How Often Should You Feed Newborn Puppies – This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn money or products from companies mentioned in this post.
We don’t always think about how much and how often newborn puppies need to eat, ideally, at this time in their lives they would be with their mothers.
How Often Should You Feed Newborn Puppies
Together, they fall into a natural and comfortable pattern of receiving the nutrients they need from breast milk.
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If the puppies are not getting enough milk from the mother, or the mother is not around for whatever reason, how much and how often should they eat?
In this article, we will look at some basic questions about dog nutrition. We will start with how you can tell if your dog is getting the nutrition they need.
Next, we will look at how often dogs need to eat, how much they need to eat, and what they need to eat for optimal nutrition.
Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians. This article is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult your veterinarian or animal nutritionist if you have any health-related questions about your dog or puppy.
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Although we assume that nature takes its course for nursing puppies and that they get enough nutrients from mom, this is not always the case.
It may be that the mother cannot produce enough milk, that the puppies do not get the access they need to the large litter, or the mother may have rejected the puppies for some reason. how do you know
A clear sign that a dog is not eating enough is its size and weight. If there is only one dog in the litter, it will be significantly smaller than the others.
If you don’t have a point of comparison, newborn puppies should gain between 5-10% of their body weight each day. This means they should double in size within the first week.
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If puppies cry during or after nursing, this is also a sign that they are not being fed enough because they are showing distress. Of course, a call is not always different from a group of satisfied milking puppies, so pay attention.
Pro tip: If your newborn puppy is showing any signs of trouble, it’s important to talk to your vet as soon as possible.
When fed by their mother, newborn puppies will eat every two hours. The time between feedings gradually increases, so there may be three hours between feedings at two weeks and three and a half hours at three weeks.
They should not be left without food during the night and need a nightly feed or two.
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When they are 4-5 weeks old, you can expect them to eat every 4-5 hours during the day, and they should continue to eat at night. They should not go more than five hours without food.
Once your puppy reaches six to eight weeks of age, they can begin to be weaned on solid food and should eat four times a day. They can go up to eight hours at night without food.
It is best to feed your dog small meals rather than large meals at long intervals to aid digestion. Also, puppies have not developed the ability to manage their blood sugar levels, so they need to be fed regularly to maintain their energy levels.
That said, for the first four weeks, they will spend most of their time eating, sleeping and pooping. It may be a good idea to massage your stomach after eating to help with proper digestion.
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As puppies grow and move on to solid foods, you can reduce the frequency of their feedings. Try and get them on a regular feeding schedule as soon as possible, give them security and anticipate toileting needs and house training.
How often they should be fed depends mainly on the size of the breed, but there are some exceptions.
Toy breeds should be fed 3-4 meals a day until about four months old. This can be reduced to 2-3 meals a day in six months until they are full. After that they only need two meals a day.
Small and medium breeds can switch to a low-frequency feeding schedule when they are about four months old and eat only twice a day for the rest of their lives.
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Large breeds need 2-3 meals a day at four months of age, but as adults they need more frequent feedings to keep up with their energy use.
Until they are 4-5 weeks old, puppies should ideally drink breast milk, which provides them with all the essential nutrients they need during this critical period of development.
If breast milk is not available, there are a variety of milk replacement formulas available. They are no different from the formula that human babies receive, but tweaked for dog nutrition.
Below are some of the best puppy formulas you can get today. You can also check out the emergency milk replacement recipes available on the Maddie’s Fund website.
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It is a powdered milk supplement based on goat’s milk and is fortified with essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Milk is recommended to be reconstituted with one part formula and two parts water, and each tablespoon provides 13.5 calories as a nutrient for your dog.
This liquid milk replacement formula is made from condensed skim milk and caseinate to produce an easy-to-use formula that contains everything growing puppies need to thrive. It is particularly high in bioavailable protein and contains 13.2 calories per tablespoon.
This whey protein-based milk replacer for dogs can be fed to dogs or used to feed pregnant or lactating dogs. It is rich in protein and fat, which are essential for growing puppies, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. The formula also contains digestive enzymes to make it a little easier for new puppies to manage.
This powdered skim milk and whey protein formula from goat milk is enriched with digestive enzymes and immunoglobulins to help establish a healthy immune system for your puppy from an early age.
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This whey protein formula is formulated to support the healthy growth and development of newborn puppies with an abundance of calcium, magnesium, vitamins, antioxidants and omega. It is designed to closely align with breast milk for easy digestion. Each reconstituted tablespoon contains 12 calories of nutrition.
If you need to give your puppy formula, you should bottle feed them. You can read our full guide on how to bottle feed your dog here.
You will usually know when a nursing puppy is ready to move on to solid foods because their mother is no longer willing to feed them.
This is because this is the same time when their teeth start to erupt, which can make nursing very uncomfortable for the mother. For most puppies, this is around 4-5 weeks, but it can be a little earlier.
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Their teeth will not be ready for hard kibbles, so you will need to grill them with your chosen kibble, designed for dogs, and milk replacer. You can usually mix 2 cups of kibble with 12.5 ounces of milk replacer and 2 cups of water.
To help with the transition, remove them from the mother or give them any milk replacement formula for about two hours, and then offer them a grill. Put it in a shallow dish that they can easily access.
If they are not interested, you should put a little bit on your finger and put it in their mouth. If they are interested, expect them to reach for the tray to access the delicious food. Things can get worse.
You can then hand them back to their mother, who will lick them clean, or give them a quick wipe with a cloth, but not a bath.
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When you start the process, solid food should make up 10% of their diet. You should gradually increase the proportion of their nutrition that comes from solid food until they are on a full solid diet at around 7-8 weeks of age.
In the supermarket you will see adult dog food and puppy food next to each other and it looks very similar except the puppy options are more expensive. What is the real difference?
The main difference between adult and puppy food is the amount of protein in the dish. While most adult dogs can get away with about 20% protein in their diet, puppies need at least 30% protein to fuel their growth periods.
This means more meat in the recipe, which is the main reason puppy food is more expensive than adult dog food.
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It’s not just the amount of protein that differentiates dog and puppy food, though. Dogs also need specific amino acids to support their growing bodies, and the proteins in their diet are specifically chosen to support this.
The ten essential amino acids for dogs are valine, threonine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, lysine, methionine,
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