All puppies need milk and it is essential, especially during the first few days after birth. However, this doesn’t mean you can give them any milk there is in the fridge. The matter is actually complicated and we will need plenty of time to explain it so you can understand the topic. Can puppies drink milk question is something certain dog owners need to know?
Can puppies drink milk we drink?
The shortest answer is no. Milk we drink is very much different than dog’s milk and it won’t help them get all the nutrients they need. Keep in mind that puppies need tons of nutrients after birth so they can develop nicely and properly. Milk from their mother is the best and the most suitable option, obviously. Sadly if their mother doesn’t have milk or your puppies are orphans, you need to find an alternative. That’s why can puppies drink milk question is so important for certain dog owners.
The first thing you will think is that cow’s milk is the best substitute. This isn’t true and actually, this milk is very different than the one your puppies need. First of all, dog’s milk contains colostrum which is available in high amounts after birth, for a couple of days. This is an ingredient loaded with protein and it has one purpose only. It should boost and help develop the immune system of your puppies. It is extremely important and it can make a massive difference. Cow’s milk or any other does not contain this ingredient!
Then we can see that dog’s milk is loaded with calories and protein. These are needed for development. This milk is much easier to digest than cow’s milk. Last but not least, cow’s milk is richer in lactose than the milk from a dog. This is a huge issue for puppies who are lactose intolerant. This can cause various issues. We can also add that if your puppies have loose stool, you must eliminate cow’s milk and all other dairy products as soon as possible.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t give cow’s milk to puppies. Luckily, there is an alternative you need to know about.
Use milk replacer
This is a formula that will be diluted in water and served to your puppies. It is specifically developed for puppies and can be the only solution you will need at this point. Keep in mind that this is a great thing to use if your dog doesn’t have milk or you must find an alternative due to a variety of reasons.
Milk replacers also contain all the ingredients as dog’s milk. They are not 100% the same but they are still worthy of your attention and they can help puppies survive and develop. Think of this as the formula for human babies. If a mother doesn’t have milk, you must use formula, period.
One thing is very important and it is something that can make a massive difference. What this means is that milk replacers come with different ingredients. Some are low on essential fatty acids, calcium, and also amino acids. Others are high with these ingredients. All experts recommend that you should use milk replacers that are high on these ingredients. A milk replacer of this kind should speed up the development and make your puppies stronger and more immune to various issues.
It is highly advised to talk to your vet and find the best milk replacer for your puppies. There are countless options out there so help from a vet will be ideal. Some puppies may need a more specific type of milk replacer that is not generic and will help your puppies even more.
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Puppies need milk for 7 weeks
Most of you know that human babies will need milk for up to 2 years, in some cases. Of course, there are a lot of variations in this case scenario. Puppies need milk for 7 weeks and no longer. After that, dog’s milk isn’t needed any longer and it can be completely eliminated from the diet. Instead, your puppies will need water and solid food.
As always, you need to switch to solid food slowly and with caution. Some puppies will still want milk occasionally while others will have a hard time switching to solid food. Others will switch easily and they don’t need milk at all.
Water is extremely important in all of this. Your puppies must start drinking water as soon as weaning starts. All you need to do is to place a bowl filled with water in their cage or in their room and monitor the progress. You can see puppies gradually starting to drink water more and more until they drink tons of it every single day.
Once puppies eat solid food and drink fresh water, milk isn’t needed anymore. There is no need to use milk replacer or any other type of milk. As a matter of fact, this is the same period when a dog will stop feeding puppies with milk. You can use all of these facts and points even if your puppies are orphans. You need to withstand 7 weeks, which will be complicated and hard, but it is far from impossible.
When they grow they can drink most kinds of milk out there
As you were able to see, puppies need mother’s milk or a milk replacer. Once they are big and drink milk occasionally, your options are versatile. You can give them cow’s milk, almond milk, and soy milk. However, all of these should be given to dogs in small amounts. The case is especially important with almond milk which contains toxins. In small quantities, there will be no issues, but in larger amounts, your dog may develop certain problems.
The final word
Can puppies drink milk? As you were able to see, they can and must drink either dog’s milk or milk replacer. Anything else is not ideal. This applies to cow’s milk the most. This is not a suitable replacement and it doesn’t contain the right ingredients your puppies need.
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