Newborn puppies may need human intervention in feeding if the mother is unable to feed her litter or unwilling to nurse them. Mixing newborn puppy food correctly is essential to nourish them so they grow properly. If you haven’t bottle-fed a newborn puppy before, be prepared for truly bonding moments ahead. You may find the puppies hard to re-home after they steal your heart with baby-like nursing sounds.
Place a bowl on a kitchen scale and zero out the scale. Place your newborn puppy in the bowl and weigh him to determine the amount of food he needs.
Remove your puppy from the bowl and place him in a warm area that is between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Puppies at this age need to be kept warm because they can’t control their body temperature yet.
Read the label on a container of canine milk-replacer powder to determine the amount to mix based on the puppy’s weight. Measure and pour the powder into a bowl.
Add the label’s suggested amount of room-temperature water. Whisk the water and powder together until it is smooth. If you encounter lumps, strain it through a wire strainer to result in a liquid, flowing mixture.
Pour the puppy formula into a puppy bottle. Screw the nipple on the bottle clockwise until it is tight. Return the puppy-formula container to your refrigerator. Powder left out can easily develop bacteria that will make your puppy sick.
Warm the formula just before bottle-feeding in a dish of hot water until it is about body temperature or 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Feed your puppy as much formula as his little belly will hold. He will more than likely not eat a full portion for the first few feedings until he gets the hang of the process. Space feedings at about two hours apart, as tiny puppies cannot hold much food at a time but need to eat often to grow.
Items You Will Need
- Kitchen scale
- Measuring spoon
- Canine milk replacer
- Wire strainer
- Puppy bottles
- Cotton ball
- Wipe your new puppy’s rear end with a damp cotton ball to encourage defecation after he eats. His mom would naturally do this by licking his rear end, but a cotton ball works fine for a human parent.
- Dampen a washcloth with warm water and wash your newborn’s face after he eats. When he first starts nursing, formula is most likely to get on his face and body, because his eyes are closed and he can’t find the nipple easily.
- Weigh your puppy daily to determine how much he has grown and how much to increase his food intake. Puppies grow rapidly when they are very small.
- Obtain canned puppy formula to feed him quickly without any mixing needed.
- Dispose of unused, mixed puppy formula after each feeding. Wash the bottle and nipple thoroughly with warm soapy water.
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