Dogs and lactose intolerance


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A few dogs easily digest dairy products. Others suffer from extreme intestinal distress. One lactose-containing food and these dogs begin to vomit and expel gas. Diarrhea is common when a few dogs drink milk or consume milk-based foods. All of these symptoms are linked to how a dog reacts to lactose. It is a variety of sugar, with two sugar molecules attached to each other by chemical means.

Varied problems

A dog can digest milk only if it can break the lactose into two fundamental, easily absorbable sugars. To do this, the body of the animal must produce lactase, a unique lactose-splitting enzyme. The problem is that most dogs cannot do this procedure. Sans lactase, it is not possible for a canine to eat dairy products. This leads to acute intestinal problems. This inability is termed lactose intolerance. The condition and effects are similar to humans. You can notice if your dog is lactose intolerant by basic observation. A lactose intolerant canine will pass loose stools and pass gas after drinking milk or eating milk-containing products.

Do note that in a few rare instances, a dog could actually be allergic to milk protein. It is to be mentioned that milk must not be regarded as toxic to the canine species. The problem is, for lactose intolerant dogs, the presence of dairy products could be a real problem. If your dog is lactose intolerant, do not lose hope. A number of solutions are available.

Dosages in food

The reaction of any dog to lactose is related directly to the concerned "dose" โ€” the probability of suffering rise with an increase in the dose. The good news is that the concentration of lactose varies among different food products. This is applicable even for yogurt and cheese products too. A cup of whole milk has the highest concentration of lactose, at a massive 11 grams per standard serving. The same lactose concentration is applicable for skimmed milk too. Ice-cream has almost half quantity of lactose at six grams per serve, followed by low-fat yogurt and sour cream at six and five grams respectively. Among all the varieties of cheeses, cottage cheese has maximum lactose at three grams for a half cup serving. Swiss cheese and American cheese has one gram per ounce.  A few kinds of cheese contain minimal lactose. Among milk products, cheeses generally contain the least quantity of lactose-as little as one gram for every serve. Cheddar cheese has zero lactose.

It follows that if your dog is lactose intolerant, then you should feed it foods with zero or minimal lactose concentration. It is perfectly reasonable to provide minimal lactose dairy products to the canine. If you are in two minds about which treatment to give your pet, offer it cheese.

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