Neither goat's milk nor evaporated milk is really ideal for orphaned puppies. However, if you find an abandoned puppy in the middle of the night or your pup's nursing mother suddenly dies, you might not have a choice what to feed him until you can get him to the vet or go to the pet store for commercial puppy milk replacer.
People and calves benefit from cow's milk. An orphaned calf could survive on evaporated cow's milk from your pantry. But puppies aren't ruminants, so cow's milk -- or goat's -- will not fulfill a puppy's needs. In fact, cow's milk and any dairy that's not ferment is bad for an adult dog. If a nursing puppy's mother is not available, you must find a preparation that meets the nutritional needs of a puppy. If you have to deal with what's on hand in a pinch, evaporated milk, goat's milk or whole milk can do the trick temporarily.
A puppy receiving nourishment from his mother drinks a milk containing 35.5 percent protein, 43 percent fat and 15.4 percent lactose. By comparison, cow's milk contains 26.6 percent protein, 30.6 percent fat and 37.9 percent lactose. Goat's milk consists of 25.4 percent protein, 34.6 fat and 30.8 percent lactose. Both cow's and goat's milk contains considerably less protein and fat than bitches' milk. Goat's milk contains twice as much lactose as that from a dog; more even in cow's milk. Because of the high lactose content, either milk is liable to cause diarrhea in puppies.
A University of Minnesota emergency puppy formula recipes calls for 3 parts evaporated milk and 1 part water. Other recipes include whole milk along with egg yolks, vegetable oil and liquid vitamins, mixed in a blender. If you have some of those ingredients on hand when putting together an emergency recipe, add them. If all you have is evaporated milk and getting to the store isn't possible, go with that. Puppies must eat and stay hydrated.
Your Best Bet
If you're caring for an orphan puppy, ask your vet or local do breeders if they have a nursing bitch who can take on an additional mouth to feed. If that's not a possibility, use commercial puppy milk replacement formula recommended by your vet. Though commercial preparations can't quite replace mother's milk, they're formulated for a puppy's needs. Prepare the formula according to the directions on the label. Throw out any unused mixed formula after 24 hours or the amount of time listed in the directions.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images