Feeding and Caring for Newborn Puppies
How to Bottle Feed Newborn Puppies
Prepare the formula according to the package or can instructions; the package on your formula should give you guidelines on how much to feed the puppy. The general guideline is 1cc of milk replacement formula for every ounce of body weight at each feeding. When bottle feeding puppies it’s a good idea to weigh them on a regular basis to ensure they are gaining weight.
Set the puppy on his stomach. Never bottle feed a puppy by holding him on his back, as this may result in milk in the lungs and pneumonia.
Place the bottle in the puppy’s mouth. Push the milk slowly, and give plenty of time to swallow. If you feed too quickly, choking may result.
Puppies should be fed every three hours. In the first few days of the puppy’s life, however, plan on a couple of feeding during the night. A newborn puppy should be fed 6-8 times every 24 hours. If the puppy seems to be thriving, you may be able to forego nighttime feedings (from 11 p.m. to 6 a. m.).
Puppies should rest easily after feeding. If the puppy is whining or restless. This likely means he didn’t get enough to eat or is cold. Puppies should burp or eliminate after each feeding. If a puppy fails to do so, make another attempt.
Transition to solid food
At around 4 weeks of age puppies can begin to transition from nursing to eating solid food. When making the switch, soak a high quality dry kibble with warm water and milk replacement, and blend to the consistency of gruel. This should be available several times a day. Gradually decrease the amount of milk replacement until the puppies are eating dry kibble by about 7 to 8 weeks of age.
Place the puppy’s belly against your shoulder about halfway through his feeding.
Pat or rub the puppy’s back until you hear him release air.
Burp the puppy again at the end of the feeding. You may not hear your puppy burp each time, but you should aim for a burp twice during each feeding. This helps release any air that was trapped during feeding. A puppy who retains the trapped air can become bloated.
Puppies must be stimulated to eliminate until one to two weeks of age.
Moisten a cotton ball with warm water.
Place the puppy in your palm so that he is resting on his back.
Massage the puppy’s genital area with the cotton ball until he urinates or defecates. The puppy may not eliminate after every feeding, but you should make an attempt at every feeding. Also make sure orphaned puppies stay warm, with a water bottle wrapped in a towel.