We all want to spoil our pets now and then give them a little treat or two. Generally speaking, dogs should only really ever drink water. Let me explain if dogs can drink any of the plant-based milk products on the market. Let’s find out which vegan milk alternative is the safest one.
Some varieties of plant-based kinds of milk are considered safe for dogs. Some of the milk have toxic ingredients to dogs. You should avoid giving your dog soya milk, coconut milk and any brands that include stabilizers, xanthan gum or even replace sugar entirely with the human-made sweetener.
You should never substitute their daily water amount for plant-based milk. Dogs need to drink water for hydration to stay healthy.
What does plant-based milk mean?
There are many types of plant-based kinds of milk. Plant-based milk, alternative milk, nut milk, or vegan milk is an alternative to milk produced from an animal’s mammary glands. Manufactured by a water-based plant extract and does not contain any dairy. Plant-based options are commonly drunk by vegans or by someone who is lactose intolerant.
Varieties of plant-based kinds of milk
Coconut milk is a milky-white liquid and is used as an alternative to dairy milk. Coconut milk is made from mature coconut pulp, shredded and blended and mixed with hot water, then drained. Coconut Milk is different from tinned coconut juice. Coconut juice is from the middle part of the coconut.
Can dogs drink coconut milk? It would be best if you did not give your dog coconut milk. Coconut milk can cause some dogs an upset stomach down to the coconut’s high oil content.
Soya milk comes from blending, then boiling soybeans together and mixing them with water. Soya milk has many added nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B, calcium, folate, and retinol. Please, be aware that allergies to soya milk can be quite common in dogs.
Can dogs drink soya milk? Soya milk is okay for some dogs; however, many dogs appear prone to have allergies to this type of milk. I would recommend that you do not give your dog soya milk unless you’re sure it does not pose a risk to your dog’s health.
Cashew milk is nutty in flavour, has a creamy milk texture made by soaking the cashew nuts, blending and adding water. It’s then drained and packaged for consumption. Cashew milk is a good source of vitamins like calcium, B2, B12 and vitamin D.
Can dogs drink cashew milk? Cashew milk in moderation is safe for dogs to drink. However, please be aware that water is always best for dogs; adding milk to a dogs diet adds extra calories.
Oat Milk is a creamy oat tasting milk with lots of nutrients like fibre, calcium, vitamin D and riboflavin. It is produced by soaking whole oats and mixing them in water.
Can dogs drink oat milk? Dogs can have oat milk once in a while, do not feed your dog oat milk every day and depending on your dog’s size will depend on how much you can give your dog. Oak milk is high in fibre and can cause stomach upsets in dogs.
Rice milk has the least nutrients out of the selection of plant-based kinds of milk. Rice milk is generally a popular choice for lactose intolerant and humans or pets with a nut allergy. Its produced by boiling the rice, be it brown or white, then draining the excess liquid to create the rick milk. Rice milk has the highest environmental impact on the planet from all plant-based milk on the market.
Can dogs drink rice milk? Although rice milk is not detrimental to your dog’s health, in small amounts, it can; however lead to obesity due to the number of carbs it has per portion.
Hemp milk is produced from a plant ( Cannabis Sativa) using its seeds is blended up and mixed with water. Hemp milk is mixed with sugar and salt to give it added flavour. Hemp milk is an excellent source of calcium and can effectively replace cows milk, and it’s much similar in taste to cows milk. Currently not readily available in all shops, you can get your hands on some more giant retailers and online. There have been reports of improvement in dogs from hemp to treat pain like arthritis, seizures, inappetence, and cognitive dysfunction.
Can dogs drink hemp milk? Dogs can drink hemp milk in moderation; however, I think you should seek personal veterinary advice before you offer it to your dog, also taking into account the sugar content along with the salt content.
Pea Milk has one of the most complex manufacturing processes of all the plant-based kinds of milk. It is made by harvesting yellow spilt peas and milling them into flour, and the liquid protein is then separated from the starch and pea fibre leaving creamy pea milk, and guess what, it doesn’t even taste like peas.
Can dogs drink pea milk? Dogs can only drink pea milk in moderation; however, you should check the carton’s back for nasty ingredients such as high sugar contents, high salt, and artificial sweeteners. Each brand will be slightly different.
Hazelnuts milk is produced from hazelnuts that have been roasted, then soaked and blended with water. It’s a very nutty flavour with a creamy texture. Hazelnut milk is high in calcium as well as folate.
Can dogs drink hazelnut milk? Its never recommended to replace your dog’s water with plant-based milk; however, Hazelnuts milk is safe for dogs in moderation only. Ensure it is an unsweetened version, or your dog will have too much sugar or artificial sweetener, which is extremely toxic to dogs.
Tiger Nut Milk
Tiger nuts are little root vegetables, and they are high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and phosphorus and rich in vitamin E and C. They are made by soaking the tiger nut in water and blending. It has a nutty flavour that is creamy and naturally sweet and is perfect for nut allergies.
Can dogs drink tiger nut milk? Tiger nut milk shouldn’t cause your dog any health problems if provided in moderation, be aware of the ingredients that can vary across brands. Never give your dog artificial sweetener, so check the back of the carton to check for any harmful components.
Almond milk is similar to cashew milk, and it’s made by soaking, blending almonds with water and draining the liquid to create the milk substance. It’s naturally high in the antioxidant and vitamin E.
Can dogs drink Almond milk? Dogs can drink a small amount of almond milk, but be cautious of the calorie content since its high in fat. Your dog must not consume too much. Make sure you read the label making sure it’s the unsweetened version. Giving your dog human-made sweeteners can cause serious health issues.
Things to check before you serve your dog plant-based milk
Check the label for the breakdown of ingredients, each company that manufactures the milk will make slight amendments, and some may have more salt and more sugar than another brand. They may add stabilizers like guar gum or gellan gum to thicken up the liquid. Or they may even replace sugar completely with human-made sweeteners, which is bad for your dog.
Always read the label.
Never give you dog plant-based milk that replaces sugar with sweetener. The sweetener is highly toxic to dogs. They must not ever have artificial sweeteners in their diet. It can cause life-threatening illnesses such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), liver failure, and kidney failure.
Artificial sweetener LABEL names to check for:
- Sugar alcohols (Xylitol)
- Acesulfame potassium
- Sucralose (Splenda)
- Neotame (Newtame)
Stabilizers can irritate your pet’s stomach lining; these are used to thicken up the milk and give it an improved mouthfeel.
Stabilizers LABEL names to check for:
- Gellan Gum
- Guar Gum
- Locust Bean Gum
- Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC)
Seek extra medical advice
If in doubt, please call and ask your veterinary for professional personal advice for your dog. You can better understand the recommendation from your vet that knows your dog and understands if your dog has any underlying illnesses that could affect them if they drink plant-based kinds of milk. You can also get a home dog allergy test to confirm if your dog is allergic to certain ingredients. Dog allergy tests can eliminate any plant-based kinds of milk they cant have
How much plant-based milk can I give my dog?
|Maximum bowl amount|
|Twice a week only|
|Size of Dog||Recommended Amount|
Allergy Symptoms in dogs
- Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids
Any signs of the above symptoms you must get in touch with a veterinary professional.
The safest plant-based milk to give your dog
As this article confirms, giving your dog plant-based milk carries some risk, but if you still feel you need to give your dog plant-based milk. The safest option out of all the above varieties would be Cashew milk. However, I personally would only ever recommend you provide them with water; it’s the safest option. Sorry doggies out there, sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind. I know this too well speaking from experience – Sharing your food with a dog and the risks.
Can puppies drink plant-based milk?
Puppies should not consume plant-based milk. Puppies need their mother’s milk to grow up healthy. You must check with your veterinarian for further advice.
Now we know that Cashew milk is one of the safest options, and we understand how much is the okay amount to give them. We know by checking the labels and looking for the listed ingredients above. This should help your decision when choosing a plant-based milk product for your dog. Please remember that water is still the best and should never substitute plant-based milk for their water. Are you still concerned about giving your dog plant-based milk? If so, think about getting an allergy test or, better still, contact your veterinarian for a more personal approach when introducing new items to your dog’s diet.
About the Author
Teresa has been a pet lover since she was little. She currently lives with two dogs and two cats, and a hamster. Teresa is a qualified dog groomer and canine behaviourist; these days, she spends her time studying canine nutrition. Teresa is the founder of the Dog Friendly Scene and loves sharing her knowledge on pets.