Newborn puppies need to be fed more often than older pups, and the amount of milk needed for each feeding depends on the size of the puppy, and the size that he will eventually attain. Smaller-breed puppies need to be fed more than larger dogs, to keep them from getting hypoglycemic. Newborn Chihuahuas, for example, need to be fed .75 cubic centimeters (cc) for each ounce of their weight, every two hours during the first four weeks.
Newborn puppies should not be fed cow's or goat's milk, particularly the homogenized versions, as they don't contain the proper protein, fat and lactose levels that puppies need. If the mother dog's milk is not available, they can be fed liquid milk replacer that is already formulated for tiny puppies. Newborn pups can also be fed powdered milk formula, but follow directions closely when mixing the formula with water.
Puppies who weigh 7 ounces or less require 2 to 4 cc of formula every two hours during the first few days of life. Puppies who weigh over 7 ounces get fed 1 cc for every ounce every four hours, while those who weigh at least 10 ounces need 3 to 5 cc of formula three times a day. When large litters are still fed mother's milk, only the smallest pups need the extra help.
Formula with too little water mixed in causes constipation in the puppy. Too much water, on the other hand, has the opposite effect, causing diarrhea. Both conditions can be harmful or fatal. Regardless of the type of formula you choose, heat it by placing the bottle in hot water rather than by heating the formula itself, and test by dripping a bit of warm, not hot, formula on the inside of your wrist.
Eating too much during the first few weeks of life causes too-rapid growth of the puppy, which leads to bone diseases such as bowing of the legs. It's better to feed too little than too much. Overfed puppies are prone to digestive and bone growth problems, and their health fails over time. The size of the animal is not determined by how much he is fed but by genetics. Let the puppy decide when he is full.
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