When to Feed Your Puppy Milk Replacer

May 5, 2019
Today, let's take a look at what puppy milk replacer is, the types of situations you should use it in, and how and when to feed it to your puppy.

Just like human babies, the best food for any puppy is its mother’s milk. However, there are some occasions when you’ll need to use puppy milk replacer. Today, let’s take a look at what puppy milk replacer is, the types of situations you should use it in, and how and when to feed it to your puppy.

What is puppy milk replacer?

Three Golden Retriever puppies.

Puppy milk replacer is a compound created to ensure that puppies get all the nutrition they need. It’s used in extraordinary situations when they can’t suckle from their mothers. You should never feed your puppies cow’s milk as a substitute for their mother’s milk. Puppy formula has been specially created for dogs, and feeding them cow’s milk can actually do them more harm than good.

This special puppy milk is light and easy to digest, free from carbohydrates and with a high-calorie content to give them all the energy they need. Plus, it’s full of Omega 3 and Omega 6, and will help fortify their immune system.

The first month of life is when it’s most important to pay attention to your puppy’s digestive system and immune system. A good diet is, therefore, the key to making sure your puppy grows up happily and healthily.

When to give puppies milk replacer

There are many situations where it might be necessary to give your puppies milk replacer. The most common include:

Weak puppies

It’s common for there to be some puppies in the litter that are underweight. Often, their mothers won’t allow them to suckle, or can even reject them. Alternatively, they might simply be too weak to suckle by themselves. Puppy milk replacer is essential in these situations, keeping your puppy well-fed and helping them to gain weight.

Orphan puppies

Sadly, it’s not uncommon for a dog to die while giving birth to her puppies, leaving them defenseless, and with no mother’s milk to drink. Milk replacer is an ideal substitute.

You should feed your puppies from a feeding syringe or bottle. They need to be fed approximately every two hours, and this requires a significant amount of work and commitment from their adoptive parents.

The mother has no milk

This is a slightly more unusual situation, but it can happen. Maybe the mother’s mammary glands aren’t producing enough milk for all the puppies, or maybe they aren’t producing any at all. Another reason why a mother might reject her puppies is mastitis.

Puppy milk replacement formulas are the ideal way to give your puppies all the nutrients they need.

How to make your own homemade puppy milk replacers

A litter of newborn puppies.

If you can’t seem to find any puppy milk replacers in your local stores, or if you’ve run out and you can’t go and get more straight away, you can actually make your own. In this section, we’ll show you how to make a quick and low-cost formula.

You’ll need:

  • 12 oz of water. Puppies’ stomachs are very delicate in the first few months, so you’ll need to use bottled or distilled water.
  • 2.5 lbs of fresh or powdered goat’s milk. While you could use lactose-free cow’s milk, we wouldn’t recommend it.
  • 2 teaspoons of corn syrup. If you have trouble finding it in the store, use honey instead.
  • 4 cups of natural Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is perfect for puppy formula. Its 10% fat content will give your puppies the calories and the energy they need.
  • 4 raw egg yolks.

This recipe will make enough food to feed two puppies for one day. If you only have one puppy, simply halve the amount of ingredients you use.

To make the formula, simply mix the egg yolk with the corn syrup, then add the Greek yogurt. Try to avoid creating any lumps, so that they don’t get stuck in the syringe or bottle. Finally, add the water and the milk.