Puppy milk replacers are an invaluable tool if you’re raising puppies. Available in liquid and powder form, these milk replacers are designed to provide a highly digestible alternative to a mom dog’s milk. Sometimes, for a range of reasons, puppies aren’t able to get enough milk from their mother, and need additional support. This is exactly what puppy milk replacers are designed for.
We reviewed dozens of puppy milk replacers to identify the best of the best. We considered features such as the format of the formula, the nutrients in contained, and what age of puppy it was suitable for.
Our Top Pick out of all the Puppy Milk Replacers we reviewed is the PetAg Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer. This milk replacer provides all the fat and protein that a growing puppy needs, as well as including the perfect balance of vitamins and minerals.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Puppy Milk Replacers
|Best Overall||PetAg Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer||4.6|
|Runner Up||GNC Pets Ultra Mega Premium Milk Replacer||4.8|
|Best Budget Buy||Hartz Powdered Puppy Milk Replacer||4.1|
|Best Puppy Milk Replacer Powder||Goat's Milk Esbilac Powder for Puppies||4.7|
|Best Puppy Milk Replacer for Newborns||Veterinarian Grade Advanced Milk Rx Supplement||3.6|
*Ratings are from Amazon at time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: PetAg Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer
Our Top Pick is the PetAg Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer. The formula of this milk replacer is designed to closely match the protein and fat levels in mom dog’s milk. It’s suitable from newborn, up to 6 weeks, meaning you can confidently use this as the only milk replacer you’ll need until your pups start weaning.
This milk replacer also includes the friendly bacteria Lactobacillus casei, which helps your puppy’s digestion. It contains 33% protein, 40% fat, and a blend of both preibiotics and probiotics.
PetAg Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer Key Features:
- Fortified with vitamins and minerals
- 900 kcal/kg
- Made in the USA
Our Runner Up Pick: GNC Pets Ultra Mega Premium Milk Replacer
Our runner up pick is the GNC Pets Ultra Mega Premium Milk Replacer. If you’re looking for a nutritious, high-quality puppy milk replacer, then this option is hard to beat. It contains all the essential calories, vitamins, and minerals that your puppy needs, in a powder formula. It even has the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC)’s Quality Seal of approval, making it one of the most well-regarded milk replacers for puppies around.
The USA-made powder harnesses the power of natural, whole goat’s milk and added nutrients to help boost your puppies’ bone, teeth, and immune health.
GNC Pets Ultra Mega Premium Milk Replacer Key Features:
- 12 oz.
- Goat’s milk
- Made in the USA
Best Budget Pick: Hartz Powdered Puppy Milk Replacer
Our Best Budget Pick is the Hartz Powdered Puppy Milk Replacer. It contains 31% protein, and 46% fat, as well as a precise blend of vitamins and minerals designed to support the healthy growth of puppies.
The quick-mix powder is designed to be blended with room temperature water, which can then be carefully warmed using a water bath if necessary. As with many of the other puppy milk replacers, this can also be used to supplement the diet of lactating dogs as they feed their pups.
Hartz Powdered Puppy Milk Replacer Key Features:
- 5500 kcal/kg
- 12 oz package
- Suitable for puppies from newborn to 6 weeks
Best Puppy Milk Powder: Goat’s Milk Esbilac Powder for Puppies
Our choice as the best puppy milk powder is the Goat’s Milk Esbilac Powder for Puppies. This milk replacer uses whole goat’s milk, known to be a very close match to the nutrient profile of dog’s milk. This means it’s perfect for sensitive puppies, and is easy to digest.
This puppy milk replacer contains 33% protein and 40% fat, as well as the perfect blend of vitamins and minerals designed to provide a complete food source for your growing pups. This powder is available in 3 different sizes meaning it’s easy to feed any number of puppies easily, without the powder spoiling.
Goat’s Milk Esbilac Powder for Puppies Key Features:
- Contains 900 kcal/kg
- Made in the USA
- All natural, no preservatives
Best Newborn Puppy Formula: Veterinarian Formulated Advanced Milk Rx Supplement
As our nest newborn puppy formula pick, we selected the Veterinarian Formulated Advanced Milk Rx Supplement. If newborn puppies don’t get a chance to suckle from their mother, they miss out on essential nutrients and antibodies within the colostrum. This is the first milk the mother produces. This puppy milk replacer is enriched with colostrum, meaning it’s perfect for newborn pups.
The balanced nutrient profile of this milk replacer contains 33% protein, and 40% fat, providing superior nourishment for growing pups. It can also be used to supplement the diet of pregnant or lactating dogs.
Veterinarian Formulated Advanced Milk Rx Supplement Key Features:
- Made in the USA
- 6000 kcal/kg
- Power formula
Who Should Buy a Puppy Milk Replacer
If your beloved pooch is expecting her littler of pups within the next few weeks, you might be thinking about what supplies you’ll need to help make the process as easy as possible. Even if you anticipate your dog having a problem free delivery, complications can sometimes mean she may be unable to feed her puppies. It’s a great idea to purchase a small quantity of puppy milk replacer for emergencies.
Maybe you help foster abandoned puppies for a charity, in which case having a good supply of puppy milk replacer will be a vital part of their recovery. In these cases, a dog heating pad is a wonderful way to keep your puppies feeling safe and secure. You can read our review of the best heating pads here.
Important Features to Consider
A puppy milk replacer should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting the best puppy milk replacer for your needs:
- Kcal/kg. The amount of calories provided in puppy milk replacers is designed to be relatively high, as puppies burn calories quickly. There is quite a variation in the calorific content of puppy milks, but dog’s milk contains around 1460 kcal/kg so aim for a puppy milk replacer with a similar level.
- Protein and fat content. Puppies need protein to develop properly, and fat to provide energy Most puppy milk replacers have a protein level of around 30%, and a fat level of 40%.
- Liquid or powder. There are advantages and disadvantages to both these formulations, and it will come down to your preference as to which you prefer. Liquid puppy milk replacers are pre-prepared, meaning you can use them straight away. They will work out more expensive for long-term use though. Powedered puppy milk replacers are more cost-effective, but take more time to prepare. Be sure to follow the guidelines carefully, as some as designed to be prepared with boiling water and then cooled, and others with room temperature water.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is puppy milk replacer?
Puppy milk replacers are designed to do exactly as their name describes – replace the milk that a puppy would usually get from it’s mother. For a variety of reasons, some puppies aren’t able to suckle from their mom. Complications from birth can lead to a mom dog dying. Some puppies are sadly abandoned, and never get the chance to feed from their mom. Or sometimes, there are simply too many pups in one litter for the mom to feed them all effectively.
At times like this, as well as many other scenarios, puppy milk replacers are vital to making sure that puppies still receive the nutrients they need to grow up big and strong.
How much milk replacer does a puppy need?
As a general rule, puppies need 1 ounce of milk replacer for every 8 ounces of body weight, every 24 hours. This should be split into between 4 – 8 feeds per day, depending on the age of the puppy.
How do you know if puppies are getting enough milk?
The best way to know if your puppy is getting enough milk is to monitor their weight. Ideally, a puppy should gain around 5 – 10% body weight per day.
If your puppy isn’t gaining weight as expected, it can be a sign of illness. So rather than overfeed them, speak to your veterinarian for advice.
It’s a good idea to track your puppy’s weight in a notebook, so you can be sure their weight gain is consistent
How long does a puppy need a milk replacer?
Puppies should be exclusively fed on milk replacer until they’re 3 – 4 weeks of age. At this point, you can start using a high quality puppy food to supplement their formula.