This might sound like a peculiar or even weird question, but some pet owners seem to make this unusual inquiry about whether or not dog milk for babies is appropriate. Humans may be the only species that consume another animal’s milk. Sure, some people feed their puppies with human milk occasionally but in nature that doesn’t happen. We are also the only species that drinks milk in adulthood. Other animals simply can’t get it.
So, with that in mind, it isn’t so strange to ask whether dog milk is healthy for humans and babies in particular. In general, dog milk for babies isn't the best choice, and should normally be avoided. It's only viable in case of an emergency, and for a day or two feeding at most. But there are more problems with giving your baby dog's milk, so let's investigate this further in case you need more convincing to skip it.
Is Any Milk Healthy?
You have probably heard somewhere that cow milk isn’t good for you even though it is rich in calcium and other nutrients. The truth is somewhere in between. There are many health benefits to drinking milk, but there are also some possible drawbacks. Some people are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, and humans in general took centuries to get accustomed to drinking and digesting milk from animals.
Humans drink milk from different animals as well. In the US, the most consumed type of milk is cow’s milk, which is the case in most parts of the world. However, milk from other cattle, as well as sheep and goats is commonly drunk around the world. In Egypt, people drink camel’s milk. Basically, the type of milk that humans in a particular area consume depends on the local fauna and culture.
What About Dog’s Milk?
For the uninitiated, human-animal breastfeeding existed for about as long as humans have been around. Among the animals who fed humans milk, dogs are also listed. At the same time, while dog’s milk, similarly to milk of many other animals, is very nutritious for puppies and not generally unhealthy for your baby, this is not advisable. There are a few problems with consuming dog’s milk.
Feeding your baby dog’s milk is not a viable option from a nutritional standpoint. Dog’s, cow’s or any other animal milk lacks proper nutrients that a human baby needs and you should stick to breast milk or formula unless in case of an absolute emergency.
Any type of milk given to a baby in the long run is not healthy since they can’t digest it properly and you should wait at least 12 months before you introduce your baby to animal milk.
Dog’s milk has a very bad taste. Dogs are carnivores and milk from all carnivores is generally greasy and thick. Since it is very, very thick, it won’t be able to go through a milk filter, which means that you won’t be able to get rid of fur, scabs or dirt. While it's fine for canine puppies, this is not fine for human babies.
The last problem with dog’s milk for babies is getting enough of it. Bitches usually lactate for two, two and a half months. During this time, her puppies will eat every half hour and there won’t be much left for any human consumption. And if you would remove the litter from her, even with milking her regularly five or six times a day, her milk would quickly dry up.
In addition to this quantity problem, unlike cows, canines are also very difficult to milk:
- They have too many nipples.
- You can express milk from the nipples for only about two minutes.
- Their teats have many pores like humans, which makes it impossible to aim like you can with cows or goats since their milk comes out in a single stream.
- Dogs don’t like to be milked and they will get away from you. Getting a dog to stand up to be milked is almost impossible, especially without her puppies, in which case you will have to find a way to milk the dog while puppies try to grab hold of the nipples as well.
In conclusion, a dog's milk for babies is technically nutritional enough in case of an emergency, maybe for a day or two. In the long run, it is neither healthy nor practical, and it tastes really bad.
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