Bottle Feeding Puppies - All You Need To Know
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There can be a situation where you will, as a breeder, have to bottle-feed your puppies. This will mostly happen if the puppy's mother will not be able to produce milk or in case the mother rejects the puppy. We talked earlier about puppy milk replacer and how to choose one, and if you missed it, you could find everything about puppy formula here.
If your puppies are unable to get milk from their mothers, the first thing you need to do is remain calm. In today's world, it's never been easier to bottle-feed puppies and hand raises them. To start, you will have to understand how you should bottle feed your puppies and once you learn that, you will realize that this isn't such a harsh thing. Let's start.
How to bottle feed a puppy?
For starters, you will have to find the right puppy formula to suit your puppies. Secondly, you will have to find a bottle to be able to feed them. During the first month of their life, puppies will need mother milk or commercial milk replacers. After that period, you can switch your puppies to dog food, but the food should be softened for them to digest.
1. Correctly prepare puppy formula
It is essential that you correctly prepare your puppy formula. Mix it right before you are about to feed the puppies. You must get the correct amount of powder and water since too much water will lead to diarrhea, and too little can lead to constipation.
Another important thing is to give the puppy formula at room temperature not to burn the puppy's mouth.
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2. Choose the right bottle
Some breeders prefer to use baby bottles, while others will use specially designed bottles for nursing puppies. Either way, you must ensure that the hole on top of the nipple is big enough for milk to drip out but small enough so the puppies will have to suck it for milk to come out.
Bottles should always be sanitized and cleaned, and also you should always be careful and have clean hands when you bottle-feed your puppy.
3. Put a puppy in a correct position
It will be natural to assume that you should bottle feed your puppy the same way you would feed your human baby. Note that this is not the correct way to do it; if you do so, milk could flow into their mouth and enter their lunges.
When nursing, your puppy will lay on his stomach with head high and, in that position, will drink from their mother. This is the correct position you want to put your puppy in before you start to bottle-feed him.
4. Feed them regularly
If you end up in a situation where the only way for the puppy to eat is to give him puppy formula, then you have to be very careful and on time to regularly provide him with enough of this formula. In general, puppies will need formula every 2 hours daily.
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Some vets suggest you burp your puppies when they are halfway through eating. Doing that will ensure that the air will not be trapped in places that can cause problems for your puppy.
What if the puppy is too small or weak to suck the bottle?
There can be situations where your puppies will be too small, especially if you have a toy dog breed or, in other cases, too weak to suck on the bottle. In these cases, tube feeding is recommended.
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER: If you place the tube incorrectly, your puppy could end up with flooded lungs.
If you need to feed your puppies using the tube, our advice is to ask a vet or expert to show you how. The best way to learn is to watch an expert do it and try it yourself under supervision.
Here is our recommendation on the puppy tube feeding kit you will need to get started
World Dog Finder team