Newborn puppies have got to be the cutest little things on the planet. It’s an exciting time when a dog gives birth, and watching the puppies nurse is a precious moment between the mother and her litter. Sometimes, however, a puppy may get rejected or orphaned by the mother, or the mother may not lactate or be sick. If that happens, the newborn pup will need help from us humans to get them off to a healthy start in life.
This is where puppy milk replacers come in. It’s imperative to provide the necessary nutrients, and many milk replacers closely match the mother’s milk, which is what you want. In this guide, we’ll go over the top reviews for the best puppy milk replacer to help you make the most informed decision for your newborn puppies.
A Quick Glance at Our Favorites (Updated in 2023)
|Best Overall||PetAg Esbilac Liquid||
|Best Value||Hartz Powdered Milk Replacer Formula||
|Premium Choice||Royal Canin Babydog Puppy Milk||
|PetAg Goat’s Milk Esbilac||
|Dogzymes Puppy-Bac Milk||
The 10 Best Puppy Milk Replacers
1. PetAg Esbilac Liquid Milk Supplement – Best Overall
PetAg Esbilac Liquid Milk Supplement provides a complete and nutritionally-balanced food source for puppies that’s highly palatable and digestible. This formula can also be used as a supplement for pups that can still nurse, as well as stressed adult dogs that need an extra boost of nutrients. This formula provides the necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids needed to get puppies off to a healthy start.
Since this formula is in liquid form, there’s no need to mix. Simply open and follow the recommended serving sizes. One drawback is liquid formula doesn’t have a long shelf life after opening, but the good news is that this product comes in an 11-ounce can at a great price. Unopened cans can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 6 weeks, and they should last up to 72 hours after opening.
Occasionally, cans may arrive dented, and if this happens, you can call the manufacturer. Nonetheless, PetAG is a trusted brand within the industry with over 70 years of expertise. With the reasonable price and the necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, we feel this product is the best overall puppy milk replacer.
2. Hartz Powdered Milk Replacer Formula – Best Value
|Calories:||12 kcal/ME tsp of powder|
If you’re looking for a powdered formula, then Hartz Powdered Milk Replacer Formula may be a good option. This product comes in a 12-ounce jar formulated with real milk to perfectly match mother’s milk. You can rest assured the puppies will receive the necessary ingredients: protein for optimal growth, calcium for strong bones, magnesium for muscle and heart health, vitamin A for eye development, linoleic acid for healthy skin and coat, antioxidants, and omegas that cover all their health needs.
Not only is this formula designed to match the mother’s milk, but it also is suitable for pregnant or nursing moms and seniors that need a boost of nutrients. It’s easy to digest and mix, but be sure to mix at room temperature for the best results. With the nutritional benefits for newborn puppies, pregnant or nursing mothers, and seniors at an affordable price, we feel this product is the best puppy milk replacer for the money.
We need to point out that this product contains BHA and BHT, which are preservatives that slow down the oxidation process. These preservatives are a controversial ingredient.
3. Royal Canin Babydog Puppy Milk- Premium Choice
Royal Canin Babydog Puppy Milk is a milk replacer suitable for pups up to 2 months old. It’s carefully formulated to match mother’s milk and even comes with a feeding kit. Enriched with DHA omega fatty acids for brain growth, this formula is easy to feed and can be sprinkled into dry food for a nutritional boost for senior doggies. Royal Canin is a trusted brand within the pet industry, formulating products with the essential proteins, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats needed to ensure optimal health.
It’s highly digestible and is easy to mix. The only drawback we see is that it is pretty expensive.
4. PetAg Goat’s Milk Esbilac Powder Milk Supplement
If you like products from PetAG, then PetAg Goat’s Milk Esbilac Powder Milk Supplement might be what you’re looking for. This formula is made from natural goat’s milk and contains no harmful preservatives. It contains vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin E, vitamin D3, magnesium, and calcium. It’s easily digestible and has prebiotics and probiotics to ensure your puppies get their required nutrition for proper development.
This product requires refrigeration for up to 24 hours, and opened powder can stay refrigerated for 3 months. You can also freeze this product for up to 6 months.
This product is expensive, and it may not blend well with water, causing a somewhat lumpy consistency.
5. Dogzymes Puppy-Bac Milk Replacer
|Calories:||4,750 kcal/kg or 33.73 kcal/tbsp|
Dogzymes Puppy-Bac Milk Replacer is specifically formulated to match mother’s milk with the correct ratio of protein, fats, and nutrients. This milk replacer can be fed to the mother if she needs a boost in milk production. The manufacturer added coconut oil for added fat, as well as whey and milk for protein. It has all the vitamins and minerals needed, with probiotics to ensure the pups absorb the nutrients. The product is also free from any artificial preservatives.
This product has a 1-year shelf life and is easy to mix. It comes in an 8-ounce pack, 1-pound pack, 2-pound pack, or a 4-pound pack, all at a reasonable price. Newborn puppies handle the formula well with no GI issues, and senior dogs that need a little extra nourishment can benefit from it, too.
Some puppies may not be a fan of the taste, and it may take patience when feeding.
6. PetAg PetLac Powder Milk Supplement
|Calories:||858 kcal/kg or 13 kcal/tsp|
PetAg PetLac Powder Milk Supplement is another great product from PetAg. This formula is suitable for newborn puppies and pups up to 6 weeks of age. It contains probiotics, along with all the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for proper growth and development. It also contains cow’s milk and vegetable protein to give the pups fuel. Once it’s opened, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 14 days, and it comes in a 10.5-ounce container.
Sometimes the product may come half-full and is not returnable. The powder may clump when stirring, but shaking the can before mixing helps the powder dissolve.
7. Nutri-Vet Powder Milk Supplement
|Calories:||5,450 kcal/kg or 32 kcal/tbsp|
Nutri-Vet Powder Milk Supplement uses its own natural formula, Opti-Gut, for probiotics that aid in growth and development. It contains whey protein for added amino acids that promote healthy muscles, skin, and more. Pregnant or nursing mothers can use this formula, too, along with senior dogs. Veterinarians formulated this formula, and it’s made in the U.S.A.
The product may arrive unsealed, and it contains BHA and BHT preservatives. It may not blend well and leave behind a gritty residue.
8. PetNC Natural Care Milk Replacer
|Calories:||6,000 kcal/kg or 90 kcal/tsbp|
PetNC Natural Care Milk Replacer is a powdered milk replacer containing colostrum, a fluid produced from the mammary glands of the mother that provides important nutrients and helps the developing immune system. It’s full of human-grade ingredients and veterinarian-formulated for optimal nutrition. Suitable for newborns and pups up to 6 weeks of age, this formula is chock-full of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that will get the puppies off to a healthy start. If you have newborn kittens, it’s suitable for them, too! Pregnant and lactating mother doggies can also use this formula as a boost.
A drawback is it uses BHA and BHT for preservatives.
9. Vets Preferred Advanced Milk Rx Dog Supplement
|Calories:||6,000 kcal/kg or 90 kcal/tsbp|
Vets Preferred Advanced Milk Rx Dog Supplement is a powdered supplement that’s easy to digest for newborn puppies. It’s made with natural milk enriched with colostrum to provide all the essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats required for a healthy start. Digestive enzymes round out the ingredients to promote healthy digestion and the immune system. Pregnant mothers, lactating mothers, and seniors can also benefit from the antibodies in this formula designed by veterinarians.
The powder may have a gritty consistency, and the instructions could be more precise regarding mixing. In some puppies and dogs, it may cause diarrhea. If this happens, stop administering this product immediately and consult with your veterinarian.
All Vets products are produced in a GMP-certified facility for quality and safety, and it’s available in a 12-ounce jar.
10. Tailspring Milk Replacer
|Calories:||4,465 kcal/kg or 31 kcal/tsp|
Tailspring Milk Replacer is made from whole goat’s milk that comes in a 16-ounce pouch. Goat’s milk is excellent for newborn pups because it is gentler on their little sensitive tummies. It contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives but does contain plenty of 100% human-grade ingredients. This formula is full of vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and taurine for a healthy heart, healthy eyes, and a healthy GI tract. It’s specially formulated to match mother’s milk, and the manufacturer is a trusted brand that’s been around since 1934.
Once opened, you can refrigerate for up to 3 months, and you can also use it as a meal topper for adult doggies as a special treat. A drawback is this product is expensive compared to others on the market, but the clean ingredients are worth the extra expense.
Buyer’s Guide – Finding the Right Puppy Milk Replacer
Caring for newborn puppies where the mother has rejected them or died can be both rewarding and a little frightening. In these situations, you want to ensure the precious pups get off to the healthiest start possible, and selecting the best puppy milk replacers will do just that.
Now that we’ve examined our top 10 picks for the best puppy milk replacer, let’s further examine what to look for in a product.
Newborn puppies are fragile, and they need the utmost nutrition right after birth. Since they are not getting their mother’s milk, it’s imperative to provide them with the most natural formula possible with no preservatives.
The mother’s natural milk certainly doesn’t have preservatives, so there’s no need to feed the little newborns preservatives of any kind. A couple of products mentioned above contain the chemical antioxidants BHA and BHT. The FDA has approved these preservatives for human consumption but many people are still cautious.
If the formula contains colostrum, a source of nutrients and immunoglobulin, then that’s terrific! Colostrum is naturally produced from the mother’s mammary glands during the first two days of birth. It is vital for puppies to get colostrum to ensure they survive the first couple of days of life.
Most of the puppy milk replacers we reviewed contain colostrum, and we highly recommend going with a product with this precious, life-saving nutrient.
Powdered formula has a longer shelf life than its liquid counterpart, and most people find that going this route is more cost-effective. However, be sure to read the instructions before purchasing to ensure you don’t waste a lot of the product because some of them only last up to 24 hours in the refrigerator after opening.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids, also known as DHA, are important for brain and eye development, so be sure to check the ingredients for this valuable component.
Sometimes a product doesn’t mix well, which can be frustrating. Sometimes the powder will clump together and settle on the bottom before you have the chance to feed. In our reviews, we try to ensure you’re aware of this on certain products. Don’t give up, though, because sometimes it just takes patience.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics aid in digestion for newborn pups. Prebiotics supply fiber to promote good bacteria already in the colon, and probiotics are healthy bacteria in the gut that helps prevent disease. It also promotes a strong immune system and helps fight harmful pathogens. We highly recommend purchasing a formula with these added.
Vitamins and Minerals
For the best overall puppy milk replacer, we recommend PetAg Esbilac Liquid Milk Supplement. It contains the necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to promote optimal health, has a long shelf life, and is reasonably priced. Hartz Powdered Milk Replacer Formula matches the mother’s milk and contains linoleic for healthy coat and skin, all for the best value. No formula milk can match that of the natural dog milk exactly and so monitoring growth and weight gain in hand reared puppies is very important.
We hope our reviews of the top 10 best puppy milk replacers ease your mind when looking for a product. Hopefully, your search should go smoother now that you know what to look for in a product.
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Featured Image Credit: Karramba Production, Shutterstock