Can Australian Shepherds consume dairy products?

Last updated on September 23, 2022

Can Australian Shepherds consume dairy products? This question will pop up in the mind of every Aussie owner. I did some research and I consulted couple of vets. My findings are presented in the following article.

Can Australian Shepherds consume dairy products?

Your Australian Shepherd can consume dairy products but only in limited quantities. Milk and dairy products are full of lactose, sugars, and fat. None of these ingredients is healthy for your pup. So, it’s ok to reward your pup with a spoonful of milk now and then. However, letting your dog drink a bowl of milk or eat a big chunk of cheese is not the brightest idea.

Like most dogs, Aussies too are lactose intolerant. Their stomach is not made to digest milk. So, while the Aussie is a generally healthy breed, milk and dairy products might make it sick. Also, Australian Shepherds are very prone to obesity. Thus, consuming fatty foods in large amounts can make your dog overweight and cause a plethora of health issues.

Which dairy products can my Australian Shepherd consume?

Milk and dairy products should not be on your dog’s menu very often. However, if you’re ever eating cheese, and your Aussie looks at you with those bright, intelligent eyes, it will be hard to resist. Yet, not all dairy products are equally bad for your Australian Shepherd. Here’s a list of dairy products that will explain in detail which ones you need to avoid mostly:


As I already mentioned, your Australian Shepherd can drink milk in moderate amounts. A couple of spoons per day should be quite enough. If your pup drinks more than this, it can get sick and obese.


While butter may not be poisonous for dogs, there’s nothing it can do for your dog but make it obese. Butter is full of saturated fats that your Aussie should not eat.

Chocolate milk

Chocolate milk should be avoided at all costs. First, it contains milk. Second, chocolate milk has sugar and caffeine. Both these ingredients are highly toxic for dogs. So, chocolate milk should be excluded from your Aussie’s diet completely.

Ice cream

Another dairy product you should avoid feeding your Australian Shepherd. Ice cream contains sugar, but it can also have raisins and nuts potentially dangerous for your dog. Also, ice cream contains xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can kill your Aussie.


Feeding your dog cheese is not that bad. Most dogs love cheese, so feel free to reward your Aussie every now and then. However, not all types of cheese are equally safe for dogs. For example, blue cheese, feta, cream cheese, and brie should be avoided due to the high lactose, fats, and fungus. Mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, gouda, Swiss, and goat cheese are lower in lactose and sodium. Hence, these types of cheese are easier to digest. Your best choices are string cheese, ricotta, and cottage cheese. They’re lower in lactose and fat. However, any cheese should be given in small amounts only. Also, avoid cheese with added spices and flavorings.


Plain yogurt is one of the best dairy products for your Aussie. Yogurts are full of healthy probiotics, calcium, and proteins, much needed for proper growth. However, you should let your pup eat yogurt in moderate quantities. Most yogurts are full of fats which the Aussie should avoid. However, sweetened yogurts are a big no. Most of them contain xylitol which can be deadly for your pup.

Whipped cream

Whipped cream is nothing but lactose, sugar, and fats. All these should not be a part of your Aussie’s diet. So, whipped cream can be given in minimal amounts as a treat. However, avoid store-bought whipped cream, as it contains xylitol.

Are all dogs lactose intolerant?

Most dogs are lactose intolerant. However, the level of intolerance is very individual. Some dogs can consume more dairy products, while others will show symptoms on the first sip. The reason for this intolerance lies in the digestive system of canines. Dogs don’t produce the enzyme lactase, which is responsible for breaking down lactose. However, puppies have plenty of this enzyme. Once the dog starts teething, their bodies stop producing lactase. Therefore, milk is safe for them. 

How to know can my Australian Shepherds consume dairy products?

Most owners do not know if their dog is lactose intolerant until they feed it dairy products. If you’re one of those, play it smart. Let your Aussie Australian Shepherds consume dairy products in small amounts and wait for reactions. If there’s diarrhea, vomiting, pain, or gas, your dog is not suited for milk and dairy products. While some dogs show mild intolerance, others can suffer more severely. However, call your vet immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.

What human foods can Australian shepherds eat?

When it comes to food, dry dog food is your best choice. It is specially designed for dogs and contains all the nutrients your pup needs. Dry food also helps you to observe your dog’s water intake.

However, your Aussie can also eat certain human foods besides dog food. Certain vegetables and meats are suitable for your pup’s health. So, these are the human foods your Aussie can safely eat:

  • Meat, fish, and poultry: beef, chicken, eggs, pork, salmon, sardines, and turkey
  • Vegetables: broccoli, green peas, celery, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rice

Read our complete guide here if you want to learn more about human foods and Australian Shepherds.

What human foods should Australian Shepherds avoid?

Australian Shepherds are notorious for their love for food. This adorable dog will often eat more than it should. Hence, Aussies are prone to obesity. You should actively monitor your dog’s food intake. A healthy and nutritious diet is strongly recommended for the proper development of your Aussie. While some human foods will benefit your dog, others might harm it. Here are the most dangerous foods that can poison your Australian Shepherd:

  • Chocolate
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Avocados
  • Xylitol
  • Grapes
  • Onions
  • Honey
  • Bones
  • Alcohol

Read our full article about the dangers of these foods here.

Final words

So, as you can see, milk and dairy products are not very good for your Australian Shepherd. While your dog might enjoy them, it should only consume these foods in moderate quantities. After all, there are so many healthy things you can let your Aussie eat. A healthy diet is essential for these athletic dogs. Also, they are prone to obesity. So, please keep your dog healthy and happy by feeding it properly.

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