Tips on How to Feed a Newborn Puppy: Key Considerations

Luis Dogalyo
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If you are starting a new adventure with a puppy, you will have realized that it is a very complicated task! Having a puppy requires a lot of dedication and time. Besides, puppies are very sensitive, they need constant care! If you want to know what to feed, here are the tips you need to know how to feed a newborn puppy.

How to Feed an Orphaned Newborn Puppy

Key tips on how to feed a newborn puppy

Although puppies need constant care, having a puppy is a wonderful experience! However, we must be especially careful with their feeding. How should we feed a newborn puppy?

How do I know if the puppy I have found is a newborn? Puppies that are less than 15 days old are easy to identify! They have not yet opened their eyes. Also, as an extra precaution, you should not touch them unless they are feeding.

How to take care of a newborn puppy without mother

If you have found a newborn puppy, and you don't know how to care for it. Consider whether you should talk to a foster home. These places have people with extensive experience in these cases. If you have decided to keep it, we have some tips for you!

  • The first thing to do is to create a stable environment. You won't need much. A cardboard box, a basket or a carrier will suffice!
  • The normal temperature for puppies is between 20-22 degrees. Keep in mind that puppies cannot regulate their temperature, so you will have to make sure that the puppy is well, and is neither hot nor cold. Otherwise, it could be dangerous!
  • Do you live in a cold area? Then you may need to use an electric blanket (covered with another blanket to protect him from gnawing on it). If you decide to use it, don't forget to cover the heat source with a towel and a blanket, so that the heat doesn't reach it so directly!
  • If you already have the ideal environment for newborn puppies. Cover the basket with a blanket, leaving a slit for air to pass through. This shelter should resemble a "den".


Feeding orphaned puppy

One of the causes of death in newborn puppies is...incorrect feeding! Strong, isn't it?

Have you ever found a newborn puppy on the street? One of the things you should be aware of is that it may not survive. Newborn puppies should be fed every 3-4 hours. If one of the feedings fails, they can die in a very short time!

How to feed a newborn puppy

If you want to take care of a newborn dog, there are a few tips to follow!

  • First of all, go to a veterinary clinic! They can give you the formula there.
  • Do you have more than one newborn puppy? Then buy different bottles for each of the little ones in the litter. This way, if one of them has a disease, it won't be passed on to the others! On the other hand, it wouldn't hurt to have several nipples for each bottle, so you can see which one is best suited to the puppy's snout!
  • Warm the milk, and check if it is warm (just as you would do with a human baby).
  • Pick up the puppy (or the first puppy if there are several) and wake him up. With the puppy on all fours (don't put it on all fours as if it were a human baby), give it the milk (about 10 milligrams).
  • Did the puppy drink more? No problem! But it is very important to feed him at least the minimum amount he should eat.
  • If during the feeding he makes a lot of noise or expels milk through the nose, go to the vet as soon as possible! This is one of the warning signs that the milk has gone into his lungs. Remember! Do not rock him as if he were still a baby.
  • After feeding, massage his genitals with a cotton cloth or a wet washcloth (like a newborn's). Watch for peeing and pooping at this time - don't forget this step! Under normal conditions, his mother would do it!
  • After all of the above, remember to wash the bottles with boiling water. If you have several puppies, mark them or buy them in different colors so you can tell them apart!

Read also: How To Make Homemade Emergency Puppy Milk

Has the newborn puppy been fed yet? Then you need to put him back in the basket. This will keep him at the temperature he needs to be.

Is your newborn apathetic? Even if he is, don't stop feeding him!

Remember! There are two basic precautions:

  1. Feed your puppy every 3-4 hours
  2. Do not keep leftover milk for more than 12 hours.
How does a newborn puppy grow

How does a newborn puppy grow?

To keep track of your puppy's progress, it is essential that you weigh him and keep a record of his weight! To be absolutely sure he is developing properly, your little puppy should gain 10% of his weight per day!

Is your puppy not gaining weight? Then you should give him more food. Until the newborn is 2 or 3 weeks old, you should feed him every 3 or 4 hours (at night too).

If you don't have time to give him all the care he needs, ask someone to help you!

Once the puppy is 3 weeks old, you will need to space out the feedings little by little. The first days will be between 4-5 hours, the following days every 5-6 hours. On the other hand, you should also increase the dose of food, up to 15-20 hours.

If he has taken his dose and doesn't want it anymore, don't force him!

This point is very important. If your puppy has already taken his dose and doesn't want it anymore, don't force him!

What to feed a 3 week old puppy

When your puppy is over 3 weeks old, you will see big changes! He will be more active, restless and... He will be much more developed!

Gradually reduce the amount of milk he drinks by 5% and give him wet food for the first time. Soft food or food soaked in water or pate.

When your puppy starts to eat soft foods, you can begin to gradually reduce the amount of milk and then wean your puppy. After that, he will be fed wet food and special puppy food.

Caring for a newborn puppy

One of the most common problems with raising a puppy is when the puppy is apathetic, doesn't move and even has a drop in blood pressure. Are you experiencing one of these cases? Then... Don't hesitate to give him some sugar water with a blunt syringe (another option is to put some honey on his nose), he will suck it and little by little he will be more animated.

Bottle-fed puppies lack certain natural defenses! In fact, mother's milk has components that artificial milk cannot match. The best thing to do is not to leave them in the street, not to let a dog near them and not to bathe them!

Does your puppy have fleas, ticks or other parasites? Take him to the vet as soon as possible! He'll know what to do in this case. Don't try to get rid of the parasites yourself!

When your puppy is 6-8 weeks old, you must take him to the veterinarian so that he receives his first vaccines (corresponding to distemper, parvovirus, coronavirus, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, rabies, bordatella); from this moment on, you can also put an identification chip on him, with the name, address and telephone number of contact, essential if he gets lost!

Can newborn puppies have nursing problems?

If you have found a complete litter, not all dogs will survive. And that's because, it may be because of a failure on our part, or because the puppy has a problem. We tell you about the most common lactation problems in puppies:

  • Choking during feeding. This is usually due to the puppy being in the wrong position when feeding. Be careful with this! It can be fatal. Do you think this is what's happening? Take your puppy to the vet as soon as possible!
  • The puppy is weak and feeble. The first thing to ask in this case is... Is he getting the amount of food he needs? Try to make sure the puppy is getting the amount of food he needs (or more) at each meal.

If your puppy shows any unusual symptoms, get him to the vet as soon as possible! If he is weak, treating him as soon as possible will mean the difference between life and death.

Did you know everything you need to know about feeding a newborn puppy?

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