According to the ASPCA, puppies should not drink cows' milk. Ashfield House Veterinary Hospital indicates that dogs are not able to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk, and this leads to diarrhea if too much is consumed. In addition, some dogs have milk allergies. Dogs should be offered water.

The ASPCA states that newborn puppies get all the nutrition they require through nursing. If a puppy is orphaned, or if a mother is unable to feed her babies, a veterinarian should be consulted. Hand-feeding puppies is a difficult process requiring the use of bottles or syringes. Only a canine milk replacement made exclusively for puppies should be used.