What should I feed a stray dog? Currently he is fed milk twice a day.

Is this enough for him or does he need any other nutrients?


2 Answers 2


Most adult animals are lactose-intolerant; milk is not a good idea.

Dog food would be the obvious recommendation. Is there a reason you can't do that?

  • 1
    Even young animals need the correct milk or reduced lactose supplement milk too.
    – Aravona
    Jul 18, 2015 at 19:30

Absolutely not.

As Keshlam noted, lactose intolerance is a factor for canines, but it's worth understanding that dogs are omnivorous and require a number of nutrient sources for proper health and survival. These include:

  1. Water. While there is some in milk, the ability to make use of it depends and it's unlikely enough.

  2. Proteins. Milk actually has pretty good protein levels, but the amino acid profile may not be sufficiently providing all essential amino acids.

  3. Fats. Depends on the milk, but it's also not the best kind of fats anyways and the volumes are very low.

  4. Carbohydrates. Very low in milk, not a significant source of carbohydrates.

  5. Vitamins and minerals. Milk has some, but not all, so supplements would be critical.

The ASPCA has good information on canine dietary needs. The short story on that, though, is that dogs need a much more varied diet than milk. Puppies, for a frame of reference, usually start weaning after 4 weeks. There's a point where the dietary needs of the puppy cannot be met from the milk provided by their own mother. Based on that, you can extrapolate that milk from another species is even less likely to be enough.

  • It's worth adding onto @John Cavan's excellent answer that the milk we buy at the store is highly processed and barely resembles the nutrition content a baby cow would get straight from the utters / unprocessed.
    – rlb.usa
    Jul 23, 2015 at 20:04
  • Milk does not have "some" water, it is actually mostly water - 85 to 95% by mass, depending on the species. Also, unprocessed milk is actually as close as it could get to being complete food, at least in case of infant mammals - it all essential nutritients that the incredibly demanding and growing up organism needs. If it wasn't the case, mammal infants wouldn't be able to survive solely on milk during the first stages of their life - but they do. It is true that adult mammals shouldn't consume milk at all, but not for the reasons listed in this answer - reason is lack of lactase en ...
    – lila
    May 15, 2020 at 21:51
  • ... zyme in adult mammals and thus lactose intolerance - all adult mammals are lactose-intolerant, humans being a partial exception - and thus milk consumption causes GI disorders, that's the true reason. Also, lactose is a carbohydrate, being a significant (2 to 8% by mass) constitutent of milk, but this answer states that milk is incredibly low in carbohydrates and is an insignificant source of them. It is way much more complicated subject. @rlb.usa that's of course your opinion about this answer, but I don't see it as excellent at all. Actually, your sole comment (and keshlam's answer) ...
    – lila
    May 15, 2020 at 22:04
  • ... is way more informative and contained than this answer itself.
    – lila
    May 15, 2020 at 22:05

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