From the time she is born, a puppy needs to eat a lot of food to sustain her growth. She should double her weight after her first week and keep gaining weight after that so that she can maintain her growth.
If the puppy has a mother to suckle on, then just leave everything up to the mother. She will provide all the care and food that the puppy needs at this stage.
But what should you do when your dog begins eating solid food and drinking water? Here are some general advice that you can observe to give your puppy the perfect time to introduce solid foods or water.
When should I introduce solid foods and water to my puppy?
When she is two weeks old, the teeth of a puppy beginning to come out. She will have her complete set of 28 teeth by weeks 5-6, and when this occurs, her mom will begin to wean her. The puppy will be completely weaned by weeks 6-7.
When do puppies start eating solid food and drinking water?
So, from weeks 3-4, you can start introducing solid food and water to your puppy. The timing of this introduction is crucial.
Giving solid foods to your puppy too soon can adversely affect her health. Her digestive system may not be able to manage strong foods before she is three weeks old So she might be unable to digest her meal or vomit the food. Also, if she subsists on strong food and water before weeks 6-7 instead of her mother’s milk, she may not get the right nutrients to combat disease and develop well.
When you begin to introduce solid foods, the puppy will be drinking milk. Probably she is going to disregard the food and water for milk, but be patient. The puppy will instinctively look for an alternative source of food and drink when her mom begins to wean her.
How do I introduce solid food and water to my puppy?
Set up a feeding station in an out-of-the-way part of the nest. This area should be warm and free from drafts.
Place the puppy food and water in clean, shallow pans. Put a rug under the pans because the puppy will most likely make a mess if she explores the new things in front of her. Especially the water is going to be tricky as she doesn’t understand how to drink yet. During this time, if you use kibble, soak it in water or provide something simple to digest.
Make sure that the mother dog does not mind you handling her puppy.
Wash your hands then take the puppy to the feeding area. Let her explore the feeding station. Encourage her to try the puppy food.
Do not leave the puppy alone. She might accidentally plop into the water bowl or gorge too much on the food.
Make her stay in the area for a few minutes. Then clean her up and put her back to the area where her mother is.
Every time you take your puppy to the feeding station, make the time longer and longer. This is one way of helping her get rid of sucking her mother. You can also begin to give solid food that is not previously soaked in liquid.
What solid food should I feed my puppy?
Giving your puppy solid food, which is particularly formulated for puppies, is better. Usually high in protein, this form of puppy food is enhanced with fats, minerals, and vitamins. Look at the ingredients and verify that the first few ingredients are listed as the source of protein. Search on the labels for the phrases “puppy” or “all life stages.”
There are also puppy foods produced for specific breeds. Large breeds need additional protein to develop bones and muscles through slow but sustained development. They need a lot of calories. Small breeds meanwhile need food that can be readily digested. They also need diets that are high in protein but low in calories.
You can choose from many brands. Many companies are testing their products in order to guarantee that by eating their food, puppies attain maximum growth. Just to be on the safe side, discover puppy food with the AAFCO (American Food Control Officials Association) seal. This implies the company has fulfilled the minimum dog food standards.
Never give your puppy table scraps or other cooked human foods. Food cooked for human consumption contains a great deal of salt, spices, and ingredients that can be detrimental to canines. Do not let your dog have a taste for human food, or as she grows up she may build a liking for it.
How much should I feed my puppy?
The main tip is to look at the guidelines printed on the puppy food and adjust to the situation and appetite of your puppy. Keep an eye your kitten. Although your puppy needs a lot of food to keep her growing quickly, you shouldn’t overfeed her. She might throw up her meals or poop a lot if you overfeed her.
If you’re still unsure, consult your vet.
How often to feed a puppy? When should I feed my puppy?
The most significant thing is to maintain a regular feeding time. Don’t just leave out food and let your puppy eat whenever it likes. Train her from puppyhood to eat food only at a particular time.
How many times a day should i feed my dog?
So, whether you feed your puppy every two hours or three times a day or twice a day, the regularity of the schedule is more important so that your dog starts to get into a routine.
Take notice, however, that small breeds, such as Chihuahuas, tend to contract a disease called hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. This implies that they always have to consume something to maintain their blood sugar at the right level. Blood sugar or glucose is your dog’s primary source of energy. Having a low level of blood sugar could lead to a reduction in energy, and sometimes it could lead to a loss of consciousness if it becomes too low.
Also, so that you know how much you are feeding your puppy, weigh the food per day then divide it per meal.
Why should I give water to my puppy?
Water keeps your puppy hydrated. Plus, it helps break down food so that the nutrients can be properly absorbed into your puppy’s body. Water helps clean out unwanted minerals through pee.
Give your puppy plenty of water throughout the day. Double the amount during the summer months. Keep her water bowl clean at all times.
How should I care for an orphaned or rejected puppy?
A mother can’t take care of her kitten at times. She may not have enough milk to supply her pup with the nutrients she needs. She might detect illness in a puppy and thus reject it. During or after whelping, she may die. Whatever the case may be, taking care of the puppy will be up to you. Follow these rules to feed a motherless puppy.
What to feed newborn puppies without mother?
1. Take the puppy to the vet for a check-up. You can also consult the vet on the best equipment or puppy formula.
2. Buy nursing equipment.
You’re going to feed the puppy by hand, so choose the right facilities to do that. In general, a feeding bottle or large syringe and latex nipples are needed. There’s a lot of choices, but you can try:
- Pet Ag Nursing Kit, which has a 2-ounce feeding bottle and latex nipples in different shapes and sizes.
- Miracle Nipple for Pets and Wildlife contains a nipple and a syringe.
It’s easier for some individuals to use a feeding bottle with nipple attachments as they just need to maintain the bottle at an angle and let the puppy suckle. The use requires special handling of a syringe. The puppy might be choked by squirting too much formula; squirting too little might make the puppy impatient and suckle air.
3. Buy puppy formula or milk replacement.
The best formula for puppies or replacement of milk should be high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. The calories she requires should be given to the puppy, depending on her breed. As mentioned in this article’s first part, puppies from big breeds need more calories than those from smaller breeds.
Do not purchase a formula containing 100% cow milk. This kinds of milk are too hard for newborn puppies with the immature digestive system. If she drinks cow’s milk, your puppy may have diarrhea.
Also, see how much vegetable oils and egg products a formula contains. Too much of these ingredients might also upset your puppy’s stomach.
A formula made from goat’s milk is ideal since it is less processed and easier to digest.
Some highly-recommended milk replacements for puppies are:
- Esbilac Goat’s milk from dehydrated goat’s milk so you can be sure your puppy’s stomach won’t be upset by drinking it. It has more than 30% of the protein. However, it’s more expensive than other products, so be ready to spend some cash on feeding your newborn puppy.
- Nutri-Vet Milk Replacement Powder for Puppies includes dried whey, animal and vegetable fats, and sodium caseinate. However, the proportion of components was formulated in consultation with vets.
- Happy Dog Baby Milk Probiotic 30/30 comprises components such as whey, soy, gelatin, skimmed milk and other. It has low levels of lactose and probiotics, making it simple to digest.
- Ensure proper hygiene at all times.
Your puppy’s immune system is not fully developed yet. So, make sure that you keep everything clean when you feed your puppy.
Wash your hands before you handle the puppy.
Sterilize all equipment before and after use.
Do not feed your puppy formula, which has been kept in the refrigerator or without a refrigerator for more than an hour. It may contain bacteria that can harm the digestive system of your dog.
4. Feed the puppy every two to three hours during the first week. You will probably need to stay up for 24 hours during the first few days because the puppy will be constantly hungry.
After the first week, you can feed her every four hours.
Usually, a puppy will need to feed about 1/8 of its body weight. For example, if the puppy weighs 1/2 pounds, it will need to drink a total of 30 ml (1 oz) of milk substitute for the whole day. Try to weigh the puppy before each feeding so that you can have an idea of how much you’re supposed to feed her.
5. Monitor your puppy all the time. Since she won’t get colostrum — the mother dog’s milk that provides the puppies, the antibodies that make them immune to certain diseases — then your kitten may be prone to disease.
Also, she will need to gain weight constantly. If she does not gain weight then you should be concerned.
Take her to the vet if you notice her feeling unwell or if she does not gain enough weight despite regular feeding.
Making sure that your puppy is fed properly is part of your responsibility as her owner. But it is also one of the joys of owning a pet.