Can a Puppy Who Won't Nurse Be Given Human Baby Formula?

by Catherine Lovering
Puppies require proper nutrition when young.

Puppies require proper nutrition when young.

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Puppies need care and attention during the first few weeks of life. Normally, a puppy's mother provides enough nutrition through her milk. However, when a puppy will not nurse or if the mother doesn't have enough milk -- or for some reason is absent -- human guardians have to fill in. Human baby formula is not right for puppies, however; a puppy should be given a commercial canine milk replacement.

Choosing the Right Formula

A veterinarian is the best source of information about how to feed a puppy and what formulation is best. According to the ASPCA, puppies should not receive cow's milk or another milk replacement -- including human baby formula -- since it can cause diarrhea. Further, cow or goat's milk has the incorrect fat, protein and lactose levels for a puppy. A commercial canine milk replacement is available in liquid form -- ready to use -- or in powder, which must be mixed with water. Getting the consistency correct is important to prevent constipation or diarrhea from the powdered variety.

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