Lactose is the most common sugar found in dairy products. It is a disaccharide made up of bonded galactose fragments and glucose fragments. This requires an enzyme called lactase which can be used to digest it. This enzyme breaks down the lactose molecule to its two subunits, the simple sugars galactose and glucose, which are then easily absorbed. If the mammal’s intestinal villi does not produce lactase enzyme, it may be unable to digest lactose.
When they are young, all mammals have high levels lactase – after all, they drink their mother’s milk. This ability to digest lactose decreases as most mammals stop drinking milk from the wild after they are weaned. As an example, up to 75% of people have decreased lactose tolerance (this increases to 90% in some Asian or African countries).
As with humans, the amount of lactase in dogs’ digestive systems can vary just as much. Even dogs that are lactose intolerant may have small amounts. Insufficient lactase activity can cause lactose to not be broken down into its constituent components. This causes the lactose not being absorbed by the dog’s intestinal tract. If lactose isn’t absorbed, it can cause unusual digestive symptoms and lead to “Lactose Intolerance”.
Bloating, diarrhea and abdominal cramps are all signs of lactose intolerance. You should eliminate dairy products completely from your dog’s diet if he experiences any of these symptoms. If your dog does not experience any ill effects, it is likely that he is tolerant to lactose. There is no danger in giving dairy products to him. They should be given small amounts of dairy products as they can cause lactose-intolerance symptoms even if the dog is lactose-tolerant. Also, cheese and dairy products have high fats. Yoghurt is recommended for antibiotics. Antibiotics can indiscriminately kill bacteria in the gut, causing temporary disruptions to the digestive function. Yoghurt containing bacteria can be fed to the gut to replace the beneficial bacteria.
There are many ways to ensure your dog gets enough calcium. One cup of cooked spinach is a great source of calcium. It has the same calcium content as one cup of reduced-fat milk. Most dogs won’t mind eating a cup of spinach in a bowl of dog food. You can also get calcium supplements for dogs. Ask your vet for recommendations.