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Colostrum for Dogs and Cats Side Effects

Colostrum for dogs and cats side effects are virtually non-existent and I have not experienced any side effects that can be attributed to colostrum in my work with clients’ pets. This is because, in my opinion, colostrum is a whole food substance created by nature for very young mammals. If it had serious side effects new born animals would be in serious trouble! Lets learn more about colostrum…

What is Colostrum?

Colostrum is Mother Nature’s perfect pet food being rich in anti-aging, immune, metabolic and other essential nutrients that work synergistically together and are in an easily recognized and utilizable form for your animal’s body to absorb efficiently. Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid produced from a mother's mammary glands during the first few hours after birth (72 hours after birth for human mothers, 0-8 hours for bovine/cow mothers). It provides life-supporting immune and growth factors that ensure the health and vitality of the newborn.

Is there Research on the Benefits of Colostrum?

Colostrum has some of the largest amount of documentation of any natural supplement. There are volumes of medical research with more than 25,000 scientific papers to back up its claims. It has documented effectiveness for numerous imbalances and conditions that your dogs and cats may experience from diabetes to heart disease to cognitive disorder. Medical journals such as the Journal of Medical Virology and the New England Journal of Medicine have detailed numerous clinical studies concerning the benefits and effectiveness of colostrum.

How Safe is Colostrum?

Colostrum is a food and is safe for dogs and cats of all ages. It can be consumed in large quantities without any contraindications. Scientific research conducted in the last decade (in major medical research centers and universities throughout the world) has shown that the molecular combinations of the immune and growth factors in cow's colostrum are virtually identical to human. Research has also shown colostrum from a bovine (cow) is not species specific, and is up to 100-1000 times more potent than human colostrum. This means that every mammal on earth can benefit from bovine colostrum including your pets.

What about Mad Cow Disease?

Strict testing is done to ensure the safety of the colostrum. Every batch is tested and comes with an Animal Health Certificate from the USDA. No transmission of this disease has ever been connected with the dairy industry, either here or abroad. US dairy foods are considered a model of consumer safety and nutrition.

What about Vegetarians?

The "Rishis" (India's spiritual leaders) vegan diet has included colostrum for thousands of years and colostrum has been exported from the US to India for decades. Today in India, the milkman delivers colostrum to the wealthy. Colostrum is really neither animal nor vegetable but is a unique substance in a class of its own.

What about Lactose Intolerance?

Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid produced by mammalian mothers prior to birth. It is not milk. True colostrum contains almost no lactose, so those that are lactose intolerant should have no problems with high quality colostrum.

How Does Colostrum Interact with Other Supplements and Medications?

Colostrum has no known drug interactions, but your dog or cat may experience more intense effects from other supplements, herbs or medications they take. This may occur because colostrum helps the bowel absorb; this means everything you put into the gut may have a much higher uptake. Medications may need to be re-evaluated for dose and necessity by a holistic veterinary professional.

Can Colostrum be given to Pregnant or Nursing Animals?

I am not aware of any issues with providing colostrum to pregnant or nursing animals. However, it is recommended to always consult with a holistic professional knowledgeable with the use of colostrum prior to providing any prescription drugs, over the counter medicines, herbal or nutritional supplements to pregnant or nursing animals.

What about Colostrum Side Effects?

Colostrum is a nutraceutical, basically a food with numerous and significant health benefits. There have been no significant side effects from supplementation with bovine colostrum reported in the literature, even at higher doses than would normally be taken. The only side effects I have seen mentioned are possible stomach upset or constipation, which may be due to colostrum’s tissue healing attributes that may have an astringent effect. To avoid this just make sure any constipation is cleared before starting to supplement your pets with colostrum. Constipation is generally caused by dehydration, poor diet, low fiber or lack of exercise.

What I like to do when beginning a new supplement, especially with an ill or debilitated animal, is to start with 1/4 to 1/2 the suggested dosage and move up from there as the dog or cat shows no undesirable symptoms.


I am very comfortable recommending colostrum to my clients. Colostrum side effects for dogs and cats are virtually non-existent in my experience. All animals are unique, so start out slow with your animal companion to be cautious (as I always try to be). Unlike medications, foods such as colostrum have been designed by nature and are very well absorbed by an animal’s body and any excesses are eliminated quite easily and quickly making them quite safe.


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Pitchford, P. (2002). Healing with whole foods: Asian traditions and modern nutrition (3rd ed.). Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Puotinen, CJ. (2000). The encyclopedia of natural pet care (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Keats Publishing.

Dekel, Dr. M. Bovine colostrum, immunity and the aging process. Retrieved from

Minton, Barbara L. New studies continue to reveal the health benefits of colostrum. Retrieved from

About the author

Philip Reich
Philip Reich is a Master Herbalist and co-founder of The Pet Health and Nutrition Center. He specializes in formulating natural, whole food supplements and organic herbal remedies that benefit the health of dogs and cats. The holistic pet health protocols he has developed are followed by clients from all over the world.

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