Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Plant Sciences, Zoology & Evolution => Topic started by: tkadm30 on 30/11/2017 12:20:32

Title: Can dogs be lactose intolerant?
Post by: tkadm30 on 30/11/2017 12:20:32
I use to give small amounts of cheese to my dog and he seems to enjoy it. However i'm not sure if its safe to give dairy products to dogs. Can someone share a bit of advices?



Title: Re: Can dogs be lactose intolerant?
Post by: Bored chemist on 30/11/2017 20:20:51
I suspect that most animals- even mammals- are lactose intolerant as adults.
The on line advice seems to suggest that dogs can eat cheese but to be aware that it can be  very high in fat and calories and also to avoid cheeses with garlic or herbs.
Title: Re: Can dogs be lactose intolerant?
Post by: evan_au on 30/11/2017 20:24:31
All mammals are lactose intolerant as adults (except for some populations of humans).

In nature, the enzyme to digest lactose (lactase) is essential for life in a newborn that survives only on milk.
However, this enzyme turns off around the time of weaning, and the young then need to survive on solids.

Some groups of humans are unusual in that they retain the ability to digest lactose as adults - this seems to be more common in groups whose ancestors were herders (cows, buffalo, horses, sheep, llamas, etc).
However, a small amount of lactose in the diet probably won't hurt your dog; and yoghurt and cheese have slightly reduced levels of lactose because of their manufacture.

See:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactase_persistence
Title: Re: Can dogs be lactose intolerant?
Post by: tkadm30 on 30/11/2017 20:27:39
Thanks for the comments guys, I appreciate. :)

tk

Title: Re: Can dogs be lactose intolerant?
Post by: chris on 03/12/2017 09:31:39
Contrary to the claims about "cats that got the cream", felines are not terribly gastrointenstinally inclined towards milk products, as we discussed on this recent mythconception: https://www.thenakedscientists.com/articles/interviews/mythconception-do-cats-milk