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Caring for newborn puppies can be a rewarding and sometimes challenging experience. One of the most crucial aspects of raising healthy pups is ensuring they receive proper nutrition. Follow these 11 steps to learn how to adequately feed your newborn puppies.
1. Determine the nutritional needs: The first step is understanding that newborn puppies have specific nutritional needs. They require high levels of fat, protein, and nutrients like calcium and phosphorus to support their growing bodies.
2. Use puppy-specific milk replacer: Newborn puppies require a suitable milk substitute, such as puppy milk replacer, since they cannot digest cow’s milk. These formulas are designed to provide the necessary nutrients for your puppy’s growth and development.
3. Mixing the milk replacer: Mix the puppy milk replacement powder with warm water according to the package instructions. Make sure it’s properly combined to prevent any lumps or clumps in the formula.
4. Warm the formula: Prior to feeding, ensure that the mixed milk replacer is at body temperature by placing the bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. Test the temperature on your wrist, making sure it’s not too hot or cold.
5. Sanitize feeding equipment: Keep your feeding equipment clean by washing bottles and nipples with warm soapy water followed by thorough rinsing before every use.
6. Feeding intervals: Feed newborn puppies every two hours during their first week of life, gradually increasing these intervals as they grow older.
7. Create a comfortable feeding environment: Ensure you have a warm and quiet area where you can feed your newborn puppies without disturbance. Hold each puppy securely but gently during feeding to mimic the comfort they would experience with their mother.
8. Burp after feeding: Gently burp your puppy after feeding by holding them against your shoulder or chest with their head elevated while lightly patting or rubbing their back.
9. Supervise weight gain: To ensure proper growth and development, monitor the puppies’ weight gain by weighing them daily. If weight loss or stalled growth occurs, consult your veterinarian for guidance.
10. Transition to solid food: Gradually introduce moistened puppy food around three to four weeks of age, allowing them to adjust to solid food slowly.
11. Consult a veterinarian: A veterinarian is an invaluable resource in the care and feeding of newborn puppies. Reach out with any questions or concerns, and ensure that all puppies receive proper vaccinations and care as they grow.
By following these 11 steps, you’re on the right track to provide your newborn puppies with the nutrition and care necessary for a healthy start in life.