How Much Milk Should a Bottle-Fed Puppy Eat a Day?

by Susan Paretts Google
    If a nursing mother isn't around, you'll have to bottle-feed those pups.

    If a nursing mother isn't around, you'll have to bottle-feed those pups.

    Three Lions/Valueline/Getty Images

    Normally a puppy should nurse from his mother for his first four to five weeks of life. If your pup has been orphaned, for whatever the reason, you'll have to step in and bottle-feed that little guy. Although amounts may vary based on your little one's breed and size, newborns pups need approximately 8cc of formula for every ounce of body weight each day, according to the Dogster website.

    Young nursing puppies need to be fed every two to three hours, day and night. During each 24-hour period, your little one should be receiving 8cc or approximately 1/4 ounce of canine milk replacement formula per ounce of body weight. This works out to be approximately 2 tablespoons of formula for every 4 ounces of body weight. Divide your puppy's total daily intake of formula into the amount of feedings you give him per day. For example, if you feed your pup eight times over a 24-hour period, divide his total formula intake by eight to determine how much to feed the little one during each nursing session.

    During each feeding session, your puppy should drink enough milk so that his tummy becomes round and full. The tummy shouldn't feel too stiff to the touch as this can mean your puppy has eaten too much; reduce the feeding amounts slightly until this doesn't occur. A good indicator that your puppy is eating a proper amount of formula is steady weight-gain each day. Your puppy should be gaining approximately 10 to 15 percent of his birth weight each day, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. If your pup isn't gaining any weight or is losing weight, something could be wrong. Your little one isn't getting enough nutrition, so make a visit to the vet.

    Follow the puppy formula manufacturer's directions for mixing it if you're using a powder, or consult with your veterinarian to determine the correct amount of formula to feed your puppy based on his breed, size, age and weight. If this is your first time bottle-feeding a pup, your vet can show you exactly how to do this. Boil enough water to mix with the canine formula powder and allow it to cool to room temperature. Stir the water and powder together until you have a smooth mixture. Put the formula in a puppy nursing bottle and heat it by placing the bottle of formula in a bowl of warm water. When it's ready, the formula should feel comfortably warm to the inside of your wrist. Bottle-feed the little guy on his tummy so he doesn't accidentally aspirate the formula into his lungs.

    It's important to monitor your pup's weight to keep track of whether your little one is gaining weight daily or starting to lose weight. You'll need to know the puppy's correct weight to determine his feeding amounts, as many formula manufacturers list the recommended amount to feed your pup by weight. Weigh your little one daily using a pet scale or baby scale. You may need to place the puppy in a small shoe box on the scale; be sure to account for the weight of the box during your daily weigh-ins. Mark down his weight each day and adjust his feeding amounts as his weight increases. If you see any weight loss, or aren't sure you are weighing the pup correctly, consult with your vet.

    When bottle-feeding your puppy, use only powdered or canned canine milk replacement formula. Don't use other types of formula, or cow's milk, because they can cause stomach upset and diarrhea. Also, they don't provide the proper nutrition and balance of proteins your little pup needs. Avoid overfeeding your furry buddy; this can cause diarrhea or even pneumonia if the puppy accidentally inhales the formula into his lungs, according to 2ndchance.info. When your pup reaches 4 to 5 weeks of age, it's time to start transitioning him onto solid foods by mixing the formula, in decreasing amounts, with canned puppy food over a period of four weeks.

    Photo Credits

    • Three Lions/Valueline/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, crafts, television, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared in "The Southern California Anthology" and on Epinions. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.

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