Can Dogs Drink Buttermilk?

Can Dogs Drink Buttermilk?

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Can Dogs Drink Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a dairy byproduct obtained from butter production. In many ways, it bears some similarities to both butter and milk. It also has a slightly tangy taste often associated with plain yoghurt. This article will walk you through the pros and cons of feeding your dogs with buttermilk. You will also learn the necessary precautions before giving your pet friend buttermilk.

Is buttermilk safe for my dog?

Yes, your dog can safely consume buttermilk. Many pet owners use it for treating their dogs, as it has an interesting taste and texture dogs love. 

As with many human-grade drinks, your pup's digestive system might not agree with buttermilk. This is mainly because some of its constituents could result in gut disturbances in many dogs. Also, specific dog categories might have problems digesting buttermilk properly. Hence, it is safest to say that buttermilk has negative and positive effects on dogs.

What are the benefits of my dog drinking buttermilk?

Dog drinking buttermilk

Buttermilk is the primary byproduct of butter production. After churning off the butter, the fermented liquid left behind is buttermilk. The fermentation gives it its characteristic tangy taste. Here are some of its significant benefits:

Nutrient-filled treat

If you are searching for a dog treat option with high nutritional value, buttermilk is one of the best available choices. It is rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, and sodium, which help regulate acid-base levels in the body. 

Buttermilk also contains vitamin B2 and a substantial amount of protein, about 8g per cup. These nutrients ensure your dog gets its essentials for growth, even in its treats.

Healthy gut

The probiotics in buttermilk help resolve intestinal tract disorders in dogs. If your dog has cases of constipation, gassing, or frequent bloating, you can feed it some buttermilk daily in moderate quantities. Buttermilk also helps reduce the occurrence of inflammations in the digestive system. 

Healthy heart, skin and shiny fur

Dogs that take buttermilk in regulated amounts have better skin and fur quality than those that don't. Buttermilk contains omega-fatty acids that ensure your dog's skin remains in optimal conditions. The coat also benefits from the fatty acid nutrients. In addition, buttermilk also prevents dry skin and flaking.

The heart performs best when there is a sufficient intake of such omega fatty acids. So your dog's heart is also well maintained when you feed it buttermilk.


There are many options for keeping your pet hydrated throughout the day. These options range from regular fresh water to bone broth and other exotic choices. Buttermilk provides your dog with the needed hydration, alongside some essential minerals and vitamins that water will not provide. 

What are the side effects of buttermilk on dogs?


Buttermilk has so many advantages, as well as demerits. While your dog might benefit significantly from drinking buttermilk regularly, it is best to consider the several conditions under which buttermilk could be harmful. Depending on your dog's health status and lifestyle, the various side effects of buttermilk include:


Dog intestines are not adequately modified to handle lactose digestion. This is a common reason many dog breeds exhibit lactose intolerance to most dairy products. If your dog has a sensitive gut or a case of lactose intolerance, it is best to leave buttermilk out of its diet. Otherwise, you risk the occurrence of diarrhea or vomiting.

Lactose intolerance issues

As stated above, dogs diagnosed with lactose intolerance shouldn't take buttermilk as it triggers the allergy within minutes. Since it is clumpy, it is often even more complex to digest for dogs than regular milk. 

High sodium content

Regular dogs would not have any problems with this property of buttermilk; the sodium is easily used or excreted from the body through various pathways. On the other hand, hypertensive dogs shouldn't be encouraged to drink buttermilk, as the sodium can quickly raise blood volume and pressure.

These side effects can only occur in dogs that take excessive amounts of buttermilk daily. Feeding your dog with buttermilk responsibly ensures it gets quality meals without endangering its health.

What do I do if my dog drinks buttermilk?

Buttermilk is not harmful to dogs–so if your dog takes a few laps in your absence, it's no problem. On the other hand, your dog might suffer discomfort if it takes too much buttermilk at once, which is what happens most times. 

The discomfort's severity depends on your dog's health status and age. Puppies might experience little diarrhea, passing within an hour or so. You can give some dry kibble and water to help replace the lost fluids.

Adults don't need any special attention if they consume too much buttermilk. If your adult pet drinks too much buttermilk, you can place it on a plain diet rich in fibre for a few days. This helps to maintain a clear gut as well as aid water retention.

On the other hand, lactose-intolerant dogs have problems with handling buttermilk's lactose content. Buttermilk contains a relatively more minor amount of lactose than regular dairy milk; however, lactose-intolerant dogs are sensitive to lactose in their diet. Consequently, they often have a hypersensitivity crisis after drinking buttermilk. Confirming your dog's status on lactose tolerance will help you decide whether or not to feed it buttermilk at all.

Takeaway points

  • Buttermilk is a fermented byproduct of butter production. It has a tangy, sour taste characteristic of fermented fluids.

  • It contains various essential nutrients your dog will find helpful, like calcium, potassium and some B vitamins.

  • It causes mild conditions even when your dog consumes it in excess. However, lactose-intolerant dogs react poorly to buttermilk intake.

  • If your dog experiences diarrhea from drinking buttermilk, you should give it lots of water and fibre-rich meals for some days to regain proper gut motility.



Buttermilk is highly nutritious for dogs. It helps them maintain good water levels, develop excellent coat sheen, and aid digestion and gut motility. However, it would be best if you took care of how much of it you allow your pet friend to drink per time as it could result in discomfort. 

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