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Top 5 Best Puppy Milk Replacers

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Sometimes mother dogs are not able to produce enough milk to feed their pups. Other times they may be unwilling to do so, or maybe the puppy was separated from the mother much too soon. No matter what the reason, you can always opt for the best puppy milk replacer brands in the event you'll need to bottle feed puppies at home by yourself.The Best Milk Replacer for Dogs

Ideally, puppies should always be nursed by their mother for as long as it's needed. The mother's milk contains special nutrients that cannot be found in any puppy replacement milk product. Those nutrients help to strengthen the pup's immune system, set them up for proper growth and keep the puppy healthy.

Milk replacer for puppies is the equivalent to baby formulas for humans, except it's specifically made for nursing puppies without their mother.

If you do have to make the switch to bottle feeding a puppy, do consult your veterinarian beforehand. A vet will be able to help you choose the best milk replacer for puppies to fit the needs of your litter and also guide you in the proper amount and times to feed. The amount and feeding times will need to be adjusted as the puppies age, and your vet can also help guide you through the transition from puppy replacement milk to puppy food as needed.

Puppy Milk Replacer Brand Price Enriched Source Rating
Esbilac® Powder Milk Replacer $$$ Yes Skimmed 5 stars
The Honest Kitchen Pro Bloom $$$$ Yes Goat Milk 4 half stars
PetAg Goat's Milk Powder $$$$ Yes Goat Milk 4 half stars
Milk Products Grade A Ultra $ Yes Skimmed 4 half stars
PetLac Milk Powder for Puppies $$ Yes Skimmed 4 half stars

* Click on the best milk replacer for puppies brand for more information and prices, or scroll down below for details.

What's a Puppy Milk Replacer?Milk replacer for puppy being used

Commercial milk replacer for puppies is a good way to ensure the puppy gets all the nutrition and nutrients for healthy and steady growth. However, whenever it's possible, a newborn puppy should be nursed by mother at least for the first 2-3 days, because the mother's milk provides essentials to protect the puppy from diseases. After that, you can switch to one of these best puppy milk replacer brands without any concern.

If you're familiar with human infant formulas, then know that milk replacer for puppies is the exact same thing, only designed for dogs. It contains all the essential nutrition a young dog requires. Some brands also fortify their dog milk replacers with additional vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes and probiotics. A few can also be designed for a certain health issue, like a puppy with a sensitive stomach. The below listed best puppy milk replacer brands have been chosen based on these factors of quality

Not all dog milk replacers for puppies are the same

If you're shopping around for puppy milk replacers, remember that every single brand will have a different formula, and not all of them are the same, or even have enough in the milk powder to provide puppies with the right amount of nutrition. While the below best puppy milk replacer brands have been chosen as the most nutrient-appropriate for young dogs, some other brands lack specific nutrients, and this has been shown in studies.

While there are several papers on the nutrient density of milk replacers for puppies, this one in particular led by Cailin R. Heinze compared commercial puppy milk replacers with the contents of natural mother's milk, and found a few issues (Heinze et al. 2015).

The study concluded that some brands of puppy milk replacers had lower concentrations of long-chain Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) than what can be found in mother dog's milk. There were also lower levels of arginine and calcium, and, depending on the individual product, other nutrients.

With that in mind, always choose a proven formula that your veterinarian approves of, and that has a lot of positive reviews from other pet owners. We've picked five of the best milk replacer for puppies brands below based on these factors.

When choosing the best puppy milk replacer, pay attention to the ingredients and the formulation itself. And whenever bottle-feeding a puppy, only use a milk replacer for puppies; human, cow's or goat's milk are not good options (although these ingredients will be included in most specially formulated puppy milk replacers).

How to Use a Milk Replacer for Puppies?

The health of a puppy is very fragile in the first few weeks of existence, which is why it's important to take extra care when dealing with something like bottle-feeding a puppy and particularly when using commercial milk replacer for puppies. Keep the following in mind.

Pre-made puppy milk replacers should be refrigerated, but before feeding a puppy, warm them to room temperature. The needs of your puppy will vary, thus you'll have to keep adjusting the feeding amounts based on the individual dog. It's good to consult with a vet about this, but the rule of thumb is divide each feeding portion into equal amounts and feed very young puppies every 3-4 hours, and older puppies every 8 hours or so.

Several studies show that both underfeeding and overfeeding a puppy can be dangerous to the dog's health, growth and development. For the exact serving amounts, always follow the instructions on the packaging. Currently, Esbilac is the best puppy milk replacer brand (rated #1 below), so here is how you'd feed a puppy if using this type of product:

Daily: 2 tablespoons of liquid Esbilac per every 4 oz of puppy's body weight

How to use a puppy milk replacer
Source: The Honest Kitchen

Remember to keep weighing your puppy every day, and adjusting feeding amounts based on that. In the puppy's 6th week of growth, you can start mixing puppy milk replacer with weaning food as your puppy gradually begins to adjust to solid foods. For all puppies who are now on solid foods, you can add 1 teaspoon per 5 lbs bodyweight on top of food.

Pre-made milk replacer for puppies in liquid form can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours. All unopened milk replacers for puppies can be stored in a cool, dark, dry place (see expiration date on the packet), but once you open the powder container, you must refrigerate it and it will last about 3 months. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months. FDA has a guide here for you on how to store and handle all types of milk replacers for puppies.

With that said, there are only two main rules to follow: consult with a veterinarian about proper feeding procedure for your puppy, and make sure to follow the guidelines on the label of milk replacer for puppies that you've bought. Here are the five best puppy milk replacer brands for you to consider and discuss with your vet.

Top 5 Best Puppy Milk Replacer Brands

1PetAg Esbilac Powder
by PetAg

PetAg EsbilacEnriched: Vitamins, minerals, probiotics, amino acids
Source: Skimmed milk + whey concentrate
Size: 12 oz / 350g
Rating5 stars

The first best puppy milk replacer brand is well-known to most pet owners who are familiar with bottle-feeding puppies. Esbilac has been the #1 best-selling brand for years, and have maintained great reputation due to their perfect skimmed milk formula that works for most pups, and the added probiotics, prebiotics, minerals and vitamins.

Puppy milk replacers are the next best thing to mother’s milk. They’re great substitutes as food source when weaning pups off their mother’s milk, or when frail ones have digestive problems, or when the nursing mother has issues on health or milk production. If you’re a pet owner facing any of these situations, then PetAg’s Esbilac is your best bet. This product is proudly made in the USA from all-natural ingredients and enriched with vitamins and minerals in a formulation that closely matches a canine mother’s milk. In powder form, it is available in 3/4-oz packs and 12-oz cans, while in liquid form, it can be had in 5-oz emergency packs and 8-oz cans.

INGREDIENTS: Vegetable oil, casein, whey protein concentrate, dried skimmed milk, butter fat, monocalcium phosphate, egg yolk, calcium carbonate, L-arginine, DL-methionine, sodium silico aluminate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, lecithin, monopotassium phosphate, magnesium carbonate, ferrous sulfate, salt, dipotassium phosphate, calcium pantothenate, ascorbic acid, niacin supplement, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, folic acid, vitamin E supplement, silicon dioxide, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganese sulfate, vitamin D3 supplement, copper sulfate, potassium citrate, potassium iodide, biotin.

This first best puppy milk replacer brand has an easily digestible formula has long been a staple in dog shelters and foster homes where newborn puppies are often in situations where they cannot be nourished by their own mothers. Since PetAg Esbilac closely mimics the natural milk from bitches, puppies find it highly palatable. This high acceptance makes it on top of the list of the best puppy milk replacers for most pet owners and pet caregivers. It’s a breeze to prepare, too, and mixes well in warm water.

best dog milk replacersMajority of pet owners found this to be the best puppy milk replacer for their young dogs, and they also found out that it’s a great way to introduce solid food to puppies. They simply pour the mixture on top of dry food and their puppies quickly take to the familiar taste of the milk. In no time, they’re licking the solid food as well. The puppies easily tripled their birth weight after less than a month, and their humans swear that Esbilac is the main reason for this remarkable growth and good health.

PROS:

  • Made in the USA
  • Made for puppies newborn to 6 weeks of age
  • Made with all-natural ingredients and enriched with vitamins and minerals that make it closely match a canine mother's milk
  • Easily digestable
CONS:

  • Some reviewers noted that this powder does not always mix well with water
  • There are a few reviews that state the puppies did not find this milk replacer palatable

More milk replacer for puppies reviews from pet owners: “We got this for a 17 year old rescue Pug, who had only 2 teeth in the top of his mouth, he had antibiotics for mouth infections and we gave CBD oil when he was in pain. We also fed meat, chicken, tuna and veggies.

 

2Pro Bloom Dehydrated Instant Goat’s Milk
by The Honest Kitchen

The Honest Kitchen Pro Bloom Dehydrated Instant Goat’s MilkEnriched: Probiotics, digestive enzymes
Source: Goat's milk
Size: 6 oz / 170g
Rating4 half stars

The Honest Kitchen is a trusted maker of wholesome human-grade dog food, and have recently introduced milk replacer for puppies to their line of pet products. Their Pro Bloom Dehydrated Instant Goat’s Milk comes next on our list of top Best Puppy Milk Replacers, and here’s why. It is made from pasture-raised and free-ranging goats in the Northwest Pacific and contains no wheat, soy, corn, preservatives, or synthetic ingredients. What it has that other milk replacers may not have, are billions of live probiotic cultures that are vital in strengthening the immune system of vulnerable pets. This is a slightly different formula to the above mentioned best puppy milk replacer from Esbilac, but it's great for newborn pups and kittens, and even for adult pets that have special dietary needs and requirements for added probiotics.

INGREDIENTS: Dehydrated goat's milk, dried aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, dried candida rugosa fermentation product, dried trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation product, dried pineapple fermentation product; dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried lactobacillus brevis fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried streptococcus thermophiles fermentation product.

On top of being the second best puppy milk replacer for bottle-feeding young pups, the Pro Bloom is also given to puppies as a healthful drink, as flavorful food topper, or as added moisture to dry pet food. Pet owners are convinced that the formula’s probiotic content is responsible for enhancing their pets’ overall wellbeing. The Honest Kitchen Pro Bloom Dehydrated Instant Goat's Milk has resulted to healthier skin and shinier coat in pets and much improved digestive system. A lot has been said about skin irritations and intestinal issues that were healed after a few weeks on this product.

best dog milk replacersFor a large number of pet owners who went past the Esbilac formulation, this probiotic formula has been a real life saver and they've rated it as the best puppy milk replacer for their own individual dogs. This is especially true for dogs that had been on long-term drug treatment. This probiotic milk has been most instrumental in their recovery and in restoring their normal digestive flora and other bodily functions. This translates, of course, to reduced vet bills, happier pet owners, and pets that are bouncing with life and energy.

PROS:

  • Made from pasture-raised and free-ranging goats
  • Contains no wheat, soy, corn, preservatives, or synthetic ingredients
  • Contains billions of live probiotic cultures, which the other best puppy milk replacer do not
CONS:

  • Some pet owners noted that they did not find this to be one of the best puppy milk replacer in terms of value for the size
  • There are a couple of reviews that state pups became ill after drinking this milk replacer, including causing diarrhea and vomiting

More milk replacer for puppies reviews from pet owners: “This dehydrated goat milk is loved by both my dogs and my cats. It also has a bit of a clumping problem when adding water and stirring it up, like a similar item I have reviewed, but that seems to bug me more.

 

3Goats Milk Esbilac (GME) Powder
by PetAg

PetAg Goats Milk Esbilac (GME) Powder for PuppiesEnriched: Sensitive stomach formulation
Source: Goat's milk
Size: 12 oz / 350g
Rating4 half stars

Third on the list of best puppy milk replacer brands is another option from Esbilac with a different formulation. Mother’s milk contains colostrum, which is secreted in the first few days after a bitch gives birth. Colostrum helps protect newborn pups from various infections and provides all the nourishment that a puppy needs at this early stage of life. So it takes a superior kind of milk to satisfactorily replace this natural milk for puppies. PetAg’s GME is especially formulated for puppies with sensitive tummies, as well as for adult dogs that are hyperactive or overly stressed. It is prepared from whole goat’s milk and other all-natural ingredients to make it palatable to puppies while providing them the nutrients they need. This comes in powder form and is sold in 12-oz cans.

INGREDIENTS: Dried whole goat milk, soybean oil, calcium sodium caseinate, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, monopotassium phosphate, salt, L-arginine, DL-methionine, lecithin, dipotassium phosphate, carrageenan, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, silicon dioxide, copper sulfate, vitamin E supplement, calcium pantothenate, ascorbic acid, niacinamide, maltodextrins, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, manganese sulfate, folic acid, riboflavin, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin.

After also reading this third best puppy milk replacer reviews from other pet owners, many of them find this powdered goat’s milk so much easier to prepare than the other best puppy milk replacer brands mentioned above and below on this list in liquid form which they need to freeze, thaw and whisk. With PetAg’s GME Powder for Puppies, they do away with the mess and long wait entailed in thawing. This does not cause any stomach upset which is a common concern especially for newborns. Dogs love it and this makes it easier to introduce them to solid food eventually.

best dog milk replacersSame as the rest, this is a great milk substitute and food supplement for orphaned newborns, malnourished and picky pups, lactating bitches, and even convalescing senior dogs. The growth and development of dogs fed with this milk were observed to be above average, and that’s the biggest consideration when deciding on which best puppy milk replacer brand to choose for your pooch.

PROS:

  • Specifically formulated for puppies with sensitive stomachs
  • Made from whole goat’s milk and other all-natural ingredients
  • No preservatives
CONS:

  • Some buyers were disappointed with the amount of powder in the container, stating it was about half full
  • Although they say it is one of the best puppy milk replacers, reviewers also say this powder does not mix easily unless the water is very warm

More milk replacer for puppies reviews from pet owners: “All of the puppies and mama love this! I accidentally bought some stuff that was cheaper, not realizing that it was PetLac Milk Powder for Puppies, 10.5-Ounce because they look so similar. They all hated.

 

4Livestock Milk Replacer, Grade A Ultra 24
by Milk Products Inc

Enriched: Vitamins, minerals
Source: Skimmed milk + whey concentrate
Size: 8 lbs / 3.6kg
Rating4 half stars

Third best puppy milk replacer brand is formulated for multi-species, rather than for young dogs specifically, yet it works perfectly well for majority of puppies. Grade A Ultra 24 from Milk Products, Inc. is a nursing formula made from dried whey protein concentrate, dried skimmed milk, and other wholesome ingredients. It contains 24% crude protein, 24% crude fats, calcium, selenium, and other vitamins and minerals. It’s a universal milk replacer that’s top on the list of pet owners and pet caregivers in providing nourishment for puppies and other animal young that cannot be nursed by their own mothers. This product is made in the USA and is available in 8-lb resealable packs.

INGREDIENTS: Dried whey protein concentrate, animal fat (preserved with BHA, BHT, citric acid, and ethoxyquin), dried whey, dried whey product, dried skimmed milk, coconut oil; citric acid, potassium sorbate (preservatives); lecithin, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, L-lysine, sodium silico aluminate, DL-methionine, ethoxylated mono-diglycerides, choline chloride, ferrous sulfate, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, taurine, cobalt sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, folic acid, ascorbic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, niacin supplement, pyroxidine hydrochloride, biotin, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, artificial flavor.

We know that puppies get separated from their nursing mothers for various reasons, and when it cannot be avoided, it's good to have one of the best puppy milk replacer brands on hand which young dogs find palatable and helps them attain their full growth potential. Dog owners are thankful to have found Milk Products Livestock Milk Replacer, Grade A Ultra 24 for that very same reason. They had in their care orphaned or abandoned pups that were not yet completely weaned. Without Ultra 24, they believe that the puppies would not have been able to survive.

best dog milk replacersSince this is formulated not only for dogs but for other animals as well, this is a staple in foster care homes for animals and in households with multiple pets. Dog owners were happy to note that their puppies’ stools were firm, no stomach issues were observed, and bowel movement has become regular. The price is so much cheaper than most leading brands that pet owners are keeping stock just in case.

PROS:

  • Contains 24% crude protein, 24% crude fats
  • Universal milk replacer, meaning this is one of the best puppy milk replacers for foster homes with multiple pets
  • Made in the USA
CONS:

  • Not specifically formulated for canines
  • Some buyers noted that their pups suffered from upset stomach after drinking this milk replacer

More milk replacer for puppies reviews from pet owners: “When we got our puppy, I felt he was too young to be completely weened (6 weeks old), so I bought puppy milk replacement, but it was too expensive to keep him on more than a couple of days. I ended up.

 

5Milk Powder for Puppies
by PetLac

Enriched: Probiotics + pregnant dogs formulation
Source: Skimmed milk
Size: 10.5 oz / 300g
Rating4 half stars

Last on the list of best puppy milk replacer brands is another popular American made formulation. PetAg’s Petlac puppy milk replacement makes it to our list of these best milk replacers for puppies because of its carefully formulated ingredients and probiotics. It contains 29% crude protein and 28% crude fat and is fortified with vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are vital to a puppy that needs a lot of growing up and body building. The introduction of live microorganisms to the pups by way of their milk replacer will strengthen the dogs’ natural resistance against bad bacteria in the environment. Thus, this is also highly recommended for convalescent dogs to give them a bigger chance of fully recovering.

INGREDIENTS: Vegetable oil, dried skim milk, soy protein isolate, casein, dicalcium phosphate, maltodextrins, choline chloride, sugar, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus fermentum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium bifidum fermentation product, dried Pediococcus acidilactici fermentation product, monopotassium phosphate, L-arginine, DL-methionine, fructooligosaccharide (FOS), magnesium sulfate, potassium chloride, taurine, iron proteinate, natural and artificial flavor, salt, dipotassium phosphate, calcium pantothenate, niacin supplement, copper proteinate, zinc sulfate, folic acid, silicon dioxide, vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin.

According to a large number of reviews under this last best puppy milk replacer brand from PetLac, pet owners recount their own stories about runts that were so weak they seemed like they had zero chance of survival. Luckily, they found PetLac Milk Powder for Puppies. Now these runts have grown into playful and energetic pups. The owners think that it’s the probiotics in the milk that’s keeping health issues at bay, and rightly so. Probiotics do a lot of things, but mainly, they boost the immune system.

best milk replacer for dogsNothing could really take the place of a bitch’s milk, but this is one of the best puppy milk replacer choices out there as it does wonders for puppies that have no way of availing themselves of their mother’s milk, such as the case of rescued puppies or the bitch dying after giving birth. This also works great as transitioning milk prior to weaning puppies to solid food, and a lot friendlier to the pocket than most dog milk brands.

PROS:

  • Contains 29% crude protein and 28% crude fat
  • Contains probiotics
  • Made in the USA
CONS:

  • Some frequent buyers complain about the quality control of this product, noting that the containers are not always full when received

More milk replacer for puppies reviews from pet owners: “Worked great feeding the runt of our rescue dogs litter. Update with pictures; our runt has grown into a healthy and playful pup who has now moved into his forever home with an adoptive.


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