Feeding Puppy   NEONATE FEEDING

Type of Food

Never give a neonate puppy anything other than their specified formula! (No cow’s milk!)

Puppies who are less than three to four weeks old are fed a combination of liquid or powder formula. After a feeding, unused liquid formula can be stored for up to three days in the refrigerator or frozen for future feedings. Frozen formula will last for 6 months.

The powder formula must be mixed for feedings. It is important to closely follow mixing directions: one part power into two parts warm water (as it can cause diarrhea or constipation if not done correctly). When mixing do not use a blender. Any reconstituted powder formula can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. After that

Feeding Etiquette

    • Only use clean nipples and bottles!
    • Feed puppies one at a time. Place them on a countertop and allow them to feed with four paws on the counter and with a level head. This simulates how they would nurse from a mom.
    • Do not feed a puppy while she is on her back. This can cause formula to go down the wrong way and end up in the lungs.
    • Gently open the puppy’s mouth with your finger and place the nipple on the tongue.
    • Stroking puppy can help them to eat.
    • Pull lightly on the bottle. This promotes strong sucking.
    • Tilt the bottle up slightly. This prevents the puppy from inhaling too much air.
    • Do not squeeze the bottle to force formula into the puppy’s mouth. This can cause formula to move into the lungs.
    • After feeding, burp your puppy by gently massaging her back.
    • Be sure to stimulate the puppy after or before feeding. Stimulate them with a warm cloth if necessary.
    • Fill out the Daily Weight and Feeding Record.

Weaning

Weaning can occur at 4 to 5 weeks and should be conducted gradually. Create a gruel by mixing moistened dry food with water or canned food. Introduce them to solid food by offering warmed can food, mixed with a small amount of water into gruel, in a shallow dish. Begin by placing puppy to the side of the plate, he or she should start to eat, it may take a few tries for puppies to understand. If they are not interested, wait a few hours and then try again. After they have accepted the gruel, gradually thicken it by adding less water. Begin to also offer dry food on a free feeding basis.

If the mother is present she will usually begin weaning the puppies by discouraging them from nursing; however, some dogs will allow the nursing until the puppies are old enough for spay/neuter surgery. Some nursing activity is the canine equivalent of thumb- sucking, that is, for comfort only. Even if the puppies appear to be

nursing, they may not be getting all of the nutrition they need from mom. Make sure the puppies are eating food and gaining weight.

Amount of Food

Overfeeding is a dangerous as underfeeding. Feed puppies until they are full but not bloated.

Cleaning Equipment

Keeping the puppies’ nursing bottles and supplies clean is vital as this will prevent diarrhea, vomiting, or infection. Cleaning the bottles and nursing nipplies is quite easy. Using hot, soapy water clean the bottle with a bottle brush. If you do not have a bottle brush you may wash the bottle and nursing nipple in the dishwasher. You may place them in the silverware rack or in a dishwasher basket.

Additional Feeding  Considerations

The digestive systems of puppies are fragile. Do not offer puppies treats. Only feed them the food provided by the Foster Coordinator.

If puppies are fighting over food, start to feed them separately. Contact the Foster Coordinator for support.

Never take food away from a puppy that is growling. Simply remove the other puppies and wait for the food bowl to be unattended.

Example of Neonate Puppy Daily Weight and Feeding Record

NAME/ID PUPPY 1 PUPPY 2 PUPPY 3 PUPPY 4 PUPPY 5 PUPPY 6
Date
Weight
Attitude
FEEDING 1
Milk volume
Stool/urine
FEEDING 2
Milk volume
Stool/urine
FEEDING 3
Milk volume
Stool/urine
FEEDING 4
Milk volume
Stool/urine
FEEDING 5
Milk volume
Stool/urine
FEEDING 6
Milk volume
Stool/urine

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