Hearing the innocent yelp early in the morning can be thrilling. Your pregnant pet dog just gave birth to a bunch of cute little puppies – how adorable. But, we kid you not, make sure you have some puppy milk replacers immediately readied by your side. They are instant formulas to either substitute or supplement mother dog’s milk. These formulas contain essential nutrients and probiotics to strengthen their immunity. As a result, puppies grow strong and healthy. However, not all puppy milk replacers available in the market guarantee such results. Choosing the wrong products can adversely affect the digestive tract and even decrease survival rates which can be truly devastating. To make things a whole lot simpler for you as a pet parent, we’re bringing you a list of the finest puppy milk replacers for 2022.
At Dog Gear, our team remains committed to making this world better and safer for the canine community. And as we’ve mentioned above, in this post, we’ve reviewed the most reliable and premium quality puppy milk replacers out there. Keep reading to find out!
Finding Your Next Puppy Milk Replacer: A Buyer’s Guide
What Is Puppy Replacement Milk?
The puppy milk replacers are nutrient-rich formulas made from dried animal milk. Usually, manufacturers use goat and cow milk for production. However, you may also find vegetable-derived alternatives, like soy and almond milk.
Puppy milk replacer contains all the necessary nutrients for better growth and development of replacer. These include:
Probiotics and enzymes
Being newborn, canine babies have fast metabolism rates and need energy after every few hours. The high fat and carbohydrate content in the milk replacer provides them with the required energy levels.
Meanwhile, proteins help build their muscle mass and organs. So your weak little pups will gain weight in no time!
The micronutrients refer to the minerals and vitamins included in the composition which differ from product to product. But, the most commonly found ones include calcium and folic acid.
These nutrients enhance the pup’s health and increase survival rates. Also, puppy replacement milk offers probiotics and enzymes. These make the immune system resistant to diseases.
When Does Your Puppy Need Milk Replacer?
In an ideal situation, a puppy doesn’t require replacement milk formulas. The mother’s milk is the best feed for the little canine. And, they would strive well on it alone.
However, that’s an ideal situation. The majority of puppies require milk replacers because of:
Unavailability of mother
The mother dog may not be available to feed the litter in case of any injury or sickness. At times, the mother may also pass away during birth.
Giving birth to puppies is both physically and mentally exhausting. And so, at times, the mother dog may reject her litter.
Usually, it occurs because of the mental trauma received at the time of labor. The mother associates the pain with the kids and avoids nursing them.
She may also reject due to the caesarian section. The external involvement may cause her to perceive the pups as someone else’s.
To identify rejection, observe the mother dog’s behavior immediately after birth. She may sit away from the litter and avoid them.
In extreme situations, she may even become angry and harm them. Hence, be vigilant and monitor the litter at all times.
Lack of milk
Some canines do not produce sufficient milk due to stress and illnesses. The puppies do not get full nutrition in this case and yelp frequently.
In any of these cases, providing the replacement milk is mandatory. However, you may also offer it as a supplemental feed. The nutrients will compensate for any lacking and ensure healthy growth.
What Things to Consider in a Puppy Milk Replacer
We hope you might have found the idealistic puppy milk replacement formula in the list above. But, if you haven’t, then do not worry.
There are hundreds of puppy milk replacers available in the market. You need to be vigilant about the one you choose since your fur baby’s life depends on it.
To help, we have brought together the most value-holding factors to determine the perfect pick. Read more to unravel!
Fundamentally, there are two types of puppy milk replacers based on milk sources. These include:
Animal Milk The animal-based milk replacement formulas are not 100% pure. They get slightly altered to improve the nutritional value of the puppies. But, they do contain high protein and fat levels and you may find those in goat and cow milk variants.
Vegan If you do not prefer feeding your pup something from another animal, then vegan milk replacers are suitable for use. They contain milk extracted from plant-based sources, such as almonds and soy. However, they do not provide the best nutrition.
Powder vs. Wet formulas
Other than milk sources, puppy milk replacers also get categorized into powder and wet formulas. Both of these types perform the same in terms of nutrition. The mere difference lies in usability and lifespan.
Wet milk replacers are quite easy-to-use and hassle-free. Simply purchase the formulas and feed them to the babies. You don’t need to prepare or mix them. However, this replacement milk is for short-term use. It’s best to consume within a few hours after opening.
And so, these work well for large litters only. For a few pups, you might end up wasting a lot of money in the form of half-used, spoiled milk boxes.
On the other hand, powdered formulas are not ready-to-use. You must first mix the recommended quantities into the water and create a solution before feeding. It can be a little troublesome since you have to calculate the portions.
Nonetheless, powder milk replacers last longer than wet ones. They come in cans and jars that you can store for months. So, you won’t have to rush to order when your dog gives birth the next time.
Different manufacturers alter their products using different ingredients. And so, no two dog milk replacers are the same.
When purchasing, evaluate the ingredients listed to ensure your pet is getting only the best. Ideally, the formula must contain:
50+ % carbohydrates
At least 30% of proteins
The milk replacement formula should also include a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, there must be probiotics and enzymes for immunity.
Other than this, also examine the calorie count stated by the manufacturer. It’s best to opt for the highest count possible as puppies need high energy amounts.
At times, companies add preservatives and chemical substances to the milk formula. While some of these may be important for longer shelf life, you need to make sure that they aren’t dangerous. Look for certification or approval seals by a reputable organization.
Most reliable manufacturers will maintain transparency regarding the product’s safety. However, if a brand doesn’t, do not purchase the item. Your pup can get diarrhea and digestive tract issues.
How Much Milk Replacer Should a Puppy Get?
The feed requirements of puppies change quite rapidly. You may begin by feeding multiple times a day to occasional meals in a matter of days.
Generally, a newborn pup will consume milk after every two to four hours. It means you will be feeding them four to five times a day. To calculate the amount, you must follow the instructions stated on the puppy milk replacer packet accurately. Do not feed according to your preferences.
Ideally, you should create a dilute solution that is 180ml per kg of the pup’s body weight. Distribute the total quantity into the number of meals you provide in the day.
For up to two weeks, this meal pattern will continue. And then, the milk requirement will begin to decrease. You may introduce semi-solid food in four weeks.
The PetAg Esbilac Powder Milk Replacer is an amazing option for both puppies and pregnant/lactating dogs. It is a powder-based formula that contains nutrients in the same pattern as the dog’s milk. Your pup will get all the essential fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. As a result, this milk replacer helps the pups and dogs gain instant weight.
It supplies necessary prebiotics and probiotics to strengthen the immune system against diseases. The milk replacer is easily digestible too. But, watch out for the duplicate products sold in the market that can cause severe constipation. Moreover, this replacer doubles up in quantity when mixed with water. So, one can last you quite a while.
Can be relied upon to increase weight
The formula is nutrient-rich and can be relied upon
Doubles up in quantity when mixed with water
Duplicate (fake) products are available in the market and you’ll have to be mindful of them in the future
Believe it or not – the Honest Kitchen Goat’s Milk Replacer is a magical instant formula to help your pups grow strong and healthy. It’s an organic product that contains no preservatives or chemicals. You will get pure dried milk produced from pasture-raised goats.
The National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) has also approved the product. So, you can remain assured that your pup is drinking safe, human-grade milk. Plus, it contains 5-billion active probiotics and enzymes to boost health. It strengthens the immunity and helps gain muscle mass. And, although the odor might be unpleasant, goat milk is perfect for both cats and dogs.
The Hartz Puppy Milk Replacer is the perfect substitute for mother’s milk. It brings together the necessary minerals, vitamins, and nutrients in a balanced quantity. You will also find calcium, magnesium, Vitamin A, and linoleic acid in good quantities. Hence, the formula boosts your pup’s health rapidly. It is especially true for puppies in the first six weeks of life.
It is quite easy to make and blend too. Add some water, and the mixture will instantly dissolve. But be vigilant while feeding. Some puppies might not be able to withstand the nutrient-packed composition and may get diarrhea. Nonetheless, you can feed this instant milk formula to pregnant/nursing/convalescing dogs too.
If you have loads of puppies that need feeding, go for this amazing GNC pet milk replacer. It is a skim milk formula made for quick consumption. Add the recommended water quantities, blend, and serve your pup. You can also pour it over dog food as an additional nutrient supplement.
It is an organic milk replacer that contains all-natural milk proteins to boost immunity and muscle strength. Your newborn pups will be chubby and happy in over a couple of weeks. The US-based manufacturer, GNC pets, ensures the usage of all high-quality materials. So, you can rest assured that this formula won’t cause a stomach upset or diarrhea in your pups!
Skimmed, enriched formula
Organic, easy-to-make, approved, and tested
Quick expiry date so make sure you consume it within the given time
The Vets Preferred Puppy Replacement Milk does the job amazingly. It contains the perfect, balanced combination of nutrients required to upscale weak pups’ health. The dried powder formula supplies high contents of fats and proteins for quick growth.
Also, the puppy milk replacer features immunoglobulin and digestive enzymes that promote better digestion. You can also feed this to lactating/pregnant mothers or senior dogs. This product comes from a GMP-certified facility, which means that it is a safe and reliable product.
Nutritious formula that is easy to digest
Boosts digestive system
Certified & tested, making it a reliable option
Some dogs may get diarrhea or stomach aches
People Also Asked
Q: How long can the milk replacer sit out?
A: Generally, a puppy milk replacer can stay at room temperature for up to 40-minutes. The milk may get spoiled and unusable after that. You can refrigerate the puppy milk for up to 24-hours.
Q: Can I reheat puppy formula?
A: No, do not warm-up or refrigerate puppy formula multiple times. It can lead to bacteria development and cause diarrhea. Instead, prepare a fresh one every time.
Q: When should puppies be off milk replacer?
A: Puppies should be off milk replacer by five weeks of age. They should start consuming semi-solid or solid food. But, you can still provide milk replacer as an additional supplement now and then.
Jarett and his vapor wake dog, Toxi, help keep the students and public safe on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. Jarett knows what equipment, food and toys to keep Toxi safe, productive and still able to have fun.