Published at Tuesday, July 24th, 2018 - 17:13:43 PM. . By Josefa Mclean.
All mammals have high levels of lactase when they are young - they do, after all, drink their mothers milk. However, this ability to digest lactose generally decreases with age because most mammals do not drink milk in the wild after weaning. For example, there is decreased lactose tolerance in up to 75% of humans (this rises to 90% in some Asian and African countries). The amount of lactase present in the digestive system of any given dog is thought to vary as widely as it does in humans. Even lactose-intolerant dogs probably usually have small amounts of lactase activity in their gut. When there is insufficient lactase activity to process the amount of ingested lactose, the lactose is not broken down into its constituent components and is therefore not absorbed by the dogs intestine. When lactose is not absorbed by the body, unusual digestive symptoms can arise and the animal is said to suffer from \"Lactose Intolerance\".
Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance include bloating, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. If your dog suffers from any of these symptoms after consuming dairy products, you should eradicate dairy products from his diet completely. If he suffers no ill-effects, then he is probably tolerant of lactose and there is therefore no inherent danger in feeding dairy products. However, they should always be fed sparingly as large amounts may cause symptoms of lactose-intolerance even where the dog is tolerant. Dairy products, specifically cheese, also have a very high fat content. Yoghurt is often recommended when taking antibiotics because antibiotics indiscriminately kill gut bacteria which temporarily disrupts the digestive functions. Feeding \"live\" Yoghurt that contains bacteria is thought to help replace the beneficial bacteria in the gut.
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