Because puppies are at such a delicate stage of their development, it’s important to choose the right puppy milk. Now is not the time to settle for an inferior product, or skimp on cost. Unfortunately, there are dozens of brands and plenty of unscrupulous manufacturers that will try to mislead you on the quality of their product. If you have seen the vast amount of options available and would like an easy way to sort through them, we can help.
We’re always getting another litter of puppies around here, it seems, and we get to try out plenty of milk replacers. We think we can shed some light on the subject with our reviews of ten different milk replacers. We’ll tell you everything we like about each one, and you will see what you need. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide, where we discuss many of the essential aspects of milk replacers.
Keep reading for our detailed reviews of each brand of puppy milk replacer, where we compare ingredients, preservatives, shelf life, and ease of use, to help you make an educated purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022:
The 10 Best Puppy Milk Replacers
1. Dogzymes Puppy Milk Replacer – Best Overall
The Dogzymes Puppy-Bac Milk Replacer is our choice for the best overall puppy milk replacer. This brand has a two-year shelf life, so you don’t have to worry about it spoiling or arriving spoiled. It’s easy to mix, and it won’t separate and fall to the bottom before your puppies finish feeding. It’s well balanced and contains all necessary vitamins and minerals, and it is also enhanced with probiotics and digestive enzymes to ensure your pet absorbs those nutrients.
We’ve used this brand on multiple litters, and all of the puppies loved it. None of the puppies ever got sick and diarrhea well much less frequent than with many other brands. We only wish it came in a larger size container, especially since it has such a long shelf life.
2. PetAg Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer – Best Value
The PetAg 99500 Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer is our pick for the best value, and here’s why it is the best puppy milk replacer for the money. This brand is vitamin and mineral enriched and contains prebiotics and probiotics. It’s easy to make and only requires mixing with water. For the price, few products come close to the PetAg 99500.
While we were giving this to our puppies, the only negatives we can talk about is that it left some residue behind and could be a challenge to mix because it clumps together.
3. Royal Canin Puppy Milk – Premium Choice
The Royal Canin 02RCBDM400 Babydog Puppy Milk is our premium choice for a puppy milk replacer. This brand is a complete milk replacement packaged in a protective environment to help eliminate any contaminants. It’s enriched with DHA omega-3 fatty acids, which will help promote brain growth.
While we used Royal Canin with our puppies, we found it very easy to mix, and all of the puppies loved it. The milk has an even consistency, and doesn’t clump or leave a chalky residue behind. If it weren’t for the extremely high cost, we wouldn’t have anything negative to say.
4. PetAg Petlac Milk Replacement Powder
The PetAg 99299 Petlac Milk Replacement Powder features a very finely ground powder that doesn’t clump. It’s well balanced with all of the vitamins and minerals needed to grow healthy and there are no harmful preservatives.
While we were using it, the main problem we had was getting the powder to dissolve. It doesn’t clump in the jug or the water, but no matter how much we stirred, the powder would begin to settle in a few minutes. Settling can be frustrating if you need to feed newborn puppies with a syringe because this type of feeding can take time. Also, we bought two containers, and both were only half full.
5. Nutri-Vet Milk Replacement Powder
The Nutri-Vet 99879-3 Milk Replacement Powder is a brand of milk replacement made in the USA. This brand features a unique Opti-Gut formula. This all-natural formula combines probiotics with a well-balanced variety of vitamins and minerals.
Our puppies liked the taste of the milk, and we loved that this product contains probiotics, but it also contains BHT and BHA chemical preservatives that we don’t want to give to our pets if we don’t need to. It also clumps when you are mixing it, and leaves a residue behind.
6. Hartz Powdered Puppy Milk Replacer
The Hartz 3270099205 Powdered Puppy Milk Replacer uses a unique formula that matches mother’s milk. It features an optimal balance of calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin A to help with bone, heart, and eye development. Linoleic acid helps with skin and coat.
Our puppies enjoyed it, but we didn’t give it to them long. This company has a bit of a sketchy history, especially with their flea and tick products, and there is even a website created by victims of Hartz products warning of complications. While the puppy milk didn’t seem like a harmful product, it does contain BHA and BHT chemical preservatives that could be harmful to the puppies.
7. Breeders’ Edge Powdered Milk Replacer
The Breeders’ Edge Powdered Milk Replacer is another brand that has a long shelf life. This milk replaces also has Bio-Mos to promote a healthy GI tract and help support your puppy’s natural defenses. Globigen IC is an immunoglobulin that boosts your pet’s immune system and helps reduce diarrhea.
We tried to give this to our puppies, but most would not eat it, but the grown dogs liked it. We followed the instructions when mixing, but the resulting formula was very watery, and it took a lot of stirring to get it to dissolve.
8. PetNC Natural Care Milk Replacer
The PetNC 27638 Natural Care Milk Replacer is a brand of milk replacer that uses human-grade ingredients. It features plenty of vitamins and minerals to help your pet grow. This brand is another that contains Colostrum, which is packed with antibodies and can help your pet heal from bites and scratches quicker.
We purchased a can of this milk replacement but found that only about half our puppies would drink it. It also contains BHA and BHT preservatives, which could be harmful to your pet.
9. WELL & GOOD Puppy Milk Replacer
The WELL & GOOD Puppy Milk Replacer is another brand of meal replacer on our list that features colostrum. Colostrum will help our pets heal from scratches and bug bites quicker, and it can also help with development.
We tried this brand out on our puppies, and they liked it, but it was hard to mix and settles quickly. It contains harmful BHT and BHA chemical preservatives and also contains corn starch. Dogs generally don’t do well with corn products.
10. Vet Worthy Milk Replacement
The Vet Worthy 0093-4 Milk Replacement is the last brand of milk replacer on our list. This brand features a unique liver flavor that every one of our puppies loved. It’s also fortified with colostrum to help your puppy heal quicker from ani injuries it might incur.
Unfortunately, this brand also contains harmful BHT and BHA chemical preservatives as well as corn syrup. The powder never dissolves and instead clumps and stick to the spoon. It also leaves a residue that can become very hard if it dries before you clean it off.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Puppy Milk Replacers
Colostrum is the fluid produced by the mammary glands of all mammals, including dogs. This fluid is rich in antibodies and other growth factors and is absorbed directly into the body for the first few days after birth. After the initial few days, colostrum is no longer absorbed, but it still provides benefits in the intestinal tract when eaten. These intestinal benefits include reduced vomiting and diarrhea.
Colostrum can help stimulate the immune system and can help your pet heal faster from insect bites, scratches, and incisions. It can also help reduce inflammation and swelling.
Vitamins and Minerals
When reviewing the ingredients section of the packaging, we recommend looking for the following. Protein, Arginine, Leucine, Lysine. These vitamins and minerals are the most important for your pet’s early development, and higher values are better.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Prebiotics are a dietary fiber that helps grow and fertilize bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are the bacteria. Both can be acquired separately, or as an ingredient of the milk replacer. Both will help with digestion and nutrient absorption, which can lead to a healthier, faster-growing pet that experiences less upset stomachs and diarrhea.
Omega-3 fatty acids can also be called DHA. The omega-3 fatty acid is in fish oil, and you can purchase it as a stand-alone supplement or as an ingredient in a milk replacer. Omega-3 helps with brain and eye development, and we recommend adding it to your puppy’s diet.
We recommend that you check the ingredients of every label for the inclusion of BHA and BHT. These artificial preservatives may cause the growth of cancerous tumors and also cause liver trouble.
If you don’t know already, you’ll soon find out that mixing these powders can be quite challenging. Some will clump-up on you, and hold the spoon like a drowning sailor. Others will sit on the bottom like sugar in ice-cold water, refusing to blend. When you find one that mixes and doesn’t settle out too quickly, you’ve hit the jackpot. We always try to mention in our reviews if the product combines well or not.
Finding a brand of milk replacer that doesn’t spoil too quickly can be an essential thing if you didn’t use it all and expect another litter. All of the brands on his list are powders so they will naturally have a longer shelf-live than liquid milk replacers. You can store some brands for up to two years.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading over these puppy milk replacer buyer’s guide and reviews. We believe you will like our choice for the best overall. The Dogzymes Puppy-Bac Milk Replacer has never let us down, and it has a long shelf life. It features digestive enzymes, balanced nutrition, and our dogs can’t get enough. The PetAg 99500 Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer is our pick for the best value, and it’s another perfect choice that includes probiotics and comes at a bargain price.
If you continue shopping for the best puppy milk replacers, keep our buyer’s guide in mind, especially regarding the artificial preservatives BHA and BHT, and you’ll be sure to find a great product. We recommend getting the probiotics and Omega-3 as a supplement if you need to so you can focus o a high-quality mixable milk replacer that doesn’t rely on gimmicks. Enjoy those puppies because six weeks go fast!
Featured image credit: sam26haven, Pixabay