Yogurt is a healthy food. Your adult dog will enthusiastically lap it up, and you must give it in moderation. For pups, exercise even more restraint. Consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your puppies. You'll find that, under certain circumstances, he'll recommend giving plain yogurt to newborn puppies.
Yogurt, safe to feed to puppies and dogs of all ages, can help keep dogs healthy. The beneficial bacteria in yogurt help your newborn puppies digest food efficiently, help fight toxins in the digestive system and help keep pathogen growth in check. Newborn puppies don't need much; just a teaspoon three or four times a day is plenty.
For the most part, newborn puppies get healthy nutrition from their mom to keep their little systems normal, so they shouldn't need a yogurt supplement. If you notice that one of the babies has diarrhea, though, the vet will advise you to keep him hydrated and may recommend diluting plain yogurt with a children's electrolyte replenishing drink to help with the puppy's tummy troubles. The children's drink will help keep the puppy's electrolyte levels up, and the yogurt will restore good bacteria to their little digestive tracts.
If Mom is on Antibiotics
Sometimes dogs who are nursing newborn pups develop mastitis, a condition treatable with antibiotics. The medication may affect the balance of bacteria in your mama dog's system and could pass to the puppies through her milk, killing off the good bacteria along with the bad in their tiny tummies. While she is on antibiotics, feeding mom and babies plain yogurt effectively keeps everyone healthy and balanced.
If You Help Feed
Occasionally situations arise that require you to give mama dog a helping hand in feeding her newborns. Whether she is ill, isn't producing enough milk or has rejected her puppies, you can step in and feed the babies a nutritious homemade puppy formula that includes plain yogurt to keep their digestive systems working properly. Just mix 1 cup of plain yogurt with 2 tablespoons of dark corn syrup, 1 egg, 1 can of evaporated milk, and 1 cup of boiled water that has been cooled to room temperature. Mixing the formula in a blender will efficiently incorporate all the ingredients together. Since each puppy will eat only 2 to 4 teaspoonfuls of formula every two to three hours depending on their sizes, you will probably have formula left over. Store extra formula in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days before discarding it and making a new batch.
- American Kennel Club: Little Breeds, Special Needs
- Puppy Intensive Care: A Breeder's Guide to Care of Newborn Puppies; Myra Savant-Harris
- Dog Breeders Professional Secrets: Ethical Breeding Practices; Sylvia Smart
- Natural Stomach Care; Anil Minocha and David Carroll
- Canine and Feline Nutrition; Linda P. Case, et al.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.