Can your Morkie safely drink milk?

of Morkie owners wonder if they can give their dogs milk…. the short answer is probably not.

Most dogs are lactose-intolerant, and depending on the level of lactose in the dairy product he’s consumed, he will have varying reactions.

These reactions can range from mild gas, to diarrhea to vomiting and extreme cramps.

What is lactose?

Lactose is the sugar found in dairy products.  It’s a two-part molecule that must be broken down before being digested properly.  To break it apart, the body needs an enzyme called lactase.

The molecules that make up lactose show its two parts. From Wikipedia.

Lactase gets between the two molecules that make up lactose and splits them apart. The resulting two molecules can then be digested.

Lactose-intolerance is the same in animals as it is in many humans, with many of the same symptoms.

Level of lactose in foods

Not all dairy products have the same level of lactose. That’s why your Morkie may be fine with cheese, and not good with whole milk.

Higher in lactose:

  • milk – whole, skim and 2%
  • ice cream, yogurt and sour cream (wait, does anyone feed a dog sour cream???)

Lower in lactose:

  • cottage cheese
  • Swiss and Cheddar cheeses (0 lactose)


What about soy milk?

For your Morkie, soy milk is an alternative since it does not contain lactose. However, it will fill your Morkie up and is not necessarily the most nutritious for a dog.  The ASPCA recommends giving it quite sparingly, and never offering your Morkie a flavoured soy milk or product.

Ice cream or sherbet?

Ice cream is high on the lactose scale; and of course, it contains lots of sugar. If you want to treat your dog, you can buy specialized “ice creams” for dogs or make your own – it’s easy.  Read more in my post Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream.