Ask Dr Claire

My dog has just had 12 puppies. She only has 7 nipples, what is safe to feed the pups? Puppy milk from Coles?

It’s great that you’re checking on this because sometimes when dogs have big litters, or if they don’t produce a lot of milk, the puppies do need to be supplemented.

Let all of the puppies have access to their mum, and just top all of them up if needed after a feed.

As for a safe milk for puppies, if supplementation is required, it’s important to use a with a proper puppy milk formula from your Veterinarian or local pet supplies store.

Puppy milk from the supermarket isn’t a balanced food for puppies. It has nothing on mums’ milk and can cause major deficiencies when fed exclusively.

You need to get bottles and teats for them and instructions are on the pack (make sure you warm to 38 degrees before using).

It’s also important to weigh your puppies every day to ensure there’s weight gain–it’s the best way to assess healthy growth. You also need to monitor that they can go to the toilet normally. (At this age, you or their mum needs to help!) It’s always good to get the pups and mum checked post birth so consider taking them all in to your local vet, and picking up your supplies from there.

If you’d like to chat in person, you can book a live video call or start a chat to discuss in more detail, as soon as possible.

We’re here to help!

Chat soon,

Dr Claire