Bottle Feeding Newborn Puppies
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.
Sponge Feeding A Puppy
Sponge feeding is a safer, gentler option to tube feeding IF your pup is strong enough to suck.
For this method you use can a small cosmetic sponge cut to approximate the size of the momma dog’s teat, and also cut a small hole in the opposite end of the sponge.
It’s a good idea to have several sponges ready cut for use so that you can wash and dry them in between feedings.
Fill a small syringe with the right amount of milk for the feeding and insert it into the hole you cut in the sponge.
Dip the other end of the sponge in the milk and encourage your pup to suck on it. You may need to gently insert the sponge into his mouth and squeeze a few drops of milk out to encourage him.
Once he’s sucking, slowly press the plunger on the syringe to pour milk into the sponge and keep it flowing slowly so the pup doesn’t swallow air.. but slowly enough that he won’t be flooded with it either.
This video shows you how to sponge feed a puppy:
Bottle fed puppies are at risk of Fading Puppy Syndrome, which can be fatal. It’s important to know how to recognize this and what to do about it. Check out my page on taking care of newborn puppies to learn more about this .
Table Scraps Or People Food
No matter how lovingly your puppy looks at you, lets not kid ourselves by saying, its just sometimes when we toss her a french fry or a strip of bacon. Youll be surprised that out of nowhere, your dog obese and is crowding you off from the bed or couch!
Not only that, giving your pup table scraps on a daily basis or every meal can create a nutritional imbalance. And there are certain spices or ingredients that can upset your puppys stomach.
Dont be fooled by your dogs pleading gaze. Its not a test of your love for her and its not an emotional crisis. Believe it or not, its the canines way of scamming us without knowing the fatal and harmful effects it will have on them.
Not only are you rewarding your pets undesirable behaviors that will eventually be hard to break, but there are also human foods that are toxic to dogs. Some of those are:
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Hand Feeding A Tiny/toy Breed Puppy
Bottle feeding can be difficult for small breed puppies, especially the weaker ones or the ‘runts’ can be extremely tiny and weak.
If you have teeny tiny puppies they might struggle with a bottle, and this is one of the situations where the Miracle Nipple Syringe can literally be a lifesaver.
The syringe kit comes with two flexible rubber nipples which have a unique design that reduces the chances of a puppy aspirating the milk, and also provides a surface for the natural ‘kneading’ action that happens during nursing.
The Miracle Nipple also works great for kittens, rabbits and wildlife such as squirrels.
If your newborn puppy won’t/can’t suck from a bottle and you don’t have the Miracle Nipple you can try using an eye-dropper instead. Even the teeniest puppies are usually able to suck from these.
If they’re too weak to suckle to begin with you can gently squeeze the milk into the side of their mouths at first .
Check out this great video which shows a very small Dachshund puppy being dropper-fed
You could also use a syringe to gently ‘inject’ milk into the side of a tiny puppy’s mouth in the same way, but once the pup is strong enough to suckle change over to an eye-dropper as that works better in the long run. There’s also the option of sponge feeding.
But in my experience, the Miracle Nipple outperforms any of these and would be my #1 suggestion.
Puppy Living Space Feeding Disease Prevention
Living space. If the puppies were being cared for by their mother, she would choose a place that is soft, warm and away from full sunlight. In the absence of their mother, you must provide this type of environment. A box may be large enough for a first home for the family. Put the box in a warm, sheltered space. If the litter is a big one, you may need to buy a child-size plastic pool. As the puppies grow, watch to see whether they can climb out of the box or pool. Once puppies start to move, they can climb well within a surprisingly short period of time.
Bedding. Use clean packing paper or newspaper layered on top of a flat towel for the first week or so. Newborn puppies can get caught up in soft cloth and can die if they cant breathe. After they are able to lift their heads and move around a bit, you can use a towel, sheet or blanket. When the puppies start crawling, and then walking, theyll use the cloth for traction.
Feeding. Newborns will need food every two to three hours, around the clock. Six or eight meals, equally spaced over 24 hours, are sufficient for most puppies small or weak puppies may need more feedings.
Here are the steps for feeding:
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Get Your Puppy In The Right Position
Most puppy parents think of puppies like human children and may want to feed them like that. It is essential to note that puppies do not lie on their backs to feed. Instead, they lay on their tummies. So, if you want to feed a puppy, the right position will be placing the puppy on its belly or carrying it in a sort of standing position.
If you try feeding your puppy like a human child on its back, this puts the puppy at risk for aspirating the food. When a puppy aspirates their milk, it can go into their lungs and cause pneumonia.
How To Bottle Feed
Here are the steps and reminders when you bottle-feed newborn pups with commercial puppy milk.
Step 1: Prepare all the necessary equipment for feeding. Make sure to wash the puppy-sized bottles and sterilize them as frequently as possible before each meal. You also have to wash your hands to avoid sanitation problems that can potentially lead to infection.
You may also consider tube feeding milk for a puppy if you dont have puppy-sized bottles. However, do not use a water bottle for feeding.
Step 2: Prepare the water by boiling it and cooling it down to 158°F, if you are using powdered formula. If you are using the liquid type, then heat it to 100°F.
Step 3: Follow the package instruction or the manufacturers recommendation for the reconstitution of the milk. Package instruction should also indicate the amount of food to be given. Most commercial milk replacers would require 1cc of milk formula for every one ounce of body weight at each feeding.
Step 4: Position the newborn puppy on his stomach. Do not feed the puppy by holding him on his back as it can cause pneumonia due to milk potentially getting into the lungs.
Step 5: Assist the puppy in feeding by pushing the bottle gently. Of course, allot plenty of time for swallowing to prevent choking.
Step 6: Initiate genital stimulation on the puppy for him to eliminate when he is 1 to 2 weeks old due to his incapacity to excrete waste during that age.
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Can Puppies Drink Water
Very young pups fulfill their hydration needs from their mothers milk. As they are being weaned and starting to eat solid food, they will need a fresh supply of water. Generally, young puppies need about one-half cup of water every two hours. On especially active days, he may need even more water.
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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Puppy Feeding Chart: How Much To Feed A Puppy
Weve done the first step of determining the predicted average weight of your puppy once shes an adult. You can use this chart to know how much food to feed your puppy, but remember that the indicated numbers are only a guideline.
|7 ½||6 ¾|
*Note that this is just a general idea of how many cups of kibbles can be given to your puppy based on their age and weight. Its still best to check the instructions at the back of the packaging of your pets food or consult the vet.
It is also said that, if you want to promote normal growth for your puppy or litter, they need to be fed with the same number of calories and food. Its best to do this during their early stage of development, which is around 4 to 12 months of age.
Besides, the cup recommendations of a dog food brand are completely different from the others.
So heres a chart showing how many calories you should feed your pup every day. Its based on their weight and includes the daily caloric needs for the different kinds of food you can give her.
|Estimated adult weight, lbs|
*The values you see here are for canines with activity levels that are average. It can vary depending on your dogs activity level.
If youre going to ask help from your vet or breeder with regards to your puppys food intake, we recommend that you log her weight and growth.
It will help you adjust your pets meals and food intake in order to achieve the proper or average rate of her growth.
Is Evaporated Milk Good For Puppies
Evaporated milk is an excellent base for your homemade puppy milk replacer. It is thick enough to mimic the dams natural milk, and has a high enough fat content to be nutritious. Some owners opt for more exotic bases such as goats milk, but evaporated milk is more readily available and easy to keep on hand.
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Helping Newborn Puppies Poop
When the mother is present, the mother always helps the newborn pup urinate and defecate during the first few weeksbecause they cant go on their own without help. As the puppys adoptive parent, you should assist your puppy in defecating. Puppies need help with excreting and urinating the first two weeks of their lives.
The female dog helps their baby stimulate waste release by licking their genitals. However, humans do not share similar sentiments, and luckily, damp clothing, and hands are perfectly enough for the job. Since defecation is a vital part of their lives, you can ask your vet for help to encourage your newborn pups. A vet can teach you better tricks to helping them pee and poop. They begin excreting on their own at about three weeks.
Symptoms Of Aspiration Pneumonia In Dogs
If a puppy is suffering from aspiration pneumonia, one or more of the following symptoms may be evident. One of the most common signs of aspiration pneumonia in newborn puppies is milk or other aspirated fluid coming out of the puppy’s nose.
Other signs include trouble breathing, choking, vomiting, refusal to feed, weight loss, fever, pale gums, weakness. If your puppy is struggling, there are several things you can do to help a puppy who has trouble breathing, but veterinary care is important as aspiration pneumonia is a serious condition that requires prompt aggressive veterinary assistance.
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Additional Puppy Feeding Guidelines And Advice
Its best if youre feeding your puppy with the same schedule as your mealtimes such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If youre feeding her twice a day, give the pup her meals in the morning and an hour or so before her bedtime.
Giving her time allowance will let her do her business before getting some shuteye.
Dont give food to your puppy the moment you get home as you may encourage separation anxiety. Groom or play with her whenever you say hello.
You can buy dry or canned prescription diets from vets when medically necessary. Its often used to feed dogs who suffer from diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and other serious health concerns.
If youre going to use vitamins or mineral supplements, it may do more harm than good if its utilized incorrectly. So before making any change in your puppy or dogs diet, consult with a veterinarian first.
For your puppys liquid intake, fresh and clean water should always be available for her. Wash her water bowl every day to avoid bacteria. If it gets hot in your area, have multiple water stations inside and outside the house.
And to make sure all these works, have everyone in your home to follow the program.
If theres anyone in your household who has a soft spot when it comes to dogs, your pet will find and exploit it. One slip up can undo all the hard work and good that youre trying to do.
There should only be one alpha in every pet owners home, YOU.