Puppies should drink breast milk for the first few weeks of life. Then, between half past three and four and a half weeks of age, they should be switched to solid foods. Start getting puppies to eat solid food by mixing puppy food, milk substitute, and water. Heat the formula to body temperature (around 100 degrees) and position the bottle at an angle to prevent air bubbles from forming.
You may need to enlarge the hole in the nipple, which is best done with a hot needle while inverting the bottle. Always feed a puppy on his stomach, never on his back or on his back, as this could cause him to choke. Puppies should nurse enthusiastically, but not too quickly, as this can cause indigestion. Puppies should burp during and after each feeding.
Also, make sure the puppy gets plenty of fluids, as they are prone to dehydration if they don't get enough. This can be done by diluting the formula with additional water or giving the puppy clean warm water in a bottle or syringe. If diarrhea is severe, lasts more than three or four feedings, or contains blood or obvious parasites, you should call a veterinarian (and also bring a stool sample). Newborns will need food every two to three hours, throughout the day.
Six or eight meals, evenly spaced for 24 hours, are sufficient for most puppies; small or weak puppies may need more feeding. When feeding orphaned puppies, it's best to use commercial animal bottles; you can use a dropper in an emergency, but it doesn't allow normal suction as well as a nipple. The size of the hole in the nipple is crucial. If you turn the bottle upside down and the milk drips freely, the hole is too large.
You should squeeze the bottle lightly (simulating a puppy is breastfeeding) so that the milk drips. If you need to make the hole larger, you can heat a needle with a lighter and use it to enlarge the hole. Tube feeding may be necessary if a puppy refuses to breastfeed well with the bottle method. You will need to work with your veterinarian to ensure that you understand the technique and that you can safely perform tube feeding.
If done incorrectly, it can cause life-threatening aspiration pneumonia from formula accidentally entering the lungs. Make canned or dry puppy food porridge mixed with a substitute for puppy milk or water. Look for a well-known, brand-name puppy food that isn't grain-free. The ideal is to use the same brand of food that the mother dog eats.
During the first month of life, puppies require very little care from the owner because their mother will feed and care for them. This natural process allows puppies to become independent feeders and reduces the mother's physical demands as the puppies grow. If a puppy gets cold, it's important to gradually reheat it and refrain from feeding it until it's warm and stable to avoid vacuuming. A safer and more natural option than tube feeding, and more efficient than bottle feeding one puppy at a time, are Surro-Pooch nursing or a silicone feeding station for puppies.
Even the strongest and best prepared dog may not be able to meet the nutritional requirements of a large litter without jeopardizing their health or that of their puppies. It usually occurs when puppies are between three and five weeks old (just before weaning) and, most often, in mothers with large litters. When the mother's milk supply is not sufficient to support this, supplementary feeding one to six times a day is recommended and should be performed routinely in any litter with more than five puppies. Feed the puppy one cc (one ml equals one cc) of formula for each ounce of body weight every 3-4 hours or when he cries with hunger.
Investigating ahead of time can take some of the stress off your shoulders, allowing you to devote all your attention to caring for your new litter. My favorite combination for that is to mix some of the formula I had been feeding them with into a little Royal Canin puppy starter mousse. The Merck Veterinary Manual recommends using a heat lamp to keep the new litter warm, as long as a slightly cooler place is provided inside the farrowing pen to prevent puppies from overheating, and place the lamp far enough above the head so that it does not burn the puppies or the mother. Once the anticipation and waiting are over, and your pregnant dog has successfully delivered her new litter of puppies to the world, it's time to roll up her sleeves and get into the business of caring for your newborn puppies.
Again I had a litter of nine, and the prey wasn't producing enough milk for them in the first few days. Supplemental feeding can be continued until puppies are old enough to eat puppy food on their own. Your dog may not be fed the first day after giving birth, but she should eat within 24 hours after giving birth to her last puppy. .