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Feeding a Puppy

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Making sure that your new puppy gets proper nutrition is important. This guide is about feeding a puppy.


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

1 found this helpful
March 26, 2010

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

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April 15, 20110 found this helpful

Please re read my post about formula milk. I have saved and raised many animals from squirrels to colts without mamas and just as humans you will find that all cannot tolerate vet formulas as humans cannot all take the same formula and that I am well aware of because my daughter was raised on banana based everything. Experience is a better teacher in a lot of things than the internet too. I worked with a large vets office for over l0 years and in the field. I do thank you for your opinion, but you are dead wrong.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 7, 2017

My Yorkie is 6 months old. Which is best, soaked or dried puppy food? He loves both. He likes a slice of apple, carrot, and frozen peas. He is fit healthy full of energy.

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March 8, 20170 found this helpful

I would mix the dry and the wet as a transition. The wet has vital nutrients.

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0 found this helpful
May 31, 2016

So my family has a teacup Morkie and she is about 11 weeks old and is only 1.5 pounds. We would like her to grow so she will gain some weight. Help!

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June 21, 20160 found this helpful

also, I want to add there is no such thing as a teacup Maltese or toy Maltese. they are naturally small. using teacup or toy for a Maltese is just a way of enticing people to buy them with the teacup and toy craze.

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0 found this helpful
July 24, 2016

I just got my baby Shih Tzu puppy and I'm scared she will get sick if she doesn't eat. She'll take in a lil then doesn't want any more. I bought milk replacement, I'm just not sure what to do next or if I should put in anything else with the replacement milk to please my lil diva.

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March 2, 20170 found this helpful

How old is she? How long has she been weaned? If she is tiny, you may be trying to overfeed her.

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0 found this helpful
April 21, 2016

The puppy is a week old, but doesn't latch on to her mother like she should. What to feed the puppy if not ' milk? Pet milk diluted with water? Baby formula? What is safe for the puppy?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 22, 20160 found this helpful

You could get a better answer from your Vet but if it were me i would get milk replacer at the pet store. I would not dilute it, but follow the directions on the package.

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0 found this helpful
September 27, 2015

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!

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September 27, 20150 found this helpful

Your dog is used to being hand fed. She has never really had to eat on her own.

I would suggest giving her plain water by syringe so she doesn't dehydrate in the meantime. Stop hand feeding her. Put her softened food down where she can get it. Lead her over there about every hour.

Don't worry if she doesn't eat for more than 24 hours. Dogs can go that long without eating. There is no need to worry about blood sugar if she doesn't have diabetes. Humans and animals can handle occasional fasts.

Scatter food around if you need to but don't hand feed. When she gets hungry enough she'll eat.

Once she gets the hang of the food, give her a water dish as well. When you're teaching her about the water, give her a bowl of fresh water and change it twice a day. Put it near her food. To be sure she doesn't dehydrate completely, give her one or two syringes of water a day but not too much. if she doesn't get really thirsty she won't drink it.

The idea is that she has to get hungry and thirsty enough to eat and drink of her own.

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September 17, 2015

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!

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September 18, 20150 found this helpful

Most pet stores carry a milk replacement product for puppies. That might work or they can be taken to a shelter where they can be fostered.

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December 1, 20131 found this helpful

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

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December 1, 20130 found this helpful

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.

Blessings, Robyn

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0 found this helpful
January 30, 2016

I have a 7 week old Chiweenie puppy. Mom has dried up and she was eating watered down soft puppy food for this last week. She will not take a bottle, but will drink water. As of today she will not eat and seems weak. What can I do to help this little one?

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February 20, 20160 found this helpful

If it's not too late take her to a Vet.

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0 found this helpful
September 10, 2008

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

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September 15, 20080 found this helpful

I wonder where tesmom got her info on SD. Tesmom, plrease respond.

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March 18, 20150 found this helpful

I have a month old Cocker. What should I feed him? He is my first pet.

By Mahima

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March 20, 20150 found this helpful

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.

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March 7, 20150 found this helpful

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 Jourdann

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March 15, 20150 found this helpful

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

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October 27, 20140 found this helpful

Is my Pug puppy not eating enough? I feed him about a handful a meal. He is about 11 weeks old.

By Katie

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October 27, 20140 found this helpful

Just look at the back of the package and it should tell you. Or, just call your local Vet!

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0 found this helpful
August 31, 2014

I have a 8 week old Husky/Shepherd; how many times a day should I feed him and how much?

By Ed M

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September 2, 20140 found this helpful

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.

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August 16, 20110 found this helpful

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

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August 17, 20110 found this helpful

Use baby bottle with puppy formula. Puppies that young need to eat every 2 hours.

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September 9, 20130 found this helpful

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

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September 11, 20130 found this helpful


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.

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June 4, 20130 found this helpful

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?


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June 6, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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October 17, 20120 found this helpful

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 Trina

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October 19, 20120 found this helpful

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.

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0 found this helpful
March 27, 2010

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

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March 29, 20100 found this helpful

Puppies that age should be fed 3 times a day and just the amount they will readily consume. This means they should have food put down and given 10-15 minutes to eat and then pick it up. If food is left down all the time they tend to overeat. Just like I do when there is a plate of cookies out all day!

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November 3, 20140 found this helpful

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.

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January 11, 20120 found this helpful

I have a 7 week old Bichon Frise; how many times a day is it best to feed her?

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