In order to grow and develop properly, newborn puppies require their mothers milk for nutrition. However, if a mother is unable to nurse her pup because she isnt producing enough milk, isnt present, or has rejected the puppy, an alternative milk supply is necessary. Thankfully there are emergency milk replacement recipes and commercial puppy formula products available to help keep up with your puppys nutritional needs.
Once you have formula prepared, its also important to learn the safe and proper way to bottle feed your puppy.
“A puppy may require formula as a supplement when the mother cannot make enough milk to satisfy the puppys needs,” according to Elizabeth Fuller, DVM. Fuller serves as the Vice President of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians and Chief Medical Officer for the Charleston Animal Society in Charleston, S.C. A puppy may also require formula if she cannot nurse from her mother at all, including if the mother is ill or otherwise unavailable.
“Of course, puppies should nurse from mom as much as possible,” Fuller says. “There are benefits beyond just nutrition; behavior later in life is better when puppies are allowed to stay with mom for at least 8 weeks.”
Mix one tablespoon powder with two tablespoons warm water to make approximately 2 1/3 tablespoons (7 teaspoons/35mL) of liquid. This amount will feed a 4 oz. (115g) puppy for approximately 1 day.
How to Make Homemade Puppy Formula
Fuller directs owners caring for orphaned puppies to the resources available through Maddies Fund. Maddies Fund is committed to keeping humans and their pets together by providing funds and resources to help animals in need of care.
Maddies Fund provides two emergency milk replacer recipes, depending on the ingredients you have available at home. “Its important to remember that this should only be used for a short period of time, until a commercial milk replacer can be obtained,” Fuller says.
PetAg PetLac Puppy Milk Replacement Powder
This powdered formula is specifically crafted for puppies newborn to 6 weeks old. Its packed with live, naturally-occurring microorganisms and contains milk and vegetable proteins, encouraging proper growth and development. Once open, the product can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 14 days.
Shop now: PetAg PetLac Puppy Milk Replacement Powder, $14; chewy.com
Credit: Courtesy of Chewy
Feed puppies 2 tablespoons (30mL) per 100g of body weight daily, feeding every 3-4 hours. Divide the daily feeding amount into equal portions for each feeding. Feeding amounts and frequency vary according to individual needs. Smaller and weaker puppies may need increased feeding frequency. As puppies become older, the feeding frequency may be decreased and the amount per feeding increased. At 4 to 6 weeks, you may begin offering Milk Replacer Plus in a shallow bowl for the puppies to lap. Do not discontinue bottle feeding until the puppies are eating well on their own.
Water, dried skimmed milk, soybean oil (tocopherols and ascorbyl palmitate (preservatives), rosemary extract), dried milk protein, soy protein isolate, L-arginine, DL-methionine, calcium carbonate, lecithin, choline chloride, potassium chloride, dipotassium phosphate, magnesium sulfate, sodium chloride, tricalcium phosphate, maltodextrins, potassium citrate, ascorbic acid, sodium hexametaphosphate, taurine, carrageenan, dicalcium phosphate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, silicon dioxide, copper sulfate, niacin supplement, biotin, vitamin A supplement (maltodextrins, gum arabic, vitamin A acetate, sucrose, vegetable oil, tocopherols and sodium ascorbate (preservatives), silicon dioxide), calcium pantothenate, vitamin E supplement (vitamin E, silicon dioxide), thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganese sulfate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement (vitamin D3, modified food starch, sucrose, maltodextrins, silicon dioxide), potassium iodide, calcium iodate, folic acid, sodium selenite, vitamin B12.
Pregnant and lactating females: Feed 2 tablespoons (30mL) per 5 lbs. (2.2kg) body weight daily mixed in regular food.
Directions for Feeding: All puppies should receive their mother’s milk for at least 2 days, if possible. Warm Milk Replacer Plus to room or body temperature.
Storage: Refrigerate opened formula for up to 14 days. Discard unused formula after 14 days. Do not freeze in original container. May be frozen in single serving size containers.
How do you mix milk replacer plus for puppies?
How much water do I mix with puppy milk powder?
How long do you give puppies milk replacer?