How To Bottle Feed Puppies
Whenever possible, puppies should be nursed and raised by their mothers. There are times, however, when bottle feeding puppies becomes necessary . But bottle feeding the wrong thing, the wrong way, the wrong amount or on the wrong schedule can lead to illness or even death. Here is how to bottle feed puppies:
It is usually not necessary to determine exactly how much puppies are eating as long as they gain weight daily and dont act hungry until just before the next feeding is due. Commercially available milk replacers provide puppy feeding charts or guidelines for what a typical puppy might eat over the course of a dayfor example, 2 teaspoons per 4 ounces bodyweight. Follow these closely, as puppies who drink too much at one feeding can develop diarrhea, and if you have any questions or concerns, talk to your veterinarian.
Tempt The Pups With Watery Food
After the puppies are taught to lap water, they can be offered liquid feeds. PetMD suggests from three to four weeks onward you can offer sloppy foods that are easy to lap. These include:
- Puppy milk replacer such as Lactol, Welpi or Royal Canin Babydog milk. These are the equivalent of infant formula but the same makeup of a female dog’s milk. Placing some in a shallow bowl will encourage the puppies to lap and drink.
- Mash up a high protein baby cereal with either water or puppy milk replacer.
- Mash up canned puppy food to a soup or gruel-like consistency, with the addition of water or milk replacer.
Start with a sloppy wet mix so the puppy’s gut gets a chance to adapt to the new source of nourishment. Take several days to thicken the ‘soup,’ since puppies that readily take to solids may overload their guts and develop constipation or diarrhea as a consequence.
Once the pups are eating cereal mix that is roughly the consistency of pudding, it’s time to begin mixing in puppy kibble. This will take them through the final conversion to truly solid food. Please note, many breeders skip the cereal step and like go start straight to a porridge made of kibble. Either option is fine so go with what feels right to you.
Will Cooked Cabbage Hurt My Dog
Cooked cabbage will not cause any harm to your dog, just like raw cabbage. You should be cautious about what you cook the cabbage with. There are many popular ingredients that can cause serious health problems for dogs.
For example, take the stir-fry that we discussed earlier. You might not want your dog to eat the same amount of garlic and soy sauce as you do. Dogs are unable to digest garlic properly, which can lead to them getting sick. Also, because they havent been accustomed to high-sodium diets, the soy sauce could cause upset stomachs. Before you give your dog food, make sure you know what they can and cannot eat.
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What Should I Feed My Puppy
The issue is, a lot of dog owners do things differently. Some recommend wet dog food, others dry. Ultimately, this causes a lot of confusion. People start to ask questions: whats the best puppy food? Or, when can a puppy eat adult food? The major question that owners want to know, however, is this: when can puppies start eating dry dog food.
Weve put together a step-by-step guide to feeding puppies what they should be eating at the start, how you help them get used to solid foods and when they can start to eat dry food. This is a guide to help all puppy owners give their pups the best start in life if youre stuck on what to feed yours, be sure to give it a read.
How Long To Feed Puppy Food
Puppies need a complete and balanced puppy food until they reach maturity. Although dogs who are one year or older are often considered adults, this isnt always the case.
For dogs, adulthood depends more on breed size than their age. Because large and giant breeds take longer to mature, they need to eat puppy food longer than small- or medium-sized breeds.
Heres how long to feed puppy food based on breed sizes:
- Toy and Small Breed Dogs: Many toy and small breed dogs weigh less than 20 pounds at maturity and reach this size between 9 and 10 months of age.
- Medium Dog Breeds: Medium-sized dogs weigh between 21 and 50 pounds at maturity. They tend to reach maturity around 12 months of age.
- Large & Giant Breeds: Large breeds and giant breeds weigh between 50 and 100 pounds, respectively, and can take 18 months to 2 full years to reach maturity. They need to eat puppy food longer than small- and medium-sized breeds.
If you have a mixed breed dog or arent sure how big your dog will be at maturity, its best to consult with your veterinarian. They can tell you when to switch to an adult dog food and help make it a successful transition.
As puppies get older and reach maturity, it is important to monitor their food consumption. Leftovers in a bowl could signal that your puppy is getting full and needs less calories throughout the day. Start by offering less food per feeding and continue to monitor his body condition, says Purina Nutritionist Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS.
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What Can Puppies Eat
The Association of American Feed Control Officials establishes dog food guidelines, and in order for a dog food to be sold in stores as complete and balanced, it must meet AAFCOs nutritional profile standards. There are two dog food nutrient profiles that you should be aware of when choosing food for your puppy. One is growth and reproduction . The other is adult maintenance . Look at the label to ensure that you are buying a food that is right for your dogs life stage.
Can you feed a puppy adult food? If the label says that the dog food inside is formulated for all life stages, that means it meets the standards for both growth and reproduction and adult maintenance. In other words, its a food that has all the nutrients your growing puppy needs, and you wont have to switch to a new food when your puppy becomes an adult dog.
Can adult dogs eat puppy food? Adult dogs can eat puppy food, but should they? As a general rule, adult dogs do not need the highly caloric food, but there are some exceptions. Some extremely active dogs can handle the high caloric values in puppy food. And some food labels indicate that the food inside is formulated for all life stages, but generally it is best to feed foods appropriately formulated for adult dogs. Dogs have different nutritional needs than puppies, and it is important that they get the nutrients they require.
Balance A Healthy Diet With Exercise And Play
The best guide to how well your puppy is doing, both physically and mentally, is how interactive, sociable and happy they seem. Puppies want to play, they want love and affection, and they want to eat and sleep. So long as they are doing these things, you are doing a good job!
While it is up to you which puppy food you buy for your new family member, avoid the traps of home remedies or food meant for human consumption, just as you should avoid giving your puppy adult dog food. Puppies need to get the right amount of nutrients to ensure they have the energy to grow strong, and the best way to achieve this is to feed your dog puppy food that has been designed with their breed and health in mind.
Once youve established which food your puppy enjoys, a meal plan throughout the day, and a healthy exercise routine, your puppy will soon settle into the habits you set for them, including when to expect meal times. From then on, just keep an eye on their eating habits and behaviour and let your vet know if anything changes. Otherwise, focus on enjoying your time with your puppy training them, playing with them, and maybe slipping them the occasional puppy treat as a reward.
We wont tell if you wont.
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How To Wean A Puppy
Weaning puppies begins around 3 weeks of age. Weaning should always be a gradual process and puppies should never be abruptly taken away from the mother. Instead puppies should be offered a semi-solid food.
Feeding wet food to puppies at this stage is not recommended, because wet food does not contain enough calories to support a young puppys rapid rate of growth. Wet food is also very rich and may cause stomach upset in young puppies during weaning.
When Should My Puppies Receive Vaccinations
Puppies are protected against many canine diseases before and shortly after birth by passive antibody transfer from their mother. Some antibodies cross the placenta and enter the puppies’ circulation. However, the majority of antibodies are provided in the mother’s first milk known as colostrum. These maternal antibodies protect the puppies against the diseases to which the mother is immune during the first few weeks of life. This explains why it is often recommended to booster the mother’s vaccinations within a few months prior to breeding.
Although very protective, maternal antibodies last for only a few weeks after this time, the puppy becomes susceptible to disease. The vaccination program should be started at about six to eight weeks of age. This is the age when many maternal antibodies are beginning to die and the puppy becomes susceptible to infectious disease. Puppies should be vaccinated against canine distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza virus, and rabies. Other vaccines are also available for certain situations, and will be discussed at the time of the first visit for vaccinations.
Maternal antibodies are passed in the mother’s milk only during the first one to three days after delivery. If, for any reason, the puppies do not nurse during this important period of time, their vaccinations should begin earlier than six weeks of age, depending on likely disease exposure. A veterinarian can make specific recommendations for each particular situation.
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How Much Water Should A Puppy Drink
Puppies should drinks much water as they want . As long as your pup is not gulping large amounts of water until they throw up you should not restrict the amount of water your puppies drink. You should just leave a bowl of water out all day for the pups, but make sure your refresh the water when it gets gross and dirty. Making sure your dogs water is clean and cool encourages them to drink.
How To Transition From Puppy Food To Adult Dog Food
To avoid upsetting your dogs intestinal tract or causing diarrhea, gradually make the change from a puppy formula to an adult diet over a period of four days by mixing the two foods in your dogs bowl. Follow these guidelines:
- Day one: Fill your dogs bowl with 75% puppy food and 25% adult food.
- Day two: Mix the adult and puppy food in a 50-50 ratio.
- Day three: Feed your dog a mixture of 75% adult food and 25% puppy food.
- Day four: Switch to 100% adult formula.
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Weaning And The Journey To Solid Food
Weaning refers to the natural process where a puppy goes from solely surviving on their mothers milk to eating solid foods. Its a process that begins between the age of 3 4 weeks and takes several weeks to complete. Puppies are fully weaned when they reach 8 10 weeks old.
To transition from milk to solid:
In most scenarios, your dog would have already been weaned off milk by the time they come to live with you. If they arrive shortly after having been weaned, its best to start by feeding them food that is easy for them to chew and digest.
While you can feed your puppy moistened and mushed up dry food at this stage, wet food can be a better and more convenient choice.
What To Feed The Mother Dog
The mother dog should begin to eat puppy food during pregnancy, especially during the final two or three weeks. Consider a puppy food from the same brand that she is already accustomed to eating.
She should continue eating the puppy food as she begins to nurse her puppies. Dry puppy food should be available at regular meal times. This will keep the mother dog from excessively eating it and allow the puppies to develop an appetite between meals.
The demand for producing milk will decline as the puppies begin to eat solid food. With less time spent nursing, her milk production will decrease.
At week four, gradually transition the mother dog back to eating regular dog food, which will also help to reduce her milk supply. By week seven or eight, her milk production will cease without the stimulation of nursing puppies once they are completely weaned.
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Puppy Guide: How To Feed Your Puppy
- Growing puppies require more calories, fat, protein, and essential nutrients per pound than older dogs.
- High-quality, balanced food that provides the right ratios of nutrients, and supplies healthy fats, is key!
- 1-6 weeks: Puppies should be fed by their mother for the first four weeks. At four weeks, you can start introducing soft food.
- 6 weeks to 6 months: Feed your pup three to four times a day. Be sure to feed a diet thats made to fuel puppies growth and development.
- 6 months and up: transition to once or twice-daily feeding and stick with this schedule.
- Be careful not to over-feed. Too-rapid weight gain and growth can cause skeletal problems, and contribute to obesity.
- Weight management is important, even for puppies. Its important to know the right amount of calories your pup should eat. Dont rely on scoops. A fresh food plan makes it easy to feed the right amount, and to adapt as your puppy grows.
When it comes to feeding a puppy, theres no shortage of answers, advice, products, and promises aimed at new puppy owners. While some of it is more marketing than substance, puppies do have different dietary needs than adult dogs, and good food, served in the right amount, is essential for your growing pup. Its important to familiarize yourself with some of the basics, so we provided answers to the big questions here.
What should puppies eat?
What to feed your puppy: 1-6 weeks
What to feed your puppy: six weeks to 6 months
The healthy fat factor
6 weeks to 6 months
What Not To Feed Your Puppy
Puppy dog eyes are called that for a good reason they know exactly how to get what they want, especially when it comes to begging for more food! If your puppy is going to maintain a healthy balanced diet, try your best to ignore their pleas for table scraps and titbits.
A favourite toy, a walk or a game is a great substitute!
If you do occasionally give in, treats should never account for more than 10% of your dog’s total diet, otherwise you risk upsetting the value of a balanced pet food.
Also, be aware there are some foods to stay clear of, such as never feeding your puppy raw meat. To reduce the risk of food poisoning, kill any bacteria by cooking fresh meat thoroughly. Before feeding, make sure there are no small pieces of bone left, especially brittle chicken and fish bones, as these can damage teeth and cause obstructions in the gut. Never feed your dog human chocolate, as it is toxic to them.
Here are some things you should never feed a puppy:
- Raw meat.
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Does My Puppy Need Puppy Food
Puppies have growing bodies and so have different nutritional needs to fully grown dogs. We recommend feeding your pup a labelled puppy food until they are around a year old before moving them on to an adult food. Your vet may recommend feeding a large or giant breed puppy food for longer than a year.
When To Transition From Puppy Food To Adult Dog Food
Your puppys transition to adult food should begin when they approach adult height. Their breed type will also help determine when to switch, as will their size. For instance, small-breed dogs tend to mature physically much sooner than large-breed dogs.
Follow these guidelines to help you decide when to switch formulas:
- Small-breed dogs that weigh 20 pounds or less when fully grown are usually ready to eat adult food at 9 to 12 months of age.
- Medium-breed dogs that weigh between 20 and 50 pounds as adults normally mature at 12 to 14 months of age.
- Large- and giant-breed dogs that weigh more than 50 pounds when fully grown might not be ready to switch to an adult food until theyre 12 to 24 months old.
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