Emergency puppy formula

Ideally, small puppies rely on their mother’s milk for all their nutritional needs. However, you need to supplement orphaned puppies with a suitable puppy milk replacer. You can easily purchase a good puppy milk replacer from your local pet store or online. However, in the absence of a puppy milk replacer, you can easily make an emergency puppy formula at home.

Small puppies have several nutritional needs. They therefore need to be fed on a complete diet.

Because puppies that are raised by their mother rely entirely on the bitch for their nutrition, a good puppy replacement formula should be as close to the mothers milk as possible.

What is the composition of a dogs milk?

The table below shows the composition of a dog’s milk according to a study by Cornell University.

Total solids21 – 26 %
Fat8 – 12 %
Protein7 – 10%
Sugar3 – 4 %
Gross energy

141 – 155 kcal/100g


A dog’s milk has has moisture content. As a result, puppies can easily become dehydrated when they are not nursing.  Orphaned puppies will therefore need a lot of moisture in order to stay hydrated.

Additionally, most of the energy in a dog’s milk is derived from proteins (31%). Therefore, you should use high quality proteins when preparing a puppy formula.

We have prepared this article to provide you with a guide of recipes you can use to make puppy formula.

Emergency puppy formula recipes

There are several recipes you can use to easily make puppy milk replacer at home.

Here are 4 recipes we recommend that you can try.

These recipes should only be used TEMPORARIRY until you get a suitable puppy formula.

Generally, cow milk is not recommended for feeding puppies. This is because it has high lactose levels which can make your puppy develop digestive upsets. Goat milk and evaporated milk are easier for puppies to digest hence preferred.

Recipe #1 – Replacement formula


  1. ½ cup of evaporated milk
  2. 1 cup of boiled water
  3. 1 teaspoon of corn oil or Karo syrup
  4. 2 raw egg yolks
  5. 1 drop of pediatric / baby multivitamin
  6. 1 tablespoon plain full fat yoghurt

Recipe #2 – Replacement formula


  1. 1 cup of whole goat milk
  2. 1 teaspoon of corn oil or Karo syrup
  3. 2 raw egg yolks
  4. 1 drop of pediatric / baby vitamins

Recipe #3 – Emergency formula


  1. 1 cup of evaporated milk
  2. 1 cup of boiled water
  3. 2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
  4. 1 raw egg yolk
  5. 1 teaspoon of honey

Recipe # 4 – Emergency formula


  1. 12 ounces of fresh goat milk
  2. 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
  3. 2 raw egg yolks
  4. 1 teaspoon of light corn syrup
  5. 1 cup of full fat yoghurt

Instructions for all the recipes

  • Mix the ingredients using a blender or a whisk.
  • Warm the mixture to room temperature using a hot water bath.
  • Bottle feed the formula to your puppy as necessary.
  • You can refrigerate the formula in between uses.
  • Discard any unused puppy formula after 24 hours.

Check with your veterinarian before using any formula (homemade or store bought) to find out if the formula is suitable for your puppy.

Bottle feeding puppy milk replacer

To feed puppy formula to your puppy, use a suitable pet nursing bottle. However, when bottle feeding puppies, I prefer using baby bottles. This is because baby bottles are sturdier than pet nursing bottles.

If you are feeding several puppies, you can use a pet feeder bottle that has multiple nipples.

Each puppy has different feeding requirements depending on his or her age and weight.

Generally, you can feed 1 cc of formula per ounce of body weight.

You will need to feed your puppies every 2 – 3 hours until they reach 5 weeks. At 5 weeks, you can start introducing solid food.

Read our separate article to find out what food to feed a weaning puppy.

Lastly, you will need to adjust the calories intake according to the age of the puppy.

Read next: Taking care of orphaned puppies.

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