This article has expert comment from vegan canine nutritionist Diana Laverdure-Dunetz, M.S.
Dogs can have an occasional taste of your morning almond milk, as almonds are not toxic to dogs and can reduce inflammation. Look for unsweetened and unflavored varieties — a good choice lists just water and almonds as ingredients.
In stores, avoid almond milk with the artificial sweetener xylitol, artificial flavorings, thickeners and oils, which aren’t safe for dogs to eat, says vegan canine nutritionist Diana Laverdure-Dunetz, M.S. and author of The Plant-Powered Dog.
“To ensure their dogs’ almond milk is safe, I highly recommend that people make it themselves at home,” says Diana.
Can dogs drink almond milk? Yes, and here are the benefits
A fortified almond milk variety usually includes added vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin D
“Almonds are especially high in vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help decrease oxidative damage to cells,” says Diana. Oxidative damage creates inflammation that can lead to a host of chronic inflammatory diseases, including cancer, she explains.
Vitamins A and E also help your dog’s skin and coat stay healthy and shiny.
“Note that almond milk is not the best source of protein compared to other plant milks, such as soy,” Diana adds.
So, the next time you’re baking treats for your dog, reach for the almond milk instead of cow’s milk. If you’re picking up goodies from the dog bakery, ask for treats made with almond milk.
Is almond milk high in fat?
Depending on the almond-to-water ratio, almond milk can have a high fat content. A creamier almond milk contains more almonds than water and will be higher in fat per serving. However, the fat in almond milk is monosaturated, the same healthy fats found in avocado and olive oils, Diana explains.
“A good rule of thumb is that almond milk should be considered as a treat, and treats should not make up more than 10% of a dog’s daily calories,” Diana says.
Avoid serving almond milk as a regular treat if your dog needs to lose weight. Foods higher in fat are difficult for some dogs to digest and can result in watery, oily diarrhea. In less common circumstances, eating too many high-fat foods leads to a serious condition called pancreatitis, which can be fatal if not treated right away.
It’s safe to share that small sip of unsweetened almond milk with your dog. And the next time you visit your local coffee shop, ask for whipped almond milk instead of cow’s milk for your dog’s pup treat!