Can Dogs Have Buttermilk? (Risks of Buttermilk To Dogs)

Buttermilk is a delicious, fermented dairy product. It is popular because it carries a number of healthy nutrients. People often use buttermilk while cooking and baking. Not every human food is delicious and healthy for dogs.

You might think about giving buttermilk to your furry friends. But can dogs have buttermilk? Good news! You can give buttermilk to your dogs.

Make sure that you do not add too much buttermilk to your dog’s diet. It can be given as a dog treat occasionally.

While buttermilk can be considered safe for dogs, some dogs may not like it. Read the article below to know all about “Can dogs have buttermilk?”

What is buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a form of fermented milk. You can see buttermilk while churning out butter. The liquid part is buttermilk.

Buttermilk can be prepared through two different techniques. Generally, people in eastern countries used to prepare cultured cream and buttermilk together.

People in western countries use uncultured sweet cream and then culture it separately to prepare buttermilk.

No matter how you prepare it, buttermilk always has a sour and tangy taste. The recipe and technique only affect the sourness of buttermilk.

The shelf life of buttermilk is only 14 days. So, the taste, smell, and outlook of buttermilk change after 14 days. However, people freeze and store it for over 3 months.

Buttermilk Nutritional Information

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 grams of low-fat buttermilk carries the following nutrients:

  • Total Fat (1%)
  • Saturated Fat (2%)
  • Cholesterol (1%)
  • Sodium (4%)
  • Potassium (4%)
  • Total Carbohydrate (1%)
  • Dietary Fiber (0%)
  • Protein (6%)
  • Vitamin C (1%)
  • Calcium (11%)
  • Iron (0%)
  • Vitamin D (0%)
  • Vitamin B6 (0%)
  • Cobalamin (3%)
  • Magnesium (2%)

As compared to sweetened and evaporated milk, buttermilk carries a low lactose content. Buttermilk carries a high Calcium content. It also provides other minerals such as Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium to dogs.  

Can dogs have buttermilk?

The short answer is “Yes, in moderation.” Dogs can have buttermilk in moderation because it carries high Calcium content. Generally, dairy products become controversial when it comes to dogs.

There is a significant difference between buttermilk and milk for dogs. The difference can be noticed in the form of outlook and taste.

While minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium in buttermilk are considered good for dogs, excess amounts of these minerals can pose various dog health risks.

That’s why smart dog owners only add moderate amounts of buttermilk to their dog’s diet. It should be noted that as compared to most other dairy products, buttermilk is still considered safe for dogs.

Fellow smart dog owners, buttermilk is considered good because of the following reasons:


While water is the primary source of hydration for dogs, buttermilk helps quench your dog’s thirst. In other words, it can help meet your dog’s hydration needs. 


Buttermilk is good for your dog’s digestion. Buttermilk carries probiotics for dogs. Alongside Calcium and Magnesium, probiotics aid in dogs’ digestion. Buttermilk enables the absorption of minerals. Thus, improving the immunity of your four-legged friends.


Calcium is an important mineral for dogs because it aids in bone growth, development, blood clotting, and blood pressure. It is also good for dogs facing blood sugar issues. Calcium provided by human foods such as buttermilk can help dogs suffering from different diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis.


Buttermilk carries Protein for dogs. Dogs require Protein for muscle building and growth. Protein provided by human foods such as buttermilk is good for your dog’s bone health.

Coat and Skin Health

Buttermilk is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids for dogs. Omega-3 fatty acids can help improve your dog’s skin and coat health.

Vitamin C

Buttermilk contains vitamin C, which is an important antioxidant for dogs. Vitamin C in buttermilk helps fight against free radicals in the dog’s body.

Fights Allergies

Live culture in buttermilk is a blessing for dogs. It helps dogs fight against allergies. Fellow smart dog owners, buttermilk is really good for dogs facing seasonal allergies.

Relief From Flatulence

Buttermilk provides relief from flatulence because it contains probiotics for dogs. If your four-legged friends are suffering from bloating and gas problems, you should try adding buttermilk to their diet.

Risks and drawbacks of giving buttermilk to dogs

Buttermilk itself is not toxic to your canine buddies. However, they carry a high Calcium content. Too much Calcium can harm your dog’s kidneys. That’s why limit the amount of buttermilk for dogs.

Even though buttermilk carries low-lactose content than evaporated milk for dogs, you should avoid feeding buttermilk to lactose-intolerant dogs.

It is always a good idea to consult your veterinary nutritionist before introducing anything new to your dogs. Your vet may advise feeding small amounts of buttermilk first and then checking your dogs for symptoms of lactose intolerance and side effects.

Your puppy may not be able to digest buttermilk. You should consult your vet before introducing buttermilk to your puppies.

Buttermilk carries Sodium, and too much Sodium can lead to dehydration in dogs. It is noteworthy that even though buttermilk helps reduce dehydration, it is not the primary source of hydration for dogs.  

What happens if my dog drinks buttermilk?

Do not worry. Buttermilk, in moderation, is not likely to harm your dogs. Too much buttermilk can have some side effects which disappear after a short time. You should consult your vet if the side effects remain longer than expected.

Buttermilk for puppies is a slightly different story. That’s because puppies cannot tolerate buttermilk. Puppies can have diarrhea and upset stomachs due to buttermilk.

Fortunately, these symptoms do not last for a long time. You should consult your vet if the symptoms persist for a long time.

How to safely give buttermilk to dogs?

You should consult your veterinary nutritionist before introducing buttermilk to your dogs. Your veterinary nutritionist may give you a better idea about the portion size of buttermilk for your dog. Generally, vets say that you should start with a small portion size of buttermilk for your dog.

Starting small is a good idea because dogs can be lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy. Even though buttermilk has a low lactose level than other popular mainstream dairy products, small portion sizes may reveal the lactose intolerance of your dog.

You should check your dogs for symptoms of lactose intolerance and food allergies after giving them buttermilk for the first time. Do not worry. Buttermilk is not toxic to dogs.

The symptoms appear for a short time, and you may consult your vet if they persist for a long time. On the other hand, a small amount of buttermilk in your dog’s diet can be a healthy and nutritious dog treat.

Alternatives to buttermilk for dogs

Chicken Broth:

You can feed unsalted chicken broth to your dogs. Chicken broth can be a healthy and nutritious dog treat. As with all dog treats, you can feed small amounts of chicken broth to your dogs occasionally. Make sure that your chicken broth does not contain garlic, onion, and other seasonings for dogs.  

Coconut Water:

You can replace buttermilk with coconut water for dogs. Coconut water is an excellent treat for dogs. It contains nutrients and minerals like Potassium and vitamin B for dogs.

Vegetable Juice:

Vegetable juices, such as cucumber, carrot, or broccoli, are good for your dogs. They can be a source of valuable nutrients for your dogs. You can serve vegetable juices to your dogs once in a while.

Conclusion | Can dogs have buttermilk?

Can dogs have buttermilk – Buttermilk can be a healthy and nutritious treat for dogs. Dogs can be lactose intolerant. You should consult your veterinary nutritionist before introducing buttermilk to your dogs.

Start with small portion sizes, and then check your dogs for symptoms of lactose intolerance and food allergies. These symptoms do not persist for a long time. If the symptoms persist, then you should consult your nearest vet.  

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Jackob Evans

Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over six years, and in that time, I’ve written countless blogs that have helped millions of people worldwide. A DVM by profession, I have treated and cured thousands of dogs, if not millions.

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