Why breastfeeding a puppy isn’t always the best idea

Posted at 9:06 AM, Feb 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-07 09:18:50-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - A photo of a woman breastfeeding a puppy is circulating on the internet. The woman who posted it on her personal Facebook page has come forward to explain why she did it -- to save the puppy's life.

"I just did it. I never thought I would ever do that. That's just something it was taboo to me as well," the woman who wished to remain anonymous said. "I guess you could call it a maternal instinct."

The puppy's foster mom said the lab mix puppy was the runt of the litter. It's mother was killed and the tiny pup, named Tubbs, would not drink from a bottle nor eat formula.

"He just wasn't taking it. I didn't know what else to do, I was desperate and I just couldn't bear sitting there, watching him die," she said. "Literally what clicked in my head was like put him on you, just pray to God he will take something and not die."

Not only did the puppy not die, he is no longer the runt of the litter.

"It really reaffirmed what I did was right because I was for myself, quietly, in my mind embarrassed. I was ashamed, I felt weird, it felt weird," she said.

Veterinarian Amber Williams said she was less concerned about the taboo and more concerned about the puppy's health.

"I'm more concerned about zoonotic disease because there are things that can be passed from puppies to babies," Dr. Williams said.

Dr. Williams said nutritionally, human breast milk is also not the best for puppies.

"In an emergency situation, I don't think it's a big deal, but for them to grow appropriately I think it would be important for them to get on a k-9 formula," Dr. Williams said.

Tubbs has since been weaned off breast milk.

"I've seen the results. That dog is alive because I took that initiative," the foster mom said.