When you have a litter of puppies to care for, sometimes the hardest part is making sure they're getting fed. Depending on the puppy, you may have to try several different ways before you're successful at getting him to eat. Milk from the puppy's mother is the best thing to feed him, but if that's not an option, you can make your own formula or purchase puppy formula at a pet store.
Make puppy formula by boiling water and allowing it to cool. Add 10 oz. of evaporated milk, 1 raw egg yolk, 1 cup of whole yogurt, and 1/2 tsp. Karo syrup or corn syrup to 3 oz. of the boiled water (once cooled). Blend in a blender, or mix with a wire whisk. Don't mix it up too much to ensure there aren't many bubbles. Bubbles are bad for a puppy's stomach. The formula should last for 5 days in the refrigerator.
Fill the baby bottles with the formula. A good rule of thumb is to feed the puppy 1 cc of formula for every ounce the puppy weighs.
Warm the bottles just as you would for an infant. Hold the bottle upside down to see if the milk only drips out. If it comes out any faster than a drip, replace the nipple.
Gently put the nipple by the puppy's mouth when she is lying down. Puppies tend to eat best when lying on their stomachs. The puppy should latch on. If she needs some help, put a bit of milk on her tongue, or use a dropper to drop a few drops in her mouth until the puppy gets the hang of it. It may take a little time, so don't get discouraged.
Burp the puppies gently after each feeding.
Feed newborn puppies every 4 hours. This equates to roughly 6 feedings per day during the first 3 weeks of life. Once the puppies reach 4 weeks old, you can start weaning them. It is important to monitor the puppies' weights during those first few weeks. If they aren't gaining weight, it means they either aren't getting enough to eat, or there is a problem that needs to be addressed by a veterinarian.
Be sure to keep bubbles out of the puppy formula. Do not overmix.
Be patient. Sometimes puppies don't immediately take to the bottle.
Items You Will Need
- Baby bottles
- Evaporated milk
- Karo or corn syrup
- Egg yolk
- Wire whisk or blender
- Measuring spoons
- Device that measures cubic centimeters (cc)
- Dropper (if necessary)