Milk offers a bevy of health benefits to humans, from encouraging strong bones to offering much-needed energy. However, that in no way means that the white stuff is in any way beneficial to the canine species, puppies included. In fact, the only milk a puppy needs comes straight from Mom.
Newborn puppies require a lot of milk in order to grow healthily, although certainly not from a cow. Until a puppy reaches appropriate weaning age, his mother's milk can satisfy absolutely all of his dietary needs. The ASPCA notes that mother dogs often start weaning their puppies at around 3 weeks in age, and the process often lasts until 8 weeks, and perhaps even slightly longer. During this time frame, an 8-week-old puppy strictly needs Mama's milk, so keep the "cow juice" away. Milk from a cow is even inappropriate in cases where the mother dog is simply not available. In these situations, it is important to either seek out a foster doggie mother for nursing or to use a canine milk replacer and formula.
According to the ASPCA, cow's milk can bring upon unpleasant effects in the delicate digestive systems of young puppies -- no, thank you. If an 8-week-old puppy drinks cow's milk, he may experience stomach distress and diarrhea, so don't chance it. It's not worth compromising your puppy's comfort and well-being, so play it safe.
Although you may associate lactose intolerance with being a feline thing, the condition is also very common in canines, as well. The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine indicates that just like cats, many dogs are incapable of proper milk digestion due to insufficient lactase. Without the lactase enzyme, dogs simply aren't able to easily digest milk and other dairy products, leading to watery stools and overall discomfort. The bottom line is keep milk away from puppies and adult dogs alike. In most cases, their digestive systems just can't handle it.
When a puppy is 8 weeks old, solid foods are most certainly a part of his daily diet, if not already 100 percent of it. The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine advocates water as the most suitable beverage for the fluffy cuties -- not milk from a cow. Water is an absolutely vital form of nourishment for puppies. Always leave clean water within easy reach of your puppy. Hydration is key for raising a healthy and content junior canine.
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