The best food for puppies in the first weeks of life is mom’s milk. But it happens that the female does not have the opportunity to feed the babies. Then this duty is performed by the owner. He is responsible for buying the mixture and feeding according to the schedule.
How to feed a newborn puppy
The best option is to find another female with puppies of about the same age. While you are searching, buy a special mixture in a veterinary pharmacy or pet store – a milk substitute for a female dog and prepare it according to the instructions. If it is necessary to feed newborn puppies urgently, then give boiled water with glucose – 3.5 ml per 100 grams of body weight.
Cow’s milk is not suitable for puppies in terms of fat content. Its composition is very different from the composition of dog milk.
In the absence of suitable food for the ward, temporarily use the recipes of the “homemade” mixture:
- two eggs are mixed with half a liter of whole cow’s milk, give this mixture in a heated form;
- beat one egg in 100 ml of cow’s milk and add a drop of vitamins A and D, preheat in a steam bath before use;
- 1 tsp. honey pour half a cup of warmed boiled water.
It does not hurt to consult with a veterinarian than to feed puppies who have lost their mother’s milk. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the breed of the animal – how large is the dog.
Preparation for feeding
Before feeding, the puppy needs to measure the temperature. If the column has dropped to 35.5 degrees, the baby is pre–warmed. Otherwise, his digestive tract will not cope with the load. The easiest way is to warm up under a jacket with the warmth of your own body, but this process can take up to three hours. While the puppy is warming up, if necessary, he is given a glucose solution.
Another important procedure before eating is massage. Mom licks her offspring, massaging their tummies and starting their work. Take wet cotton wool and wipe the baby girl around the navel and genitals, and males – in the direction from the navel to the penis. In the absence of massage, the ward is threatened with stomach problems.
A few more rules:
- the prepared mixture is not stored, it is diluted anew each time;
- before feeding, wash your hands with soap and boil the bottle for 5-15 minutes;
- check the temperature of the mixture by dripping on the wrist – it should be 38-40 degrees.
How to feed a puppy
To feed the baby, you will need a bottle – a special one from a pet store or a regular baby. Puppies of small breeds of dogs are fed with a syringe or pipette, if the dog is large, then use a pacifier. On the nipple, using a heated needle, we make a hole – neither large nor small. The mixture should not flow in a stream, and the puppy should not make excessive efforts to suck out the mixture. If the baby does not have bubbles from the nose when feeding, the hole is of a suitable size. If you have punched too big a hole, then let the baby catch his breath before continuing feeding.
Do not try to feed the ward faster – there is a danger of choking. If the baby himself wants to suck everything out as quickly as possible – forcibly arrange breaks.
If the puppy pushes the pacifier away, go for a trick. Moisten it with milk and drip on the animal’s tongue. Then he will understand that it is food. If the ward persistently pushes the bottle away with his paws, then hold them with one hand or swaddle the crumbs.
When giving the baby the mixture, hold the bottle at an angle of 45 degrees. The optimal feeding position is as close as possible to the natural one:
- turn the belly down;
- lay on your knees;
- raise your head.
When the baby is full, he will turn away from the nipple himself. Hold it upright for a couple of minutes to let out excess air. After eating, you will need a massage again so that the puppy goes to the toilet well. Take a damp cloth soaked in warm water and massage your tummy in circular movements. After the massage, the baby will want to fall asleep – this is normal. In the first few days they eat and sleep.
The puppy’s belly, which is too swollen after eating, indicates overeating. Experts say that it is better to underfeed than overfeed.
Feeding volumes and schedules
Newborn puppies need about 30 ml of the mixture per day. In the very first feedings, it is enough to give 1 ml at a time. From the second week, increase the volume to 4-10 ml per feeding. If you feed correctly and the baby eats enough, then he sleeps peacefully between feedings. A half-fed baby behaves restlessly. For reference – a puppy weighing 300 grams eats two full pipettes. If the baby grows and gets rounded, he has enough food.
The older the baby, the less often he needs food. In the first days, the mixture is given approximately every two hours – 10 times a day. In the second or third week of life, reduce the number of feedings to 6-8 times and remove night “snacks”. Monthly puppies are fed 5-6 times a day.
The frequency of meals depends on the strength of the baby. If he was born prematurely and weak, then at first he will have to be fed every 1.5-2 hours.
It is necessary to switch to solid food gradually. Start when the baby opens his eyes – in about two weeks. Teach him to lap the mixture from a saucer, offer cottage cheese from baby food. Let’s have less of the mixture and more solid food. On the 18th day, you can give dry food soaked in warm water, if you plan to feed them in the future. Start with a mini portion at the tip of your finger.
We monitor the weight
When feeding a newborn puppy, you need to monitor the weight of the crumbs and track how much he can eat in one feeding. The usual baby scales will do.
In the first few days after birth, not gaining weight is normal. It is normal to lose up to a third of body weight:
- under the age of 6 days – from 15% to 20%;
- at the age of 7-13 days – from 22% to 25%;
- at the age of 14-20 days – from 30% to 32%.
Do not worry about the lack of weight. You need to contact a veterinarian in 1-2 days if the situation does not improve.
Feeding a newborn puppy is a big responsibility. If there are several kids, then the task becomes much more complicated. But a caring owner will do everything so that the puppies do not suffer from hunger and disease and grow into big happy dogs.