Hartz milk replacer gives your four-legged pal all the nutrients his body needs. They offer both liquid and powdered milk replacer, which have comparable nutritional content, but the liquid type is already made up for you. If you opt for powder, you’ll have to mix it with water yourself.
The ratio of mixing powder with water is 1 part powder to 2 parts water. Use bottled water instead of tap water. Mix thoroughly to get out all the clumps. A blender can be easier than stirring by hand. Since warmer food has a smellier scent, making your pooch more excited about eating, warm up the formula slightly in a microwave-safe bowl, just so it’s room temperature and not ice cold. With the formula mixed and warmed, you can put it directly in the bottle if Fido is still nursing, or mix it with his food.
Mixing With Food
Puppies need soft food during their early teething and weaning stages – between 4 and 8 weeks of age, according to the ASPCA. When you’re introducing solid foods to him, pour the prepared milk replacer in his serving of kibble and let it soak for several minutes. You’ll need to add enough liquid so the final product has the consistency of gruel or loose oatmeal. Once he learns how to eat from a dish, you’ll be able to start gradually cutting back on the amount of formula you add day by day. By 8 weeks old, he should be fully weaned and eating straight kibble with no formula.
If you’re simply softening food for your older pooch, add enough formula to coat, not cover, the kibble and let it soak up. When you place the food down, make sure he eats without hesitation. You may have to add a little more if he’s having trouble chewing, or add less the next time if he seems to slurp it up in a heartbeat. Hartz milk replacer is high in calories. If Fido seems to be getting a little round or if your vet suggests reducing his calories, cut the formula with water. Mix 1 part water to 1 part of prepared formula. You’ll cut back some of Fido’s calories, but he’ll still get the nutrients he needs.
Importance of Milk Replacer
Hartz milk replacer is specially designed to closely resemble the nutritional breakdown of milk produced from lactating dogs. It’s important to use milk replacer specifically designed for dogs instead of regular cow’s milk. The milk you drink is fine for you, but it doesn’t have nearly enough fat or amino acids for your canine buddy; plus dogs don’t have the enzyme in their guts that breaks down milk sugar, known as lactose. Because his fragile digestive tract can’t digest dairy very well, he’ll wind up with a bellyache and lots of diarrhea. If you’re new to using formula or making changes in Fido’s diet, make you talk with your vet first, just to make sure your furry friend is getting a proper diet.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.