Can Puppies Have Regular Milk?

Don't give this stuff to your pup.
Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Rearing a young puppy not always is the easiest of tasks. After all, you want to do all that you can to make sure the little fluff ball is fully equipped to grow into a healthy and thriving adult dog. With this in mind, puppies have very specific dietary requirements.

Nursing Puppies

Although newborn puppies consume nothing but milk until they're roughly 3 weeks old, the important thing to remember is that it comes straight out of their mother dog's body, not from a carton in the grocery store. When the mother isn't available for nursing, never choose to replace her vital nourishment with "regular" cow's milk. For these purposes, the ASPCA recommends using puppy-exclusive formula in conjunction with a commercial milk replacer.

Cow's Milk

Puppies and cow's milk are in no way a good idea. The ASPCA warns against offering puppies milk from a cow, as it can lead to unpleasant and unnecessary stomach upset -- think watery and runny fecal matter along with a belly ache. Milk does not make an appropriate or safe alternative for puppy milk replacer, so keep the thought out of your mind entirely.

Adult Dogs

Apart from puppies, cow's milk often isn't suitable for fully-grown doggies, either. The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine notes that, just like with many felines, a lot of canines' bodies just aren't able to break down lactose, the sugar element in milk and other dairy items, properly. Diarrhea is a common, and unfortunate, result of milk consumption in dogs of all ages.


Once a puppy is weaned off of his mother's milk, think no further than water when it comes to healthy beverage selection. The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine indicates that classic H20 is one of a canine's most crucial dietary components, and puppies certainly are no exception. Make sure that your puppy has plenty of clean water in front of him, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Once your puppy is an adult dog, continue to encourage him to drink ample water every day, as well.