Can Shih Tzus Drink Milk?

can shih tzus drink milk - cow looking at a pitcher of milk
Depositphotos ID: 39528663 Copyright: Iakov

Can Shih Tzus drink milk? In general, milk isn’t good for them. They tend to be lactose intolerant. That’s not to say they won’t enjoy drinking it, but it can cause them some issues. If possible, you should consider other types of drinks to give your Shih Tzu.

Why Shouldn’t Shih Tzus Drink Milk?

As mentioned, Shih Tzus, like most dogs are lactose intolerant. That means they have a difficult time digesting milk. It’s no different from humans that are lactose intolerant. 

Drinking milk can lead to some nasty side effects. 

These can include:

  • Dehydration
  • Loose stools
  • Watery diarrhea

No one, including your pup, wants to deal with this kind of outcome. Not to mention, dehydration can be a serious issue if it becomes too bad. Dehydration is caused by diarrhea, again, just like with humans. 

shih tzu puppy in a tea cup
Depositphotos ID: 177517432 Copyright: willeecole

What About Other Dairy Products?

The same is true of other dairy products, so you should just avoid giving your Shih Tzu any dairy product. 

This can include:

  • Cheesy
  • Cream
  • Sour cream
  • Butter
  • Yogurt
  • Casein
  • Whey

And of course, milk.

According to the American Kennel Club, “Some lactose intolerant dogs have trouble drinking milk, but can handle dairy products like cheese and plain yogurt, which are typically easier to digest than straight milk. Others have adverse reactions to dairy in general.”

What Can You Give Your Shih Tzu?

There are other options you can consider giving your Shih Tzu instead of dairy products.

First off, you can give them lactose-free dairy products. Including:

  • Soy milk
  • Soy cheeses

Other options that are not dairy related are tofu and other soybean products. 

the word food spelled out with food
Depositphotos ID: 89042040 Copyright: Greylilac

Should You Give Your Shih Tzu Human Foods and Drinks?

The truth is, you should really limit the number of human foods and drinks you give your Shih Tzu.

While there are some veggies and fruits that are good for dogs in general if you give your Shih Tzu too many human treats they can quickly gain weight and be too heavy to be healthy.

Because Shih Tzus are so small, it only takes being overweight by half a pound to a pound to cause issues. 

The extra weight can push against their necks making it difficult for them to breathe. Shih Tzus tend to have breathing issues, to begin with, due to their short snouts, so the extra weight will make these breathing issues even worse.

I’ve been lucky that Truman and Sammy have never had weight issues. (You can learn more about Truman and Sammy here.) But I don’t give them many human treats. My mom and dad are bad about it, but I do try to keep things under control.

When I am making a salad, I always give them a couple of pieces of romaine lettuce and a slice of carrot. They love both.

Pumpkins and blueberries can make a nice treat as well for you Shih Tzu.

Also, if you give your Shih Tzus too many treats they will become terrible beggars. Once they are beggars, they will pressure you to give them treats every single time you are eating something.

They will sit there and stare at you and won’t leave you alone until you give them a treat…and then another…and another.

This is a cycle you don’t want to get into.

You might also enjoy:

What Vegetables can My Shih Tzu Eat?

What Fruits can My Shih Tzu Eat?

9 Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzus

Related Questions:

What Milk is Good for Shih Tzu Puppies?

Really, the only milk a Shih Tzu puppy should have is from its mother. Once it is weaned, your puppy doesn’t need milk. Also, most Shih Tzu puppies are lactose intolerant. 

You can give your puppy just a few tablespoons of goat or cow milk, but honestly, it is best to not give it any at all. Too much can cause digestive issues.

If you feel you must give your puppy some milk, lactose-free milk or soy milk are your best options.

Is Milk Good For Shih Tzus?

No, it isn’t. Most Shih Tzus enjoy drinking milk, but it should be avoided as they can’t digest it properly which leads to diarrhea and loose stools which can lead to dehydration. 

What Can Shih Tzus Drink?

Water is always the first and best choice for your Shih Tzu when it comes to what they can drink. 

Sugary drinks and milk can cause digestive issues for your dog, so they should be avoided.

If you feel the need to give your Shih Tzu something besides water, you can always try lactose-free or soy milk.

To Sum it All Up:

While Shih Tzus enjoy drinking milk, they won’t enjoy the results of drinking milk and neither will you. Most Shih Tzus are lactose intolerant, so milk gives them digestive issues which can lead to diarrhea, loose stools, and dehydration. Stick with water and both you and your Shih Tzu will be happy. 


Please Note:

This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian before giving your Shih Tzu any fruits. If your Shih Tzu has any health issues you should not change their diet without consulting your veterinarian. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.

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