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Can Australian Shepherds Consume Dairy Products? (Explained!)



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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Feeding your Australian Shepherd properly is one of the essential jobs you’ll have as a dog parent. Aussies love food. They enjoy eating and are therefore prone to obesity. You have to be extra careful and vigilant regarding what your Aussie eats.

Australian Shepherds are notorious for their attempts to outsmart their owners. This dog will try and eat anything you’ve left behind you. While some human foods are good for them, some can cause serious health issues and even death.

Dairy products are something people consume every day. But can Australian Shepherds consume dairy products? You are about to find out.

Key Takeaway

  • While some Australian Shepherds can tolerate small amounts of dairy products, others may experience digestive upset due to lactose intolerance, so it’s generally recommended to be cautious and limit their dairy intake.
  • Australian Shepherds can drink milk, but like other dogs, their tolerance to lactose varies, so it should be given in moderation to avoid digestive issues.

Can Australian Shepherds Consume Dairy Products?

Can Australian Shepherds Consume Dairy Products

Yes, Australian Shepherds can consume dairy products. However, it is important to note that some dogs may be lactose intolerant, so it is always best to consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any new food or treat.

Dairy products can provide a good source of protein and calcium for your dog, so they can be a healthy addition to their diet. Just be sure to choose products that are low in fat and sugar, and avoid giving your dog too much dairy at one time.

Dairy products are safe for Australian Shepherds if consumed moderately. It would be best if you let your dog eat only small amounts of milk products. These foods can be dangerous for your furry buddy’s health if consumed in large quantities. 

Dairy products are healthy and nutritious for humans. They are a natural source of calcium, proteins, vitamin D, and magnesium. However, Aussie Shepherds have different organisms than us. Their bodies are not built to absorb all the nutrients found in these foods safely.

The digestive system of your Australian Shepherd does not produce enzymes that are necessary for digesting lactose. Therefore, numerous dogs are lactose intolerant. They can only absorb a little bit of milk sugar without feeling sick.

To be safe, find out if your Aussie has lactose intolerance. If the answer is positive, feeding your dog dairy products can cause the dog to vomit, feel pain in the abdomen, have diarrhea, or constipation. If you notice any of these symptoms after your dog has had a spoon of milk, then your Aussie is lactose intolerant for sure.

These are only the mild symptoms your dog can develop. A lactose-intolerant Aussie can also have dairy-caused reactions such as skin infection, alopecia, rash, or worse. If this happens to your dog, eliminate milk-based products entirely from its diet.

Can Australian Shepherds Drink Milk?

Can Australian Shepherds consume dairy products

Yes, Australian Shepherds can drink milk. In fact, many people believe that milk is good for them. It is a source of calcium and other nutrients that can help keep their bones healthy. However, it is important to remember that too much milk can actually be harmful to them. Too much calcium can lead to kidney stones and other health problems.

It would help if you let your Aussie drink only small amounts of milk. If you have to let your dog drink milk, always dilute the milk with water. Two spoons daily are more than enough. Of all the dairy products, milk contains the most lactose. Therefore, it can be harmful to your pup.

Besides lactose, milk also contains high levels of sugars and fats. As Aussies are prone to obesity, milk is not the best choice. If you have to let your pup drink milk, buy some goat milk. It would be easier for your Aussie Shepherd to digest.

Besides obesity, milk can also cause pancreatitis, gasses, vomiting, and other health issues. There are plenty of supplements you can add to your Aussie food to provide the same nutrients as milk.

However, milk can be beneficial in one case. If you noticed your Aussie was poisoned, feed it milk with sugar. The dog will surely throw up, thus flushing the poison out of its body.

I know that dogs are mammals, and milk should be healthy for them. However, it’s not. Take good care of your dog and avoid milk as much as possible. Aussies are greedy and will drink as much as possible. Try not to leave any milk or other dairy products unpatented.

What Dairy Products Are Safe For My Australian Shepherd?

While some dairy products are safe for Australian Shepherds in moderation, it’s essential to monitor your dog for signs of lactose intolerance such as gas, bloating, or diarrhea.


Cheese, especially varieties with low lactose content like Cheddar and Swiss, can be a safe treat for your Australian Shepherd. They can be digested easily by most dogs and can provide a source of protein and calcium. However, cheese should be given sparingly due to its high-fat content.


Yogurt is another dairy product that can be safe for Australian Shepherds. The fermentation process reduces the lactose content of yogurt, making it easier for dogs to digest. Plus, it can provide probiotics that can help support your dog’s digestive health.

Lactose-Free Milk

Regular milk can cause digestive issues in some Australian Shepherds due to its lactose content. However, lactose-free milk can be a safer option if you want to give your dog a milk treat. It’s crucial to only give this in small amounts to avoid excessive calorie intake.

Ice Cream

Ice cream, while not necessarily harmful, should be given very occasionally and in small amounts due to its high sugar and fat content. There are dog-friendly ice cream alternatives available on the market that can be a safer choice for a cold treat.

Dairy Products That Are Not Safe For Australian Shepherds

Certain dairy products may not be safe for Australian Shepherds due to their high lactose content, which can cause digestive upset in some dogs.

Whole Milk

Whole milk is high in lactose, a sugar that many dogs, including Australian Shepherds, can have difficulty digesting. Consuming whole milk can lead to symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs, such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Soft Cheeses

Soft cheeses, like brie or feta, typically have higher lactose content than hard cheeses. This makes them more likely to cause digestive issues in dogs. It’s best to stick to hard cheeses with lower lactose levels if you want to give your Aussie a cheese treat.


While not necessarily harmful in small amounts, butter is high in fat and does not provide any significant nutritional benefits for dogs. Regular consumption of butter can lead to weight gain and other health problems, such as pancreatitis.

Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is another dairy product that’s best avoided. It’s high in sugar and fat, and like butter, it doesn’t offer any nutritional value for your dog.

What To Do If My Aussie Eats a Lot of Dairy Products?

If your Australian Shepherd consumes a large amount of dairy products, monitor them closely for signs of digestive upset, and consult a veterinarian if symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting occur.

Dairy products contain lactose, a sugar that some dogs, including Australian Shepherds, may have difficulty digesting. If your Aussie has consumed a significant quantity of dairy, they may experience symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting.

It’s essential to observe your dog for these signs and ensure they have access to plenty of fresh water to prevent dehydration.

If your dog shows severe symptoms or if they persist for more than 24 hours, it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention.

Your vet can provide appropriate treatment, which may include dietary changes or medication to manage the symptoms. In the future, it would be best to limit your Aussie’s intake of dairy products to avoid potential digestive problems says Vet Pet Guide.


Q: What happens if an Australian Shepherd consumes dairy products?

A: If an Australian Shepherd consumes dairy products, it may experience digestive issues like diarrhea, gas, or an upset stomach. Some dogs can also be lactose intolerant, which means they lack the necessary enzyme to break down lactose, the sugar found in milk. This can lead to discomfort and digestive problems.

Q: Can I give my Australian Shepherd milk as a treat?

A: It is not recommended to give your Australian Shepherd milk as a treat. While some dogs may tolerate small amounts of milk without any issues, many can experience digestive upset. Instead, you can provide them with alternative treats specifically made for dogs.

Q: What are some dairy alternatives for Australian Shepherds?

A: There are several dairy alternatives that you can offer to your Australian Shepherd. Some options include lactose-free milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or goat’s milk. However, it is important to introduce any new food gradually and monitor your dog for any signs of intolerance or digestive issues.

Q: Can Australian Shepherds eat cheese?

A: Australian Shepherds can eat cheese in moderation. However, not all dogs can tolerate cheese well due to the lactose content. Some dogs may experience digestive upset if they consume too much cheese. It is best to offer small amounts and monitor your dog’s reaction.

Q: Is yogurt safe for Australian Shepherds?

A: Plain yogurt in moderation can be safe for Australian Shepherds. Yogurt contains probiotics that can be beneficial for their digestive system. However, ensure that the yogurt does not contain added sugars, flavors, or artificial sweeteners, as these can be harmful to dogs.

Q: What should I do if my Australian Shepherd accidentally consumes dairy?

A: If your Australian Shepherd accidentally consumes dairy and shows signs of digestive upset or discomfort, it is best to consult with your veterinarian. They can provide appropriate guidance and recommend any necessary treatments to alleviate any issues or discomfort.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, while Australian Shepherds can consume dairy products in moderation, it is important to be aware of potential lactose intolerance and allergies.

Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods into your dog’s diet.

With proper consideration and monitoring, dairy can be a safe and healthy addition to an Australian Shepherd’s diet.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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