How to Make Milk Replacement Formula for Puppies -- Four Recipes

If you must feed orphan puppies, it's best to use a canine milk replacer recommended by your veterinarian. Commercial milk replacers contain all the nutrients puppies need, 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.

Newborn puppy sucking milk
Check with your veterinarian if feeding a homemade puppy formula.
credit: Arkadova/iStock/Getty Images

Recipe One

Country Companion Animal Hospital of Morgantown, Pennsylvania, posts a formula on its website utilizing either goat's or cow's milk. Mix 120 milliliters -- 4 ounces -- of either goat's or cow's milk with 120 milliliters of water. Add two to four egg yolks and 1 or 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Crush two "Tums" or similar calcium carbonate tablets into a powder and stir it into the mix. After thoroughly blending the puppy formula, heat it to approximately 100 degrees. Let it cool before feeding it to the puppy. Test it on your wrist to ensure it's not too hot for the puppy. Refrigerate unused formula, which stays good for about a week.

Recipe Two

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.

Recipe Three

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.

Recipe Four

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.