diet and others are passionately against it. But mainly this is just opinion and we should remember that each dog is different and just because one likes something, doesn’t mean they all will!

However, there are also some elements to the diet that are mandatory – like the fact that no dog should eat chocolate for instance. What about dairy products and milk in particular, can the Husky drink milk or could it actually be dangerous to them?

Can Siberian Huskies drink milk? The Siberian Husky should not drink milk as they are lactose intolerant. How the Husky will react after they consume milk may vary from dog to dog but generally speaking, cow’s milk (or goats) will cause stomach problems and potentially other issues. Although it is feasible to provide a small amount of milk as a treat, there’s really no need as there are so many alternatives available to you.

What Does Milk Do To Your Husky?

Well, that depends as some dogs will have no negative reaction to it whatsoever (unlikely and rare), but it should never be provided in anything other than small, treat-quantities. You may well see stomach-related problems such as diarrhea, stools that are significantly looser than usual and also vomiting. Another reason against providing it is that milk contains large amounts of fat and sugars which can cause obesity in a short amount of time as well as other conditions which can prove to be serious.

Can Siberian Huskies Drink Milk?

Siberian Huskies, like most dogs, are lactose intolerant. What this means is that they will have trouble digesting dairy products. The physical reaction the dog will have consuming dairy products can vary and indeed, some may have problems with milk but are fine with cheese for example. Personally, I’m not sure why anyone would want to give cheese as a treat when there’s so many other options but there you go.

There’s no quick and easy way to determine how a dog will react after consuming a dairy product. Most people discover any unpleasant symptoms after they’ve given them a treat. It’ll be fairly obvious during the next 12 hours whether there are any problems and if there is then you’ll know in future to provide a different type of treat.

Can A Husky Puppy Have Milk?

The Siberian Husky doesn’t become lactose intolerant until they have left their mother. Obviously, if they were intolerant to it after being born they wouldn’t be able to consume the milk from their mother! The puppy will have the enzyme they need to be able to initially break down the milk from their mother once born. However, whilst they may be feasting on their mom’s milk, they won’t be able to consume milk from a cow (or anything else actually, including human – which some people have tried).

Can Siberian Huskies Drink Milk?

So, your Husky will never be able to drink the milk that you consume in quantity and if you do choose to provide it then do so in small quantities as an occasional treat.

Are There Any Benefits To Providing Milk To Your Husky?

Although there are some positives that may be derived from providing your Husky milk, the potential disadvantages outweigh any positives. There may be an argument that the calcium contained within the milk is beneficial to the Husky as it would be good for their bones and teeth but actually whilst you may be helping in a small way with this, the potential damage you could be doing with other aspects of its health are far more significant. There are numerous calcium supplements you can get if this is an area you’re interested in boosting.

In fact, when you weigh everything up, there is absolutely no good reason to give your Husky milk. Even as a treat there are other alternatives that firstly, your Husky would probably prefer and secondly, wouldn’t potentially cause any nasty health issues!

What Are The Alternatives To Milk?

Fortunately, if you do want to give your dog something similar to milk then you do have a few options available to you that are absolutely harmless to your Husky.

  • Lactose-free milk – not wanting to state the obvious, but this is milk that doesn’t contain lactose! Apart from this, there are other differences worth mentioning. Firstly, lactose-free milk tastes (surprisingly) sweeter than regular milk and also has a much larger shelf life than regular milk (around 60 days compared to around 10 for traditional).
  • Soya milk – this is a milk that is fat-free and suitable for vegetarians (not that your Husky is bothered about that) but it is also perfectly fine to provide to your dog.
  • Almond milk – this milk is made from almonds and has a nutty flavor (err as you’d expect from almond milk) – it has a slightly more creamy texture than traditional milk and is perfectly fine for dogs. There are quite a few varieties as some have flavors introduced.
  • Coconut water – this is the water found within a coconut as is perfectly fine to give to your Husky as a treat from time to time. Whether they’ll like it or not is another story! I’ve tried it myself and won’t be doing it again 🙂

Of course, these aren’t the only options available to you. But, if you’re looking for a change from the normal then you know you have a few options available to you!

What Should A Siberian Husky Drink?

A Siberian Husky should drink water! There is literally no need to provide any other liquids to them other than water and you know something? The Husky is absolutely fine with that! During their hundreds and hundreds of years with the Chukchi people in Siberia, they would have only drunk water and the Husky did very well with just that. Water is (at least in many places around the world) free, easy to find and can be consumed by both of you.

Can Siberian Huskies Drink Milk?

Water provides everything that the Siberian Husky actually needs and yes, everyone provides treats to give that little incentive or reward for good behavior. Whether those rewards should be of liquidform, food treats or both is, of course, entirely up to you. Just use something that isn’t going to cause them stomach problems!

Summary

Hopefully, this article has been of some use to you and has helped you understand the problems with providing the Siberian Husky with milk. There are so many other options available to you other than milk there’s a strong argument as to why anyone would risk the consequences of doing this. We may think that we’re giving them a little cheeky treat and they may appear to absolutely love it, and indeed they may well love the taste of milk, but it doesn’t do them any favors. If in doubt, run it by your vet but they will say the same thing! Give your Husky water and they will be fine with this.

If you’d like to know more about the Siberian Husky, why not check out my Complete Guide – you’ll find further information about their diet plus pretty much everything you ever wanted to know!

Jane

I'm Jane Pettitt, co-owner of Pets Knowledge Base with my husband, Matt. I have a grand total of 50 years’ experience as a pet owner. It all started with a guinea pig called Percy when I was 5 years old and since then I’ve lived with two more guinea pigs, a hamster, mice, a rabbit, a tortoise, a dog and 11 cats. I’ve learned so much about pet care during this time and many of my articles are based on my personal experiences and those of my family and friends .

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