How to Make Milk Replacement Formula for Puppies

By Jane Meggitt

Learning how to take care of newborn puppies can be difficult, especially if you have to feed orphan puppies without a mum to nurse them. If you are taking care of orphan puppies, it's best to use a canine milk replacement recommended by your veterinarian.

Newborn puppy drinking formula
Check with your veterinarian if feeding a homemade puppy formula.
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Commercial milk replacers contain all the nutrients puppies need, according to the American Kennel Club, while a homemade formula might not be nutritionally complete. However, a homemade formula can work temporarily if you must feed an orphan puppy when stores are closed and commercial milk replacer is unavailable. Veterinary hospitals and canine organizations throughout the country have recipes they recommend.

Litter of Newborn Puppies
Newborn puppies need specific nutrients; use a commercial formula whenever possible.
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Greens Fork Animal Hospital Recipe

The homemade puppy formula posted on the website of the Greens Fork Animal Hospital of Greens Fork, Indiana consists of one 12-ounce can of unsweetened, evaporated milk, 13 ounces boiling water, one jar beef baby food, one 8-ounce container unflavored yogurt and two cooked eggs. Place all of these contents in a blender, blending until they're smooth. You can refrigerate and use the formula for several days before mixing up a fresh batch.

puppies
Making your own puppy formula can be simple with these recipes.
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German Shepherd Dog Club of St. Louis Recipe

A recipe from the German Shepherd Dog Club of St. Louis, Missouri recommends boiling a piece of liver in a cup of water. After boiling, strain and keep the liquid and find another use for the liver — it's not being fed to the puppy. Use one 10-ounce can condensed, undiluted goat's or cow's milk to mix with 1/3 cup of the strained water, along with two egg yolks. Add 1 tablespoon of either canola oil or mayonnaise and 1 cup whole yogurt, along with 1 teaspoon of corn syrup and a dropper-full of infant vitamins. You can keep this formula refrigerated for up to a week, but you can also freeze it in ice cube trays for up to six months, thawing cubes as needed.

Newborn Puppy
Aww, are you hungry?
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Leerburg Recipe

The dog supply company Leerburg recommends a puppy milk replacement recipe calling for 10 ounces of either canned, unsweetened evaporated milk or, preferably, whole goat's milk. If using evaporated milk, mix it with 3 ounces of sterilized water. Add one raw egg yolk, 1 cup plain, whole yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon of corn syrup. Place the ingredients in your blender, taking care not to allow the mixture to become too bubbly. Heat the mix to about 101 degrees, letting it cool before feeding. Refrigerate the mixture and use it for up to one week.

five puppies Jack Russell Terrier isolated on white background
Some puppies will drink more formula than others.
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More Resources

Lowchen Breeding in Australia also has a detailed list of multiple recipes for homemade dog formula and is a great resource if you're looking for a way to make formula with what ingredients you have at home. Remember that commercial puppy formula is the best option to provide all the correct nutrients for newborn puppies, knowing how to feed puppies in an emergency or after-hours is a good skill to have.