Bottle-feeding a puppy could seem to be a daunting task for almost everybody out there. However, puppies have to be fed to make sure they survive.
So, the importance of the task is far greater than any worry you may have. In this blog, we will deal with feeding pups successfully.
In all the sections, we would try as much as we can to address all the pertinent questions you may have about the importance being feeding, the process of weaning, and the replacement of milk, to name a few.
What should newborn pups eat?
There is a difference between what you should feed orphaned newborn pups and the means you have. Undoubtedly, such young babies should not have anything other than their mother’s milk.
Consumers may get swayed by such ads and promotions, but that does not matter. The fluid colostrum, rich in nutrients produced by female mammals immediately after birth, is essential in providing puppies the nutrients they need to grow efficiently.
It contains several components that play the role of natural anti-microbial agents.
Various types of puppy formulas
Your primary alternative is the commercially available puppy formulas categorized into two groups – powdered and canned products. The powdered products happen to be the more popular among the two. It is because, in most cases, the digestive system of a pup can tolerate them.
As opposed to the powdered puppy formulas, the canned products are pre-mixed. It implies that when you buy them, they must be refrigerated. However, they offer far greater convenience when it comes to feeding such newborn pups.
Comparison with syringe feeding
In bottle feeding, the aim is to let the pups suck from a rubber nipple. However, syringe feeding aims to encourage them to swallow the food spontaneously. The good thing about bottle feeding is there is no shortage of bottles to feed with rubber nipples.
You would get them at veterinary hospitals and pet stores. In the case of syringe feeding, you have to fill the relevant part with the formula and place the tip at the corner of the baby’s mouth. After that, you push the plunger down and put small amounts of the food onto their tongues.
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Mixing up the puppy milk formula
The process of blending puppy milk formula is pretty simple. First of all, you need to make sure you get the ratio of powder and water right. However, this ratio is dependent on the age of your pup.
If the pup is between one and ten days old, mix a scoop of powder with a couple of spoons of water. If they are older, you must mix two spoons with three scoops of water.
Some simple guidelines to follow in this regard
Before feeding a newborn pup, you must stay calm throughout the procedure. Then, when you are confident, you can execute the feeding process as it should.
Following are the steps that you need to take in this context:
- moving the pup to the appropriate position
- opening their mouths gently
- tipping up the bottle
- getting the baby to burp
Using a baby bottle to feed the pup
It is better that you do not go for this option. Compared to newborn human babies, newborn pups have a poor sucking reflexes. Therefore, they would not be able to deal with the normal fast flow of these bottles.
Doing so would also significantly increase their chances of accidentally inhaling fluid into their lungs. It could lead them to get pneumonia as well.
If you cannot find a bottle designed for feeding newborn pups, you can get one designed for premature babies.
The frequency of feeding these pups
The newborn pups are as hungry as it gets, and thus you should feed them at least once every couple of hours. It is especially so when they are one week older or younger than that.
In the weeks that follow, you can decrease the frequency. So, when the pup is a week old, you should feed them eight times daily.
When they get to two weeks, reduce feeding to five times daily. Then, when they become three weeks old, you can further bring this down to four times a day until they are four weeks old.
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How long do you need to feed them from the bottle?
Once the pups reach a month, you can transition to solid food from liquid food in bottles. At this time, you must soak their kibble in warm water or blend it to make it easier for them to consume such food. By the time they get to eight weeks, they must be eagerly gobbling down their dry kibble.
The amount of formula that they should be eating
The amount of formula milk that you feed them depends on their weight. So, as soon as the pups are born, you must check their weight at birth. Keep weighing each day so that you have track of the progress they make with each passing week.
Even if you see them gaining as much as 15% body weight at the end of each day, you must not be alarmed. It is natural for healthy pups at this stage of their lives.
Regarding their food quantity, they should drink 30 ml of formula milk for every 0.5 pounds of their body weight.