Making sure that your new puppy gets proper nutrition is important. This guide is about feeding a puppy.
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If you are tackling the job of mama for baby puppies or cats, don't let them aspirate (breath in) their milk, as it can cause respiratory problems and death. Feed only small amounts, and more often without allowing pup to overeat then vomit, and can inhale it into their lungs.
Don't use cow milk, but goat milk for babies is as good as the stuff from vet, easy to digest. Use l/2 goat milk (canned) for babies and 1/2 water. Remember to burp as with a baby on a bottle. Good growing.
Source: My experience with a tiny Boston bull terrier pup started at 2 days.
By fuzzytufts from south GA
I read the request about "Pit Bull Eating Grass" and I am an amateur dog breeder and would like to make a few comments.
First off: Your pup is eating grass because it either needs to eliminate some discomfort or it is lacking a nutrient. If you get a puppy and it no longer has access to its mother's milk or the equivalent then you should not just give it what humans or other animals would use. This pup specifically should be being introduced to some form of dog or puppy chow.
We usually begin introducing food between 3 and 4 weeks softened with water to the consistency of runny oatmeal, progressively thickening as the pup ages. By 6 weeks it should be able to eat dry kibble and drink water. A milk substitute designed for pups may also be given as well until 8 weeks of age. But no other food or other animal milk should be given, your pup would be better off with the softened dog food alone than to be trying to digest something his body is not designed to digest.
Get your pups de-wormed, all pups are born with worms and need de-worming. And be careful with the flea bath shampoo as it is strong and I have unfortunately seen people actually poison a pet using this shampoo while trying to eliminate the discomfort of fleas.
Good luck and try to get your pup to a vet around 8 weeks for puppy shots.
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Here are questions related to Feeding a Puppy.
I am looking at a puppy that is 8 weeks old and still wants mom's milk. He won't eat puppy food. Any suggestions?
By Pam from San Diego, CA
By (Guest Post)05/28/2008
I fed a litter of great Pyrenees pups from the time they were 5 days old. A breeder gave me a recipe for formula that worked great. It was a can of Pet milk (evaporated milk), 1 cup of plain whole fat yogurt, 1 can of baby food beef, and a can of water. Just mix up in the blender. They grew fine and seemed very satisfied.
My family raised 21 puppies totally by hand from the time they were two weeks old. The vet's office gave me a recipe consisting of evaporated milk, boiled water, white corn syrup, and infant vitamins instead of suggesting I buy the prepared formula (he knew we couldn't afford that for 21 pups). When the pups reached about 6 weeks of age we started feeding them puppy chow that we had made soggy with warm water. All of the pups survived, and we kept one who is still quite healthy. I can't remember the ratios, but I'm sure most, if not all, vets know this recipe or something similar.
By (Guest Post)05/07/2005
Talk to your vet or local pet supply store about Nutri-Cal. It comes in a tube and is a feeding supplement for puppies too young to feed. Also, you might try getting Gerber baby food, their meats. There's beef, chicken, turkey, veal, and ham. Give a little of this mixed in with some kibble mush. No milk! Our teacup Chihuahua weighed only 11 oz. when we brought her home 2 years ago and these things seemed to work great for her. Also, watch the pup's water intake as very young puppies can get dehydrated quickly. Our vet gave me a syringe with the needle removed so I could shoot some Nutri-cal and then some water (not too much at a time!) into Mitzi's mouth. She's now a robust 2 year old and weighs in at a whopping 4 lbs. Also, she still likes her baby food and won't eat her meals unless I put just a little on top and smear it around. What a spoiled brat!
You're not supposed to give puppies "people" milk. If you will check at your local Wal-Mart or contact your vet, there is a milk replacement for puppies. I raise Yorkies and what I do when they first start on food is to put a small amount of dry food in a bowl with hot water, make sure the food is covered. Let this sit until it cools off to lukewarm and it should have absorbed the water by now and it makes a soft dog food they can eat. Don't give them canned dog food, this will often times give the little guys diarrhea. Good luck with your puppy!
Can I feed my 6 week old puppy cooked eggs? It is half Sheepdog/half Pyreneese.
Paula from Townville, SC
By U*u*U (Guest Post)03/07/2008
An egg is a good source of protein, but with any new food, I suggest you do what you'd do for a baby. Introduce it gradually, just a small bit at first and watch for any adverse reactions, i.e., stool changes, lethargy, etc.
Because of the cholesterol content, it should be limited too, just a bit, to a few times a week.
My Pit Bull had her first litter of pups and was caring for and nursing them fine. But this week she no longer wants to sit and nurse them until they get full, so I started to feed them puppy food, and they seem fine.
Are they gonna be okay?
By Lizzyanny 06/25/2011
At four weeks weaning usually begins by offering the puppies a slurry of puppy formula and kibble. The solid food is soaked in the formula or a food processor is used to make "smoothies". Pour the mix onto a large flat pan with a low rim, feed the puppies 4 times day.
Five weeks: the mixture should be like cooked oatmeal.
Six weeks: the mixture has chunks of solid food for them to begin chewing.
Seven weeks: the kibble is soaked in formula before serving so it is slightly softened.
Eight to ten weeks: sprinkle powdered formula over kibble and add warm water just before serving.
What should I feed my new 2-3 weeks old puppies? They are still nursing from mommie.
Nothing. Their mother is feeding them what they need right now.
My puppy is 4 months old and doesn't seem to be satisfied with puppy food. Is he too young to have adult food?
By Gretchen from Cleburne, TX
By Robyn 12/01/2013
A four month old puppy still needs the extra protein in the puppy foods in my opinion. What kind of food are you feeding the puppy?
I would get him examined by a vet and then go on and feed him a higher quality food that doesn't have a lot of corn and by products in it like Diamond foods at Tractor Supply or other feed stores.
I have a 3 week old Pomeranian that I started bottle feeding when he was a 1 week old due to the momma dog not having enough milk to for the puppy. Now that he is 3 weeks old, sometimes he sleeps over his feeding time. I'm not sure if I could wake him because he isn't crying. A lot of times I'll know when he's hungry or cold because he does whine. So, should I wake him up when it's feeding time or let him sleep?
By nina m from ohio, sp
By Robyn 08/30/2013
I personally, would let him sleep if he is sleepy. He needs the rest. Give him a hug for me! I could be wrong, but that is what I would do with my own baby, human or furbaby. :)
Please give me tips to take care of a dachshund. What kind of food should I give to a 5 months old puppy?
Sally from Cebu, Philippines
By Judi 09/16/2008
To the guest post of 9-15 from a veterinarian's wife: Unless other vets get something we never did they aren't getting any kick backs from selling or recommending Science Diet. When my husband first became involved with pet foods he quickly discovered that other companies were doing a copy cat thing with SD and advertising their foods as 'good as Science Diet". They were in the beginning the leaders in animal nutrition. Things have changed over the years and there are several good pet foods now.
We've fed our dogs and cats only SD for over 23 years and have seen good results with all including young and old. To say that vets have a monetary motive for selling/recommending something is not fair. We carried foods that we could feel confident were of good quality and healthful to the animals. Yes, we made some money selling it. That's the way it works but we didn't get special consideration, just regular mark-up; the same way the grocery store and feed store does except less. Be fair, please.
I have a 3 wk. old blue Pit Bull puppy that is away from mother. What should I feed him and for how long?
By pug lover (Guest Post)07/29/2008
My mom and I had to raise a 3 week old Pug because the mom had dried up from milk. We took it to the vet and they said keep it on puppy mush, which is puppy food and hot water mashed up and to also give it some milk replacement. You can get it from Walmart or any place that sells dog supplies.He is now 6 months old and is as healthy as ever.
My friend had a baby Chihuahua. It was given to me because the mother would not feed him; she didn't have any milk and was trying to wean him off I guess. Their house was also infested with fleas, so he's home with me. He ate one good time with supplement milk and the second time he wouldn't eat. He's just sleeping. Is this normal? What should I do? I'm worried about him
See a vet. When a young pup feeds, the mother licks him from below the navel downwards to stimulate digestion (as we burp a baby). So you may need to dampen a cotton wad with warm water and wipe as the mother would.
I have a 6 week old pup named Buddy. He eats once a day; is this normal? Should he be fed before bedtime?
By Abigail A. 01/09/2015
Well I wouldn't feed a puppy ALL it can eat. Many puppies would eat all they can and then throw it back up. Or they could get bloat eating too much too fast.
The recommended daily amount is on the bag, but since all breeds are different, definitely take your pup to the vet for an assessment of how much it should be eating.
I have 4 two week old French Poodles. Their mother just died; what can I feed them and how?
By Jimena from San Diego
By Pixiedust7 09/05/2013
I also meant to add - Good luck, and let us know how you and they are doing. So sorry the mom passed away.
Please help me. I got a Doberman pup (Taz) who is 27 days old. He doesn't drink milk at all. He has been hungry for for 2 days. I am very tense about it. Please give me some suggestions on what and how to feed him.
By Owais M. from Srinagar, Kashmir, India
By NEWFIEGIRL 08/17/2011
You never explained how you came to have a 27day old puppy. And with no disrespect if any animal irrespective of age has not eaten for two days the sensible thing to do is contact your Veterinarian but to leave one so young with out treatment is disastrous.
My 14 week old Maltese will only eat if she is hand fed. We got her 2 weeks ago and rescued her from what we think is a puppy mill. She is healthy, weighs 43.5 oz today (9/26/15). She runs around, plays, and has lots of energy. I am soaking her puppy food until it's very soft and that's what she eats. She also won't drink. I give her liquids from a syringe.
How do I get her to eat on her own? I'm afraid to just stop feeding her as I worry about hypoglycemia and dehydration.
I put pieces of her soft food on the table for her to eat on her own, but she won't touch it. She has no idea that eating is something that she can do on her own.
When we went to pick her up from the breeder she was squeezing honey water into her mouth from a pointed squeeze bottle. She told me that she had been feeding her cooked chicken. My vet had a fit and told me that it was a poor diet and get her on a good food, which I did.
How can I train her to eat on her own? Thanks!
By Myrna  09/30/2015
I agree with Abigail's statements. Also, you could play a game with some of the food to encourage pup to eat it. I would do that with my pup and he would have fun and eat it too and created more bonding time. However, I've read extensively online about giving a pup soft dog food as it will eventually cause gum/teeth problems. Use one of those vinyl finger brushes and doggie paste to clean its teeth after it eats. My pup enjoyed chewing on it too which helped to keep teeth/gums clean.
I have two puppies that where taken by two very young children I have a feeling without permission. They were trying to sell the puppies and I talked them into letting me keep the puppies. I, along with a pastor, am trying to find the owners. I have decided I will pay them for the puppies if they tell me who they belong to. Meantime I have fed them chicken and beef broth mixed with Purnia chow because I did not have money to buy puppy chow. One is throwing up and has runny stool. I know it is because they both need to be with their mother. I am so scared for the babies. Does anyone have suggestions on how to handle this problem? I can't see anyone in their right mind giving puppies to children this young. They appear to be maybe 7 and 8 year old children!
By Abigail A. 09/19/2015
Take them to a no-kill shelter where they will be fostered with the correct milk-replacement formula. You can't afford this formula. Do it quickly or they could die.
Legally since you have possession of the puppies you are the owner.They will need you to sign them over.
DO NOT PAY THE CHILDREN ANYTHING. That is buying stolen merchandise, first of all. Most importantly, if they get the idea in their little pea-brains that they can get money for puppies there won't be a safe puppy in town!
Never reward criminal behavior in children!
I have about a 2-3 week old teacup Chihuahua, but I don't know what I should be giving him.
By Cisco's Mom 12/14/2013
You need to give him back to his mother until he is at least 6 to 8 weeks old. He should be nursing from his mother. If you can't get him to his mother, ask your vet what to feed him. Probably something like baby formula. He can't eat dog food yet.
Can I give a 5 week old Rottweiler goat's milk as a drink from a dish and bring in meat, in instead of bottle feeding?
By Chris B.02/04/2015
A few years ago I had a rott that got mastitis, a deadly milk infection that killed half her litter. I was down to five, 5 days old pups so I rushed her to the vet to see the problem. The vet stuck his finger into one of the pups mouth and said "Well, they are hungry!"
So, I took them home and put them on milk puppy milk replacer for about 2 weeks. They accepted the bottle right away as if they knew what happen! then after that I put them on goats milk and egg mixed together for about another week then weened them on puppy chow. I made it into a groul or anotherwords mushy. I don't know how I did it working a job and raising pups but I did and sold them for 250.00 each when they were 8 weeks old! Good luck with yours.
When can I introduce my puppies to puppy food instead of just nursing?
By Robin from Norwich, CT
By Edna Raisor02/25/2012
We use to breed Dalmations and had about 5 litters altogether. The mom has a way of weaning her puppies. Just like babies you can tell if the puppies are getting enough to eat. I would usually start the puppies at 4 weeks with baby cereal, 2% milk, and puppy chow on a pie plate once daily. We always used a kiddy swimming pool for the puppies. Having all of them in confined area helped the mom corral her puppies as well as keeping the area clean. You could always talk to the vet to see what he says. Hope this helps.
How often do I feed an 8 week old Pit puppy? She eats dry food soaked, but I just want to know how often she should be fed?
By Jennifer from Ellijay, GA
By Candy Killion 03/30/2010
Thumbs up to Glenn's Mom's answer; just want to add to this that your pup isn't too young to handle the dry food without wetting it ( as long as he's getting plenty of water).
Getting him accustomed to the dry kibble will help him in his teething process, and also help scrape tartar from those baby teeth.
I have a month old Cocker. What should I feed him? He is my first pet.
By Lizzyanny 03/20/2015
You have a puppy that has been taken from its' mother too early. I would try to feed it canned dog food or softened dry food. It may take your puppy awhile to learn to eat so be patient. You can buy dog food especially for puppies. Just make sure it is soft and moist. Keep a dish of water close by. The puppy needs to be fed 4 or 5 times a day. Feed it all it will eat. It needs a warm bed with blankets that can be washed. Be careful of using heating pads, as they can be too warm for a puppy. Be sure to give your puppy lots of attention to make up for losing its' mother so young. There are many good posts on this website about raising young puppies. Do a search.
What is the best food to feed my 8 week old German Shepherd Husky mix? We want to give him the best food to keep him lean and in good health.
By Abigail A. 03/15/2015
Here are some healthy food names: Wellness, Natural Balance, Canidae, Blue Buffalo, Castor and Pollux, Honest Kitchen, AvoDerm, Evo
Do not go with: Ol' Roy, Purina, Alpo, Old Glory, Kroger Value, Old Yeller Kibbles and Bits, Beneful, Eukanuba, Royal Canin
Is my Pug puppy not eating enough? I feed him about a handful a meal. He is about 11 weeks old.
By Shirley 10/27/2014
Just look at the back of the package and it should tell you. Or, just call your local Vet!
I have a 8 week old Husky/Shepherd; how many times a day should I feed him and how much?
By Ed M
By NEWFIEGIRL 09/02/2014
You should ask for the long term feeding chart from whoever you obtained the puppy from. It's mandatory for registered licensed breeders to supply this information when the puppy leaves at eight weeks.
I would also contact a veterinarian. This is the most critical part of your animal's life that can affect it for the rest of it's life. And please don't forget it's annual vaccinations are imperative for a long healthy life.
I have a 3 month old Pit/Lab mixed puppy. My neighbor gave him to me with adult dog food (Gravy Train). So I have been feeding him with it and he seems to love it. When I take him out to bathroom, his poop comes out thick and soft like ice cream (sorry). I am wondering if that's OK to give him, cause I never know what brand of puppy food is best. I don't want to have to constantly switch between different brands, as I have been with previous brands? So any suggestions on type and brand of puppy food for my little guy?
By James B from Columbus, GA
By Sherri 09/11/2013
Congrats on your new fur baby. Gravy Train has been around for many years and is one of the cheapest brands you can feed your dog, especially a puppy. Your puppy needs to have a puppy food diet until he is at least 8-9 months old. He needs all the nutrients that are in a puppy food to help him grow and maintain good health.
Gravy train will make his stools soft because of all the junk they put in it. If you put him on a better diet, you will have non loose stools, less smell, less gas, and more, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. i have worked for a Veterinarian for many years and our Doctor's always suggest a brand called Wellness, or Blue Buffalo. these brands also have a puppy food.
I have been feeding my 2 dogs Wellness for many years, and they are happy & healthy. You can call the Wellness company and they will send you a puppy package for your puppy. It will have "How to Care" for your puppy and also some coupons. Good luck. Please don't forget to vaccinate your puppy as the breed he is is prone to the parvo virus.
They gave me a small puppy and she has got baby teeth. I don't know how old she is. She was hungry so I gave her 2% milk; is that good for her?
By Lizzyanny 06/06/2013
2% milk in not the best choice to feed your puppy. You need to know how old the puppy is to know what to feed it. Find a local Veterinarian and take the puppy to see him/her. They can tell you how old the puppy is, what to feed now and in the future. The puppy needs shots too. Get a good puppy food at the pet store and soften it with water until it is soft enough for the puppy to eat. Good luck with your puppy.
I have a baby Chihuahua puppy. I do not know how old it is, but it doesn't have any teeth and it still acts like it's trying to nurse on its mother. The people who gave it to me were gonna take it to the pound so I took him.
He acts like he is fine with the puppy milk I've been feeding him. I put a little bit of puppy food in it and warm it up and feed it to him. I just want to make sure he is gonna be okay if I feed him that. Please help me!
By vicki hood 10/19/2012
Vet immediately. Pup will die in hours if there is wrong formula or no feed. Probable need is milk replacer from pet food store. Please, immediate action.
What can I feed my 5 week old Bull Terrier puppies? Their mom wants to bite them, because when they want to drink milk they bite her.
By Robyn Fed 08/20/2012
Here is some information:
You can start weaning them from the mom. Feed them wet dog food mixed with a little puppy food and a little warm water until it is smooth.
They should begin to eat this, and also you might need to separate them from mom during the day if they keep trying to nurse.
I just got a 6 week old Bugg, that's a Boston/Pug cross, 2 days ago. She's very little, a pound maybe. Everyone is saying she looks younger. I got her 1-12 month dry puppy food, but my husband just told me puppy food is by weight not just age. I'm new at having a small puppy, I never had one this small.
What should I be feeding her? The first night I gave her food she ate it all, then 2 hours later puked it up. After that she's doing great and she's even fatter now. I think she's the runt. She got her first shots and worming with the owner of the mother dog. Please tell me anything I should know about small dogs. I have books on Bostons, but just can't find them.
Yeah if it is younger than 6 weeks, then it should not be eating hard food yet. I would get canned dog food, or specialized puppy soft food.
I have a 7 week old Bichon Frise; how many times a day is it best to feed her?
By Frugal Sunnie 01/14/2012
What does your vet say?
I've never had that breed but have raised puppies for years (Boxers). Our pups that age would still be getting a lot of their nourishment from Mum although I would be offering a quality kibble moistened with water or a puppy milk replacement every three or four hours, too.
If you decide to try starting your puppy on moistened kibble, be sure to supervise-watch for choking, gagging, and yes, drowning/suffocating. If he falls asleep during feeding and lands nose first, he may lack the ability to wake-up and move his face. Puppies of different breeds grow and develop at breed specific stages and not all 7 week olds have strength and instincts in equal measure.
Also remove the kibble once the puppy loses interest, and don't try to economise by saving it over to the next feeding time because it could spoil even in a short time, causing tummy troubles for your puppy.
How much should a Chihuahua/Pug mix puppy eat per day? My Chug, as they're called, is 6 weeks old (too young, but things happen) and I'm worried about her overeating, as Pugs tend to do. On January 15th, she was 5 weeks 4 days old and weighed 1 pound 4.2 ounces. Today, January 19th, she weighs 1 pound 9.6 ounces and her belly looks a bit fat to me. Currently, I give her as much dry puppy food (soaked in water) as she'll eat 4 times in a 24-hour period. But 5.4 ounces seems like a lot of weight gain in four days. I've never had a puppy this young before. Any advice or tips on what to do?
When puppies are this young, they will not overeat. Everything in them says 'grow, grow, grow'. Being a small breed, your dog will reach her adult size by roughly 6-8 months. Then you can use the information on the side of your dog food container to figure how much food to feed. We have small dogs and use their optimum weight as a guideline, figure the amt, then feed half in the AM and half in the PM. Best wishes with you new puppy!
My pug puppy is 12 weeks old, and she won't eat the required measured amount of food that she needs. She turns her nose up at it.
By Jacqui G.
What is the best food to feed a 5 week puppy?
By Ty from NY
I have adopted a very young puppy (4-5 wks old) that was either abandoned or lost her mama. She's actually a wonderful puppy, extremely smart and very laid back...except when it comes to eating. OMG, it is unreal!
My sister found her and fed her canned food for the first 5 days. My sis warned me that she was crazy when she ate. I switched to giving her dry food soaked in water. But the first day, I just got it wet and let it sit for about 5 minutes. She ate it so fast!
I didn't realize there was a problem until her next few stools; they were loose with a pinkish/clear liquid. I was immediately concerned that the food was too hard on her little tummy, not to mention the fact that she couldn't possibly be chewing the food. I then let her food completely soak up the water so it was soft. That seemed to help as far as her stools go, they have been normal.
I just cannot get her to slow down! I've tried hand feeding a few kibbles at a time and letting her eat from the bowl while I hold it, then taking it away to make her take a breath. But, as soon as she can she's inhaling again. I've read to keep food down where she always has access to it (this is what I've always done with my other pets), but I'm afraid she might hurt or kill herself if food was available all the time.
I have two main concerns with this: she's not chewing the food at all, (there are a few pieces of kibble that don't get completely soft and I worry she's going to choke). I'm afraid I'll never be able to give her dry food if this continues. The other is, I'm afraid that when she's older, she'll be food aggressive. I'm hoping to have her certified as a therapy dog or at least an emotional support companion. And she "cannot" be aggressive at all to be certified.
The common theory would be that she had to fight for food from her litter mates, but she wasn't underweight when we found her nor was she old enough to fight for "regular" food. She'll try to take my food from me, right after she's eaten, so it can't be from hunger; can it?
She still wants to suckle. Would bottle feeding her help? I was thinking once a day? I'll do whatever it takes to break her from doing this. If not bottle feeding, what else can I do?
I've already fallen completely in love with my DaisyMae, and I want the best for her. I just need her to slow down enough to at the very least, chew her food.
Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you so very much!
By MaryAnn M.
My 8 week old Pit Bull pup doesn't want to eat or drink anything today. I'm taking him to the vet when they open, but until then idk what to do. He's still active and what not, but his tummy is making a bubbly noise like it does when you're hungry.
I have 3 six month old Pit Bull puppies. How many times a day should I feed them?
By Karlis from Louisville, KY
I am hand rearing 4 two week old Jack Russell puppies, one of them developed an upset stomach and was reluctant to feed so I changed her to lactose free milk and have wormed them all. This seems to have helped a lot. The formula I am giving her has no feeding amounts, she weighs approx. 220g. How much should I be giving her?
How do I get a 5 week old puppy with a splint, to eat?
By Ashley from Upland, CA
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
I need help. I don't know what to do with our new puppy. She isn't weaned. I need to know what to do.