10 Steps on Bottle Feeding a Puppy

December 31, 2014

Bottle feeding a newborn puppy is necessary if it’s the runt of the litter or the mother cannot nurse it. If there are too many puppies, it’s best to bottle feed the one or two smaller ones who are pushed aside by the larger pups.
There are several steps necessary to keep the puppy well-fed for the first month.
1. Consult your vet about the best formula for the breed of dog you are feeding. Different breeds or mixed breeds will take different formulas.
2. Mix the powdered formula according to instructions. Ready-made formulas are also available.
3. Use a syringe for the smallest puppies to start with. Try to get the pup to nurse with its mother at least part of the time if she is able to feed her pups.
4. Sterilize the syringe before feeding as you would sterilize a baby bottle. The puppy should suck on the syringe.
4. Be prepared to feed the puppy six times in 24 hours. Puppies need about 22.5 ml of formula over 24 hours on average.
5. Hold the puppy face down. Never feed it with the puppy on its back since this can cause choking.
6. Use special bottles for feeding puppies. These bottles have nipples that are close to the size of the mother dog’s.
7. Cool the formula before feeding it to the pup. The formula should be about the mother’s body temperature.
8. Puppies need burping just like babies. Hold it over your shoulder midway through the feeding and gently rub its little back.
9. Gently rub its tummy to stimulate digestion and elimination after feeding.
10. Keep the puppy warm in a box with a hot water bottle or heating pad wrapped in towels along with a nest of paper towels and pee pads. An infrared light or desk lamp can help. The smaller puppy you hand feed may be able to live in the same litter box with the other pups and mom.
Weigh the puppy everyday if possible to chart its growth. Its weight should double within the first week.
If you are feeding an orphan puppy, carry it close to your body whenever possible. The pup would normally be next to its mother or litter mates.
The puppy should show good results within four weeks. This is a procedure that takes time but it is rewarding for the caregiver.

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