A breast milk substitute for dogs

The substitute for canine mother’s milk should not necessarily be the first choice for newborn puppies, as the essence lies in colostrum – the mother’s milk in the initial stages of lactation – which provides them with a substantial amount of nutrients and defenses, though not always feasible. At times, the death or rejection of the mother, abandonment of the young, or other situations necessitate knowing how to act accordingly. We understand that the early days of a puppy’s life are crucial to their ability to face the world, and we cannot afford to waste time.

Mother’s milk

Mother’s milk is crucial for all newborn puppies of any kind, as it provides all the necessary nutrients for their growth from day one. It is vital to understand the importance of what the mother provides before delving into details about a substitute for canine mother’s milk. This food cannot be completely replaced as it is the most complete and best suited to meet the needs of the young, adapting according to their ages.

Fortunately, there are infant formulas available in the veterinary market that cover all the nutritional needs of puppies, dogs, or cats in this stage of life.

We must clarify some basic concepts about milk and lactose: lactose has been under a very bad pressure in recent years due to its intolerance and/or allergy in humans, which raises concerns among animal lovers. However, lactose is no more or less than the sugar present in the milk of all mammals, and it is vital for good nutrition.

In the intestines of puppies, lactase enzyme is produced, which converts lactose into glucose and galactose, which is essential for providing energy in the early days of life. This enzyme disappears from the intestines as they mature, and it is not necessary to continue consuming milk as the weaning period approaches. This is the reason why milk is not tolerated by adults.

For this reason, we must respect the weaning age so that our puppies can grow as healthy as possible and avoid diseases throughout their lives.

Breast Milk Substitute for Dogs

While there are many high-quality formulas available in the market, the truth is that mother’s milk contains some nutritional elements that are not found in any other substance. The first milk that a puppy drinks should always be colostrum, which provides many nutritional elements and defenses from the mother. However, this is not always possible for various reasons.

The absence of a mother due to death or rejection of her puppies is one of the most common occurrences. Abandonment is also a reason why puppies are left without protection and care from their mother. Therefore, it is important to know how to act in these situations.

Homemade formula is an acceptable substitute for small dogs. Commercially available artificial milk is a good option in these cases and can be purchased from specialized stores, but homemade artificial milk is an acceptable substitute for hungry dogs in emergency situations.

In the wild, the mother is the only source of nutrients for puppies, and distant puppies will starve to death if they do not receive help. Large litters may also require supplementary feeding if their mothers are unable to produce enough milk, which is sometimes the case.

There are various recipes for making milk that provides puppies with the necessary nutrients for proper growth.

Recipe for Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk is an essential ingredient in many homemade recipes. Its thick texture and high calorie content are similar to that of mother’s milk, making it a suitable base for this recipe.

To prepare it, pour 300 ml of evaporated milk into a blender and add 80 ml of distilled water. Add half a teaspoon of corn syrup to the milk and one cup of regular yogurt. Mix all the ingredients, but not too much or it will be too thick for puppies to drink.

Recipe for goat milk

Goat milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk and allows puppies to absorb vital nutrients without digestive upset.

To prepare it, pour 350ml of fresh goat milk into a large bottle and add one raw egg yolk and one tablespoon of mayonnaise. Shake the mixture to blend the egg with the milk, then add a cup of regular yogurt and a teaspoon of corn syrup.

Corn syrup is a very sweet substance that is included in many homemade puppy formulations and is used to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Bottle-fed puppies are more susceptible to it, especially small dogs.

Before feeding the puppies, the veterinarian will need to advise you on the amount and how often to feed the puppies. The milk substitute you choose should be placed in a small animal bottle and heated to body temperature in a bowl of hot water. A little milk is poured onto the doll to check the temperature; it should be warm, not hot.

You should hold the puppy upside down on a table or on your legs, to mimic the position it will take when nursing from its mother. Wipe its face with a towel and rub its belly with a damp cotton ball to encourage it to putty train after each meal.

What to Consider

As puppies feed from their mothers several times a day, it is best to give them nutrition every 3 hours and distribute the total daily calories (in this case 650 kilocalories/day) several times. In one day, if the puppy eats every 3 hours, a total of 8 daily meals will need to be provided, including the total calories for the day. Therefore, in this example, the puppy should take 81.25 calories per meal to reach 650 calories in one day.

Gradually, meals should be spaced out, and the best thing is to make only 4 daily meals in the third week, i.e., every 6 hours, where other factors can also be added to the diet such as water and porridge.

It is very important to prepare the appropriate amount of food and do so half an hour before feeding the puppy. It is not recommended to keep it for future doses, although if done for a few hours, it should be well sealed and kept in the refrigerator. Similarly, we must always go to the veterinarian to check their health and help us adjust care according to the health and growth stage in our puppies.

In addition, you can find bottles in pet stores, veterinary centers, and even pharmacies. You can also make one with a bottle and a bottle nipple.

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