How to feed a newborn puppy

The feeding of a puppy during its first weeks of life is of vital importance for its correct development. Although its diet varies with time, we must ensure that it provides the necessary nutrients in this first stage of its life in which the animal is more vulnerable. In this way, we not only protect your health as a puppy, but we guarantee your physical and mental well-being in future periods of your life. Therefore, in this article we give you the details about how to feed a newborn puppy, indicating the appropriate amounts and other guidelines that you must take into account.

Feed a puppy: the necessary nutrients

When feeding a puppy dog ​​we must bear in mind that the nutritional requirements are different from those of a dog that is in adulthood. During the first weeks of life, dogs need a high amount of proteins, minerals, vitamins and fats . All this is concentrated in breast milk, which is why the ideal would be that a newborn puppy was breastfed by his mother.

Breast milk

The most appropriate way to feed a puppy is to let him be breastfed. Breast milk meets all the nutritional needs of the little one during his first weeks and is the best way to guarantee his health and well-being. This is mainly because their milk is rich in proteins and salts that help prevent diseases. This compound is known as colostrum and its absence increases the chances of survival of a newborn dog by 50%.

Feed a newborn puppy: artificial milk

In the case that there is no option for the puppy to be breastfed by its mother, we can resort to the use of artificial breast milk . That alternative is very useful when one or more puppies have been abandoned by the mother or in the unfortunate case that she has died.

Feed a puppy with artificial milk

  • Go to the veterinarian . The first thing we should do when we have a newborn puppy in our hands is to take it to the vet. It is possible that, in the case that we have found it abandoned or we do not know its origin, the puppy suffers from malnutrition or any other problem that puts his life at risk.
  • Ask for artificial breast milk at the veterinarian. There are different commercial preparations in powder form that can easily be prepared at home to feed the dog. You can also choose to prepare breast milk for dogs.
  • You must acquire a bottle to administer the formula to the puppy. It is important that each puppy has its own bottle, since in the case that one of them suffered a disease we would avoid contagion.

How to give a bottle to a newborn puppy

Once we have bought the formula, it is time to prepare the bottle to give it to the puppy. These are the guidelines that you should take into account when doing it:

  • Read the leaflet instructions . When it comes to buying formula, it is important to consult the veterinarian about how to administer the different intakes. However, we can consult the instructions of the product to find out how much we should give the puppy, depending on their weight and age.
  • In general, the number of shots is one every four hours until three weeks of age.
  • Prepare artificial milk and bring the nipple to the mouth of the animal making sure it has an adequate temperature -37ºC- . In the event that you are asleep, stimulate your appetite by carefully approaching the bottle so that you feel the urge to eat, always without forcing it.
  • It is not necessary that the puppy is reclining, in fact we can let him continue lying in his bed to maintain his body heat.
  • We wait until the puppy is finished bottle and then massage with a wet cloth the genitals of the puppy. This is the best way to simulate the tongue of the mother, which licks her puppy after meals so that he defecates and urinates. Therefore, we must perform these massages until we achieve it.
  • Once we have fed our puppy dog we wash the bottle well . The best option is to boil it with hot water to ensure a complete cleaning.

Tips for feeding a newborn puppy

  • Do not use cow's milk . It is common to think that puppies can be fed with cow's milk, but the truth is that it is not the most appropriate food. Cow's milk is poor in nutrients compared to the milk produced by a pregnant dog. In addition, lactose can cause diarrhea and other problems in the newborn. Therefore, always opt for infant formula to feed a newborn dog.
  • Adequate environment Enable a space of the home so that the puppy or the puppies are comfortable. This space must be clean, away from any danger and have an adequate temperature. Under normal conditions, the puppies would have the body heat of their mother, so we should not forget this aspect and guarantee a temperature between 30ºC and 32ºC during the first week. From the second week on, the temperature should oscillate between 26ºC and 28ºC.
  • Control your weight The development of a dog is fast, especially during the first months. Therefore, the best sign that you are healthy is that it is increasing in size and weight. In case the puppy does not eat, does not gain weight, does not defecate or suffers from diarrhea, we should go to the veterinarian.
  • Do not reuse milk If there is milk left after bottle feeding, it is convenient to keep it in the refrigerator and not use it after 12 hours.
  • Take care of your socialization . During the first months a very special bond is created between the mother and her puppies. It is for this reason that in the case of raising a newborn dog without a mother, we must seek a correct socialization. Therefore, once past the first weeks and with the authorization of the veterinarian, we can start to join our puppy with other dogs. In this article we explain how to socialize a puppy with adult dogs and people.
  • From 6 weeks of life, the dog will go on to consume solid foods, so we recommend you read this article about how to feed a puppy dog ​​that will be very useful.