Did you know that when you feed a dog from your hand, you get a little rush of oxytocin? Oxytocin is a “feel good” hormone that happens when you bond with your fur baby (and human baby!).
What does this have to do with whether or not you should feed your dog sour cream? Well, the point is that we receive a nice benefit when feeding our dogs treat. Oxytocin is a powerful hormone that makes us want to experience it again.
That could be one reason why it’s so hard to say ”no” when your dog wants a treat. We WANT him/her to have another treat, just so that we can all feed good.
Of course, we all know that isn’t a great strategy. Occasional treats are fine; but what about the other stuff? What about the human foods like chips, crackers, yogurt, or sour cream?
Our dogs are such great companions. You’ll never get that kind of unconditional love anywhere. Why wouldn’t we want to let our dogs lick a plate now and then.
This post will give you a better understanding of the pros and cons of treats like sour cream for dogs.
Just remember, unless your dog is extremely sensitive, has specific food allergies, or is lactose intolerant, a little bit isn’t going to hurt.
Is it Safe for Puppies to Eat Sour Cream
Puppies have enough enzyme lactase in their gut to digest lactose in their mother’s milk. Technically, your puppy may be able to eat sour cream and have little stomach upset. It’s still not a great idea to overdo it with your little one.
After introducing solid foods during weaning, the body stops generating lactase making it difficult for your canine companion to break down lactose.
Risks of Over-Feeding Dogs with Sour Cream (and other treats)
Sour cream is a healthy food topping with a rich supply of lactic acid bacteria. While this combination seems harmless, remember that many canines are lactose intolerant.
In addition, sour cream contains high fat content. The following are potential risks of feeding your dog too much of a tasty thing.
Further on in the post, we’ll give you some alternative options that your dog will love just as much.
Weight Gain in Dogs
High calories can cause several health complications in canines. Sour cream, for example, has a high-fat content of about 20%.
Such large amounts of fat can contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels (LDL), leading to an overweight dog.
High cholesterol causes excess fatty deposits in a dog’s red blood cells, gall bladder, and liver. In the long run, the accumulating lipoproteins make it difficult for blood to pass through the arteries causing severe health issues.
If your furry friend has weight issues, underlying conditions like osteoarthritis or diabetes can get worse. In fact, the excess weight could even bring on these conditions.
Unhealthy weight gain also causes cardiovascular complications and puts pressure on old joints leading to reduced mobility functionality. In due cause, the rising health complication causes a shorter lifespan or influence a dog’s quality of life.
Potential Lactose Intolerance
It is common for dogs to develop digestion issues even with a moderate amount of sour cream.
This is because canines lack lactase, an enzyme vital in digesting lactose (sugar content in dairy products). Take into account that some dogs may tolerate small amounts of sour cream when given occasionally.
As dogs transition into adulthood, they may suffer signs of severe lactose intolerance. This is because the body stops making lactose soon after weaning. Even a small amount of sour cream can irritate a dog’s sensitive stomach and gastrointestinal tract.
Feeding your pooch fat-free sour cream might also lead to an upset stomach because it contains high levels of tyramine. Tyramine is an amino acid often associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
What’s more, the artificial gums used in less lactose cream may prompt digestive issues in a canine.
Common symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs
Common symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
- abdominal pain
- weight loss,
- excessive thirst
This is a broad term used to define pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. Sour cream is one common cause of stomach upset because it contains high amounts of fat and lactose.
Given that adult canines lack lactase, regular sour cream can cause minor bloating, even with trace amounts of lactose.
Dogs suffering from acid reflux may suddenly lick lips frequently (an indication of nausea). They may lose their appetite or become lethargic.
Remember that organic sour cream is not an exception as it also contains mentioned components. Still, you may come across some dogs that tolerate dairy products like plain yogurt but struggle digesting fresh milk.
Lactose tolerance may differ from one canine to another based on the percent fat in every sour cream serving. Without a doubt, sour cream with a lot of fat can cause mild diarrhea more frequently than sour cream with low fat content.
In addition, increased cholesterol may lead to Pancreatitis or pancreas inflammation. A healthy pancreas produces enzymes that aid in the digestion and regulation of glucose in the body.
Since the calories in sour cream offer no nutritional benefits, incorporating the product into your dog’s food is not a good idea. Instead, consult more experts on approved and healthy alternatives when feeding your pets.
Best Alternatives to Sour Cream for Dogs
Sour cream takes the lead among some of the most preferred dog dairy products.
Instead, consider healthier alternatives. Start with natural ingredients like lamb, beef, chicken, peas, and others.
Adding uncooked fresh foods packed with vegetable enzymes such as papaya is a good idea too. For dogs’ dairy products treat, go for the lite sour cream option and only feed in moderation.
Feeding your pets small quantities of plain cream cheese or regular cream poses little risk. Plain yogurt is also an excellent substitute that aids in digestion and has a higher protein content level.
Even a small amount of plain vanilla ice cream is fine for special occasions. However, remember that all milk products have high calorie and fat content.
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Raw wild is one of those products that you can actually trust. This stuff is gluten-free, grain-free, has no antibiotics and no growth hormones.
You won’t need to feed extra treats to your dog because this is like a treat for dogs. They love the stuff! The best thing is that it comes with a 100% guarantee. There aren’t many pet food companies that promise that.
Darwin’s Natural Pet Products
This is another amazing company that really stands behind what they sell. If you’re tempted to try your dog on a raw food diet, have a look at Darwin’s Natural Pet Products and see what you think.
They offer human quality ingredients that are ethically sourced. There’s a lot of stuff you won’t find in Darwin’s including grains, fillers, hormones, or chemical preservatives. They even offer some in-house help via a consultant to help you decide on the right plan for your dog.
Knead Love Bakeshop
This is for the home-baker who would rather bake dog treats than buy them in the store. Is there anything better than freshly baked treats fresh from the oven?
Your dog will be drooling for these tasty treats that you’ve made yourself. It’s so simple! Here’s what you do:
That’s it. These home-baked, all-natural dog treats bake in 30 minutes. That’s all it takes to have 24 – 48 healthy and delicious treats for your pup! Check out the flavor choices while you’re at it.
Dog Foods Fortified with Vitamins & Minerals
Incorporate vitamins and minerals in the picture too. You can find plenty of these ingredients in vegetables, whole meats, and healthy oils. Above all, maintain optimal growth with vitamin a foods like egg yolks, fish liver oil, and liver.
Other alternatives for lactose intolerant include doggy ice cream, bananas, and dog-safe peanut butter with no xylitol.
When introducing new foods, start small with less lactose options to allow the digestive system to acclimatize.
Risks of Artificial Sweeteners
Avoid feeding your dog any food with artificial sweeteners. Xylitol (found in some human foods and things like toothpaste and chewing gum) is highly toxic to dogs.
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Ultimately, small amounts of human food shouldn’t be a problem in an otherwise healthy dog. Fatty foods can contribute to obesity in dogs. In addition, the more you move away from food formulated specifically for dogs, the higher the risk of your dog developing things like diabetes, heart disease, and pancreatitis.
Remember that human food is only beneficial to a dog when served in moderation. More importantly, dogs and humans have different digestive systems and should not survive on the same diet.
Sour cream can trigger several health problems in lactose-intolerant dogs, even in small quantities. It contains high saturated fats, lactic acid, and acetic acid bacteria too complex for a dog’s digestive system.
Dogs need adequate nutrition to fight off infections, build & repair muscles and sustain muscle tone. Likewise, a healthy diet helps attain normal growth milestones and strong bone plus teeth formation.
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