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How to Properly Store Kitten and Puppy Milk Replacers

How to Properly Store Kitten and Puppy Milk Replacers

Sometimes animals need a milk replacer to grow, thrive, or get back on their feet. Whether you’re bottle-feeding puppies, helping a lactating momma, or caring for an aging adult, you may need to use a milk replacer to provide needed nutrition.

Newborn kittens and puppies should be fed a commercial milk replacer that is formulated specifically for kittens and puppies. You should never feed cow’s milk or human infant formula to a puppy or kitten.

It’s important to properly store milk replacers for puppies, kittens, and animals who are underweight, convalescing, or aging because the improper handling or storage of milk replacers can lead to illness or even death. Follow these helpful tips from Thomas Labs® when storing and handling kitten and puppy milk replacers!

Storing Pet Milk Replacers

When storing unopened liquid milk replacers, it’s important to keep the product in a dry, cool place. Milk can go rancid if exposed to excessive heat or humidity (over 70 degrees Fahrenheit and over 60% humidity). Once opened, liquid milk replacers should be refrigerated and used within 72 hours.

Storage tip: Freeze liquid milk replacers in an ice-cube tray with a cover for easy 1 oz. portions! After frozen, the formula will darken in color, but it will return to its original color once thawed. Single portions should be used within 6 weeks.

When storing unopened powdered cat or dog milk replacers, keep the product in a cool, dry place. Humidity can lead to condensation and cause the powder to form into clumps, which can lead to rancid milk. After powdered milk replacer is prepared, it can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Once opened, the powder can be refrigerated for up to 3 months or frozen for up to 6 months.

Warming Tips

When warming kitten or puppy milk replacers, never directly microwave the formula or allow it to boil, as this will destroy valuable proteins and cause the milk to heat unevenly. Do not reheat the same formula as this can increase the chance of bacteria growth, which can lead to diarrhea. Only warm as much formula as you need for that feeding.

Signs of Rancid Milk

Feline and canine milk replacers can go rancid for various reasons, so it’s important to always check expiration dates and check for signs that the milk has gone rancid. Here are signs of rancid milk:

• The kitten or puppy formula separates after mixing

• The powder will not mix easily or as expected

• The milk or powder has formed into clumps, appears yellow, or has a sour smell

• The kittens or puppies are suddenly unwilling to drink the milk

• The puppies or kittens have diarrhea and aren’t being overfed

Never use pet milk replacers past their expiration date and refrigerate any opened formula (even the powder). It’s important to properly store and handle milk replacers for the health and safety of your pets!

Goatalac: A Kitten & Puppy Milk Replacer

If you’re looking for a nutritional milk replacer for your puppies or kittens, check out Goatalac from Thomas Pet. This kitten and puppy milk replacer delivers essential vitamins and minerals, along with probiotics, to promote balanced growth and development of newborns. It is ideal for use in puppies and kittens that have been rejected, orphaned, or need supplemental feedings.


The materials and information provided on this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your veterinarian or other pet healthcare professional. Consult your own veterinarian if you have medical questions concerning diagnosis, treatment, therapy, or medical attention.

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