5 Best Puppy Milk Replacement Formulas for Hungry Pups

Puppy milk replacement formulas are exactly what you’d expect: an alternative to an adult dog’s milk. Like all mammals, dogs produce milk to feed their young. So, puppies rely on this substance to grow big and strong. However, there could be complications that prevent mother dogs from producing milk. If this happens, the puppies still need some type of milk to drink or else they might not survive. That’s why puppy milk replacements are essential.

What is a Puppy Milk Replacement?

Most female dogs are able to produce plenty of milk for their puppies, but that’s not always the case. Unfortunate circumstances can occur, leaving innocent puppies without milk to feed them. If the mother passes away or if she develops an illness that prevents her from producing milk, then the puppies could be in danger. In rare cases, a dog could refuse to give her puppies milk or she might have too many pups to feed at once. So, a puppy milk replacement is a substitute for the milk that these puppies lack.

Some people might naturally assume that using cow milk is a good substitute for dog milk. However, not all milks are equal. The milk of each species is designed specifically for raising young of that species. So, cow milk isn’t ideal for puppies because it doesn’t have an appropriate ratio of amino acids. It also has less protein and fat than dog milk, so it shouldn’t be used to help puppies grow.

Adult dogs can drink cow or goat milk, but only in small quantities. Even then, it should only be used as a snack or supplement rather than a meal for growing puppies. So, if your puppy is unable to get the dog milk that they require, you’ll need to get a milk replacement for them. A milk replacement should contain supplement ingredients to mimic the milk of a dog. Milk replacements often contain cow or goat milk, but they have added ingredients to make them better suited for puppies.

In most cases, you’ll need to prepare this milk and bottle feed it to the puppies. This should be done until the puppy is old enough to eat solid food, which usually starts at 3 or 4 weeks of age. It will likely take a few weeks to wean them off milk and completely transition them to solid food.

Best Puppy Milk Replacement Formulas

If you’re new to caring for puppies, then you might not know where to begin. So, we’ve selected five great puppy milk replacements and analyzed them based on features, pros, and cons.

#1 – PetAg Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer Powder

PetAg Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer Powder

This milk replacer comes in the form of a powder. It’s designed to provide nutrition for puppies who were orphaned, rejected, or just need additional nutrients. Ideally, it should only be used for puppies up to 6 weeks of age. After that, they should be transitioned to solid food. It contains prebiotics and probiotics to make it easy for puppies to digest, along with beneficial vitamins and minerals. It’s made with the same amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates that a dog’s milk would have. So, it contains a total of 33% protein and 40% fat.

Before feeding it to a puppy, you just need to mix it with warm water. Then, you can store the rest of the opened container in the fridge for 3 months or the freezer for 6 months. It can be purchased in a 12-ounce can, 28-ounce can, or 5-pound bag.

Pros:

  • It’s easy to digest.
  • It has an ideal amount of protein and fat.
  • It can be purchased in three sizes.
  • It’s affordable.
  • It lasts a long time.

Cons:

  • It could be difficult to serve.
  • It might not be a good choice for some puppies.

#2 – Herbsmith Herbal Blends Milk Thistle Powder Dog Supplement

Herbsmith Herbal Blends Milk Thistle Powder Dog Supplement

This is another powdered milk supplement, but it’s not made just for puppies. Dogs of all ages and sizes can use it for healthy nutrients. It can help with healthy liver function, allergies, and digestive problems. This supplement can be purchased in three different sizes: 2.65-ounce, 5.26-ounce, and 17.63-ounce. Unfortunately, all of these sizes are bit more expensive than other options. It claims to not cause unwanted side effects like similar brands. However, it doesn’t list how much protein and fat is in it, so it’s hard to tell if it has the ideal amount for puppies. Also, the only ingredient it lists is ground milk thistle.

Pros:

  • It promotes healthy liver function.
  • It’s good for dogs with allergies.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • It’s expensive.
  • It doesn’t state the amount of protein and fat.
  • It’s not made specifically for puppies.

#3 – PetAg PetLac Puppy Milk Replacement Powder

PetAg PetLac Puppy Milk Replacement Powder

This milk replacement only comes in a 10.5-ounce container, but it’s the most affordable option. It’s specifically made to support puppies from newborn to 6 weeks old. Ideally, it should be used for rejected, orphaned, or weaning puppies. It’s made with the necessary nutrition that puppies need to grow big and strong. However, it doesn’t specifically share the amount of protein and fat that it contains. It’s packed with naturally-occurring micro-organisms and it has milk and vegetable protein. Once this formula is opened, it can stay in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Pros:

  • It’s very affordable.
  • It has healthy milk and vegetable protein.
  • It’s packed with naturally-occurring micro-organisms.
  • It’s easy to mix.

Cons:

  • It only comes in one size.
  • It doesn’t state the amount of protein and fat.
  • It doesn’t last long once opened.

#4 – GNC Pets Ultra Mega Premium Milk Replacer Goat’s Milk Puppy Powder

GNC Pets Ultra Mega Premium Milk Replacer Goat's Milk Puppy Powder

This milk replacement only comes in a 12-ounce size, but it’s a powder just like the other products on this list. It contains 33% protein and 40% fat, which is the ideal amount that puppies need to grow big and strong. It also has lots of benefits that a dog’s milk would provide, including strong bones, healthy teeth, and a healthy immune system. It’s made with wholesome ingredients, including whole goat’s milk and other natural ingredients. Like similar powder formulas, this option should be mixed with warm water before being served. The amount of powder you use depends on the weight of the puppy.

Pros:

  • It’s affordable.
  • It has the ideal amount of protein and fat.
  • It promotes strong bones.
  • It promotes healthy teeth.
  • It promotes a healthy immune system.

Cons:

  • It only comes in one size.
  • It might make some puppies sick.

#5 – Nutri-Vet Puppy Milk Replacement Powder

Nutri-Vet Puppy Milk Replacement Powder

This 12-ounce puppy replacement powder works great for puppies or as a supplement for senior dogs. It contains 31% protein and 44% fat, which is about the same as what a puppy would get from their mother. It’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to help puppies grow big and strong. It also has probiotics to promote a healthy digestive system. If possible, you should let a puppy nurse for two days before giving this to them, but in many cases, that won’t be possible. When serving it to your puppy, you should mix it with warm water. Then, you can store the opened container for 3 months in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.

Pros:

  • It’s affordable.
  • It lasts for a long time.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It has the ideal amount of protein and fat.
  • It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Cons:

  • It only comes in one size.
  • It doesn’t always mix well.

How Do You Choose the Best Product?

In most cases, it’s a good idea to purchase a milk replacement before you actually need it. That way, if you run into any problems that cause your puppy to need milk, you’ll be ready. Also, you should make sure the milk replacement you choose has all the nutrients your puppy needs to thrive. It should have the same amount of protein and fat that your puppy’s mom would have. It should also have other added nutrients to benefit more aspects of your puppy’s health, such as digestion, bone health, and liver function.

These products are the key to keeping a puppy safe even without their mother’s milk. So, take your time and choose the formula that works best for you. Serving your puppy a milk replacement might seem more difficult than them nursing from their mother, but it will keep them alive and healthy in the end.

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