What Do I Feed A Newborn Puppy

Newborn Puppy Temperature Control

How to take care of newborn puppies

Newborn puppies cannot control their body temperature. This means that owners need to make sure that puppies are kept in a warm, draft-free environment, as exposure to cold stresses the puppies and exposes them to disease. The Merck Veterinary Manual recommends using a heat lamp to keep the new litter warm, as long as you provide a slightly cooler location within the whelping pen to prevent the puppies from overheating, and position the lamp far enough overhead that it does not burn the puppies or the mother. Or, consider placing the heat lamp at the corner of the whelping box so that the puppies can crawl to another corner if overly warm. They recommend heat lamps over heating pads, as heating pads are more likely to burn puppies.

Puppies Are Born Blind And Mostly Deaf So They Rely On You To Meet Their Needs

  • University of Cincinnati

If you have newborn puppies either in your home or on the way, you’re likely “nesting,” getting ready for the tiny, squeaking balls of fur. Where will they sleep? How often will they eat? Will they need blankets? How will you know if they’re healthy?

This article provides you with important care tips, including feeding, waste management, and much more.

What To Feed Puppies

You should feed a food that has been formulated specifically for puppies. The nutritional health of puppies, just like adult dogs, depends on receiving the correct amounts and proportions of five essential nutrients:

  • water
  • carbohydrates
  • minerals
  • To be considered complete, a puppy food should contain all essential nutrients, except water, which should always be accessible. These nutrients must also be present in the proper proportion to ensure a puppy food is balanced.

    Though fat, protein and calcium tend to get the greater emphasis in puppy foods, every single essential nutrient is key, especially during the period of rapid growth. Deficiencies in any essential nutrient can compromise short- or long-term health.

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    What Should I Track In A Logbook

    Maintaining a logbook about the orphaned puppies does not need to be complicated. The intent is to simply keep track of how they are doing so you can identify if there are any potential concerns with their development.

    Tracking their weights, milestones, and routines are key, so be sure to record details of when their eyes open, when their teeth begin to erupt, their food intake, and stool consistency.

    TIP: Individual puppies must be identified in some way, so consider colored collars or nail polish on a few front toenails.

    How To Hand Feed Newborn Puppies

    Feeding Newborn Puppies: How Often to Feed a Puppy? When Do Puppies ...

    Samantha Scully Saturday, July 2, 2016

    IntroductionNewborn puppies may need to be hand fed for a variety of reasons including maternal death, rejection by the bitch, prematurity, infection or congenital abnormalities such as macroglossia . Traditionally, a bottle and teat has been used to feed puppies but this is not suitable for very sick or premature neonates. Eye droppers can result in aspiration pneumonia and should never be used.This article describes how to tube feed a puppy and then progress onto a modified version of the traditional bottle feeding. The techniques described in this article are also suitable for kittens and most other mammals.

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    How To Feed Puppies

    This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 86% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 90,353 times.

    Having a brand new puppy at home can be a ton of fun, but it also requires a lot of work. It is important to know what and how much food to feed your puppy in order to keep him happy and healthy. Puppies, just like human babies, need proper nutrition for normal healthy growth and development. Making the right choices about your new puppy’s nutrition will help you to get him off to a good start.

    When Does The Puppy Start To Eat From A Bowl

    As soon as the puppy’s eyes have opened at 14-16 days, it is worthwhile encouraging the weaning process. First place the milk formulae in a flat dish, then either dip the puppy’s nose into it or smear some around its mouth with your finger. By 3 weeks the puppy can start to eat food from the dish along with the milk. As the consumption of food increases, the amount of milk can be gradually decreased.

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    Health Concerns Of The Mother

    Several conditions that can affect a new mother to the detriment of the puppies include eclampsia and mastitis. Both are painful, and eclampsia is life threatening to the mother


    One such life threatening condition is eclampsia. Eclampsia is an emergency medical condition liked to a sudden drop in blood calcium levels.

    Eclampsia occurs when the mom is milk production is at the highest point when the puppies are one to four weeks of age. You may have heard it referred to as Milk Fever or hypocalcemia. Poor diet and large litters are often the reason this problem.

    This condition causes muscle spasms, abnormal movements, stiff limbs, and difficulty breathing. This disease is severe and can cause death within an hour. Consult a vet if you notice any of the symptoms


    Since the mothers milk contains colostrum and nutrients that provide immunity and help the puppies to grow, it is necessary for you to check that the mother is healthy.

    Check each mammary gland to ensure that there is no infections, redness, or discharge. These symptoms may indicate mastitis, a painful inflammation of the mammary glands.

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    Learn How To Feed a Newborn Puppy

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    Feeding A Newborn Puppy With A Bottle

  • 1Purchase the necessary supplies. To feed a newborn puppy, youll need a bottle and some commercial canine milk replacer. You should be able to find both items at any pet store in your area, though your veterinarian will also be able to provide you with some if you have any difficulty finding them on your own.XResearch source
  • Do not feed your puppy cows milk from the grocery store as this could cause diarrhea and/or sinus problems. Instead of this, you can give goat’s milk.XExpert Source
  • How Often Should Puppies Be Weighed And How Much Should They Weigh

    The birth weight of each puppy should be recorded, and weight should be taken every day or two for the first four weeks of life. Starting in their fifth week, you can switch to weekly weigh-ins. A digital food scale with capacity up to 5 pounds works best for these measurements.

    Puppies should gain about 5% of their current body weight per day during the first 4 weeks. This means that body weight may double by 8-10 days after birth and triple by the third week of life.

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    Choosing The Best Food For Your Puppies

  • 1Learn about a puppys nutritional needs. Puppies have a lot of growing to do, so their bodies require more calcium, protein, and calories than an adult dog. Therefore, it is essential to feed your puppy food that is meant for puppies and identified on the label as food for “Growth”.XResearch source
  • It is difficult to provide a balanced homemade diet for puppies, because they have such specific nutritional requirements and must have the correct balance of calcium and phosphorus in their food. The calcium to phosphorus ratio in puppy food needs to be within the range of 1:1 to 1:5 to help the puppy develop strong bones and teeth. Getting the ratio wrong at a young age means the puppy may have irreparable damage to their adult teeth, and may also have stunted bone growth.XResearch source
  • 2Choose a brand of dog food that uses high-quality ingredients. The first ingredients on the list should be a meat protein like “chicken” or “beef and not a grain like “corn” or “wheat.” The caloric content of the food is often found on the manufacturers website and not on the bag. There will be information on the protein, fat and fiber in the nutrient analysis section. Most puppies are fed a diet in the mid 20 to 30% protein range.
  • When it comes to choosing any food, make sure you look at the list of ingredients. If it contains chemicals and ingredients you can’t pronounce, don’t give it to your puppy.
  • Caring For Orphaned Newborn Puppies: Basic Care Feeding And Disease Prevention

    Feeding Newborn Puppies â What To Feed, Schedule, Burping, Pooping

    Raising orphaned puppies can be very rewarding. It is, however, a serious responsibility that requires some time, money and work on your part if you want to help the little ones grow up healthy and happy. Close observation and prompt attention if any problems develop are especially important. If you have not raised orphans before, you should have a veterinarian examine the pups before you get started. Dont be disappointed if you are unable to save all the orphan puppies you can only give it your best effort.

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    How To Feed A Newborn Puppy

    • A puppy nursing bottle is the best way to feed your bundle of joy. The size of the hole in the nipple is crucial to successful bottle feeding, according to experts at Best Friends. To check this, turn the bottle upside down and gently squeeze: If the milk drips freely the hole is too large. That means the puppy could take in too much milk and risk inhaling it into their lungs. If the hole is too small, the puppy has to work too hard to get nourishment and may refuse to nurse. The hole is the proper size if, when the bottle is squeezed gently, the milk comes out a small drop at a time.
    • Puppies shouldnt be fed on their backs because they dont have a well-developed gag reflex and theres a danger that fluid may go down their windpipe and enter their lungs. Instead, place the puppy on his stomach with his head level as if he was nursing from his mom.
    • Open the puppys mouth gently with one finger and place the tip of the nipple on his tongue. If he wont eat, try stroking him. Tilt the bottle up slightly to prevent the puppy from inhaling too much air. Do not force the puppy to nurse, or allow him to nurse too fast.
    • After each feeding, the puppy should be burped by holding him against your shoulder and gently patting his back.

    Editors’ Recommendations

    Feeding A Newborn Pup On Your Own

    What if one of the pups is too weak? Then you, as an owner, would have to step in.

    Theres often the possibility that a puppy has trouble latching or nursing. Some of those reasons can be:

    • The dam has a poor appetite or not drinking enough fluids
    • The mother dog has poor milk let down
    • Puppies born via cesarean or C-Section
    • Slow development in the puppies
    • The dam has a fever

    Since those little furballs need your help, you would have to get milk directly from their mother.

    Before handling and feeding a newborn puppy, make sure you washed your hands thoroughly or sanitized.

    Some would use their finger to feed the puppy to see if theyd drink it and to hint that its feeding time. If yes, then you can use a dropper or syringe. Since a bottle would seem more natural to use for them to feed so they can also suck, heres a video on how to feed newborn pups.

    Dont forget to remove a weak pup or runt from the whelping box. Make sure the little doggo has its own and the best crate to stay in while you take care of her back to recovery.

    Keep your pup in a place where theres heat source , feed, and gently stimulate the puppy to urinate and defecate.

    For those whose dog has a large litter, you can avoid draining and damaging the bitch by supplementary feeding the puppies. It will also help prevent eclampsia . Its a health issue that is always a worry when female dogs give birth to a large litter. It happens anywhere between 2 to 3 weeks before and after whelping.

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    Is Wet Or Dry Food Better For Puppies

    Whether or not to feed your puppy wet or dry food is a common enough question to spark a fierce debate between dog experts over which is best. The answer to the question, however, is… It depends.

    If you have any questions regarding exactly how much food your puppy should be eating in the course of a day you should consult your veterinarian or the breeder. Don’t guess. Do your research on the ingredients that go into the different puppy foods and how labels are written so that you can make the most informed choice on which puppy food is best for your puppy.

    Wet Food

    Puppies need protein, fat, and fiber in their diet. If it can’t be classified as one of those nutritional categories, it shouldn’t be in your puppy’s diet. The best wet foods contain ingredients that are rich in fatty proteins and healthy sugars like muscle protein and no animal byproducts like hooves and tendons. Canned food is generally more expensive than dry food, and more palatable. However, owners should be wary of “all-meat” products. Your puppy needs a complete, balanced diet to fulfill their nutritional requirements. Meat only diets won’t cut it.

    Therefore, it’s important for new puppy owners to ensure their puppy is fed a diet rich in the fat, protein, nutrients and minerals they need to sustain vital body function, boost immunity, and sustain healthy development.

    Dry Food

    Raw Diets


    Bottle Feeding Newborn Puppies

    How To Care For Newborn Puppies Ep 1 Feeding

    Supplies for Feeding Newborn Puppies

    Bottle feeding puppies requires a bottle and your preferred formula. These supplies can be sourced from the pet store or from the veterinarian or purchased online. Very tiny puppies may do better with an eye dropper or even a small syringe.

    You will need a can of commercially prepared formula, either liquid or powder

    • Assortment of nipples
    • Glass container to hold prepared formula
    • Small towel

    Esbilac makes both dog and cat formulas. This one uses goats milk replacer rather than cows milk. Both are available from Amazon.

    Miracle Nipple Mini is an excellent choice because it gives you the flexibility of both a nipple and a syringe. This size is good for a small dog, but other sizes are available.

    Plastic bottle kits are very inexpensive but if you purchase one, be sure to find one that has a bottle brush. Formula can get caked up inside the bottle and the nipple.

    Puppies are sensitive and should be handled with care. Refrain from feeding the pup cows milk as it causes diarrhea and sinus problems because of the higher lactase levels.

    Cows milk is lower in protein, calories, fat, calcium, phosphorus, and carbohydrates which makes it a poor choice for newborn puppies. Commercially available milk replacers come in either liquid or powdered forms and often use goats milk as a base.

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    Starting And Maintaining A Feeding Schedule

  • 1Provide fresh water with your puppy’s food. Fresh water should be provided for your puppy at all times there’s no need for a schedule. Refill your puppys water dish often and wash it out once per day to keep it clean.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsLeading organization dedicated to the prevention of animal crueltyGo to source
  • Bring a bottle of water and a collapsible dish with you when you travel.
  • 2Set aside a quiet area for your puppy to eat. Puppies need a quiet area to eat their food. Make sure that your puppy has a nice quiet space to eat and prevent other animals from getting to your puppy’s food bowl. If your puppy feels threatened while eating, he may start guarding his food bowl. This resource guarding behavior can escalate and become dangerous to you and others.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsLeading organization dedicated to the prevention of animal crueltyGo to source
  • Try placing your puppy’s food and water bowls in a quiet corner of your kitchen or at the end of a hallway. Make sure that your puppy can access his food and water bowls with ease.
  • If your puppy is under 3 months of age, then feed him 4 meals a day.
  • If your puppy is between 3 – 6 months of age, then feed him 3 meals a day .
  • If your puppy is 6 months or over, feed him 2 meals a day.
  • How To Make Homemade Puppy Formula

    Fuller directs owners caring for orphaned puppies to the resources available through Maddie’s Fund. Maddie’s Fund is committed to keeping humans and their pets together by providing funds and resources to help animals in need of care.

    Maddie’s Fund provides two emergency milk replacer recipes, depending on the ingredients you have available at home. “It’s important to remember that this should only be used for a short period of time, until a commercial milk replacer can be obtained,” Fuller says.

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