Should you give your dog buttermilk?

A year ago, I wrote a post about our dog, who was suffering from autoimmune hemolytic anemia. At one point during her disease, she had stopped eating, and I thought to give her some buttermilk. She lapped it right up, then began eating again. Unfortunately, a few weeks later, she still succumbed to the disease, but I still think the buttermilk helped her through a rough patch.

Since then, I’ve noticed a lot of hits on that page, so I assume people wonder whether buttermilk is good for dogs. I won’t claim that it is for all dogs, but it’s been helpful for two of ours. We have a new dog now, and recently she was refusing her food. Everything else seemed fine, so I wasn’t too worried, but I gave her some buttermilk. Again, she lapped it right up. We also got her some new food, and she began eating healthily.

Now, I don’t know if she was sick or just out of sorts (we had been traveling and had given her some motion sickness medicine in the recent past). I don’t know that the buttermilk helped anything, but I do know she liked it.

Since then, I’ve read up on it a little. Many discourage giving dairy products to dogs because they may be lactose intolerant. Buttermilk is lower in lactose than regular milk, and it does contain bacteria that may help the digestion of lactose. Of course, it’s possible that the two dogs I’ve given it to are not lactose intolerant, so they wouldn’t have trouble with regular milk. I haven’t experimented with that, and I probably won’t.

If your dog has lost his/her appetite, giving a little buttermilk probably won’t hurt, but I wouldn’t give a lot at a time. Start small, and if your dog likes it and tolerates it, then it ought to be okay. If it seems to upset your dog’s stomach more, then I would definitely stop and try something else.

As always, it’s best to consult your vet, but if your dog doesn’t seem very sick or if you can’t get to a vet right away, then buttermilk might be a home remedy to try in small doses until you know your dog tolerates it.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Shan Williams on March 26, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    My dog hasn’t been sick and will eat anything I give him. Some things in moderation of course. I love buttermilk and I put some on my finger he lapped it up…I’m thinking how did dogs make it for 100’s of years without the gov’t. .as long as he is happy and healthy. .I am happy..

    Reply

  2. Posted by Rosemary Briggs on April 19, 2016 at 7:18 am

    All 5 of my dogs love buttermilk or plain double cream yoghurt. It is their evening treat. I often foster dogs, who are sick and scared. A bowl of buttermilk works wonders every time – they lap it up and tails start happy wagging.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Joyce's on August 16, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    One of our dogs has trouble with gas and buttermilk seems to help. We both love it. Lol

    Reply

  4. Posted by Shan Williams on August 18, 2016 at 8:24 am

    I do ..it coats his stomach when he is sick…but he would drink half a glass of I let him…

    Reply

  5. Posted by 22Kahele on August 28, 2016 at 11:03 am

    I mix 1/2 tsp of powdered buttermilk into my 2-year old Havanese’s wet food daily. It has drastically reduced the red tear staining that is common with many breeds. I know it works because when he is boarded when we’re out of town, the staff forget to use it regularly and when we return his staining has increased. I Googled ways to reduce red tear staining and found this tip.

    Reply

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